The impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on all of our lives is clear. Even as some states begin to recover or even reopen, many of us are still worried for the health and well-being of our families, friends and colleagues.

But I’m also worried about the impact this crisis will have on our elections. After seeing how it impacted elections already this year in places like Wisconsin and Georgia, I’m scared that this pandemic will jeopardize Americans’ ability to vote in person in the 2020 election.

While some states are taking steps to help people vote safely, Trump and his administration are going to great lengths to make mail-in voting seem like a voter fraud scheme — even though Trump himself votes by mail.

It’s clear that Congress needs to intervene and focus on what’s right for the American people in every state: expanding vote-by-mail and other voting options.

To keep voters safe, we need our representatives in the House and Senate to provide states with emergency funding to ensure that every eligible American can safely cast their ballot through the mail, that they can register to vote online and that any in-person polling places are safe for voters and poll workers.

For this election, we must protect every eligible voter’s right to have a say in who is in office. The leaders we elect in 2020 can take actions that improve the health and well-being of all Americans, or put us at further risk.

I’m demanding that our representatives in Congress come together and provide economic relief for Americans and also ensure states have the resources they need to safeguard the 2020 election.

Nothing less than our democracy is at stake.

Lauren Burton lives in Columbia.


About opinions in the Missourian: The Missourian’s Opinion section is a public forum for the discussion of ideas. The views presented in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Missourian or the University of Missouri. If you would like to contribute to the Opinion page with a response or an original topic of your own, visit our submission form.

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