Opinion | We Must Vote in November. Voting by mail etc is How to Ensure That We Can. – The New York Times

By Bob BauerBen Ginsberg and 

Mr. Bauer, Mr. Ginsberg and Mr. Persily were members of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

Credit…Cj Gunther/EPA, via Shutterstock

“Voters should not have to choose between casting a ballot and risking their health. They should not have to endure confusion over the location of polling places or the availability of vote-by-mail. Yet voters might face exactly those problems in November if we do not act now to protect the election from Covid-19.

To safeguard the inclusivity and legitimacy of our elections, the federal government should provide resources that states should use in a credible, bipartisan fashion.

We must act now. Elections — American democracy itself — should not be among the pandemic’s victims.

We’ve done something like this before. Roughly seven years ago, we led a bipartisan commission set up by President Barack Obama. There had been significant problems with the operation of the electoral process in 2012, and our task was to suggest possible solutions. Two of us (Mr. Bauer and Mr. Ginsberg) were co-chairs and the other (Mr. Persily) was the senior research director. As part of our broad charge, and in light of Hurricane Sandy, we looked at the challenges posed by natural disasters. Our recommendations on these and other election administrative issues were well received by election administrators across the country, of both parties. We also noted where more progress was urgently needed.”