Governors Abbott, DeSantis, and Youngkin are Dismantling Democracy

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The 2022 midterms saw an unprecedented number of election deniers run for office. Some state governments took it as the threat it was, and started passing legislation to protect our freedom to vote. 

Others took it as a rallying cry, doubling down on voter suppression methods and misinformation. While this is happening in at least a dozen states, three prominent GOP governors immediately jump to mind: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. 

These three are eagerly taking a hatchet to their state’s voting rights—and showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Here’s what’s been going on in the past few weeks.


It’s impossible to separate Ron DeSantis’s ongoing attacks on voting rights from his bid for the presidency. Right before his disastrous campaign announcement on Twitter, DeSantis approved Senate Bill 705, which both amended the state’s repeal-to-run law (permitting him to run for president without having to resign from his governorship) and restricted mail-in voting. 

But this is nothing new. DeSantis has been steadily stripping away Floridians’ fundamental freedoms for years. A few of his lowlights:  

  • Deploying an election police force to intimidate and harass voters—particularly voters of color—harkening back to Jim Crow voter suppression tactics that weaponized law enforcement against Black citizens attempting to vote. 
  • Redrawing Florida’s congressional maps to advantage Republicans in the 2022 midterms, including by splitting up a Black-held district. 
  • Signing anti-voter legislation to create new barriers for community-based organizations that help register voters of color. 

Americans deserve a president who will defend our democracy and our fundamental freedoms—and that’s definitely not Ron. 


They say everything is bigger in Texas, and unfortunately that includes the state legislature’s voter suppression efforts. Their latest move was to eliminate the head election administrator in Harris County and then give themselves the right to simply take over that county’s elections. 

Why there? It’s Texas’s most populated county—and one of its most diverse—and includes the city of Houston, where Democrats have become the dominant voting bloc. 

There are two bills waiting for Governor Greg Abbot’s signature: 

  • Senate Bill 1750, which eliminates the appointed position of elections administrator in Harris County.
  • Senate Bill 1933, that would give broad new powers to the secretary of state, appointed by the governor, to run elections in Harris County

The trend is clear: consolidate election power around Governor Abbott while punishing working Texans who just want to cast their ballot.


Thanks to Governor Glenn Youngkin, Virginia is now one of the only states in the nation that disenfranchises nearly everyone with a felony conviction, after he rescinded Virginia’s policy of automatically restoring voting rights to residents who have completed felony sentences. 

We know that returning citizens want to participate in our democracy, and voting plays a key part in helping them reintegrate back into their communities.

That’s why states like New Mexico and Minnesota restored voting rights to citizens with felony convictions earlier this year, following a trend of states across the country expanding the right to vote, while Governor Youngkin is restricting them. 

What’s happening in Florida, Texas, and Virginia aren’t isolated incidents. They are warnings of what could very well happen across the country—especially now that DeSantis has announced his bid for president. We need to continue to fight back to defend our democracy—in the states and nationwide.