(This op-ed was first published in The Wall Street Journal on June 12, 2020.)
Avoiding a debacle for U.S. democracy will require getting as many Americans as possible to vote by mail and ensuring that polling places are safe, convenient and plentiful
On Tuesday, citizens in Georgia stood in lines for hours to vote—and some just gave up. The state struggled to handle its primary election, hobbled amid the coronavirus pandemic by a shortage of poll workers and polling places. The Atlanta Journal Constitution called it “an ordeal for voters.” And with Georgia potentially in play between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, more than twice as many voters are expected in November, the paper noted. All of this suggests that the 2020 election could become a full-on crisis for American democracy.
(Continue reading the op-ed on The Wall Street Journal’s page here.)
Nate Persily is the James B. McClatchy Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and co-director of the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project.