WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, released a staff report entitled “Our Vote 2020: 20 Ways to Secure a Full and Fair Election During the Coronavirus Pandemic.” The report outlines five actions that individual voters, employers, as well as local and state governments can each take to secure a full and fair election this fall.
Chairman Raskin and Subcommittee Vice Chair Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also led 17 Members of Congress, including Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, in a video explaining these actions to the American people.
“We want to spread the word about how to make sure our election is fair and accurate,” Subcommittee Chairman Raskin stated in today’s video. “We want to counteract the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and make sure everyone knows how to vote safely. And, we want to refute all of the false and propagandistic attacks on mail-in voting and on the U.S. Postal Service.”
The new staff report highlights that since the coronavirus pandemic engulfed the United States, its potential impact on voter safety and voter turnout in November’s election has been a source of concern. In response to the public health threat posed by the pandemic, many states have tried to encourage voters to cast their 2020 ballots by mail.
President Trump, in turn, has repeatedly undermined the legitimacy of mail-in voting. In late July, the President escalated his attacks, threatening to delay the election, even as prominent Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, rejected his suggestion.
Numerous studies have concluded that absentee voting does not increase the likelihood of voter fraud, and U.S. senior intelligence officials have explicitly refuted the idea that foreign countries would seek to exploit absentee voting as part of election interference campaigns.
As Americans will be disproportionately relying on the United States Postal Service (USPS) to participate in this election, President Trump’s newly appointed Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, has implemented changes that have slowed mail delivery, including removing high-speed letter sorters and blue collection boxes; prohibiting carriers from handling late arriving mail; and warning election officials that absentee ballots will not automatically be considered priority mail. These changes pose additional hurdles to ensuring effective and timely absentee ballot programs, which rely on USPS service.
“This confluence of events—a raging pandemic and systemic slowdowns in mail delivery—makes it necessary for states to use their power under the Constitution to fortify their elections,” the report stated. “At this late stage before the election, it is also critical to remember that individual voters, businesses and employers, and local governments can still take action on their own to ensure a free and fair election.”
Click here to read today’s report.
Click here to see a one page summary.
Click here to watch today’s video.