As many states continue to push back primary elections amid the coronavirus pandemic, Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced a plan to protect the Unites States’ upcoming election. The proposal, which is to be included in the next coronavirus recovery package, calls on Congress to allocate billions of dollars to ensure every American gets the chance to vote come Nov. 3.
A series of provisions to be included in Warren’s plan are requirements for “states to mail a ballot to every registered voter with a prepaid return envelope, as is standing practice in states like Oregon and Washington; outline $4 billion in federal funding to help states transition to universal vote-by-mail before November; and say states should refrain from removing voters from registration rolls unless they can prove the person has moved or died since it will be very difficult for anyone removed to re-register during the outbreak,” Mother Jones reported.
“We must not allow Republicans to exploit the pandemic to engage in voter suppression when people are least equipped to fight back because they are staying home, caring for loved ones, or struggling to make ends meet—and many government offices are closed,” Warren wrote. “Republicans are using the crisis to accelerate an undemocratic power grab and disenfranchise millions.”
Warren said Congress needs to “act immediately to make sure elections in the United States can proceed safely, securely, and on time—even as this outbreak drags on.” Her plan adds to Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Ron Wyden’s (D-Ore.) initial proposal “to help states expand vote-by-mail and early voting in the face of the virus’s spread,” Mother Jones reported.
But Donald Trump and many Republican lawmakers are making it harder for Americans to vote by “closing polling places, purging millions of voters from voting rolls, limiting early voting, and passing restrictive voter identification laws,” Warren wrote.
“The task of protecting our democracy has never been more vital,” Warren wrote. “Americans are struggling with the dual crises of a public health emergency and a looming economic depression. Meanwhile, Republicans are using the crisis to accelerate an undemocratic power grab and disenfranchise millions.”
When asked, Trump said he opposed voting by mail and he was quoted saying “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again” if voting became easier. Not only will the Trump campaign take legal action to oppose a plan to expand voting, the Republican Party plans to follow suit.
“Congress must act to protect our upcoming elections, keep voters and poll workers safe, and safeguard our electoral institutions for the long haul,” Warren wrote.