Friday, October 23, 2020
Ilya Shapiro (Cato Institute), James T. Knight II, Election Regulation during the COVID-19 Pandemic, CATO Institute, Legal Pol’y Bulletin No. 5 (2020):
The ongoing pandemic has necessitated dramatic changes to nearly every aspect of American life. The ways we work, shop, eat, and socialize have been radically restructured to protect our own health and that of our communities. This November, that radical restructuring will extend to the way we vote. Changes to our voting systems to safeguard public health, such as by allowing mail‐in voting, are sorely needed, particularly if fears of another COVID-19 wave in the fall come true. At the same time, hastily switching from in‐person voting to more‐anonymized systems with which the states lack experience creates the potential for chaos, errors, and decreased electoral legitimacy in the eyes of voters. With little more than two months until the election, states must finalize decisions on what they are doing and communicate those plans to their citizens and the country as a whole.