COVID-19: Protecting the Right to Vote
The coronavirus pandemic has helped exacerbate existing barriers to voting and election participation, making it more difficult for people across the country to exercise their right to vote. As the nation races to contain the spread of COVID-19, we must protect our voting systems and ensure that everyone can safely and securely vote this November. We are urgently asking Congress to implement voting measures for all states, including:
- Online voter registration
- Same-day registration
- Early drop-off voting
- No-excuse absentee voting
Communities facing threats to their health and safety should be able to use the democratic process to address those threats. Marginalized communities across the United States have effectively been disenfranchised through laws and policies, and there have been ongoing efforts nationwide to further suppress people’s ability to vote and/or fully engage in the policy making process.
What we’re working towards:
As scientists and advocates, it’s not enough to push for science-based solutions to public health and environmental challenges—we also need to protect, and sometimes even fix, our democracy so those solutions become more achievable. That’s why, as we gear up for the 2020 election, we need you to commit to taking action on voting rights and environmental justice in your community.
When some voices are excluded from the political process, it becomes easier to make decisions that serve narrow interests rather than the public good.
We are committed to ensuring that those who have been disenfranchised are at the forefront of the conversation. When we talk about what’s at stake and building a better democracy that fully represents the people, there are no better leaders and key voices in that effort than those coming from frontline communities who know full well the real-life health and safety consequences of a broken voting system.
As the voice for science, we have a responsibility and opportunity to help advance approaches to build a healthier democracy—one that represents the people and allows science to better serve the public.
If you care about science-based solutions to public health and environmental challenges, then you need to care about protecting a democracy that represents and is accountable to the public it serves.
You can deploy the power of science and research to amplify the very real consequences of an eroding electoral system on our ability to solve social and environmental problems. During this election, embrace your roles as scientists, constituents, and advocates for science and democracy.
How you’ll do it:
Host and support voter registration drives on your campus and in your community
Host and attend debate watch parties
Submit letters to the editor or op-eds in a local paper to connect the dots between voting reform and health and safety of the community
Show up at town halls and public events to get candidates on the record for democracy reform
Join social media discussions around key election moments to focus the public spotlight on voting rights and environmental justice issues
Volunteer a few hours to support a local campaign or local frontline community organizations working on voting rights and environmental justice issues.
SHOW UP TO VOTE!! (including supporting voting-rights-related ballot initiatives)
Check out dozens more tips, tools, and resources for election-year science and democracy activism at sciencerising.org