San Jose, Calif. – Committee on House Administration Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) issued the following statement today as House Democrats introduced legislation to protect our democracy and American voters during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring voters can cast their ballots without risking their wellbeing.
“The Heroes Act 2.0 answers the calls of state and local election officials, poll workers, and millions of American voters who deserve safe, secure elections during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inadequate resources to prepare sufficient polling locations, a poll worker shortage, and a surge in mail-in ballots have overtaxed the resources available to election administrators. That’s why, nearly 150 days ago, the House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act to support those struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic – and included strong, commonsense provisions to protect Americans’ right to vote safely in the upcoming election.
“President Trump and Senate Republicans have failed to fulfill their leadership responsibilities. They prefer to leave every American voter to weigh the value of their health against the power of their vote. House Democrats know we can protect our public health and our democracy. This legislation would ensure states and jurisdictions establish plans for voting during national disasters and emergencies, extend early in-person voting, guarantee no-excuse absentee voting for all eligible voters, allow same-day voter registration for all eligible voters, ensure voters can register online, and help Native American to access their voting rights. This infusion of resources would greatly assist election administrators in securing poll workers, renting space for polling locations, as well as defray the cost of pre-paid postage for mail-in ballots. The Heroes Act 2.0 will help this year’s elections, and ensure elections are safe, secure, and reliable into the future.”
The Heroes Act 2.0 would:
- Require states and jurisdictions to establish and publish contingency plans that enable voting in Federal elections even during emergencies, including plans to procure equipment and resources necessary to protect the safety of voters and poll workers;
- Require states and jurisdictions to allow at least 15 days of early voting in Federal elections;
- Ensure that every voter can access no-excuse absentee voting by mail;
- Standardize the processes for absentee ballots cast by mail, including postmarked ballots, return and drop-off of absentee ballots, and accessibility for voters with disabilities;
- Allow voters in states with voter identification requirements to make a sworn written statement attesting to their identity to fulfill the identification requirement;
- Allow voters to register online to vote and update their voter registration information online;
- Allow voters to register to vote and cast their ballots on the same day;
- Permit Indian Tribes to designate buildings as ballot pickup and collection locations and to designate one building per precinct located within Indian lands; and
- Require states or political subdivisions to provide absentee ballots for each individual who is registered to vote on Indian Lands and to collect ballots from designated locations.
Click here for a section-by-section breakdown of this legislation.
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