The coronavirus pandemic is deeply impacting our elections, as states move to protect voters’ health during this crisis.
We are less than six months away from Election Day 2020, and Americans still struggle with access to the ballot box. Multiple roadblocks can impede access, even without a global pandemic!
In order to ensure every voice is heard this election, we must expand mail-in voting, absentee voting and other expanded voting options. We must properly fund Vote by Mail.
Wisconsin is a particularly regrettable example of in-person voting amid COVID-19. On April 7, Wisconsin held its primary elections in the midst of the pandemic, putting its voters and poll workers at risk of infection and forcing some people—particularly vulnerable populations such as the elderly and immunocompromised—to skip voting altogether. As a result of the in-person election, 52 people who worked or voted in the election contracted coronavirus.
Vote by Mail offers a way to vote without fear of contracting coronavirus COVID-19.
Additionally, Vote by Mail has been proven to encourage greater participation in our democracy. States that have enacted Vote by Mail have seen a 15 percent higher median turnout than polling-place-centric states during the 2018 primary.
Several states have already successfully enacted Vote by Mail including Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah, California, and Hawaii — and these states are seeing a higher voter turnout as a result.
In the wake of this pandemic, we must urge the Senate to pass legislation funding stronger election safety measures, including Vote by Mail.
Sign and send the petition: Demand the Senate properly fund Vote by Mail.
Photo by Linda Parton/Shutterstock.