As a Surprise resident, and Stanford student, I am deeply concerned about voting security in the upcoming general election in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During their primary election, and despite COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, Arizona closed about 80 polling locations. The remaining locations did not have enough PPE to satisfy the Health Department’s directive to ensure a safe voting environment.
In conjunction, attempts to expand the use of mail-in ballots were halted. The upcoming anniversary of Shelby County V Holder also serves as a reminder that Native American voter suppression still exists through the use of tactics such as ID requirements and limited polling stations.
The latter, especially, greatly impacts and disenfranchises the residents of at least 50,000 homes in the Navajo nation because their use of non-traditional home addresses complicates the possibility of mail-in voting. Arizona needs to prioritize measures to ensure an inclusive and safe general election.
Last month, the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, which calls for $3.6 billion in funding for polling stations and safety protections.
\In addition, it would require that all states make no excuse absentee ballots available to all voters and it would expand online/same-day registration, as well as early in-person voting.
Despite the urgent need to get funding to the states, no similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate.
Our Senators must ensure that Arizona, and states that face similar issues, are provided federal funding to make the voting process more robust.
That’s why I’m calling on you to call Sens. Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema today and tell them to support the HEROES Act to ensure that all of our voices are heard: 1-888-415-4527.