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2020 Election During A Pandemic

The coronavirus has brought difficulties and confusion to the upcoming November 2020 election. The safety of the election has been threatened by the pandemic. During voting, the voters must touch the ballot screen. No voter should risk their health and life to expose themselves to touch a ballot box that many others have touched. This can cause problems and low voter turnout.  


The candidates in the Presidential election are incumbent, President Donald Trump against Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, former Vice President of the United States. 


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that America needs to move toward a “vote by mail” system to give citizens a safe way to elect their lawmakers while the virus makes it dangerous to gather with  others. Pelosi also said to MSNBC, “In terms of the elections, I think we will probably be moving to vote by mail. That's why we wanted to have more resources in this third bill that was just signed by the President, to get those resources to the states to facilitate the reality of life: that we are going to have to vote by mail.”  But her position is contrary to President Donald Trump who stated that voting by mail will hurt the Republican Party. This is one of the conflicts that COVID-19 has created. 


Congress took a step forward during the week of May 11 by approving $400 million in federal grants that states can use to make adjustments related to the coronavirus for the general election. "At all costs, the election must go on," said CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. "This is not the NBA season or the Olympics. Come November, we've got to vote. If we can vote in the middle of the Civil War, and if Franklin D. Roosevelt can run for an unprecedented fourth term in the middle of World War II, then we can figure out how to make 2020 a free and fair election."


In 2016, more than 136 million Americans voted and a numerous number of them cast early ballots. Nearly 60% of voters still showed up on Election Day, There were long lines,and communal pens were used and the same voting machines were touched. These are now all dangerous moves during the coronavirus era.  “We don't know what the future holds," said Matthew Petersen, who was on the Federal Election Commission for 11 years, appointed by a Republican president. "If the virus is still widely spreading this fall, then casting ballots in crowded polling places, operated primarily by elderly and vulnerable poll workers, really creates a perfect storm for the virus to continue spreading."


If the COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading uncontrollably in the fall this might make Congress consider delaying the 2020 election. This would require the Republicans and Democrats to work together. The United Kingdom, France, Chile, and Bolivia have made similar moves for their countries by either making a delay to their election or a hold. During this time the United States must remain cooperative and supportive during the election because this is a time where differences are put aside and the US joins together.