The relatively new National Task Force on Election Crises has issued its concise but thorough guidance to states on how to plan for elections during the coronavirus outbreak.
The laundry list of recommendations includes steps to promote more mail-in voting, while also preparing for in-person voting by making sure cleaning supplies are available, and recruiting additional poll workers to replace those that may cancel because of health concerns.
The cross-partisan task force of more than 40 experts on election law, administration, security, and voting rights was created last year in anticipation of challenges, which at the time did not include a major national health crisis.
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Advocates for making the coronavirus pandemic the time for changing American voting habits are taking heart there won't be any polling places for three of the next four Democratic presidential contests.
Voting in Alaska and Hawaii will now join Wyoming's caucuses in being conducted entirely remotely, among the latest wave of changes in the world of elections during a historic public health emergency.
While several states moved to make voting easier, Wisconsin pressed ahead with plans for a traditional primary April 7 and has now been confronted by four federal lawsuits hoping to force changes. And Florida reported the first known cases of poll workers subsequently testing positive for coronavirus.
Here are the latest developments:
College students were once hailed as a crucial voting bloc in 2020, but their momentum may be halted by the coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered campuses from coast to coast.
Registration drives, absentee ballot parties, political forums and new voter trainings are all on hold. Students are scrambling to chase down absentee ballot forms that were mailed to campuses but must now be forwarded to a home or other address. Newly designated campus polling places will stand empty for the remaining primaries, several of which have been delayed in any case. And students who return this fall will have little time to prepare for Election Day.
Tirado is an assistant professor of secondary social science education at Auburn University. A version of this piece was first published by Education Week.
It is safe to say that social distancing has become part of our new daily lexicon. It's important to know that this is saving people's lives. But we all must recognize that, in this world of social distancing, we do not need to continue our practice of spectator democracy that keeps us sitting on the sidelines while others make the important decisions for us.
In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing is a form of civic duty, something we are doing to protect the most vulnerable of our society. We've given up March Madness for social media tags like #stayhome and #stayhomesavelives that build solidarity around our shared stories of staying in.
And while we think about what we've lost, we are hoping that we can hold on to something much more important: each other.