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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 22, 2020 - Volume 48 Issue 21
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Arts & Entertainment
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

ACLU suing Tennessee to ensure vote by mail for all

To the editor,

Last Friday, we filed a lawsuit with the ACLU of Tennessee and partners to ensure vote by mail is an option for all eligible Tennessee voters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state currently only allows a narrow set of excuses for people to qualify to vote by mail. Not included in that list is social distancing or self-quarantining in response to a highly contagious virus that has no vaccine yet. That's why we're in court.

The fact is, most states already allow any eligible voter to vote by mail. But in Tennessee, a vast majority may now be forced to either vote in person or avoid voting altogether for fear of becoming ill. And with multiple elections coming up statewide, this could disenfranchise thousands of voters.

As time moves closer to the end of primaries and November's general election, this case could not be more urgent. Tennessee joins the extensive litigation and advocacy work that our staff has taken on nationwide to protect voters since the outbreak began.

Our attorneys are also in Georgia, Montana, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Missouri, and South Carolina to ensure that no one has to choose between their health and their right to vote. And we're urging the Senate to build on last week's House bill that mandates vote by mail and early voting nationwide.

In a critical election year and a global pandemic, the failure to remove dangerous and needless barriers to the ballot isn't just wrong. It's playing politics with people's lives.

So we'll be here, defending all our civil rights and liberties for as long as necessary. And with passionate activists like you fighting along with us, I know we'll persevere - today and always.

Thank you for your support,

Dale Ho
ACLU Voting Rights Project Director


P.S. We want to make sure you have all you need to vote safely and easily in 2020. If you still need to cast your vote in the presidential primary, check out our resource to find voting guidelines for your state and if an absentee ballot is possible

https://bit.ly/2LHqG6T

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