Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is rallying progressive troops to champion universal vote-by-mail for the upcoming election, touting it as an “easy” solution, particularly during a pandemic.
Citing the controversy over Wisconsin proceeding with its in-person primary election on Tuesday, Warren said it is essential for states to implement a series of drastic changes to voting methods, including universal vote-by-mail — a concept that has, throughout history, been met with heavy scrutiny due to the increased potential of voter fraud.
“A voter gets a ballot with a postage-paid return envelope. They vote, they sign it, and they send it back. It’s easy to vote by mail,” Warren said in a video on Tuesday evening, touting her proposals for reform.
“And in addition, there should be online registration, extended registration deadlines, and expand early voting to make sure that voting is accessible to all people. And the federal government should be sending money to the states to make this happen,” she added:
What’s happening in Wisconsin is a disgrace.
During a pandemic we need voters to stay safe, not be silenced—and one simple way to do that is to allow all Americans to vote by mail, while also enhancing the safety of in-person voting.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 7, 2020
Warren provided a link to sign up with Warren Democrats, described as voters, candidates, and leaders who aim to assist Democrats in mobilizing grassroots initiatives and elect those who share the same progressive vision as the former presidential hopeful. They state that they are currently organizing for:
- Universal vote by mail in every state
- Online and same-day voter registration so that everyone can make their voice heard
- Enhancing the safety of in-person voting by providing at least 30 days of early voting and extending voting hours
- Guaranteeing that every poll worker is compensated – and receives hazard pay – for their work
- Providing at least $4 billion for state and local governments to administer elections and to keep poll workers safe in the next coronavirus relief package
“In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be taking action to demand these critical measures — so that every American can safely exercise their right to vote in November,” Warren Democrats say, asking others to “join the fight.”
Warren outlined her proposals for radical change in voting methods on Tuesday. While she is joining her progressive allies in demanding vote-by-mail, she is also calling for radical changes to the way in-person voting is conducted, using social distancing as a means to rid states of traditional voter ID laws:
And to accommodate voters while implementing social distancing and heightened sanitation guidelines, all states should provide at least 30 days of early voting. Congress should also require states to retain in-person voting on Election Day, allow eligible individuals to vote with a sworn statement of identity instead of a voter ID, and permit registered voters to vote at any polling place within their district.
She also used the crisis to advance her view that states should cease cleaning voter rolls, with limited exceptions.
The Massachusetts senator believes the federal government should provide $4 billion, perhaps in the next relief measure, to “ensure that states have the resources they need to successfully administer elections” but hinted that the money should be used to implement the reforms she and other Democrats are calling for, specifically.
According to Warren, lawmakers must ensure that the money is “used appropriately by conditioning funding on adopting specific measures that will protect voters and reduce barriers to voting.”