6 votes The coronavirus could change how Americans vote in 2020 and beyond. How? Posted March 26 by Kuromantis Tags: politics, elections, voting, 2020 us presidential election, usa, coronaviruses.covid19, postal voting https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-coronavirus-could-change-how-we-vote-in-2020-and-beyond/ Link information This data is scraped automatically and may be incorrect. Authors Lee Drutman Published Mar 26 2020 Word count 1514 words 4 comments Collapse replies Expand all Comments sorted by most votes newest first order posted relevance OK  Kuromantis (OP) March 26 (edited March 27) Link So it’s likely that in the coming months, states will begin to move toward allowing more voters to mail in their ballots, or at least cast votes early to spread people out. It’s entirely possible that Election Day 2020 will be more like Election Month (or perhaps months, depending on how long it takes to count the ballots). That means between now and November, states and election administrators are going to have to make lots of decisions about how they conduct elections. How they manage this may affect who votes and whose vote is counted, how campaigns operate, and perhaps even the level of uncertainty in the polls. In short, the mechanisms of the voting process may turn out to be as important this year as what the candidates say. The potential effects on 2020 are hard to predict from past elections, though. On balance, early voting appears to have raised turnout a little, at least in some places — but only by a few percentage points, and with no clear advantage to either party. But results vary, both by which group of voters you’re looking at and by the type of election. Turnout, for instance, has increased most among older people who tend to vote at the highest rates already. And turnout has generally gone up most in lower-profile elections, like primaries and off-year contests. But the effects on general elections are more limited, perhaps because more people already tend to vote in them. There is the question, too, of when we’ll know who won. In a close election, it might take weeks to ensure an accurate final count. Consider how long California — a state with experience handling mail-in ballots — is taking to count ballots from its primary. Given widespread expectations of a high-turnout and closely contested election at a time when our electoral system is already facing a broad legitimacy threat (don’t forget about the possibility of foreign meddling!), room for error is small. The experience voters have in 2020 could have long-term effects. Presumably most voters, especially the most engaged and active, will like the convenience of mailed ballots or early voting. And once states put these systems in place, officials will likely be under pressure to keep them in place — even if they start out as temporary or provisional. Then again, it’s also possible the rollout could be a disaster, akin to Iowa’s caucuses this year, and states quickly move away from mail-in voting. We don’t know. This doesn’t mean this gap in early voting is inevitable, especially if early voting efforts were expanded in response to a health crisis like the coronavirus. But closing the gap we currently see in early voting does probably depend on whether states put in the extra effort to make sure that everyone’s vote gets counted. This means making sure voter registration lists have current addresses, ballots are processed in a timely fashion so voters can correct mistakes before it might be too late, and making it easy for citizens to follow the progress of their ballots. The coronavirus stimulus bill currently on the table appears to include $400 million for election support, which may not be enough to help states fully transition to voting by mail. (Democrats were initially demanding $4 billion to expand voting access; the Brennan Center estimated it would cost about $2 billion to implement voting reforms.) So states and local jurisdictions must not only find extra funding, they’ll also have to decide on their own rules, which requires a number of choices be made. For instance, how much of a second chance do election administrators give voters who mess up their ballots? How much do they do to ensure everyone is on the voter rolls, even if they’ve moved recently? Or how do election administrators monitor potential fraud? For now, the simplest takeaway may just be that a potentially massive and difficult-to-administer change in how people vote adds an extra level of uncertainty to our ability to predict the outcome of the 2020 election.  Deimos March 26 Link Parent Can you try to tone down how many of these kind of cynical political comments and topics you're posting, please? It's getting a little excessive lately and isn't really leading to good discussions... Can you try to tone down how many of these kind of cynical political comments and topics you're posting, please? It's getting a little excessive lately and isn't really leading to good discussions or much productive. 6 votes skybrian March 27 Link Parent I think this one in particular is a good article and the comment is mostly quotation. Better without the zinger at the end, though. (Sometimes it's better to make a point by quoting the part you... I think this one in particular is a good article and the comment is mostly quotation. Better without the zinger at the end, though. (Sometimes it's better to make a point by quoting the part you think is most important and letting people think for themselves.) 3 votes Kuromantis (OP) March 27 (edited March 28) Link Parent Damn, I didn't expect that kind of comment. I guess I will. After those Tuesdays I'm basically waiting either for a debate to see how will Biden try to construct party unity and emphasize... Damn, I didn't expect that kind of comment. I guess I will. After those Tuesdays I'm basically waiting either for a debate to see how will Biden try to construct party unity and emphasize downballot voting at the nomination, and then I'll be waiting for the first Biden v Trump debate. Unfortunately that's 3.5 months of waiting for US politics to budge so until then I was gonna be posting these.