The pandemic has struck an electoral system already plagued by entrenched inequities that make it more difficult for members of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other marginalized communities to exercise their right to vote. And these same communities also face the greatest risk from problems—such as air pollution, climate change, and COVID-19 itself—that require government action to address. So electoral reform was already a pressing problem for our nation—and the pandemic has made it even more urgent.
Voting is at the heart of people power in a functioning democracy. It’s how we choose between competing policy agendas and priorities, how we govern the institutions that govern us. And, crucially, it’s how we hold our leaders accountable when they fail to serve the public interest. When people are denied their right to vote, it becomes harder for them to advocate for policies that benefit their communities.