“Well, I think not only do we have a coronavirus crisis, we have a democracy crisis, because what’s going to happen, in my worst nightmare, my fear is that no one votes because they’re much more fearful of contracting a disease than they are of not voting.”
That was Denise Merrill, Connecticut’s Secretary of the State, on her fear that if we don’t get our act together and protect our elections ahead of November, then we could have a real crisis on our hands.
On this week’s episode of Issue One’s “Swamp Stories” podcast, host Weston Wamp explores what it will take to conduct safe, secure, and fair elections during a pandemic. He talks with leading voices at the state and national level about how voting is affected due to coronavirus, the task ahead for states and election administrators, and how our elections can be held safely this year.
Listeners will hear from:
- Michael Steele, U.S. Vote Foundation chairman and former RNC chair, about the need to mitigate confusion during such an unprecedented time, and how our country can run stable elections while guaranteeing access to the ballot box.
- Denise Merrill, Connecticut’s Secretary of the State, on what it’s like to be an election official amid the coronavirus outbreak and how our country must step up now to avoid a “democracy crisis.”
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has greatly altered many aspects of American life. But we must ensure that states are adequately prepared for safe in-person voting, surges in absentee ballot voting, and other alternatives that they choose to pursue so that no American has to choose between their health and their right to vote. Our democracy is at risk if states don’t adequately prepare for the various challenges that this viral outbreak presents to the smooth running of elections in November.
Listen to this week’s episode, “The Show Must Go On,” for what states and Congress can do right now so that citizens don’t have to make that choice this year.