Statement from Jana Morgan, Director of the Declaration for American Democracy – a coalition of over 160 organizations from the labor, racial justice, voting rights, faith, environmental, women’s rights, good government, and many other important communities – in response to the Senate’s ongoing negotiations to reach a deal on the COVID-19 relief package:
“As the Senate continues to work towards a COVID relief package, it is critical that safe election funding is not left behind. The latest in negotiations has indicated that Senate Republicans and the Administration continue to stand up for corporate interests while many others in Congress are fighting for working families. These issues – from unemployment benefits and stimulus checks for struggling Americans, to ensuring Americans have a safe way to vote in November – are life or death issues.
“Without full funding for a safe election, Americans will be forced to choose between their health and their constitutional right to vote in November. We will also continue to see millions of Americans who have long been systematically disenfranchised, especially those in Black, Latinx, Native communities, and other communities of color, as well as voters with disabilities, the elderly, low-income families and others, be excluded from our democracy.
“The reckless protection Senate Republicans have offered to corporations through bailouts and immunity, while offering $0 in protection to voters, is emblematic of broader issues in our democracy – namely, a rigged system that rewards the corporations and billionaires that can buy a seat at the table and disenfranchises those who can’t. We must work towards getting big money out of politics so our democracy represents the interests of all Americans.
“In the meantime, Senate Republicans must immediately prioritize passing an additional $3.6 billion in safe elections funding for states and cities – which the House passed in the HEROES Act nearly three months ago – so Americans do not need to choose between safeguarding their health and their right to vote in this year’s elections. Additionally, as millions of Americans will vote by mail this year, we need a robust USPS which provides critical infrastructure for all forms of voting, and Senate Republicans must invest $25 billion in the Postal Service, also included in the HEROES Act. It’s not only critical for upholding our country’s democratic values, it’s a matter of life or death.”