WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — Voting rights advocates say the U.S. could be in for a messy and dangerous election this November.
This year’s elections land at potentially difficult intersection between racial injustice and a deadly pandemic.
“Access to the ballot in November is in jeopardy if we do not make substantial investments in our infrastructure,” said Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH).
Fudge said this year’s haphazard state primaries show the need for a national standard.
Election integrity advocate Kristen Clarke, from the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, points to this week’s chaotic Georgia primary as a sign of what’s to come in November.
“Georgia is the poster child for this dysfunction and disenfranchisement of African American voters,” Clarke said.
She wants action to make sure everyone gets safe and equal access at the polls.
“It’s critical for congress to both expand options for in-person voting and vote by mail,” Clarke said.
President Donald Trump has railed against mail-in voting, even as many states expand that ability during the pandemic.
Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis said state-by-state mail-in options are fine, “but to presume that every state should, or even can, dramatically increase this capacity, is ridiculous,” he said.
Congress has already approved more than $400 million for election integrity and safety.
“However, much more is urgently needed,” Fudge said.
The House-passed Heroes Act has more than $3 billion for election infrastructure, but hasn’t gotten a vote in the Senate.