Protect Voters from COVID Suppression

James Felton Keith
4 min readApr 20, 2020


This is about Justice. I’m calling on every elected official from my neighborhood and around the country, even my political opponents to take a stand and spend a governmental budget on protecting our democratic process by holding elections during this Coronavirus pandemic, without the ruin voter suppression due to change management. Our June primary in NY should be a dressed rehearsal for the November general, but we can’t waist any time.

Today NY Governor Cuomo put a halt to all non-essential events in June and that may include our June 23 primary. The Governor needs to be prepared with with Mayors to spend as much on voting as they have on the census. We can afford it, and there is enough time to set an example for the November general election with out June primary election.

Regarding the Federal Government, the $400 million for elections included in the last stimulus package is not enough to ensure that states can run safe, free, and fair elections this November. You can protect our elections and our democracy by allotting at least $4 billion for elections in the next stimulus package based NYU’s Brennan Center’s Thought Leadership.

South Korea has already conducted voting this month, and successfully.

NY Times: They came wearing masks and stood in line at three-foot intervals. They were required to have their body temperatures taken, to rub their hands with sanitizer and to put on disposable plastic gloves handed out by officials. Then they entered the booths and voted, as South Korea pressed ahead with its first election in a time of epidemic.

Many Americans do not have access to reliable mail delivery, and many do not have conventional mailing addresses for ballot delivery. We we’re in a fight with post offices in West Harlem until the moment that the moment social distancing started. Eliminating polling sites would completely disenfranchise these voters, especially Black & Brown voters, not only in NYC but all across the USA. Ineffective mail service is more common in poor and minority communities as well as in rural communities. State and county election officials from both parties have made clear that they need help in order to hold November elections under pandemic conditions. After consulting with epidemiologists at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Columbia University I’m calling on medical and industrial engineering professionals to build on these initial 6 steps toward democracy.

We’ll need funds to:

1. Maintain safe and sanitized in-person voting.
Mail voting is necessary, but it cannot fully replace in-person voting. Polling places will need more staff, expanded early voting days and hours, larger locations, and sanitation supplies for poll workers and voters.

2. Increase capacity for voting by mail
Millions of Americans want to protect their health and that of others by voting by mail. To protect public health, every American must have the option to vote by mail. This requires an overhaul of our voting system so that it can process tens of millions of additional mail ballots.

3. Expand online registration The 39 states that already offer online registration need to bolster their systems to accommodate a surge and make sure that everyone can access them. States without online registration capabilities need to set up systems immediately, or take other measures to ensure their registration rolls are adequate and up-to-date.

4. Make voting dates a work holiday state level the primary election is as important as the general elections due to pockets of partisanship and at the federal level, it will be necessary to extend the time with which voters can access polls considering the long lines.

The 2020 elections can still be free, fair, safe, and secure. Election officials across the country are ready to make these adjustments, but they need the resources to implement them in time.As members of congress, it is your duty to protect our democracy.

Send this petition from NYU Researchers to US Congress: Senator McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Senator Schumer, Rep. McCarthy >>>

#WeOweUs ✊🏾