Washington - Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) joined Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) today to introduce their bill to expand vote-by-mail nationwide and knock down the mounting obstacles that voters across the country are facing, just to cast their ballots.
The bill is also co-sponsored by: Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).
The bill is co-sponsored by 27 members in the House.
While Attorney General Jeff Sessions is investigating fictional claims of large-scale voter-fraud, at least five states have already enacted laws this year to make voting more difficult, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. That comes on top of cuts to polling places and hours-long lines in last year’s election. Since 2010, at least 20 states have passed laws restricting voting.
The American Association of People with Disabilities, American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause and National Association of Letter Carriers announced their support for Wyden’s legislation.
The Vote By Mail Act requires every state to provide registered voters the opportunity to vote by mail. All registered voters will receive ballots in the mail weeks before Election Day, allowing them to carefully research candidates well ahead of time. By providing the opportunity to cast ballots in the mail, voters will be able to avoid long lines at polling stations and won’t have to take time off work to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. The federal government, through the Unites States Postal Service, will assist states with the costs of mailing ballots to registered voters.