It’s likely that the coronavirus pandemic will impact traditional in-person voting this election cycle.
We have the opportunity to be proactive and create infrastructure now that will safeguard voting in November — and we need Congress to allocate adequate funding for states to act.
Thanks to a flood of grassroots calls, Congress passed $400 million in the latest COVID-19 relief package to help states prepare for the 2020 election by expanding vote-by-mail, early voting, and online voter registration.. The Stand Up America community made over 70,000 constituent calls to Congress in just one week and was one of the loudest activist voices demanding funding to ensure that every eligible voter can cast their ballot this fall.
$400 million is a start, but it’s not enough to protect our democracy in this critical moment. Our partners at the Brennan Center for Justice estimate that we need $2 billion to fully implement vote-by-mail, expanded early voting, online voter registration, and other reforms to protect the 2020 election.
In addition to providing immediate economic and health care support, every state needs to move to safeguard the 2020 election and ensure that every eligible American is able to vote-by-mail. Prioritizing the right of voters to safely participate in our democracy is crucial in an election year with so much at stake.
What Should I Know?
Here are some helpful facts about expanding vote-by-mail:
- Multiple states already have vote-by-mail. Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington conduct their elections almost entirely by mail — offering successful models for how it can be implemented around the county.
- In 2016, more than 23% of voters cast their ballots by mail. There is already a significant precedent for vote-by-mail, and many voters are familiar with the practice.
- Vote-by-mail improves voter turnout. States that allowed vote-by-mail had, on average, a 15.5 percentage point higher turnout rate than states that did not in 2018.
COVID-19 has increased the urgency to implement vote-by-mail and other reforms across the country. It’s far past time to strengthen our democracy and dramatically increase voter participation by harnessing the power of vote-by-mail nationwide.
How Can I Help?
Spreading the word about vote-by-mail is one of the most important components of this campaign. Take a second to share this campaign with your friends and family: