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Maine AFL-CIO Defending Democracy Resolution

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October 29, 2020

Whereas, for the first time in U.S. history a sitting president has not committed to accepting the results of the election; and

Whereas, President Donald Trump repeatedly seeks to undermine public confidence in our election system in general and this election in particular; and

Whereas, President Donald Trump has openly admitted that he wants to prevent mail-in voting in the middle of a pandemic as Americans are seeking to vote safely by adhering to social distancing guidelines; and

Whereas, President Donald Trump has repeatedly made the false claim that voting by mail will “rig the election” and lead to voter fraud, despite the fact that mail-in ballots have been used nationwide for years, including by members of the military and the President himself;

Whereas, President Donald Trump has blocked critical funding to the US Postal Service in a stated effort to prevent the agency from properly processing mail-in ballots; and

Whereas, the President’s Postmaster General Louis Dejoy has presided over efforts to sabotage the USPS by ending overtime pay, removing mail sorting machines and other measures to undermine the agency’s capacity to deliver mail-in ballots in time to be counted for the November election; and

Whereas, the U.S. will have almost 21,000 fewer Election Day polling places in 2020 than four years ago, a 20 percent drop since 2016, due to political efforts to reduce access to the ballot box; and 

Whereas, President Trump has hired a team of lawyers to get voters’ ballots thrown out; and

Whereas, mail-in voting will likely delay the results of the election for several days, giving the President the opportunity to potentially claim a victory before all the ballots are counted; and

Whereas, the President’s rhetoric casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election threatens to foment civil disorder, which could potentially be used as a pretext for undemocratic interference into the electoral process; and

Whereas, the US Constitution guarantees the right of all eligible voters to vote without hindrance, interference, or intimidation; and

Whereas, the US Constitution dictates that all votes must be counted transparently, electoral laws must be followed, and any disputes must be resolved without bias towards any particular candidate; and

Whereas, the loser of the election must accept the results and allow for the peaceful transition of power; and 

Whereas, we cannot depend on our institutions to guarantee that our votes will determine the next President; and

Whereas, the Labor Movement has historically played a vital role in protecting democracy and opposing authoritarianism throughout the world;

Whereas, despots rely on widespread obedience and passive acceptance by the masses;

Whereas, the present threat to our democratic institutions may require more mass resistance than at any time in recent history; now therefore be it

Resolved, we will generate conversations with each other about the importance of upholding democracy in our country as we do in our unions; and be it further

Resolved, we demand that everyone eligible to vote can do so, that every ballot cast is counted, and that the voters decide the winner; and be it further

Resolved, we will engage union members in understanding the current threats to democracy and efforts to protect it; and be it further 

Resolved, we will call on state and local governments to pledge to protect the protesters defending democracy; and finally be it 

Resolved, that the Maine AFL-CIO will prepare to peacefully, but vigorously resist any effort to thwart the will of the people in the November election and commits to using all of the tactics in our toolbox as needed to protect and defend our democracy and constitution.