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The election went remarkably well. Here's how to make the next one even better.

We haven't yet seen evidence that would cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election — even with the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, the threat of foreign interference, civil unrest and greater turnout than any time since 1900. That counts as a resounding success.

Once the final tallies are certified, we need to thank the election administrators and poll workers whose heroic efforts preserved American democracy. After that, we need to assess what worked best and what needs to improve, so we can identify achievable steps to make future elections even more secure.

Based on what we know so far, here are five things that should be on the U.S. elections to-do list:

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Wisconsin voters have been advised to vote in person if they do not get their ballots in the mail today.

Get to your mailboxes right now, Supreme Court tells procrastinators in Wisconsin

Wisconsinites with ballots sitting on their kitchen tables have received the same message now from two of Washington's most influential institutions, the Supreme Court and the Postal Service: Complete them and get them in the mail right away. As in, Tuesday.

USPS long ago set this day as the best-practices cutoff for mailing an absentee ballot with confidence it would arrive by Election Day. The warning took on special urgency Monday in one of the top presidential battlegrounds, when the high court voted 5-3 against Wisconsin accepting any mailed ballots arriving after the polls close a week from now.

The decision was the last in an election law dispute before Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed and sworn in Monday night. She can now participate in the appeals of ballot receipt extensions in two other tossups, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

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Postal workers have been buffeted by safety, financial and political challenges during he pandemic.

As ballot surge starts, a USPS attaboy from its global colleagues

The Postal Service got a little uplifting news Thursday, after having faced quite a bit of guff lately over its readiness to handle this fall's deluge of election mail.

The United Nations agency that sets global postal rules and policies, the Universal Postal Union, declared the USPS the seventh best postal service in the world. That's actually up one notch from last year's ratings.

The high score may offer a psychological balm to postal workers, buffeted by months of bad headlines and lawsuits about service cuts suspected of being designed to slow the pandemic-fueled flow of tens of millions of absentee presidential ballots.

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Special Fulcrum coverage starts now: Our experts explain election disputes

We have just launched a new blog at The Fulcrum, focused on unpacking the threats to a comprehensive, safe and trustworthy election.

It's called Election Dissection. From now until whenever the presidential winner becomes clear, it will feature analysis from a panel of established nonpartisan election experts who are spending virtually every waking moment tracking disputes over voting rights and election administration.

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