‘It’s clear that the pandemic is impacting our elections’: ACLU sends letter to Congress urging action on voting laws

U.S. capitol

Following the Wisconsin primary that included in-person voting despite lawsuits and public health recommendations, the American Civil Liberties Union sent another letter to national legislators urging recommendations on voting during the pandemic, according to a news release from the organization.

The letter urges lawmakers to include provisions in the next stimulus to address the impact the global pandemic has on elections in the country, saying the failure to act to protect elections is not an option.

“As has been recently demonstrated in Ohio, Florida, Texas, and, today, in Wisconsin, states and counties are unprepared to address the seismic shift in election administration necessary to ensure the 2020 primaries and election can proceed safely during the pandemic, without diminishing the fundamental right to vote,” the letter, sent Tuesday, said.

The organization said this is the third letter it has sent encouraging action.

The ACLU said it would like to see legislation that would include a federal requirement that all states offer “no-excuse” mail-in absentee voting to every eligible voter; a federal requirement that all states institute an early voting period of 14 days, including at least one Saturday and one Sunday; $4 bill in federal funding immediately available to states, counties and municipalities; and $4 million to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission for increased administration and additional state support.

The letter, signed by the organization’s national political director and senior legislative counsel, noted that Congress appropriated $400 million in the previous stimulus package for election security grants, which it says “is simply not enough.”

“The coronavirus shouldn’t be a political issue, and it’s clear that the pandemic is impacting our elections,” said Sonia Gill, the senior legislative counsel for the ACLU, in the release. “The longer Congress waits to act, the greater the risk to both voters and our nation’s election workers.