With many states still scheduled to hold primary and local elections between now and November, and with election changes announced almost every day, it’s never been more important for voters to know when and how they can make their voices heard.
That's why this month we launched a coronavirus-specific page on VOTE411.org, our voter information resource. VOTE411 now has everything you need to know about election changes during COVID-19—in both English and Spanish. Visit it regularly and share it with the people in your life. And, while you’re there, be sure to check your voter registration status and learn about voting options in your state. Our voices, and our votes, have never been more important!
(PSSSST...VOTE411 is up for a Webby People’s Voice Award!! Vote for us here by May 7.)
Defending democracy in the time of COVID-19
Leagues in states across the country are filing litigation seeking to protect the rights and safety of self-quarantining voters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This month, a federal court judge ruled that Texas voters may cite COVID-19 in mail-in ballot request forms as a “disability” requirement. The League of Women Voters of Texas and the Austin Area had previously urged the court to rule that the definition of “disability” in Texas law encompasses all registered voters, since the coronavirus prevents voters from appearing at a polling location without a real likelihood of injuring their health.
In Arizona, the League of Women Voters has filed an amicus brief in Arizonans for Fair Representation v. Hobbs, asking the state to permit online signature collection for ballot petitions via the state’s online system that candidates for federal and state office use to collect signatures for nominating petitions. A decision is expected in the coming weeks.
And, just this week, the Virginia attorney general and the League of Women Voters of Virginia reached an agreement to remove the witness requirement for signatures on absentee ballots. We are optimistic the judge will rule favorably so that Virginia voters do not have to choose between their health and their vote.
Have you taken the census yet?
The 2020 Census officially launched April 1. As so much around us is rapidly changing, the census is one thing that remains the same. It is one action that we can still take to support our communities and participate fully in our democracy.
There are three ways that you can fill out the 2020 Census questionnaire, and all of the ways are compliant with social distancing protocols.
- Internet: Just visit 2020census.gov to get started!
- Phone: English speakers can get started answering the census by calling 844-330-2020. Don’t speak English? Not a problem! The U.S. Census Bureau also offers language assistance via phone for 12 non-English languages and offers translated web pages and guides in 59 languages.
- Mail: The traditional way of filling out the census, paper forms can be completed and mailed back to be counted by Census Bureau staff.
You’re not doing this alone. Already, over 11 million households have responded. This is something we can all do to make sure our resources come back to us—so let’s stand together, stay at home, and complete the 2020 Census.