“Americans should never have to choose between making their voices heard and keeping themselves and their families safe,” Obama said in a statement. “Expanding access to vote-by-mail, online voter registration and early voting are critical steps for this moment — and they’re long overdue.”
As the calls have increased, Trump has repeatedly dismissed the notion of a nationwide vote-by-mail system and falsely claimed that mail-in voting is the source of widespread voter fraud.
The Democratic legislation Obama and When We All Vote are putting their support behind seeks to put in place national standards for voting in this year’s presidential election and would require states to offer absentee voting to all voters, allow voters to request ballots electronically, and allow ballots to be requested up to five days before an election.
The bill, introduced last month by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, would also add $500 million in federal money to prepare state election systems for the coronavirus.
Republicans had insisted on keeping the election on schedule, and won two legal battles the day before it took place, with the state Supreme Court blocking Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ bid to delay it until June and the US Supreme Court reversing a lower court’s ruling that gave voters six extra days to return their ballots by mail.
CNN’s Eric Bradner and Dan Merica contributed to this report.