SPONSORED:

Dozens of progressive organizations call on Congress to fund vote-by-mail efforts

 

More than 50 progressive organizations signed an open letter Monday calling on Congress to appropriate $4 billion to states to boost mail-in voting efforts in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

The groups — which were led by Stand Up America and included Greenpeace USA, Planned Parenthood, and the Sierra Club — strongly urged the leaders of the House and Senate to “immediately” pass legislation that includes funds for states to allow elections to go forward this year. 

“Congress has an obligation to safeguard the integrity of our elections by setting national voting rights standards and providing state officials with urgent financial support so that they can institute these common-sense reforms while there is still time,” the groups wrote

ADVERTISEMENT

They advocated that Congress specifically give states funding to go toward giving every voter the option to vote by mail, extend in-person early voting, expand registration and educate voters about their voting options.  

“None of us know how long this pandemic will last,” the groups emphasized. “Failing to provide states with this necessary funding puts the November election and the rights of every voter at risk.”

The coronavirus stimulus package signed into law by President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE last month included $400 million to help states put on elections this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The legislation did not include any specific mandates for how states could spend the money and required states to match the funds by 20 percent, an issue some state officials have said could be difficult to accomplish. 

Both House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDefense lawyers for alleged Capitol rioters to get tours of U.S. Capitol Gaetz, Greene tout push to oust Cheney: 'Maybe we're the leaders' Free Speech Inc.: The Democratic Party finds a new but shaky faith in corporate free speech MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerBiden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture How to fast-track climate action? EPA cutting super pollutant HFCs MORE (D-N.Y.) have come out in favor of sending the states more funding and in favor of increasing mail-in voting in recent weeks. Pelosi originally proposed $4 billion in March for the last stimulus bill, but this amount was cut down. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Republicans have pushed back against vote by mail. President Trump tweeted last week that he was concerned voting by mail would hurt Republican chances in the elections, and that it could increase the chance for voter fraud. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthySunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as White House continues to push vaccination effort Trump spokesman says defeating Cheney a top priority Gaetz, Greene tout push to oust Cheney: 'Maybe we're the leaders' MORE (R-Calif.) slammed Democrats last week for trying to put mail-in voting funds in the next coronavirus stimulus bill. McCarthy accused Democrats of being “concerned about the wrong thing” in comparison to battling the COVID-19 disease.  

But Democrats, led by Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharStrengthen CBP regulations to reduce opioid deaths Why isn't Washington defending American companies from foreign assaults? Republicans float support for antitrust reform after Trump Facebook ban upheld MORE (Minn.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenBad jobs report amplifies GOP cries to end 0 benefits boost Putting a price on privacy: Ending police data purchases Overnight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states MORE (Ore.), have continued to push for mail-in voting. Klobuchar and Wyden introduced a bill in March to expand voting access that former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Obamas' first White House dog, Bo, dies Michelle Obama praises BLM, says she fears for daughters MORE threw her support behind on Monday. 

Klobuchar, Wyden, and Sen. Christopher CoonsChris Andrew CoonsUS, Iran signal possible breakthroughs in nuke talks How the United States can pass Civics 101 Americans for Prosperity launches campaign targeting six Democrats to oppose ending filibuster MORE (D-Del.) on Monday penned an op-ed in USA Today calling for states to get more funding for mail-in voting ahead of November. 

“The next federal relief package must include sufficient funding and direction to states to expand vote by mail, early voting and online voter registration,” the senators wrote. “Republicans and Democrats should be able to work together to make this happen. The very integrity of our democracy requires that we get this right."