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Don't let coronavirus outbreak strip Americans of their right to vote

Tom Perez, Alex Padilla, Cheri Bustos, Catherine Cortez Masto, Maura Healey, Ellen Rosenblum and Eric Garcetti

The world is in crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyday life in America and around the globe. It has stripped us of any sense of normalcy and routine. But as we fight this virus with all we have, we cannot let it strip Americans of the one right that protects all others — the right to vote. That’s why it’s critical that our leaders provide clarity, not confusion, when it comes to the ballot box.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Ron Wyden have introduced a bill to do just that. Within 30 days of its enactment, the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020 would require states to put together a contingency plan for eligible voters to cast their ballots during states of emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This would not only help us avoid the prospect of delaying elections, but also ensure that Americans don’t lose their chance to make their voices heard.

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