Washington, D.C. — A new analysis from the Center for American Progress urges states to embrace vote by mail and early voting to protect entire state populations that could be at risk if proper precautions are not taken—particularly millions of people at higher risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19.
“In considering best practices for administering elections during a pandemic, state lawmakers must take into account the health and safety of not just those involved in the voting process, but of all state residents,” said Danielle Root, author of the column and associate director of voting rights and access to justice on the Democracy and Government Reform team at CAP. “Even those who cannot cast a ballot could become ill by coming into contact with a family member, caregiver, or neighbor who contracts the virus through election activities.”
The analysis includes a state-by-state look at people who are at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19, including:
- More than 52 million people ages 65 or older
- More than 135 million nonelderly people with preexisting conditions
- Nearly 19 million veterans
- Nearly 130 million people of color
- More than 28 million nonelderly people with disabilities
Vote by mail has been backed by more than 800 public health experts, who in a recent letter asserted that the process is critical to protect the health and safety of Americans in the event of a new outbreak of the coronavirus.
Congress must provide critical election funding in the amount of $4 billion so that state officials can make upgrades to their election systems to expand vote by mail and extended early voting for upcoming elections.
Read the column: “States Should Embrace Vote by Mail and Early Voting To Protect Higher-Risk Populations from Coronavirus” by Danielle Root
To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource page.
- Election Contingency Planning During the Coronavirus Pandemic, by Danielle Root
- In Expanding Vote by Mail, States Must Maintain In-Person Voting Options During the Coronavirus Pandemic, by Danielle Root, Danyelle Solomon, Rebecca Cokley, Tori O’Neal, Jamal R. Watkins, and Dominik Whitehead
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at gro.ssergorpnacirema@lenanahs.