One Big Thing: America Votes in the Shadow of Coronavirus
Do think more funding is necessary to ensure on-time, secure and safe voting for the November general election?
What is it?
- As Coronavirus (COVID-19) looms over all aspects of society, state and national election officials must still determine how to proceed with the remaining presidential primary elections, Congressional & state level primary elections, and general elections on November 3.
- According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 20 states need to hold presidential primary elections and many more will have to hold primary elections for state level offices and Congressional seats.
- Different voting options are common around the country, but many states would need to quickly implement new voting procedures if coronavirus continues to November – even sooner with on-going primaries.
- Absentee mail-in voting is common, but different states have different rules.
- The cost of new measures to ensure voters have access to polls is going to be expensive – keep in mind security measures needed to protect against foreign interference as well.
Why is it important?
- Voting is essential to a strong American democracy. It is vital that there are functional alternative voting methods in place for all registered voters if the coronavirus pandemic continues to persist. The overall success the election depends on the mutual cooperation of the American public to adapt to a new method of voting.
- This is a non-partisan issue. As the Campaign Legal Center has advocated “red” and “blue” states have an obligation to ensure all people have access to voting.
- As mentioned above, Congress already allocated $500 million to support elections, but in a Politico article, experts believe more is needed.
- Disenfranchising voters is not an option. In a Techcruch article written by a state elections official, secure online voting should be considered to ensure voters have options.
- Voters need options: mail-in, online or even drop it off at a drive up location.
What can you do?
- Check out legislation in the U.S. Senate aimed to make mail-in voting widely available and appropriates $500 million to help election officials around the country prepare.
- Check your state’s primary election dates from National Conference of State Legislatures.
- Make sure you are registered to vote and sign up online from Vote.gov
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