Vote Safe in 2020: Ohio, Pennsylvania Secretaries Of State Talk Vote By Mail, Protecting Voters From COVID-19 with Help from Business Community

These neighboring swing states are aiming to make sure voters don’t have to choose between protecting their health and casting their ballot

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 7, 2020) — Exercising one’s right to vote should not require risking one’s health, and Ohio and Pennsylvania are among the states working to keep voters safe as the threat of COVID-19 lingers through primary season and possibly the general election

Business for America, a national network of purpose-driven business leaders advocating for bipartisan policy and technology solutions to strengthen our representative democracy, presents Vote Safe in 2020: Ohio and Pennsylvania’s Election Plans for COVID-19, a webinar examining the costs, changes, and best practices that states and counties are using to hold safe elections this year. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar will be joined by National Vote at Home Institute CEO Amber McReynolds and Patagonia global spokesperson Corley Kenna.

Panelists will speak about how Ohio and Pennsylvania, both swing states, are expanding access to vote-by-mail systems. They will also discuss the popularity and effectiveness of mail-in ballot options across the country and why America’s private sector is supporting these efforts.

American business leaders are calling for the expansion of vote-by-mail and early voting across the country to protect public health while also protecting the voices of our employees and communities on Election Day. ​Public health is essential, but so is civic health, and more than 100 business leaders have signed the Business for America letter urging Congress to fund safe voting.

BFA research from earlier this year indicates that nearly all employees surveyed (95%) believe their employers should play a role in making sure their employees have time to vote on Election Day, and roughly two-thirds surveyed (67.4%) believe business needs to do more to restore trust in elections.

The $400 million in grants to help states run their elections during COVID-19 included in the $2 trillion relief package signed into law by President Trump on March 27 is not enough to ensure all American voters can cast their ballot safely.

An April 30 report outlining costs required for state and local governments to ensure safe elections indicates states must provide the bulk of these costs. Additional funding is required to develop infrastructure necessary to support changing voter behaviors (e.g., more voters registering online and voting by mail), protect voters and election workers (e.g., providing PPE, curbside polling, cleaning polling places), and educate the public about changes (e.g., relocated polling sites). This report represents the consensus of an ideologically diverse group of organizations: the Alliance for Securing Democracy, Brennan Center for Justice, Pitt Cyber, and R Street Institute.

Additional Information

Webinar registration: https://votesafe2020.eventbrite.com

About Business for America
Business for America is a nonpartisan network of business leaders advancing solutions to boost civic engagement, reduce political polarization, and modernize government. A well-functioning democracy will help foster a more competitive, innovative business climate in America. Businesses interested in getting involved can learn more at bfa.us.