On Wednesday, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis will hold a remote hearing to discuss the steps that need to be taken to ensure that the upcoming general election in November is free, fair and safe even as the United States continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Civil rights advocates, activists and public health experts expected to speak at the hearing include Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Krutika Kuppali, M.D., of the Infection Diseases Society of America; and of course, actress and activist Kerry Washington.
Washington has been very vocal in the voting rights space, even before she became an ambassador for Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote.
Back in July, during an interview with The View, Washington stressed the importance of voting not only in the presidential election but also in the local elections as well.
“We tend to get really excited around presidential elections and this is undoubtedly a really, really important election. The most important election of any of our lifetimes, I would argue,” Washington said, according to ABC. “We need to remember that change happens on many levels.”
Who you vote for as president has a tremendous impact, but also, you have an opportunity to vote for judges, and [district attorneys], and sheriffs…and school board leaders. People who make real day-to-day decisions in your community,” she added.
The hearing scheduled for Wednesday comes after House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), who chairs the subcommittee, as well as Committee on House Administration Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) penned letters to election officials in Florida, Georgia, Texas and Wisconsin, encouraging them to boost safety measures so that voters can cast their ballots without fear. The letters from the committees asked for more information on the states’ plans to implement recommendations from the CDC, which include initiatives such as more early voting, more polling locations with longer hours, and various voting options, including voting by mail.