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States are getting creative to prep for a pandemic election

States are getting creative to prep for a pandemic election

For all the things that seem to be threatening the integrity of the November 3rd election, states have also done a lot of very constructive things to ensure that things go off fairly and safely, election experts say.

Over the past six months, the media and the public have become increasingly concerned about the doomsday scenario where the election is close and Donald Trump uses that—along with the doubts he’s sewn about the sanctity of mail-in ballots—as a pretext to contest the election and potentially refuse to leave the Oval Office.

No election official in any Red or Blue state can stop the flow of propaganda, but many have worked hard, and creatively, to prepare for this year’s contest, say three election experts who spoke on a panel at Fast Company‘s (virtual) Innovation Festival on Tuesday.

Because of the coronavirus, many states will see as many as 10 times the number of mail-in ballots as they did in the last presidential election in 2016. And states have received little help from the federal government to prepare.

“Congress really failed in terms of providing the appropriate funding early on this year that would have enabled states to plan and prepare and execute for the massive changes they’re facing right now,” said Amber McReynolds, CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute.

Setting up vote by mail during a cash crunch

U.S. elections are administered largely by states and counties, while the federal government plays an advisory and supervisory role through agencies like the Department of Homeland Services and the Federal Elections Commission. In 2020, however, the federal government has been less forthcoming with money to help states through a challenging election. Several bills were introduced in Congress to provide states more funding, only to be repeatedly blocked by Senate leadership.

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