Elizabeth Warren to Congress: ‘Include Vote by Mail’ in Coronavirus Package

A box of ballots mailed in for the Washington state primary election are shown Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the King County Elections headquarters in Renton, Wash. Washington is a vote-by-mail state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is calling on Congress to include vote-by-mail in the next coronavirus relief package, she emphasized on Thursday.

“This is a good step,” Warren said of the report of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) expanding absentee ballot use.

“Other states should follow—and I’m calling on Congress to include vote by mail and other steps in the next coronavirus relief package to keep voters across the country safe and strengthen our democracy,” she added:

The CARES Act broadly provided $400 million in election grants, but Democrats say it is simply not enough. Warren, for one, is demanding Congress provide “no less than $4 billion to ensure that states have the resources they need to successfully administer elections.” She added stipulations, stressing that they must ensure the resources are “used appropriately by conditioning funding on adopting specific measures that will protect voters and reduce barriers to voting.”

She listed some of her specific proposals in a Medium post this week. While she emphasizes the need for mail-in voting, she also calls for a ban on cleaning voter rolls, stating bluntly, “Congress should ban states from purging their voter rolls unless an individual affirmatively requests to be removed or there is objective documentary evidence, such as an official record of death or affirmative change of address.”

She also uses social distancing as a primary reason to forgo the traditional practice of providing identification to vote:

But Congress should also go further — by requiring all states to mail every registered voter a ballot with pre-paid postage and a self-sealing envelope, and mandating that they waive absentee ballot requirements that undermine social distancing guidelines, such as requirements that absentee voters submit copies of their IDs or include a notary or witness signature with their mail-in ballot.

While she supports states holding traditional in-person voting, she says that they must “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 says.

Nothing, at this point, has materialized, but members of the GOP and prominent Democrats have found themselves in a war of words over the left’s push for drastic changes to U.S. elections.

“The president says that he thinks that if we had vote-by-mail no Republican will ever get elected. Well, have more confidence in what the Republican Party stands for,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said this week.

Republicans argue that mail-in voting increases the changes for voter fraud and are blasting Democrats for using the crisis to advance political party objectives.

“Let’s get our economy back on feet, and then we can debate about elections,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said this week. “Do not use this for political gains. That is wrong.”

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