The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) thanks Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC), and Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) for introducing the VoteSafe Act of 2020. This legislation would expand voting options for voters with disabilities and improve the safety and accessibility of polling places across the nation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created extraordinary challenges for American voters this year,” said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker. “The VoteSafe Act of 2020 will improve the integrity of our elections, ensure the health and safety of voters, and expand opportunities for people with disabilities to cast a private and independent ballot.”
The VoteSafe Act of 2020 would:
- Authorize $5 billion to expand vote-by-mail and early voting and to improve the safety and accessibility of polling places during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Require states to permit no-excuse mail-in absentee voting.
- Require states to maintain an early voting period of at least 20 days.
- Provide grants for states to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of polling places in the following ways:
- Ensuring that elections are accessible to individuals with disabilities.
- Ensuring adequate protections for language minority voters.
- Ensuring voting access for American Indian, Alaska Native, and rural voters.
- Implementing and promoting curbside voting.
- Implementing and meeting a maximum wait time standard or publishing current wait times for voters.
- Providing for the training and recruitment of poll workers.
- Improving access to voter registration.
Bill text can be found here.
Every election is important, but the COVID-19 pandemic has posed new challenges to our elections. The VoteSafe Act will ensure that all voters have the ability to vote in a safe and accessible way this November. NDRN calls upon Congress to pass this critical legislation in an expedited fashion.
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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.