COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on our families, our economy and our elections. But Congress has the power to intervene right now.
In response to safety concerns and pressure from constituents like me, Congress has already passed limited funds to expand absentee voting, online registration and in-person early voting, but it’s simply not enough.
Without (nearly) $4 billion in total funding for election assistance, voters may not be able to make their voices heard during one of the most important elections of our lifetime. We need our leaders to prevent a situation where any voter is forced to choose between protecting their health and casting their ballot.
While these policies are critical as we recover from this national crisis, voting reforms like expanding no-excuse absentee voting and online voter registration are common-sense changes that will help voters participate in the political process. Multiple states have already adopted vote-by-mail (programs), and their models could be implemented across the country.
I expect Congress to provide more economic relief, but the next bill also needs to include expanded funding for mail-in voting, more early voting at safe polling places and other options to make voting as safe as possible this November.
If voting by mail is good enough for Donald Trump, it should be good enough for all of us. Congress needs to make it possible for every eligible American to vote by mail if they choose to do so. With our secretary of state deciding not to send out ballot requests to all Georgians claiming the expense (is too high), this legislation would provide a solution to enable Georgians to vote safely.
Joan M. Immerman