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Legislative Updates

Senate bill would offer registered voters ability to vote-at-home

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Resilient Elections During Quarantines and Natural Disasters Act of 2020 (S. 3440) today, which seeks to prevent the disruption of Federal elections from the Coronavirus by adopting certain contingency plans including vote-at-home provisions.

As the country is beginning to witness state primary elections being postponed and the possibility of broader disruptions to the general election in November, this bill looks to address the risks associated with the virus by requiring all states to offer an option for voters to mail in or drop-off a hand-marked, paper ballot should one quarter of U.S. states declare a state of emergency related to COVID-19, another infectious disease, or a natural disaster.

The bill also requires states to offer postage prepaid self-sealing envelopes to voters and provides $500 million to fund emergency state vote-by-mail efforts.

“No voter should have to choose between exercising their constitutional right and putting their health at risk,” said Sen. Wyden. “When disaster strikes, the safest route for seniors, individuals with compromised immune systems or other at-risk populations is to provide every voter with a paper ballot they can return by mail or drop-off site. This is a nonpartisan, commonsense solution to the very real threat looming this November.”

NALC supports vote-at-home measures and those that seek to keep our country and workers safe.


Edit: A new version of this bill is to be introduced soon, which will supersede this and NALC will update the article when it becomes available.

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