WASHINGTON (AP) — A voter initiative led by Michelle Obama has come out in support of making it easier for people to register to vote and cast ballots during the coronavirus pandemic.
The nonpartisan When We All Vote says Americans should have greater access to voting by mail, early in-person voting and online voter registration.
“Americans should never have to choose between making their voices heard and keeping themselves and their families safe," said former first lady Obama. "We know that barriers to voting existed before this crisis, especially for young people and communities of color. Expanding access to vote-by-mail, online voter registration and early voting are critical steps for this moment— and they’re long overdue. There is nothing partisan about striving to live up to the promise of our country; making the democracy we all cherish more accessible; and protecting our neighbors, friends and loved ones as they participate in this cornerstone of American life.”
Monday's announcement follows last week's primary election in Wisconsin, where thousands of people waited hours in line to vote without protective gear and in defiance of orders to stay home.
The state Supreme Court had overturned the governor's order to postpone the election because of the pandemic.
Additionally, When We all Vote recently announced its support for the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020, a bill sponsored by Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Ron Wyden.
The legislation lays out a set of actions that would be taken in the event of emergencies, like the coronavirus pandemic, to ensure that Americans can continue to vote.
Among those actions, the bill would ensure voters in all states have 20 days of early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail.