There’s a lot of buzz this week about a bipartisan stimulus package working its way through Congress right now. It’s got some good and some bad in it, but suffice to say, there’s an immediate urgency for action, so it is moving quickly.
The smart play for activists who see something lacking in the current stimulus bill is to begin fighting NOW for what we want to see in the NEXT COVID-19 response bill. There will be a next bill, because the COVID-19 pandemic has not turned a corner, and no matter what fantasy world Trump lives in, we don’t “see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
For that reason, we wholeheartedly agree with an action being spearheaded by our friends at Indivisible.
They are urging Americans to call their Members of Congress and “to demand they fight to include the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act in the next coronavirus relief package.” That bill, cosponsored by Senators Amy Klobucher and Ron Wyden, would expand early in-person voting and vote-by-mail to all states.
When the very act of in-person voting is a risky behavior, universal access to vote-by-mail is a critical reform, now and into the future. Republican lawmakers have consistently rejected vote-by-mail reform, because it’s an effective method of voter participation that thwarts their voter suppression efforts. Nevertheless, they’ll bring their own demands to the next stimulus bill, and vote-by-mail belongs in the suite of policies in the next grand compromise.