A perfect storm is swirling around November’s presidential election with ominous signs of bitter partisanship and chaos amid surging Coronavirus cases. With daily attacks on a vote by mail system; swing states with little experience in absentee voting, multiple voter suppression tactics; election security issues; interference with USPS operations; and inadequate funding for election infrastructure, among many threats. One national expert predicts that the post-election legal fights alone could make the 2000 election recount look like “a walk in the park.”
Of course, legal actions alone will not prevent election snafus before the election. Nor will additional funding. While funders have stepped up in unprecedented ways to fill the financial gaps left by inadequate government funding — including through large, pooled, rapid response efforts — their fresh efforts may only mitigate worst-case scenarios.
We’ll be joined by three leading lights in the democracy arena to explore the troubling landscape and the promising actions to ensure that the November elections are conducted more freely, fairly and safely.
- Ari Berman is a senior reporter at Mother Jones, covering voting rights. He’s the author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.
- Laleh Ispahani is managing director of Open Society-U.S. and co-director of the Partnership for Safe Voting.
- Wendy Weiser directs the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
- Monika Bauerlein (Moderator) is CEO of Mother Jones, a reader-supported investigative news organization, based in San Francisco and founded in 1976.
This program is open to everyone.