FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, March 23, 2020
NEW YORK — Earlier today, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Chris Coons (D-DE), as well as American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, joined Stand Up America in urging lawmakers to pass emergency measures to expand no-excuse absentee voting, vote-by-mail, and early voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
Stand Up America has launched a national campaign and has already driven more than 55,000 constituent calls to Congress urging lawmakers to swiftly pass legislation that would provide states funding to implement no-excuse absentee voting and vote-by-mail, as well as expand early voting and online voter registration.
“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.”
“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.”
“It will take smart, decisive action just to keep our democracy running,” said Senator Wyden. “That’s why Senator Klobuchar and I wrote the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act—to ensure no American will lose access to the ballot box as a result of this pandemic. Voting by mail and expanding early voting are the best chance our democracy has of weathering this storm.”
“With several states announcing that they will postpone their presidential primaries, it’s clear that we need to take action at the federal level now to give states the resources they need to address the threat that COVID-19 poses to our elections,” said Senator Coons. “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. No American should have to choose between their health and their right to vote.”
“We have fought for over 250 years, including a revolution and a civil war, for our citizens to have a voice in this democracy and a say in our future. Many have sacrificed mightily to strengthen and expand the right to vote; we must not backtrack—not in normal times and not in times of great crisis. It is especially vital for Americans to participate in the political process, particularly in times of upheaval,” said Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers President. “This is a comprehensive and serious plan to deal with voting, contoured exceptionally well to this particular pandemic. We offer a full-throated endorsement and thank Senators Wyden and Klobuchar as well as Stand Up America for working to make our elections more accessible, transparent and secure, so they can withstand whatever challenge we face.”
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About Stand Up America
Stand Up America is a progressive advocacy organization with over two million community members across the country. Focused on grassroots advocacy to strengthen our democracy and oppose Trump’s corrupt agenda, Stand Up America has driven over one million calls to lawmakers and mobilized tens of thousands of protestors across the country.