“How to Protect the 2020 Election from Coronavirus”

I have written this piece at Slate. It begins:

On Friday, Louisiana became the first state to announce it would be postponing its April 4 presidential primary. Meanwhile, officials in the next four states to hold primaries announced the votes would go forward this coming Tuesday. With the democratic primary contest winding down of its own momentum, how to hold an election during a pandemic may feel at the moment like one of the less urgent questions. With our national election just less than eight months away, though, it is not. Congress can and should act to secure the ability of voters to cast ballots this November sooner rather than later.

Most immediately, in light of the uncertain time frame for disruption of life and political activities due to the Coronavirus, Congress should pass a law requiring states to offer no-excuse absentee balloting for the November elections. Congress has the power to do so, and it should fully fund the efforts. The bill has to be drafted carefully to protect all voters. But time is short. For this to happen, it must happen quickly.


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