Friday, May 1, 2020

Vox and FiveThirtyEight explain voting by mail during a pandemic

Just yesterday, I observed that "It's hard to vote by mail without the USPS."  Voting by mail continues to be a major topic as two videos I watched explored the topic this week.  One that popped up on my YouTube feed today was Vox's How to vote during a pandemic.

Coronavirus threatens the US election. Voting by mail could save it.
On April 7, 2020, as the coronavirus held much of the US under lockdown, the state of Wisconsin held an election. Many other states had already decided to delay their spring elections to protect voters. But in Wisconsin, voters were forced to choose between participating in the election, and their own safety. Wisconsin's decision sparked outrage, but it also highlighted a question that the US really needs to figure out soon: How do you hold an election during a pandemic?

Fortunately, there's actually a simple solution to this one: voting by mail. Tens of millions of Americans already vote this way, and if the rest of the US can prepare their election systems in time for the November election, they could avoid Wisconsin's fate. But time's running out.
Vox presents a very optimistic case, which I'd like to agree with.  However, I also watched FiveThirtyEight's Why Switching To A Vote-By-Mail System Is Tougher Than It Seems, which takes a contrary view.

Elections analyst Nathaniel Rakich looks into the difficulties we face if states want to switch to a vote-by-mail system in time for the general elections in November.
While FiveThirtyEight is more skeptical, it agrees with Vox that the switch needs to start now for widespread voting by mail to work by November.  I concur with both news sources on that.

That's the pandemic post for today.  Stay tuned for a drum corps May Day.

No comments:

Post a Comment