Vote at Home | Weekly Roundup June 8, 2020

Beth Hladick
Policy Manager
Unite America
Team
Jun 8, 2020

Media headlines “total meltdown,” “embarrassment,” “complete catastrophe,” “ unmitigated disaster,” and “a giant warning siren” described Georgia’s June 9 primary, particularly the troubles in the Atlanta metro area. The primary, which was delayed twice, saw extremely long lines, malfunctioning equipment, and locations ran out of provisional ballots within the first hour, despite efforts to scale vote at home systems. Voting rights orgs, advocates, and voters said the meltdown was completely avoidable. See blog with the details from Unite America’s Emily Baller.

Anxieties heighten around November/battleground states (check out Cook Political’s helpful cheat sheet on potential competitive/swing states and absentee voting policy). Attention is shifting to new cyberthreats associated with voting at home, mainly threats to online voter registration systems (the chief target of Russian hackers in 2016). The bright spot is that resources (and steps to course correct) abound! Yesterday, the Brennan Center released a comprehensive report on guidelines for election officials to combat cybersecurity threats and technical problems. In the WSJ, one academic argues it’s not too late to save the 2020 elections (in nine steps).  

Additional election funding still tbd as senate Republicans signal further delay on next stimulus bill (end of July?). Not all members of the GOP want to wait. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said she would prefer they act sooner, as communities in Maine are suffering and seeing sharp revenue drops.

Voter registration is down significantly amid coronavirus as the two most popular methods of signing up voters (@DMV’s and by third-parties) virtually halted. According to a report released Thursday from the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation and Research, the number of new voters registered across 11 states in April 2020 decreased by 70 percent compared with April 2016.

ICYMI, LeBron James (and other athletes/celebrities) plan to team with When We All Vote and Fair Fight to launch voting rights group, “More Than A Vote.” In addition to encouraging African-Americans to register and cast a ballot in November, Lebron said he would use his high-profile social platform to combat voter suppression and draw attention to attempts to restrict the franchise of racial minorities.

There are no primaries next week. Looking ahead, on Tuesday, June 23, Kentucky, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia all have state primaries or runoff elections. There are 144 days until the November Election.

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