FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GOVERNORS RIDGE & GRANHOLM:
“MUCH MORE WORK TO DO” BEFORE NOVEMBER
VoteSafe Co-Chairs Respond to Today’s Primary Elections
Washington, D.C. (June 24, 2020): Between massive absentee ballot confusion in New York and a dramatic consolidation of voting locations in Kentucky, primary elections today illustrated that additional steps must be taken between now and our November general elections. VoteSafe Co-Chairs, former Secretary of Homeland Security and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm issued the following joint statement in response:
“Once again, American voters demonstrated their desire for options to vote amidst the pandemic, and we have much more work to do to secure that freedom to choose.
States, like New York, must dramatically adjust their capacity to process absentee applications, mail out ballots, and count returned ballots to avoid confusion. It cannot still be the case in November that voters apply for absentee ballots that never come.
Higher absentee voting participation is a great thing, but it does not mean we can ignore voters’ rights to cast their ballot safely and efficiently in-person if they choose to do so. Polling locations must be accessible, well-staffed, and healthy. We must have both.
When it comes to preparing our voting systems for November, we must be prepared to execute two simultaneous elections – an in-person option with all of the secure infrastructure and health accommodations that requires, plus a robust and secure absentee ballot process with the support needed to run efficiently.
States have much more work to do, and cannot do it alone. Congress must be prepared to allocate additional relief funding to states who need support in pandemic-proofing their elections. For elections officials and Congress to not act immediately would be an abdication of their responsibility to this democracy.“
VoteSafe, formed in May, is a cross-partisan coalition supporting the principles that all states and U.S. territories should ensure voters have accessible, secure mail-in ballots and safe, in-person voting sites, and that Congress should ensure that states have the resources they need to protect their voters and elections.
In an open letter Ridge and Granholm call on election administrators to sign onto the VoteSafe principles.
For more information, go to VoteSafe.US.
VoteSafe is a cross-partisan coalition of elections administrators and organizations ensuring that every American has the right to vote safely and securely.