Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, wrote on March 20 a letter to congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy, urging them to include funding to protect U.S. elections in the final coronavirus stimulus package set to be considered by the Senate.
McConnell introduced on March 19 a Republican stimulus plan without funding critical for vote-by-mail ballots and early voting in the third appropriations bill to be considered by the Senate. As ranking member of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee and ranking member of the Rules Committee, respectively, Coons and Klobuchar have leading responsibility for authorizing legislation and appropriating funds for elections.
“As Congress prepares additional legislation to protect the American people from COVID-19 and provide financial relief, we also must protect our elections,” wrote Coons and Klobuchar. “Americans are facing unprecedented disruptions to their daily lives, and we need to make sure that in the midst of this pandemic people do not lose their ability to vote.”
“Protecting the right to vote is critical — and we can’t let this crisis stop Americans from being heard at the ballot box. Americans cast ballots during the Civil War and after September 11, 2001,” the senators continued. “No matter the magnitude of the threat facing our country, the most fundamental part of our democracy — our elections — must go on.”
The full text of the letter is available at bit.ly/3bfkTjP.