Can A Virus Impact Elections?

June 12, 2020
via Freepik

Did you know that more than twenty countries will hold elections in 2020? The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly affecting sporting and business events, but elections are a different story; they are essential events in any country. That said, Chile and Ethiopia have already chosen to postpone their elections, and Poland recently called off their elections at the last minute. So what exactly do countries need to do for elections to take place when they potentially face another wave of COVID-19? Singapore has already passed a bill allowing people to vote in the 2021 elections even if they are under quarantine, and South Korea conducted its elections in April, screening voters for their temperatures and ensuring adequate social distancing.
In the United States, the 2020 presidential elections are scheduled for November. By definition, all elections must be free, fair, accessible, and safe for all voters, but can COVID-19 disrupt things? Sure! One solution to the potential dangers of voting during this pandemic is to let voters cast their ballots by mail, although that might be easier said than done. In California, for example, voters have to request their ballots in order to vote by mail. In Louisiana and other states, voters need a good reason to vote by mail. Hawaii does things differently though—voting by mail is the default choice!

Can you think of a safe and fair way for all people to vote?