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Connecticut is among the states significantly increasing the number of ballot drop boxes available to voters this election cycle.

The drop box rises as a compromise between the mail and the voting booth

There is no silver bullet that will save this pandemic-plagued election. When the president calls on his supporters to commit a felony by voting twice, and on the same day his attorney general fabricates a fake election fraud indictment, it's clear the climax of 2020 will be like no presidential race before.

But there's one solution that is so affordable, practical and achievable that it deserves special notice: ballot drop boxes.

For voters too afraid of the coronavirus to turn up at the polls, and worried the Postal Service will be too overwhelmed to deliver ballots on time, drop boxes — secure, locked structures that can be temporary or permanent — offer a relatively simple and confidence-boosting fix. Drop boxes are increasingly popular, may be installed at the discretion of local election officials, and will be used more widely than ever this year.

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Cori Bush, who was dismissed as unelectable two years ago, tripled her 2018 fundraising total on her way to defeating an incumbent congressman in Missouri's Democratic primary Aug. 4.

Surge of donations to Black candidates tests old assumptions

Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush's victory over Rep. Lacy Clay, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, captures both the pain and the promise facing a new generation of African American candidates.

Bush narrowly bested Clay, who's represented St. Louis for two decades, in this month's Democratic primary and is overwhelmingly favored to win the House seat this fall — benefiting from this year's surge of donations to outsider candidates of color, for decades among the least likely politicians to benefit from the tidal wave of cash coursing through the campaign finance system.

Bush lost to Clay by 20 points in the primary two years ago. But money started fueling her comeback in a big way this spring following the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked mass protests across the country about police violence and systemic racism — and promises by the marchers to follow-up with intensified political activism.

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Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge ranks among the leading Republicans who support voting by mail.

GOP support for mail voting is growing, but hard to hear over Trump

President Trump's increasingly hyperbolic attacks on voting by mail, amplified by Attorney General William Barr and the Republican National Committee, have triggered alarms that the country is heading toward another contested election.

Trump appears to be gearing up to cast doubt on an outcome that doesn't go his way. Primaries marred by hours-long lines, voting machine malfunctions and controversies over absentee ballots have many bracing for a meltdown starting Election Day. A much bigger surge of mailed-in votes in November virtually guarantees the results won't be known for days, setting the stage for a crisis in voter confidence if the results are close enough to be challenged, as happened in 2000.

Yet for all that, voting rights advocates mobilizing to secure the election and neutralize Trump's divisive voting rhetoric have surprising and influential allies in their corner: many leading Republicans.

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