Welcome to the Election Dissection newsletter, delivering highlights from our election watchdog experts. Learn more about Election Dissection here.
Election officials are empowered to protect voters and maintain peace and safety at their polling locations. They are among the most trusted sources of government information and can prevent potential trouble or defusing conflicts once they begin, writes Trevor Potter.
Confusing voting laws for felons hurt young voters disproportionately, because they're more likely to be arrested. The effect is even worse for Black, Latino and Native American youth. New Tufts University research examines the impact on youth voting, write Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg and Alberto Medina.
The Supreme Court's decision on mail-in ballot deadlines in Pennsylvania could have a significant impact on the election. But that might not be the last word from the high court, writes Steven Huefner.
More from Election Dissection
It's not too late to register for The Fulcrum webinar!
When early voting got started in some states, coverage of the long lines was accompanied by stories of voter intimidation — protesters blocking access to polling places or verbally harassing voters. Social media platforms have taken steps to crack down on calls for unlawful voter interference and intimidation, and the FBI has issued warnings. But there are sure to be instances of attempted voter suppression on Election Day.
What can an individual do to stop it?
The Fulcrum invites you to a live discussion with a panel of experts to discuss how everyone can help put a stop to unlawful voter suppression and intimidation — threats to the already troubled democracy we're dedicated to covering. They will explain how you can identify illegal activity at your polling location and steps you can take to stop it.The Fulcrum's editor-in-chief, David Hawkings, will moderate a discussion with:
- Mindy Finn, CEO of Citizen Data and co-founder of Stand Up Republic
- Nsé Ufot, chief executive officer, New Georgia Project
Only in this crazy election year can lines of citizens waiting hours to vote for president be hailed as a good thing, while boxes for people to drop off ballots become a source of national controversy.
Such is life just more than two weeks away from an Election Day that will put an end to all this nonsense. Right?
It's not very surprising to see pictures of long lines for voting in Georgia and Texas, given the checkered pasts on voting rights in each of those 2020 battlegrounds.
But instead of complaints and accusations coming with the start of early voting in the two, the reaction was more one of pride and enthusiasm that people are so eager and committed to making sure they vote.
With so many more states focusing on mail ballots, combined with the persistent distrust of the Postal Service, it probably was predictable that public attention would focus on the boxes where voters can drop their ballots.
But who could have predicted a spirited argument over drop boxes marked "official" in California — with top Democratic state officials telling the state Republican Party to get rid of its receptacles, which are clearly not official, and the GOP telling the state to pound sand?
Drop boxes are also part of the mind-bogglingly complex and expansive set of legal fights over the election rules that still haven't been settled in the Trump v. Biden battleground of Pennsylvania.
And, of course, we had to know that being a country with a lot of election turmoil, former president and election overseer extraordinaire Jimmy Carter would eventually have to make an appearance.
Meanwhile, check out two handy maps for voters in search of news they can use:
- The 17 states where it's almost never too late to register to vote.
- The different rules in every state that answer the question: What if the mail ballot I asked for never shows up, or it's in hand but I want to vote in person instead?
Sixteen days until the voting must stop. At least that much is clear.
— Bill Theobald
Our weekly op-ed highlight reel
News is the heart of what we're about. But The Fulcrum is also a forum for debate about what's ailing American democracy and what could make the system healthier. So here are the most provocative opinion pieces we've posted this week.
Whatever the numbers are at midnight on Election Day, they won't be wrong — they will just be incomplete. The results will certainly change as the votes are counted. Americans must be reminded that they will need to be patient and wait longer than usual before we can declare any winners, writes Joe Ready of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
Performance artist Pegi Christiansen has been talking to people about the shortcomings of the Electoral College. She shares lessons learned from discussing the national popular vote compact.
Unifying news can reduce the divides that so many Americans desire to to be rid of. This is especially true of unifying news to help bridge our political chasm, which seem most pronounced this election season, according to Braver Angels' James Coan.