Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post: As we have seen from the raft of primary election postponements, the coronavirus threatens our health and economy, but also our democracy. If voters cannot get to the polls, or are afraid to get to the polls, the legitimacy of our elections might be called into doubt, and incumbents of both parties may be tempted to seize advantage or cast doubt on the outcome.
Nathaniel Persily and Charles Stewart III write at the Lawfare blog:
Despite the challenge presented by COVID-19, the 2020 elections must go forward. The elections to be held on Nov. 3 are not optional. They cannot be postponed, even if dangers to public health remain as great as they are likely to get over the next few weeks.
They make a batch of recommendations, most of which center on shifting to a system of vote by mail and/or expanded early voting. The authors explain:
This initiative requires a commitment comparable to that of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which authorized $3 billion to states to modernize their voting systems following the 2000 election. Bills to accomplish this are being introduced in Congress now. Although reformers have proposed a host of potentially salutary mandates for the states to follow in the expenditure of these funds, Congress is more likely to appropriate money to secure the 2020 election if fewer strings are attached that trigger partisan or regional concerns.
They urge this not be used as a vehicle for partisan one-upmanship. It is essential that we “avoid a scenario in which one party protests the enactment of a major election administration change and then questions the legitimacy of whoever wins under it.” Read more.