New Ad: Let America Vote Calls for Saving the Postal Service to Help Save Democracy

Let America Vote (LAV) today launched a new ad as part of a $650,000 digital and TV ad campaign highlighting the need to save the U.S. Postal Service as a fundamental component of our democracy and our ability to vote. 

Titled “Been Here,” the ad is part of LAV’s and End Citizens United’s (ECU) Secure, Accessible, Fair Elections (SAFE) Democracy Project, which the groups launched to ensure that all Americans can cast their votes in the midst of the pandemic without putting their health at risk. So far, SAFE has made 78,000 contacts to Congress and state elected officials in addition to recently launching a new texting program contacting more than 213,000 activists. 

“Throughout our nation’s history, the U.S. Postal Service has served an indispensable role in our lives, and it’s going to serve an equally important role in conducting safe, accessible, and fair elections because of the coronavirus,” said Let America Vote President Tiffany Muller. “If President Trump and the Republican party can dole out hundreds of billions of dollars to their corporate donors, then they can provide relief for the Postal Service. Americans should never have to choose between their health and their right to vote, and the Postal Service is vital to ensuring that.” 

The digital ad will run on a variety of platforms including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The ad targets voters nationwide. 

LAV/ECU’s SAFE Democracy Project is a 50-state grassroots effort calling on Congress to provide more election preparedness funding, implement a universal no-excuse vote-by-mail option for all 2020 elections, and add additional safeguards to guarantee safe and sanitary in-person voting. It also calls on top election officials in states that do not already provide no excuse absentee vote-by-mail options to provide such options.

Full script below:
Long before this crisis 

All the way back to the beginning 

Our postal service was here. 

But just because it always has been

Doesn’t mean it always will. 

Because the stress of this crisis is pushing the postal service to the brink of collapse. 

It’s been fundamental to us in this time 

And it will be fundamental to our ability to vote this November. 

So join us in demanding the support to keep the post office running. 

And protect what makes us who we are. 

As states and localities work to conduct elections during the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Postal Service is expected to play a central role. According to a Brennan Center for Justice analysis on estimated costs of COVID-19 election resiliency measures, the U.S.P.S. will need between $413 million-$593 million from the federal government to carry out vote-by-mail for this year’s elections. They estimate the cost of mailing voters their ballots (including additional materials, such as return envelopes, instructions, and other informational materials) will cost $1.15–$2.00 per registered voter, or $243,455,000–$423,400,000 in total. This Brennan Center estimate is derived from interviews with election officials and ballot printing vendors (estimates varied widely, from $0.65 in Virginia to over $2.00 in California). In addition, voters will need to return their ballots. The cost per ballot will be less because additional materials will not be included in the return. Using an average of 80 cents per ballot for voters to return ballots, the group estimates an additional $170 million to provide voters with prepaid postage for voters to return their ballots.

LAV and ECU recently merged and have been active in the efforts to address the voting rights crisis borne out of the coronavirus pandemic. Both groups have been working with members of Congress to sound the alarm on Capitol Hill, and with a coalition of good government and civil and human rights groups to identify and address issues around voting.