Whitmer Latest to Join Governors Coalition on Election Security

August 19, 2020 by Dan McCue
In this photo provided Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, May 7, 2020. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday became the latest Democratic governor to formally pledge to uphold the integrity of the November general election.

The informal coalition stemmed from concerns over changes Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has imposed on the agency’s operations since he took office in June.

DeJoy, an appointee of President Donald Trump, said Tuesday that he will pause the changes, such as moving sorting machines from facilities in several cities, until after the November election.

But Democrats remain concerned that changes already made will hamper efforts to successfully implement mail-in voting in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

In their pledge, the governors of Michigan, Oregon, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Nevada, New Jersey, California and Minnesota vow to ensure every voter can vote safely, whether it’s by mail or in person at the polls.

“As we prepare for record voter turnout in the November election, we must do everything we can to ensure every American can vote safely,” Gov. Whitmer said in a written statement.

“We have already had two historic, successful elections this year while battling the COVID-19 pandemic. We are prepared to utilize what we have learned to maximize safety, while protecting every Michigander’s right to vote and access to the ballot,” the governor said.

The Governors agreed to: 

  • Carry out the Nov. 3, 2020 general election, as mandated by law;
  • Ensure electoral college electors vote as they are pledged, in line with the Supreme Court decision in Chiafalo v. Washington, on July 6, 2020;
  • Work with their respective state and local level election officials to ensure that the right to vote is accessible, safe, and secure;
  • In coordination with elections officials, communicate with voters about the possibility of delayed results in some states due to increased use of mail-in voting and the status of the count post-election; and
  • Ensure that any substantive allegations of voter disenfranchisement or elections fraud are quickly and thoroughly investigated. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic is fundamentally changing the way Americans live and work,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, another of the coalition partners. “Our nation faces an unprecedented challenge to protect the health and lives of millions. But in the face of such a fight, we cannot let our constitutional right to free and fair elections suffer.

“In order to defeat this virus, no aspect of our society will remain untouched, and that means we also need to take steps to ensure people do not have to choose between their health and safety and their right to vote,” Brown said.

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