ATLANTA – Today, Fair Fight Action Founder and Chair Stacey Abrams issued the following statement:
“The COVID-19 pandemic is changing our lives. We face a health crisis, an emerging economic crisis — and more than ever, a crisis to our democracy. As we adapt to new norms to protect ourselves and our loved ones, so too must we adapt how we conduct our elections. We need key reforms so that no American needs to choose between participation in democracy and the safety of their community.
“First, states must expand online voter registration, offer same-day registration, and prepare to process paper registrations.
“Second, states must expand voting by mail, making it accessible to all eligible voters without requiring an excuse. Gold standard safeguards for voting by mail include: Counting ballots postmarked on election day; Prepaid postage on applications and ballots; Notifying voters of, and allowing them to cure, any signature match issues; Allowing community groups to collect and return sealed ballots; and Providing for easy tracking of applications and ballots. While we expand vote by mail, we must also make it safe for voters to cast their ballots in-person by expanding early vote, applying CDC guidelines to polling locations, and recruiting additional poll workers. Particular attention must be paid to ensure equitable access among communities of color, Native Americans and voters with disabilities.
“Third, states must conduct a significant, multi-lingual voter education campaign, specifically targeting the new American majority of Latinx and Asian American Pacific Islanders, to ensure voters know how to take advantage of these new opportunities to participate in our democracy. We must combat misinformation and voter suppression, whose proponents will surely adapt their strategies to these new systems.
“I am grateful to our friends at The Brennan Center, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and election attorney Marc Elias for their leadership during these unprecedented times.
“The Brennan Center estimates that it will cost just a tiny fraction of the amount of the economic stimulus package to secure our elections during this pandemic. We cannot delay this investment; Congress must pass key election reforms from Senators Klobuchar and Wyden in the economic stimulus to provide states the funds they need to protect the right to vote amid this crisis.
“I urge Americans to call their Senator at 202-224-3121 and tell them to provide full funding to promote vote by mail and protect our democracy.”