Government affairs

Legislative Updates

House and Senate Introduce Vote-Safe Act

Today, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) introduced the “Vote Safe Act of 2020” (H.R. 7068), in the House. The bill is identical to the draft legislation announced in April from Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Kamala Harris (D-CA).

The bills would expand vote-by-mail, early voting and seek to improve in-person voting conditions for the November elections due to the growing concerns of in-person voting during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most notably, the measures would allow fo no-excuse mail-in absentee voting for the 2020 elections, in-person voting for at least 20 days prior to election day and would provide $2.5 billion to help states meet the needs of people with disabilities, language needs, rural, Alaska native and American Indian voters, curbside-voting, publishing maximum wait-times, recruiting and training workers at polling locations and improvements to access for voter registration.

“The right to vote is a basic American right and our democracy depends on our citizens having access to the ballot box,” said Whip Clyburn. “The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the many challenges Americans face while voting, which is why I’m proud to join Senator Harris and Congresswoman Fudge to introduce the Vote Safe Act today, because it expands voting options to include no-excuse vote by mail and early voting, as well as improve access to voter registration. This legislation ensures that polling locations and its workers have the resources they need to not only keep themselves safe, but also keep the public safe during this public health crisis. We must act now to protect every American’s basic right to vote and guarantee that when people do vote, they are safe and have equal access to the ballot box.” 

The Vote Safe Act joins numerous pieces of House and Senate legislation that have been introduced in the 116th Congress, none of which has been seriously considered. Instead, the issue remains a contentious one between Republicans and Democrats. Nonetheless, NALC will continue to monitor any legislation regarding voting-by-mail.

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