Amy Klobuchar Pushes Vote-by-Mail so ‘Voters Are Not Disenfranchised in November’

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks at the North Carolin
Patrick Semansky/AP Photo

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is promoting legislation that would change voting methods for November’s election, including a nationwide vote-by-mail option.

Wisconsin’s election is underway despite its statewide stay-at-home order and an executive order issue by Gov. Tony Evers (D) that effectively moved in-person voting to June 9. His order was immediately challenged and overturned by Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, prompting a response from Klobuchar.

“This is why I lead the bill so voters are not disenfranchised in November,” the former presidential hopeful said:

Klobuchar announced The Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020 (NDEBA) last month alongside Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), which would expand early in-person voting and extend “no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail” to all states.

The bill would specifically “ensure that voters in all states have 20 days of early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail and ensure states begin processing votes cast during early voting or by mail 14 days before Election Day to avoid delays in counting votes on Election Day,” per the release.

“Americans are facing unprecedented disruptions to their daily lives and we need to make sure that in the midst of this pandemic, Americans don’t also lose their ability to vote,” Klobuchar said in a statement, attributing the introduction of the bill to the confusion associated with Ohio’s primary, which officials ultimately postponed.

She continued:

The confusion regarding Ohio’s primary only underscores the need for federal legislation. Some states have announced that they will postpone their primary elections, and many election officials have expressed concern regarding how this public health emergency will affect upcoming elections. We must take critical steps to ensure that states have the resources they need to implement early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail programs. As Congress prepares to provide states with medical and economic relief, we should also act swiftly to pass my legislation to ensure that every American has a safe way to participate in our democracy during a national emergency.

The release touts the NDEBA as a “commonsense solution” not just for 2020 but “future elections,” adding to the mounting suspicions of the GOP, which believes Democrats are trying to use the national crisis to advance their broader agenda of changing voting laws and methods, whether through the next coronavirus relief bill or separate legislation.

“Our Democratic friends want the federal government to take over elections, but historically those have been handled at the state level,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said, according to Politico.

“States should run state’s elections,” Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) stated. “Washington D.C. should not run the state’s elections. So if a state determines that’s the way it wants to go, a state should make that decision.”

Klobuchar’s push comes as the GOP gears up for what could be a contentious battle over the next relief bill, as several Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), have indicated that they intend to fight for vote-by-mail in the next phase of relief.


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