AFSCME President Lee Saunders recently joined with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and an assortment of other labor leaders to discuss the protection of voting rights and maintenance of election integrity during national emergencies.

Klobuchar is one of two sponsors of The Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act, which “expands early in-person voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail to all states, allowing voters who don’t receive absentee ballots to use printable ballots currently provided only to military and overseas voters.” The Act aims to immediately address the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, which has to date resulted in 16 states delaying or shifting to a mail in format for their primary elections.

“Labor rights and voting rights are deeply interconnected,” noted Saunders. “When there is free and unfettered access to the ballot box, then an agenda that lifts up working people prevails.”

Klobuchar recently wrote in a New York Times op-ed that “we must reform our election systems, so that sheltering in place can also mean voting in place. And we must do it now, while we still have the time to preserve everyone’s ability to vote in November.”

Read more about AFSCME’s support for The Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act here.