Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and the Democrats on the Senate Rules Committee in calling for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the National Association of State Election Directors, and the National Association of Secretaries of State to work proactively to counter any attempts to suppress vulnerable and historically-disenfranchised voters during the COVID-19 crisis.
“While precincts nationwide can and should actively encourage measures like the use of PPE, substantial sanitation and social distancing in-line with recommendations from the CDC, reasonable modifications must be made to ensure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities,” wrote the Senators. “For example, persons with autism are often unable to wear a mask for any extended period. In cases like this, it is critical that guidance interpreting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act be issued to clarify that reasonable modifications must be made to ensure that social distancing measures do not serve as a barrier to the polls for individuals with disabilities.”
In their letters, the Senators noted the increased vulnerabilities facing the 2020 general election in light of the COVID-19 crisis and issued a series of recommendations to prevent voter suppression.
Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Angus King (I-Maine), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) also signed the letter.
A full copy of the letter sent to the National Association of State Election Directors and the National Association of Secretaries of State is available HERE.
A full copy of the letter sent to the DOJ Assistant Attorney General is available HERE.