For Immediate Release
CPC Co-Chair Rep. Pocan, Progressive Advocates Demand Congress Allocate $4 Billion for Election Assistance
Earlier today, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan joined Stand Up America’s Sean Eldridge and Demos Action’s Laura Williamson for a press call demanding that Congress include $4 billion in the fourth COVID-19 response package for states to expand mail-in voting and implement other reforms that will make in-person voting safer.
Pressure from constituents, election experts, voting rights advocates, and health officials continues to mount on lawmakers to use their leverage to demand additional election assistance be included in any bipartisan deal. Speakers urged Democrats in the House and Senate to fight for a package that includes the funding for national vote-by-mail, early voting, online voter registration, and other reforms.
Polling this week shows two-thirds of Americans support mail-in voting amid the pandemic.
“Failing to act now would put our democracy and the 2020 election at risk. We know that Democrats have leverage in negotiating the next coronavirus package, and we are calling on them to use it to ensure that election assistance funding is included,” said Sean Eldridge, Stand Up America Founder and President. “States need funding right now for upcoming primaries, and there are fewer than 200 days until the general election in November. Congress must act by providing $4 billion.”
“The Wisconsin election is the poster child for everything that can go wrong if we don’t act fast,” said Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “Voting shouldn’t be a risk you have to choose to take. The health of the election and the health of the nation will be at stake in November—and we think this funding should be non-negotiable.”
“In a moment when our ability to protect ourselves depends on our ability to keep a distance from others, crowded polling places and waiting hours in long lines do not serve the public interest,” said Laura Williamson, Senior Policy Analyst at Demos Action and the author of a recent report on how states can implement voting reforms during the pandemic. “The bottom line here is that COVID-19 presents an existential threat to our democracy—especially for Black and brown voters who have always faced higher barriers to the ballot box. It is absolutely imperative that Congress include the remaining $3.6 billion of funding in the next package.”
Stand Up America members have driven over 125,000 constituent calls to Congress demanding election assistance funding, reaching every single member of the House and Senate. The group also led 50 voting rights groups in sending a letter to congressional leadership urging them to allocate $4 billion in funds.
Lawmakers in both chambers have urged congressional leadership to include the funding in the next deal, with several committee chairs in the House of Representatives and over 40 Democratic senators penning separate letters demanding that Congress allocate the funds.
If you’d like to talk to a Stand Up America spokesperson about the grassroots pressure on Congress to fund mail-in voting nationwide, reach out to Ryan Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stand Up America is a progressive advocacy organization with over two million community members across the country. Focused on grassroots advocacy to strengthen our democracy and oppose Trump’s corrupt agenda, Stand Up America has driven over 600,000 phone calls to Congress and mobilized tens of thousands of protestors across the country.