With the 2020 election rapidly growing larger on the horizon, it’s essential that state and federal leaders get cracking on making it easier for people to vote this fall during a period in which the pandemic is all but sure to still be raging.
To better understand some of what needs to happen, be sure to check out a fine op-ed that ran in Sunday’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer by the director of N.C. Voters for Clean Elections, Melissa Price Kromm (Disclosure: I serve on the group’s board). As Kromm notes in “NC should act now to avoid voting problems seen elsewhere during the pandemic,”:
“Experts estimate that the reforms needed to secure our elections will require a $4 billion investment from Congress. $400 million has already been sent to states, but without stringent enough requirements to ensure voters will have full access to voting. Many important reforms are laid out in the HEROES Act, but there are several key measures that North Carolina state leaders could implement that would boost access to the ballot and ensure North Carolinians don’t have to choose between their health and their vote.”
“Some reforms North Carolina should pursue this election year include more public education through mailers and other media to notify the public of election changes; recruiting more poll workers by supplemental pay and added safety measures, and hiring additional poll workers for curbside voting; drop boxes to make it easier to cast absentee ballots; and proactively mailing every voter an absentee ballot request form.”
“More people safely accessing the polls in November does not give either party an upper hand. Research shows that expanding voting accessibility through measures like making it easier to cast ballots by mail equally increases the number of voters from each political party. So it’s no surprise to see many Republican governors and Secretaries of State reject President Trump’s attempts to fan the flames of fear about election fraud and instead join in calling for pro-voter policies.…No one should have to choose between their health and their vote.”