U.S. Vote Foundation Calls on Congress to Mandate a Nationwide “No Excuse” Vote-by-Mail Option Across All States for 2020 Elections

Nationwide Response to Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Should Include Uniform Election Law Across All States to Allow All Voters to Request Vote-by-Mail Ballots without an Excuse

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 9, 2020 - U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) today called for the United States Congress to issue a requirement that all states remove any and all barriers to vote-by-mail/absentee ballot request across all states at all levels, federal, state and municipal, for all 2020 elections including primaries, special, runoff and general elections.

“Ensuring voters can vote from home is a responsible and forward-thinking policy action that Congress should include in its response to the current public health situation,” said Michael Steele, Chairman of US Vote and its Overseas Vote initiative. “It is impossible for voters to predict whether they will be healthy and able to vote in-person. They should be assured they can vote safely with an absentee vote-by-mail ballot.”

US Vote’s State Voting Methods and Options shows that while 33* states allow voters to request a ballot by mail without providing a reason, or what is commonly called an excuse for not going to the polls, there remains 17* states and 5 territories that do not. These include high population states like Texas and New York.

US Vote recommends that Congress expand the use of the federally mandated single form used by overseas and military voters (often referred to as the “FPCA”). “This single form allows voters to simultaneously register to vote and request their ballot; no dual filing. It is already in use across all states for vote-by-mail. Allowing expanded use by domestic voters would be an efficient solution,” stated US Vote President and CEO, Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat.

* This number has been updated since the initial publication of this release.

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U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c) 3 organization that works to facilitate and increase the participation of U.S. domestic, overseas and military voters worldwide through streamlined voter registration and absentee ballot request services, civic data, technology development, and access to personalized voter information services. US Vote is a leader in Vote-by-Mail Absentee Ballot Request services. Overseas Vote is the principal initiative of US Vote. Further information: www.usvotefoundation.org and www.overseasvote.org

For Further Information, please contact: 
Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, [email protected], +1 (202) 470-2480