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Stand Up America

We're focused on standing up to corruption and strengthening our democracy across the country. The Stand Up America team is here to provide you with the information and resources you need to take meaningful action. Whether it's an upcoming protest or calling your lawmaker about urgent legislation, we'll keep you informed about how you can most effectively use your voice to protect our democracy and resist the dangerous and misguided policies of the current administration.

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Sen. Roy Blunt will convene a hearing in two weeks that might make clear how much more to smooth the election Republicans are willing to spend.

Progressives press Senate to make quick work of new election aid

Progressive groups pressed the Senate on Friday to reconvene "immediately" and approve more aid for states struggling to prepare for a presidential contest in the middle of a pandemic.

A letter from 31 left-leaning organizations to the Republican majority leadership is highly unlikely to alter the calendar, which has senators in recess next week. Instead, it highlights that election funding will be a high-profile, intensely lobbied and potentially partisan issue when Congress does negotiate its next coronavirus recovery package.

Congress allocated $400 million in March to help states conduct elections this year, an amount labeled wholly insufficient not only by voting rights groups but also by state and local election officials from both parties.

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Cheddar

Meet the reformer: Christina Harvey, progressive pushing to spend on healthier and easier voting

The progressive Stand Up America, created after the 2016 election, became particularly visible last year pressing Congress to spend more on election security — and is reprising that role now in pushing for more federal funding to boost voting options in light of the pandemic. Christina Harvey became managing director, or No. 2 staffer, last year after her employer of 15 years, Eric Schneiderman, resigned as New York attorney general when four women accused him of physical abuse. She had joined his state Senate staff in 2003 after her first job, as a union organizer. Her answers have been edited for clarity and length.

What's the tweet-length description of your organization?

Working to strengthen our democracy by empowering our members to advocate for policies that increase voter participation and unrig a corrupt system that stands in the way of progressive change.

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Congress
Jed Share/Kaoru Share/Getty Images

Flood of 'spend more on elections' missives in congressional mailboxes

Advocates for making voting safer and easier this year are showering Congress with appeals for help in the next coronavirus response package.

The flow of letters, e-mail and appeals posted online has accelerated in recent days, as lawmakers have started haggling over a fourth aid package since the pandemic took hold. But any decisions have now been delayed at least two weeks, as the Senate on Tuesday joined the House in postponing lawmakers' earliest return until the week of May 4.

The missives have much in common: They are signed mainly by progressive groups, augmented by a handful of cross-partisan good governance organizations. They focus on getting more money for expanding mail-in voting, early in-person voting, online registration and other steps to protect the electorate and election workers from the virus. And they stop short of calling for federal requirements for states spending the aid.

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Voting
True
Darylann Elmi/Getty Images

"Studies show mail-in ballots submitted by voters of color are rejected at higher rates than ballots from white voters. And all vote-by-mail systems may unintentionally leave vulnerable communities behind," writes Brettt Edkins.

The case for spending more to ease voting in a pandemic

Edkins is political director of Stand Up America, a progressive advocacy and voter mobilization organization.

Our country has rarely faced a threat as dangerous as the coronavirus pandemic. Our economy is in freefall, millions are out of work, thousands are dying — and there is no clear end in sight. The decisions our leaders make now will determine whether we withstand this outbreak.

I am incredibly proud that during this crisis my fiancé, a physician in New York City, is working day and night treating Covid-19 patients. I can't do what he does. Instead, I'm working with advocates and activists to ensure that Americans don't have to sacrifice their health to exercise their right to vote this year.

But on Tuesday, that's exactly what happened in Wisconsin when Republican lawmakers forced hundreds of thousands to vote in-person despite the incredible risk. The chaos that unfolded during that primary cannot be permitted to happen again — and that's why Congress must swiftly intervene to provide states the resources they need to keep voters safe.

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