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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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Congress
Pool/Getty Images

President Trump in the Oval Office on Monday with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Neither has signaled support for more funding to help states hold safe elections.

Election aid in limbo as talks open on next big virus relief package

As negotiations intensify on the final major coronavirus relief package before November, a last-ditch if somewhat optimistic lobbying push is underway to get hundreds of millions for safe and comprehensive elections into the bill.

Top administration officials spent much of Tuesday at the Capitol, laying out President Trump's opening bid to congressional leaders of both parties. While his proposed payroll tax cut, school funding and aid to state and local governments will get headlines, there's also a looming clash over aid for states to conduct the general election.

Trump is emphatically opposed to expanded voting by mail, falsely claiming it's a proven incubator of substantial election fraud. But many Republicans in Congress say that, since a surge of absentee voting is inevitable because of the pandemic, they should help election administrators pay for equipment, supplies and people who can assure the voting is perceived as comprehensive and the results accurate.

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Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

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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