Many States Lack Flexible Voting and Registration Policies to Address Safety Concerns of Conducting Elections During COVID-19
Aug 5, 2020
Version 1.0 (July 27, 2020)
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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has presented a severe threat to state election plans in 2020 for primaries and for the general election. To conduct an election during the COVID-19 pandemic, states need registration and voting options that minimize direct personal contact and that reduce crowds and common access to high-touch surfaces. Another way to think about preparedness for conducting elections during a pandemic is to consider the flexibility that state election processes afford in terms of where, when, and how voters can get registered and cast votes. Particularly valuable to flexibility in the pandemic context are options that allow for the registration and voting processes to happen remotely or in ways that reduce person-to-person contact. This tool supplements a companion report and provides state-by-state granular details about voter registration, remote voting, and early voting, including references to relevant state laws. This report is part of RAND's Countering Truth Decay initiative, which is focused on restoring the role of facts, data, and analysis in U.S. political and civil discourse and the policymaking process.
HSOAC is a federally funded research and development center operated by the RAND Corporation under contract with DHS.