Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Texas Woman With Compromised Immune System Advocates for Expanding Vote by Mail: ‘I Shouldn’t Have To Die To Make My Voice Heard’
Press Release

RELEASE: Texas Woman With Compromised Immune System Advocates for Expanding Vote by Mail: ‘I Shouldn’t Have To Die To Make My Voice Heard’

Washington, D.C. — This week, the United States hit a new record in the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 3.3 million confirmed cases and more than 137,000 fatalities. This new record has once again renewed conversations over the importance and time-sensitive nature of expanding mail-in voting, as experts predict that the virus could negatively affect the safety and integrity of the election in November. 

In a new video released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Marisa Harding of Austin, Texas, who has lived with multiple sclerosis for 20 years, advocates for expanding vote by mail and says that she should not have to risk her life in order to exercise her right to vote. This comes as the state of Texas continues to surpass 10,000 daily coronavirus hospitalizations

“I’ve been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis for approximately 20 years. I have a right to vote,” she says. “I shouldn’t have to die to make my voice heard.”

According to a recent poll, 64 percent of Americans believe that states should allow voters to vote by mail or by absentee ballot this November. While polling shows overwhelming support nationally, it also reveals a political divide over this issue. The poll shows that Republicans are in fact more likely to believe that vote by mail will lead to voter fraud; however, this narrative, which has echoed in conservative media for months, has been debunked numerous times. For Harding, this election is too critical for her to sit out, but she worries about what will happen is she is forced to vote in person. 

“I have two children, 18 and 17. And I need to stay alive for them. My future, my everything, is determined by whether I vote this November,” she says.  

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Freedom Alexander Murphy at fmurphy.af@americanprogressaction.org.