79% of voters support this reform. | Three Things Thursday
Another day in quarantine.
The weather is getting nicer, and the need to stay inside is greater. Luckily, this week’s three things include a number of interesting articles for you to read while staring longingly out your window. (They also make great conversation starters for when you’re video-calling friends and family!)
Here are this week’s three things:
The Unite America Institute released the results of a poll conducted by Citizen Data this week, which surveyed 600 Ohio voters and found that overwhelmingly, they supported efforts to expand vote at home amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 79% of voters said they supported mailing all voters a postage pre-paid absentee ballot, and 81% said they supported mailing all voters an absentee ballot request form.
Critically, the poll found that support for vote at home policies was bipartisan. Clear majorities on both sides of the political spectrum said they support vote at home. It’s a common sense policy that can keep voters safe this election cycle, while keeping our elections secure.
As the dialogue around vote at home took an unfortunate partisan turn this week, it’s important that election officials remember that their duty is to put voters first. Coronavirus doesn’t care what your partisan affiliation is, and for the sake of both public safety and election integrity, we must expand vote at home options during the pandemic.
Late Monday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued an order to delay the primary election amidst concerns about coronavirus spread and mass voter disenfranchisement. The state’s supreme court overturned the order, however, and the election went on as planned, despite hundreds of polling places being closed due to lack of poll workers.
Without poll workers to assist voters, cities like Milwaukee, where there are ordinarily some 180 polling places, were forced to whittle down to just 5 -- leaving their population of over 600,000 residents waiting in hours long lines just to cast a vote.
These are scenes that we will inevitably see played out again and again unless our policymakers act to establish common sense safety measures this election cycle. Unite America’s resident policy expert, Beth Hladick, breaks down what happened in Wisconsin and what other states should learn from it.
Finally our friend Meredith McGhee, executive director at Issue One, wrote for Morning Consult this week about the rampant corruption that abounds Congress; as Americans are facing one of the worst public health and economic crises of our lifetimes, some senators have been cashing in.
It’s unconscionable: senators, who received some of the earliest briefings about the dangers and implications of the then-coming coronavirus pandemic, dumped millions of dollars worth of stock ahead of the crash, while simultaneously purchasing new stock in telecommunication companies (like those that facilitate work at home capacities) as well as those that manufacture personal protective equipment (the equipment keeping nurses and doctors safe). It’s a form of insider trading, and it’s illegal, but there’s more that should be done.
Congress needs to hold those who break the rules accountable. As Meredith writes, “It is crucial for the American people to have faith that their public officials are not using their position and the information they are privy to for their own private gain.