Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Board of Election employees and volunteers wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) assist voters at the Brooklyn Museum polling site for the New York Democratic presidential primary on June 23, 2020. (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Warning of GOP Voter Suppression, Progressives Urge Democrats to Reject Any Covid-19 Deal Without Election Assistance

"Republicans cannot be allowed to suppress the vote in the middle of a pandemic."

Jake Johnson

Progressive voting rights groups are calling on Democrats in Congress to refuse to cut a deal on any Covid-19 relief proposal without money for election assistance, warning that exclusion of the funding could suppress turnout in November.

"If Republicans believe we can afford $8 billion for defense contractors and nearly $2 billion to remodel the FBI headquarters, then we can certainly afford $3.6 billion in federal funding for safe, secure elections."
—Progressive groups

In a joint statement Thursday, Stand Up America, Color of Change, Indivisible, Let America Vote/End Citizens United Action Fund, and Public Citizen said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Republicans "are willfully ignoring the threat this pandemic poses to our democracy in an effort to suppress the vote."

"Republicans cannot be allowed to suppress the vote in the middle of a pandemic," the groups said, "and that's why we support Democrats in both chambers, who are staying firm and using their leverage to protect our democracy by ensuring that election funding, census funding, and an extension of the census reporting deadline are included in a final brokered deal."

Politico reported Wednesday that Republicans oppose additional election assistance money because they believe "Democrats are trying to fund a massive mail-in ballot program."

The Covid-19 stimulus plan Senate Republicans released last month does not propose a single dollar in election assistance funding despite pleas from state officials for additional money to ensure that voting is made as safe as possible amid the pandemic.

The GOP legislation does call for $29.4 billion in funding for the Pentagon, including $8 billion for new weapons.

"If Republicans believe we can afford $8 billion for defense contractors and nearly $2 billion to remodel the FBI headquarters, then we can certainly afford $3.6 billion in federal funding for safe, secure elections and a deadline extension for the Census Bureau to ensure communities of color aren't erased on the census," the progressive groups said.

"Anything less," the groups added, "would not only hurt our elections this year, but damage our democracy for years to come—and that's why Republicans cannot be allowed to get away with census and voter suppression."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

'Like a Blowtorch': Historic Dixie Fire 'Catastrophically' Destroys Greenville, California

"Our historical buildings, families homes, small businesses, and our children's schools are completely lost," said Plumas County Supervisor Kevin Goss.

Jessica Corbett ·


Markey, Levin, and Bowman Unveil Bill to 'Get Toxic Substances Out of Schools'

"We live in the richest country in the world. Every single kid should have a safe and healthy learning environment that facilitates their growth and unlocks their brilliance."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Stand With Us': Indigenous Line 3 Opponents Seek Allies to Fight Tar Sands Pipeline

"We need everyone who can to come to the frontlines in support. We need those who can't come here in person to amplify this message through every available channel."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Unimaginably Catastrophic': Researchers Fear Gulf Stream System Could Collapse

"Scientists say we cannot allow this to happen. People in power stand in our way."

Jessica Corbett ·


Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott Calls Another Special Session to Attack Voting Rights

Republicans "waging war on our right to vote failed to pass anti-democratic legislation in the regular session and the last special session," said one advocate. "Texans are ready to make sure they fail again."

Kenny Stancil ·