(This op-ed was first published in The Philadelphia Inquirer on May 27, 2020.)
With the June primary approaching and ballots already in the mail, Pennsylvania now finds itself in the same position as most states when it comes to running an election in a pandemic: overwhelmed and unprepared. It is already past time to take drastic action. Gov. Tom Wolf needs to mobilize the National Guard now to help secure the vote for all Pennsylvanians.
The potentially devastating challenge that the pandemic poses for elections is now coming clearly into view. One need only look at what happened in Wisconsin’s April primary: mail ballots never received, massive poll worker shortages, most polling places shut down, and long, life-threatening lines for voters at a limited number of polling places put into operation.
(Continue reading the op-ed on The Philadelphia Inquirer’s page here.)
Nathaniel Persily is the James B. McClatchy professor of law at Stanford Law School. He is the director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center and the former research director of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. Tom Westphal studies at Stanford Law School and is an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves.