Washington, D.C. — As the coronavirus crisis threatens in-person voting this fall, Chris Bonner, a military veteran from Somerset, New Jersey, advocates for expanding vote by mail in a new campaign by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Bonner voted by mail for most of the 26 years he served in the military and has continued to use the process as a veteran. As Bonner says in the video, no American should have to risk their life to exercise their right to vote.
“As service members, many of us risk our lives in some way, shape, or form so other people don’t have to do that. And so, what I wouldn’t want is someone to have to risk their lives to literally vote,” he says. “I think mail-in voting is a great way for Americans to still exercise that right and do it in a safe fashion, because those of us who served have already done that, and there’s no reason for anyone else to risk their health or their life.”
This week, the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign filed a federal lawsuit against Pennsylvania’s secretary of state and 67 county election boards. The lawsuit would limit locations where absentee and mail-in ballots could be returned and would bar the county election boards from counting ballots that “lack a secrecy envelope.” Bonner says that now, more than ever, the government must make sure to protect American right to vote.
“During this time, the one thing we cannot lose is our ability to exercise the rights and privileges afforded to us as Americans,” he says. “Not everybody in the world gets the opportunity to raise their hand and vote for their choice. It’s a critical part of our democracy, and we have to make sure that all Americans have access to exercise that right.”
Read the new joint issue brief from the Center for American Progress and VoteVets: “U.S. Veterans Know, Trust, and Need Vote by Mail” by Danielle Root and Will Goodwin
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