Build up the body of Christ. Support the Pentecost Offering.

PC(USA) Washington office calls on Congress to protect voting rights

Office of Public Witness says Wisconsin primary is evidence voter protections need to be in stimulus bill

by Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service

LEXINGTON, Kentucky — The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness (OPW) is asking people to contact their congressional representatives and call for voting rights protections in the next coronavirus stimulus package.

The Action Alert cites the April 7 primary election in Wisconsin in which the state supreme court ruled that the election must proceed despite a statewide shelter-in-place order due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the United States Supreme Court ruled the absentee voting deadline of April 7 could not be extended.

“This endangered and disenfranchised voters,” the Action Alert reads. “In Milwaukee, only five polling locations were open, a massive drop from the 180 polling locations the city provided in 2016. Because of the limited number of polling locations, many people were not able to vote in person. Those who did vote in person stood in long lines of people, which posed a health and safety risk because of coronavirus.”

The alert cites “Lift Every Voice: Democracy, Voting Rights, and Electoral Reform,” the policy written by the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy and approved by the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 2008, which states, “to deny anyone a fair vote is a sin.”

In the alert, OPW says Wisconsin is a sign of what could come if moves are not made to protect voting rights, particularly in light of the coronavirus situation.

“Otherwise, extreme voter suppression will occur in more states than Wisconsin, further marginalizing communities like black voters who have already been impacted by voter suppression,” it states. “As we approach November, we must prevent voter suppression due to coronavirus and ensure that all Americans can participate in the upcoming general election.”

The Capitol Hill office is asking Presbyterians and others to contact their representatives and demand the following in the next coronavirus stimulus package:

  • Require no-excuse absentee voting with prepaid postage
  • Extend the Voter Registration Period for at least 15 days of early voting
  • Ensure same-day registration
  • Require election contingency plans to protect the health and safety of poll workers and voters for those who can’t vote absentee
  • Require states to provide online voter registration.

Through Voter Voice, OPW provides users resources for contacting their congressional representatives directly.

The Office of Public Witness is one of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

Read more

Compassion, Peace & Justice Training Day goes online

PC(USA) Washington Office calls for domestic, international COVID-19 advocacy

PC(USA) Washington office calls for easing Iran sanctions to combat COVID-19

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

  • Subscribe to the PC(USA) News

  • Interested in receiving either of the PC(USA) newsletters in your inbox?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.