Elections are the cornerstone of our democracy. Republicans and Democrats argue about many things, but democracy is not one of them.

Missouri passed a law earlier this year, which will allow many more Missouri voters to vote by mail for the remaining 2020 elections — now, specifically in November. Experts estimate we need at least $3.6 billion nationally to ensure states can prepare for elections during the coronavirus.

The November presidential election always brings out more voters, and we will clearly need this additional funding in the wake of the pandemic. Every voter needs safe and secure options to vote by mail and on Election Day.

It is now up to the Senate to pass the additional national funding of $3.6 billion through the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act to ensure our November elections are prepared. This funding is crucial to ensure Missouri can carry out its elections safely.

Missouri Sen. Blunt said: “We need to ensure that state and local election officials have the resources they need to address the unique challenges they face as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We provided significant election-related funding in the CARES Act, and we will continue looking at what state and local needs are as we move forward.”

Senator Blunt is chair of the Senate Rules Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal elections. The committee recently held a hearing on the matter in the HEROES Act, where members heard from the St. Louis election official; however, no action has been taken.

We urge citizens to contact senators Blunt and Hawley and tell them that the citizens of Missouri and the U.S. should not have to choose between their health and their vote.

Marilyn McLeod is president of the League of Women Voters of Columbia-Boone County.

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