How to Hold Elections during a Pandemic

Voter Fred Hoffman fills out his ballot during the primary election in Ottawa, Ill., March 17, 2020. The polling station was relocated from a nearby nursing home to a former supermarket due to concerns over the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus. (Daniel Acker/Reuters)
The United States is the beacon of democracy around the world. Let’s show the world that no pandemic can stop our elections.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W e might beat COVID-19 by fall. But if we don’t, what happens to our November election? Two principles are paramount. The election must be held. And people who want to vote must be able to do so without fear of infection and without worsening the pandemic. To uphold those principles, we must expand no-excuse absentee voting and make drive-through voting possible now.

Elections in a pandemic run two risks: spreading infection and diminishing democratic legitimacy. Iran’s COVID-19 cases surged after its February elections. Spain’s infections quintupled four days after a political rally in March; now Spain has requisitioned an ice rink to hold the dead. In Florida’s March


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Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.