Alternatives to casting in-person votes should be nailed down now because nobody knows what the coronavirus situation will be like in November when the presidential election rolls around, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Thursday.
"No one should have to choose between keeping themselves and their family safe and actually being able to perform a constitutional right to vote," the New York Democrat said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "We need to be able to have mail-in voting, curbside voting. We need to be able to have early voting. Election Day should be a day off. We know that if you give more flexibility to when and how you vote, more people are able to vote. That should be something we all share."
However, she added, President Donald Trump, who opposes mail-in voting, is being "exceedingly political and cynical" over the issue, and he's "trying to undermine people's basic constitutional rights."
Trump also has used an absentee ballot to vote in Florida, she added, and such mail-in voting is routinely used in most states.
"We want to make sure that voting is available in all these forms so that everyone's vote can be counted," Gillibrand said. "Congress has been trying to appropriate money and support to the states so they can guarantee a free and fair election, free of action by Russia or other countries. COVID-19 will most likely still be among us and a deep concern for families."
Gillibrand also commented on the leveling-off of coronavirus hospitalizations in New York, saying that it's still not certain if there has been a plateau.
"What we do know is that people are still terrified," she said. "People on the front lines, whether they're grocery store workers or someone working at a pharmacy or any of our critical workers, they still don't have personal protective equipment ... FEMA makes judgments on a whim and doesn't show where the supplies are going, even if they've been ordered by a hospital. FEMA takes them and redistributes them where they want."
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