Overing is a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, and a chapter development consultant for Bridge USA, a national student-run organization seeking to depolarize college campuses and increase youth civic engagement.
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Grapes is director of advocacy and outreach for Better Wyoming, which works to mobilize residents to call for more progressive policies in the least-populous and one of the most conservative states.
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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:
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Update: Republican Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio went to court Monday afternoon hoping to delay until June 2 the in-person Democratic presidential primary vote set for Tuesday, saying that proceeding would not comply with new federal coronavirus guidelines against gatherings of more than 50 people. He filed the suit because elections in the state are run by counties, so DeWine does not have the authority over polling places as he does over the restaurants, movie theaters and other places he ordered shut on Sunday. Ohio has 50 known cases of the virus as of Monday.
The four presidential primaries scheduled for Tuesday are going ahead on schedule, albeit with last-minute modifications and serious wariness about turnout in light of the intensifying national coronavirus shutdown.
Officials in Florida, Ohio, Illinois and Arizona have all said they are taking extra health precautions so voting in person remains safe. Besides, they say, so much early balloting has already happened that closing the polls on the final scheduled day of voting would severely muddy the integrity of the results.
After Tuesday, however, the national political calendar is increasingly in flux — making some voting rights advocates wary about the potential for suppression, while other arguing the Covid-19 pandemic presents a silver lining for democracy reform if it prompts more widespread adoption of voting from home and by mail.
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