The Perfect Voting Storm: How COVID-19, Strict ID Requirements, and Partisanship Are Threatening the Right to Vote
This panel will discuss the impact of the pandemic and other factors on the general elections through the lens of recent research on the emergence of strict documentation requirements for voter registration across many U.S. states. We will explore how various developments are likely to affect turnout and distort outcomes, and what might be done to fix the most broken parts of our voting system as we prepare for the 2020 elections.
Moderator: Charles Stewart III, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at MIT.
Panelists are faculty of the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College: Nicole Gordon, Distinguished Lecturer and Faculty Director of Executive Master of Public Administration Program; Sonia Jarvis, Distinguished Lecturer; Don Waisanen, Associate Professor.
Professors Waisanen, Jarvis, and Gordon are the authors of the forthcoming book, “States of Confusion: The Crisis of Voter Identification and What to Do About It,” under contract with New York University Press.
In 2020, this threat looms larger than ever given the disparate laws governing voting systems across the U.S. and the compromised infrastructures for casting votes. Over the last decade, many states have enacted and exploited anti-democratic measures that undermine refrains valuing everyone’s “right to vote”. These measures include stringent Voter ID requirements, drastic reductions of polling places, limitations on both early voting and election day voting opportunities, the brazen gerrymandering of congressional districts that the courts have failed to correct, the equivalent of poll taxes for previously incarcerated individuals, and now, the refusal to reconfigure voting processes in light of the devastating COVID-19 crisis. While many citizens were previously unaware of these developments, COVID-19 has highlighted the consequences of racially discriminatory and politicized voting systems so that they are impossible to ignore.