In a Sunday interview with MSNBC’s “Kasie DC,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) called for $3.6 billion in funding to allow vote-by-mail in 2020 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Coons noted people in the military and diplomats vote via mail and that President Donald Trump requested an absentee ballot for the upcoming election, advising if some states can vote entirely by mail, then it should not be an issue while there are shelter-in-place orders.
“It would ask us to give some flexibility to states in terms of match requirements and some dramatic additional resources, $3.6 billion,” argued Coons. “We’ve heard both Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, heads of state, parties and local election officials calling for this. in every election, hundreds of thousands of Americans vote by mail from overseas. Folks in our armed forces and our diplomatic core, President Trump has requested an absentee ballot for this election. If it’s good enough for our troops and diplomats and our president, I don’t see why a vote-by-mail shouldn’t be a feature for every election in this state by November if people request it.”
He added, “It shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Look, there are five states that conduct it entirely by mail. Utah is one, Oregon is another. Utah is heavily Republican, Oregon is majority Democrat, in terms of who they send to Congress. So, I don’t think that you can predict what the partisan outcome will be based on whether folks have the ability to cast their votes by mail. A number of states have developed thorough security measures to make sure that they can track every single ballot, and they can confirm that the person casting that ballot is, in fact, the registered voter by signature match and by other measures. We ought to be able to do this to vote securely, if necessary, by mail if there is an ongoing pandemic problem with us in the fall. And, frankly, the lack of planning around several aspects here, around being able to vote by mail, around being able to have enough testing tracing resource us available too public health organizations around our country is a lot of why this pandemic keeps being such a challenge for us.”