In a national campaign, Stand Up America was joined by senators in urging Congress to pass emergency measures to expand no-excuse absentee voting, vote-by-mail, and early voting during the coronavirus pandemic. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Chris Coons (D-DE), along with American Federation of Teachers, are all calling on lawmakers to protect Americans’ ability to vote.
The national campaign launched by Stand Up America—a progressive advocacy organization focused on grassroots action to protect democracy—also urges Congress to pass legislation that would expand early voting and online voter registration.
“Americans are facing unprecedented disruptions to their daily lives and we need to make sure that in the midst of this pandemic, Americans don’t also lose their ability to vote,” Senator Klobuchar said. “Some states have announced that they will postpone their primary elections, and many election officials have expressed concern regarding how this public health emergency will affect upcoming elections. We must take critical steps to provide states with resources to expand early voting and ensure that every American who wants to vote by mail gets a ballot sent to their door.”
A “comprehensive and serious plan to deal with voting” is needed during this pandemic, Randi Weingarten, president of American Federation of Teachers, said, as many states announced postponement of presidential primaries. Senators Klobuchar and Wyden co-authored the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act “to ensure no American will lose access to the ballot box as a result of this pandemic,” a press release stated.
“Senators Klobuchar, Wyden, and I are calling on Congress to include funding to expand vote by mail and early voting in the third stimulus package so Americans across the country can access the ballot box in November,” Senator Coons said. “No American should have to choose between their health and their right to vote.”
The national campaign has driven more than 55,000 constituent phone calls to Congress urging lawmakers to pass the legislation, a press release stated.
“Let’s be clear: The coronavirus pandemic is a threat to our health, our economy, and our democracy—and Congress’ response must address all three,” said Sean Eldridge, Founder and President of Stand Up America. “Lawmakers must act immediately to provide emergency funding to the states to ensure that every eligible voter can cast their ballot this fall.”