This is a critically important statement from Dr. Fauci, from this interview two days ago.
It’s important that people have the option of voting by mail, which at least 80% or so of voters will now have. But as a number of us have been arguing (see here here and here), in-person voting remains essential this fall. Indeed, my own view is that, as long as election officials can ensure the capacity needed for in-person voting, we should actually be encouraging people to vote in person. The more votes cast in person, the more likely we are to avoid some of the worst-case scenarios concerning the election, for reasons the linked pieces explain.
What about voting? So many people are concerned we’re in an election year. Some people are going to be heading to the polls in the next few weeks. Can people safely go out and vote in person, given that this year, there is so much concern around the vote?
I think if carefully done, according to the guidelines, there’s no reason that I can see why that not be the case. For example, when you look at going to a grocery store now in many regions and counties and cities that are doing it correctly, they have “X”s every six or more feet. And it says, Don’t leave this spot until the person in front of you left their spot. And you can do that, if you go and wear a mask, if you observe the physical distancing, and don’t have a crowded situation, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do that. I mean, obviously if you’re a person who is compromised physically or otherwise, you don’t want to take the chance. There’s the situation of mail-in voting that has been done for years in many places. So there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to vote in person or otherwise.