Former Members of Congress (FMC) hosted a virtual panel “Voting Amidst a Pandemic,” with Campaign Legal Center (CLC) President Trevor Potter as the moderator and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) as the panelists. The panel focused on the challenges of absentee voting, ways to address those challenges, and how to safeguard the integrity of our elections on Nov. 3, 2020.
There was bipartisan agreement on the importance of making elections safe and convenient for all eligible voters.
Since Colorado and Oregon practiced universal vote by mail elections before the COVID-19 pandemic, Potter asked the Members of Congress how voting worked in their states and what measures other states could put in place, as other states rely more heavily on absentee voting due to COVID-19.
Both Oregon and Colorado require that voters sign their ballots before they submit them, but if the signature does not match what they have on file, they follow up with voters and give them an opportunity to fix it. Voters also still have the option to submit their absentee ballots at in-person polling places. These measures allow both states to have free, fair, and accessible elections.
Absentee ballots are a safe, secure, and convenient way to vote. Amid COVID-19, voters should not need to choose between protecting their health and exercising their right to participate in our democracy.