April 16, 2020

KENNEDY LEADS DELEGATION CALL FOR STATEWIDE VOTE-BY-MAIL

Newton, MA – Joined by members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation and voting rights advocates, Congressman Joe Kennedy III today called on State House Leaders to implement statewide vote-by-mail and urged Congress to allocate federal funding to support voter access efforts across the country. Shortly after holding a virtual press conference calling for universal vote-by-mail, Kennedy led the entire Massachusetts House Delegation in sending a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to provide $4 billion to support state vote-by-mail programs for the entirety of this election cycle, in addition to further funding that will ensure the safety and sanctity of in-person voting and critical ballot access initiatives.

Over the weekend, Kennedy wrote a letter to State House Leaders called for the full implementation of vote-by-mail statewide immediately. 

“Our federal government must support efforts to mail every single registered voter in our country a ballot,” wrote the lawmakers. “If we don’t, we risk grave damage to our electoral process, and grave threats to the health and safety of millions of American voters. Just last week, in Wisconsin, we saw what happens when you ask voters to choose between democracy and health. According to reports, the lack of available poll workers resulted in the reduction of a number of polling places in certain parts of the state. The city of Milwaukee, the state’s largest city and home to nearly 70 percent of the African American population, had just five polling places, down from its traditional number of 180. As a result, millions risked their lives to stand in hours-long lines, in the pouring rain, with no room to properly social distance themselves from others, all to exercise their fundamental right to choose representation. 

They continued, “In the age of coronavirus, no one should be forced to choose between their health and their right to vote. Unfortunately, all projections point to this pandemic being a part of American life for quite some time. Whether and when this current surge will abate is unclear, and many experts project some sort of resurgence in the fall, as voters head to the polls for primaries and the November 3 general election. Vote by mail is the best chance our country has to protect the integrity of our 2020 elections. Even with a full vote by mail program, there needs to be in-person options for voters who do not receive their ballot, need assistance, or otherwise prefer to vote in person. We urge Congress to act quickly to deliver the federal funding required to support states that commit to implement full vote by mail for the remainder of the 2020 election cycle.”

To read the full letter, please click here.

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For Immediate Release:
April 13, 2020

Contact:
Dan Black (202) 225-5931