Election officials scramble to meet pandemic voting challenges.
Assembling voting materials, machinery, and staff
"We’re going to learn a lot over the next few weeks about the uptake among voters. We need to remember that the new voters coming into the electorate in November will not be necessarily the ones who are voting in these primaries.”
— Charles Stewart III, Co-founder of the MIT Election Data and Science Lab, and the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science
EXCERPT | MARCH 27, 2020
"Across the country, as voting rights attorneys and election policy experts keep issuing increasingly detailed prescriptions on how 2020’s elections can continue in a pandemic, the civil servants who actually run elections are facing their version of a shortage of face masks and ventilators.
"The first hints of a scramble over voting materials, machinery and manpower were behind-the-scenes actions following the seemingly simple decisions by 10 states and territories to postpone primaries until June.
“Of course, there is nothing ‘straightforward’ about ‘simply’ postponing an election date,” noted Gavin Weise, election data manager for the U.S. Vote Foundation, which focuses on voting by Americans abroad. “All deadlines must be adjusted, materials reprinted with new dates, the workforce rescheduled, and facilities procured. In many cases new resources are required as election administrators’ needs change — for example, to deal with the increased volume of mail ballots.”