Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota; and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, wrote a letter April 23 to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, urging them to include $3.6 billion to help states expand vote-by-mail and early voting in the CARES 2 COVID-19 relief package.
“Officials in 16 states have already postponed presidential primary elections or transitioned their elections to all mail-in voting,” wrote the senators. “We must take action now to plan for upcoming elections. Voters across Wisconsin can attest to the fact that failure to enact reforms and provide additional resources to states will result in widespread chaos and disenfranchisement of voters.”
“This is not a partisan issue — this is an American issue,” the senators continued. “The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy — a right that generations of Americans before us have fought to secure, and a right that we must protect now.”
In March, Coons, Klobuchar and Wyden and more than 20 other senators introduced the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020 to expand no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail to all states, extend early in-person voting in every state to at least 20 days and reimburse states for additional costs in administering elections during the pandemic. Before the Senate considered the third relief package, Coons and Klobuchar wrote a letter to Pelosi, McCarthy, McConnell and Schumer, urging them to include funding to protect the 2020 elections. The three senators published an op-ed April 13 in USA Today, highlighting the need for the fourth relief package to include money and direction for states to expand vote-by-mail and early voting.
The letter is available at bit.ly/3awAw5F.