The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has announced a new initiative, Vote Equal, Vote Safe, to ensure LGBTQ and allied voters are able to vote without compromising their health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic.
“In the upcoming months, the Human Rights Campaign will work with leaders across the country to educate voters about how they can safely make their voices heard at the ballot box,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “The Vote Equal, Vote Safe initiative will build on our proven relationships across the country to advocate for the increased funding and new regulations needed to ensure safe and flexible voting options.”
“As our nation continues to battle COVID-19, it is clear this pandemic will affect how millions of Americans will vote this fall,” David continued. “From Wisconsin to Georgia, partisan politicians have put their own political interests ahead of the health and safety of voters. We will not stand for this and will not be silent. Our community has been subjected to voter suppression before, and we will not be passive in the face of efforts to disenfranchise us again.”
The initiative, which is part of HRC’s Unite for Equality campaign, will focus on three points:
- Engage LGBTQ Voters and voters who prioritize LGBTQ equality in the voting booth—Equality Voters—to ensure they know their options and are able to navigate the process.
- Advocate for funding and expanded voting options at all levels: federal, state, and local.
- Research to ensure LGBTQ voters and Equality Voters are comfortable using all voting options.
HRC will also activate its longstanding relationships with elected leaders at every level of the ballot to help pass legislation or issue orders that meet HRC’s principles for Safe Voting:
-Expanded voter registration options (online registration, same-day registration, allowance of no excuse Absentee Voting for all, free or prepaid postage, etc.)
-Expanded in-person voting options (extended early voting times and dates, an increase in the number of in-person early vote and Election Day polling locations, and adherence to CDC safety guidelines at all in-person voting locations).
HRC also plans to conduct extensive educational research to identify voters’ key concerns with vote by mail, especially among youth, LGBTQ voters of color, and communities of color more broadly.