Former Democrat presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is set to introduce a bill on Thursday that would create a new federal organization to assist with elections.
According to released statements, the legislation would create a “DemocracyCorps” of people who would help individuals register to vote, serve as poll workers, and assist with voter education campaigns.
Booker said in a statement:
The right to vote is sacred and we should make exercising that fundamental right as easy as possible. Unfortunately, the global pandemic has placed that right in peril, and unless decisive measures are taken to provide safe voting options, many Americans may face a terrible choice this fall between protecting their health and participating in our democracy.
My bill would help solve this problem. DemocracyCorps aims to cultivate and inspire a new generation of young people to strengthen our democracy by helping Americans safely exercise the franchise, just as the Freedom Summer volunteers before them.
The newly founded organization would include 35,000 people who would serve two-year terms. Those individuals would be assigned to certain states based on population size, amount of elected officials, and population on Native American lands.
Booker’s proposed legislation, the DemocracyCorps Act, comes amid the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world and left Americans unsure of how to safely carry out elections. Many prominent Democrats, including former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), have called for a vote-by-mail process, which they claim would be a safer alternative to standing in lines at polls.
Booker’s bill would also include broader election reforms and includes ideas from other pieces of legislation from Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The ideas derived from other pieces of legislation include expanding early voting to 20 days before a federal election, online voter registration, and allowing vote-by-mail.
Several Republicans have warned that a vote-by-mail system could lead to election fraud, including President Donald Trump.