Michelle Obama to promote absentee voting

Michelle Obama to promote absentee voting
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Former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaPrinceton must finish what it started The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Justices rule Manhattan prosecutor, but not Congress, can have Trump tax records The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump takes on CDC over schools MORE and her voting-rights organization When We All Vote will back legislation to expand vote-by-mail options amid the coronavirus pandemic, the group said, marking the first time it has endorsed federal legislation.

"There is nothing partisan about striving to live up to the promise of our country; making the democracy we all cherish more accessible; and protecting our neighbors, friends and loved ones as they participate in this cornerstone of American life,” Obama said in a statement.

The legislation in question has been introduced by Reps. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerChuck E. Cheese files for bankruptcy protection Bipartisan bill introduced to provide 0B in relief for restaurants OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dems press Trump consumer safety nominee on chemical issues | Lawmakers weigh how to help struggling energy industry | 180 Democrats ask House leadership for clean energy assistance MORE (D-Ore.), Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Key impeachment witness retires | Duckworth presses for information | Subpanel advances defense measure | Democrats press for end to military transgender ban 116 House Democrats push for end to transgender military ban following Supreme Court ruling The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump, GOP on defense as nationwide protests continue MORE (D-Wash.) and Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinDemocrats start cracking down on masks for lawmakers Clyburn threatens to end in-person coronavirus committee hearings if Republicans won't wear masks The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote MORE (D-Md.) in the House, and Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Fauci says focus should be on pausing reopenings rather than reverting to shutdowns; WHO director pleads for international unity in pandemic response State election officials warn budget cuts could lead to November chaos Biden strikes populist tone in blistering rebuke of Trump, Wall Street MORE (D-Minn.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenTrump administration to impose tariffs on French products in response to digital tax Mnuchin: Next stimulus bill must cap jobless benefits at 100 percent of previous income Congress must act now to fix a Social Security COVID-19 glitch and expand, not cut, benefits MORE (D-Ore.) in the Senate. It would allow all registered voters to vote absentee, currently a universal option in 34 states and Washington, D.C., but only available in certain circumstances in the other 16 states.

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Voting rights advocates have called for expanded vote-by-mail options amid social distancing efforts, while President TrumpDonald John TrumpWayfair refutes QAnon-like conspiracy theory that it's trafficking children Stone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Federal appeals court rules Trump admin can't withhold federal grants from California sanctuary cities MORE has claimed that voting by mail allows for voter fraud despite casting his own ballot by mail in Florida’s primary earlier this year.

Despite an attempt by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) to delay the state’s primary earlier this month due to the pandemic, it proceeded as scheduled, resulting in long lines that raised eyebrows among both voting-rights advocates and public health experts.

"It was just deeply, profoundly concerning," Valerie JarrettValerie June JarrettBiden taps Obama alums for high-level campaign positions: report 'Defund the police' movement hits semantics roadblock Valerie Jarrett: 'Democracy depends upon having law enforcement' MORE, the longtime adviser to the Obamas who chairs When We All Vote, told Axios, which first reported the push. "Our goal is to just try to make sure we maximize the number of citizens who can participate in that most fundamental and important responsibility."

The Obamas have stayed on the sidelines and declined to make a public endorsement in the protracted Democratic primaries but are likely to stump for presumptive nominee and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Runoff elections in Texas, Alabama set for Tuesday Biden campaign slams White House attacks on Fauci as 'disgusting' Biden lets Trump be Trump MORE now that he is the only candidate remaining among the once-crowded Democratic field.

— This report was updated at 9:20 a.m.