Vote at Home | Weekly Roundup July 20, 2020

Beth Hladick
Policy Manager
Unite America
Team
July 20, 2020

This week, Alabama, Vermont, and Connecticut expanded excuse requirements to include fear of Covid-19 in upcoming elections. Through Alabama’s expansion, voters must provide a copy of a photo ID to request a ballot, and an affidavit signed by a notary public or two adult witnesses must accompany the ballot itself. Vermont joins California in planning to mail a ballot to every active, registered voter for Election Day. Connecticut’s rules only apply to the August 11th primary. A WaPo analysis finds 76 percent of American voters can cast ballots by mail this fall, but 54 million voters still need an excuse to VAH.

Bipartisan support for additional election funding grows following the Senate hearing on 2020 election preparedness this week, though the funding amount is uncertain. “I think we ought to go back and look at the money you currently have available to you, and maybe make that money more consistent in terms and times it has to be spent and give you more access to the money you’ve already got in addition to trying to identify the right amount of new money,” Senator Blunt (R-MO) said while addressing state officials at the hearing.

More than 30 distinguished members of the U.S. national security community, including former homeland security and defense secretaries from the past six presidential administrations, signed on to a letter urging Congress to quickly expand funding for U.S. election systems. “If mail-in ballots are good enough for our service members as well as at least 16 members of the Trump administration, it should be good enough for all eligible voters. That’s simple fairness.”

New Pew research polling released this week suggests 65 percent of Americans support no-excuse absentee voting. Of those polled, 83 percent of Democrats support early or absentee voting. 55 percent of Republicans say voters should only be allowed to vote early or absentee if they have a documented reason, up from 42 percent who said this in 2018.

R Street finds the USPS has enough excess capacity to handle a surge in mailed ballots. Read their short brief to learn more about the USPS’s financial picture, staffing capacity, security, mail processing capacity, and important challenges ahead of November.

Next Up: Senate Republicans are expected to introduce their proposed stimulus package on Monday.

On August 4th, AZ, KS, MI, MO, and WA have state primaries, followed closely by TN (August 6) and Hawaii (August 8).

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