RELEASE: Virginia Mother Advocates for Expanding Vote by Mail Amid Post Office Sabotage, Says ‘Voting, for My Family, Is Life and Death’

Watch the video here

Washington, D.C. — This week, the United States hit a new record in the coronavirus pandemic, approaching 5 million confirmed cases and more than 159,000 fatalities. This comes as Democratic leaders call for U.S. Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, to reverse new policies that would delay mail services. These policies are seen by many as a clear effort to undermine vote-by-mail this November. In recent days,  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have faced resistance in their negotiations to pass the Heroes Act, which includes a $25 billion emergency appropriation for the U.S Postal Service, including hazard pay for employees. 

Now, in a new video released by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Tasha Nelson of Virginia, advocates for expanding vote by mail. Both Tasha and her 9-year-old son are at high risk for Covid and as she says in the video, she fears in-person voting could have fatal consequences for her or her son.

“Because we are high risk, because we have disabilities, because we live in hospitals, voting for my family is life and death. I am scared. I always vote,” she said. “This year is different because we’re trying to stay alive.” Nelson, who moved to Virginia from Washington state three years ago, where vote-by-mail has long worked effectively, says that being able to vote safely shouldn’t depend on what state you live in because of sabotage from the federal government. 

“If I had stayed in Seattle, this would be a nonissue for me. My ballot would come, I would cast my vote, I would drop it in the mail, and I would be done,” she said. “But because I chose to move state lines, the likelihood that I may have to vote in person is very high, and it puts me at risk.” 

According to a recent poll, 58 percent of Americans believe that states should allow voters to vote by mail to “minimize the spread of the coronavirus,” despite recent lawsuits in several states to undermine efforts to expand vote-by-mail. Nelson says in the video that she doesn’t see mail-in ballots as a political issue. 

“Voting by mail is not a new concept. It’s done successfully in many states. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. What matters is whether your voice, and your opinion, is heard and counted. Nobody should be afraid for their life to stand in line at the polls,” said Nelson. 

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