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Coons, Klobuchar, Wyden discuss elections, voting rights during COVID-19 pandemic

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, ranking member of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for the Election Assistance Commission; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, ranking member of the Rules Committee with oversight jurisdiction over federal elections; and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, held a call with a bipartisan group of Secretaries of State to discuss protecting voting rights during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s clear that our 2020 elections are at risk, and we must act now to ensure that Americans across the country can access the ballot box,” said Coons. “That’s why Sen. Klobuchar, Sen. Wyden and I are advocating within Congress to secure more funding and direction in the next stimulus package to help states expand vote-by-mail, early voting and online voter registration, because it’s our responsibility to ensure that a safe and accessible election will happen. I was grateful for the opportunity to discuss this critical issue with a bipartisan group of Secretaries of State, and I look forward to continuing our work together as we prepare for November.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to share the challenges we're facing in administering elections at the state level in the current environment and the current crisis that impacts all of us,” said Delaware Election Commissioner Anthony Albence.

The call highlighted critical measures that should be implemented by state and local election officials to ensure everyone can safely cast a ballot during the upcoming primaries and in the general election.

In March, Sens. Coons, Klobuchar and Wyden introduced the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020, which would expand early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail to all states and reimburse states for all additional costs in administering elections during the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation has a total of 26 cosponsors.