As millions of Americans prepare to vote in November—and in many cases, primaries and state and local elections through the summer as well—lots of people are talking about voting by mail. It is a way to protect the integrity of the country’s voting system and to limit potential exposure to the coronavirus, which continues to spread widely in the U.S.
I am a political scientist and part of a National Academy of Public Administration working group offering recommendations to ensure voter participation as well as public confidence in the election process and the outcome during this coronavirus pandemic. To meet that goal, our work has found that state and local governments will need to make significant adjustments to their voting systems this year—changes that will likely require new federal funding.
Our recommendations—which include ways to reduce health risks from in-person voting as well as to expand access to, and ease the process of, mail-in voting—are based on a thorough review of the evidence.