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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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Stop the presses, says appeals court, even if that means longer Georgia voting lines

The three steps to ensure a well-run runoff in Georgia

Hold the champagne: The 2020 Election Season isn't over just yet. Neither of Georgia's Senate races resulted in a victor on Election Day, sending both contests to January runoffs that will likely determine control of the U.S. Senate. And while many folks are understandably focused on the political repercussions of these races, I'm pulling for a different candidate: democracy.

While Georgia will likely conduct a risk-limiting audit and recount of the presidential election later this month, the state appears to have done a good job administering the 2020 presidential election. As a former election administrator and expert on the integrity of elections, my assessment is there is no reason to question the integrity of the election outcome. If any concrete evidence suggesting that wrongful disenfranchisement has or will affect the accuracy of the outcome, that assessment could change. Right now, there isn't.

Regardless, these are three steps Georgia officials could take now to ensure the integrity of the state's runoff elections in January:

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Pinellas sheriff investigates report of armed voter intimidation

Here's why the U.S. can handle voter intimidation

There's been growing concern about voter intimidation in the presidential election. Last month, Philadelphia officials turned away a group of Trump campaign poll watchers who were breaking Pennsylvania law. In Virginia, supporters of the president temporarily blocked an early voting site, forcing officials to escort voters to cast ballots. And in Minnesota, a private security company recruited former soldiers to guard polling sites, alarming election officials.

Voters often speak of "running the gauntlet" of partisan supporters to get to the polls. No one knows for sure how the rest of the election will play out, or how this "enthusiasm" will be interpreted by voters. But voters should know that officials are aware of these threats and have been planning for them.

We are both former local election officials who have observed voter intimidation in previous cycles. We now study elections, both within and outside of the U.S., and regularly interact with current election officials. We want to share what we know officials are doing to make voting secure.

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