S.3440 - Resilient Elections During Quarantines and Natural Disasters Act of 2020116th Congress (2019-2020)
|Sponsor:||Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR] (Introduced 03/11/2020)|
|Committees:||Senate - Rules and Administration|
|Latest Action:||Senate - 03/11/2020 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration. (All Actions)|
This bill has the status Introduced
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Summary: S.3440 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)
Introduced in Senate (03/11/2020)
Resilient Elections During Quarantines and Natural Disasters Act of 2020
This bill requires states and jurisdictions to adopt contingency plans and permit absentee voting in order to prevent the disruption of federal elections due to natural disasters or infectious diseases, including COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019).
Specifically, the bill requires each state and jurisdiction to, within 30 days, create and publish a plan to operate their federal elections if a significant number of voters or poll workers are quarantined due to COVID-19. Such plan must (1) permit registered voters to submit online requests for absentee ballots and vote in federal elections by mail, and (2) extend vote-by-mail deadlines if postal service is disrupted as a result of COVID-19.
Additionally, when at least 25% of states have declared an emergency due to any single natural disaster or infectious disease, including COVID-19, states must
- allow registered voters to vote by absentee ballot,
- permit voters to submit online requests for absentee ballots,
- allow voters to receive electronic (i.e., print-at-home) ballots,
- accept absentee-ballot requests up to five days before an election for mailed ballots and one day before the election for print-at-home ballots, and
- accept ballots postmarked on or before the date of the election.
The bill also provides for an emergency voting period if a state governor declares a state of emergency.
States and jurisdictions must provide self-sealing return envelopes with prepaid postage for voter registration applications, absentee-ballot applications, and blank absentee ballots. The Election Assistance Commission must reimburse states for the costs of doing so.