Progressive Groups Target Senate Over Election Funds With Week of Action
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, July 20, 2020
Groups Have Driven Hundreds of Thousands of Constituent Calls to Congress
30 Groups Sent Letter to McConnell Demanding $3.6 Billion in Election Assistance Funding
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a coalition of grassroots organizations and progressive groups are driving constituents to take action demanding the Senate immediately pass the $3.6 billion in election assistance funds passed by the House of Representatives in the HEROES Act nine weeks ago. Through a combination of digital advertisements, SMS and peer-to-peer texting, and community engagement, the groups are coordinating to drive action each day this week as Congress returns from recess.
The coalition of groups—including All On The Line, Color Of Change, Let America Vote/End Citizens United Action Fund, Indivisible, Public Citizen, Stand Up America, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights—have so far educated millions of Americans and mobilized hundreds of thousands of constituents to take action since March to demand that Congress swiftly allocate more resources to states. This week, the groups are once again teaming up as part of a coordinated effort to ensure cash-strapped states receive federal funding in time to administer safe, fair, secure, and accessible elections this fall.
“We’re at a time where the foundation of our political system is in grave danger, and our nation’s leaders have to understand that protecting the right to vote is far more important than partisan politics,” said Saumya Narechania, All On The Line Director of States, Advocacy and Campaign Director. “Every single voter in this country deserves the right to vote without putting themselves or their families at risk. The Senate should have taken action on this much-needed election assistance funding a long time ago, but the next best time is now.”
“With just over 100 days left until the November elections, it’s urgent that we expand safe voting options to protect Black voters from both COVID-19 and intimidation by violent racists,” warned Jennifer Edwards, Senior Director of Digital Engagement and Democracy at Color Of Change. “Senators must step up now and fund the accommodations outlined in our 2020 Voter Justice Agenda to reduce the need to vote in person and to make in-person voting as safe as possible.”
“We’re at a make or break moment to secure this vital election funding, and our grassroots members throughout the country are demanding Senate Republicans take action. Americans of all political stripes want options to safely vote this November so they don’t have to choose between their health and their vote. We know what changes need to be implemented, we just need our elected officials to listen to the people,” said Tiffany Muller, President of Let America Vote and End Citizens United Action Fund, which launched the Safe, Accessible, Fair Elections (SAFE) Democracy Program to call on Congress and election officials to provide $4 billion in necessary election preparedness funding before November.
“Republicans are yet again using another move from their usual playbook of deception, disinformation, and disenfranchisement to win elections. The idea that Congress would leave states and voters to fend for themselves in an extended national emergency of their own making is ludicrous. Let me be clear: if Americans have to risk their life to vote this November, our lawmakers have failed,” said Leah Greenberg, Co-Executive Director of Indivisible. “Senate Republican’s unabashed nine weeks of inaction has not gone unnoticed. Indivisibles across the country are ramping up pressure to get the Heroes Act passed in the Senate. Failing to protect our elections—the cornerstone of our democracy—is an attack on our country’s most basic values. Mitch and his ilk expect Americans to vote or die trying, and that is unacceptable.”
“Big corporations received over $500 billion in coronavirus bailout funds,” said Aquene Freechild, Campaign Co-Director for Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign. “We think the Senate should be able to provide less than one percent of that to bailout our vote and ensure our elections are safe and accessible in November.”
“Senate Republicans have blocked nearly every attempt by Democrats to pass election funding, ignoring dire warnings from election officials and health experts as the pandemic worsened,” said Sean Eldridge, President and Founder of Stand Up America, which has driven over 200,000 constituent calls to Congress after launching a six-figure campaign to pressure lawmakers to pass $4 billion in election funds. “We’re running out of time. Failing to pass this funding is not only an abdication of responsibility, but a clear attempt to suppress the vote in the middle of a pandemic. The Senate must act this week.”
“We should all be able to safely exercise our fundamental right to vote, even during a global pandemic. But in too many states during the primary season, long lines, poll closures, poll worker shortages and insufficient training, broken machines, and unfulfilled absentee ballot requests left many voters—particularly voters of color—without a voice,” said Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “States and local governments need funding immediately so they can prepare for the election in November and implement common-sense reforms like no-excuse absentee ballots, early in-person voting, and online voter registration. The Senate needs to do its job and pass the HEROES Act to ensure that no one has to choose between public health and a functioning democracy.”
The coalition recently sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY), Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) demanding that Senate leadership immediately pass legislation providing election assistance grants to every state.
Today, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, an affiliate of All On The Line, and Let America Vote also announced a new, $500,000 digital advertising campaign calling on senators to pass additional funding for safe elections during the coronavirus pandemic.
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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 1.3 million calls to lawmakers and mobilized tens of thousands of protestors across the country.