How the coronavirus is affecting elections over the next year

Long lines, few precincts, frustrated voters: This is a typical sight of an election during the coronavirus age.Wisconsin voted last week despite concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, and dozens of states still will before the national conventions in August. Coronavirus-related changes to elections are coming, and states are about to get financial help to implement them. But how quickly can the money be sent out?”Congress gave us 30 days,” Ben Hovland, chairman of the Election Assistance Commission said. The EAC is an independent agency charged with administering payments to states and developing guidance for elections.The EAC will be sending out $400 million to states this month, including for new protective equipment and hand sanitizer for poll workers. The funds will also be used to make elections safer, relocate polling places away from senior centers and provide extra training of volunteers after some quit. In addition, more printing for an expected surge in absentee ballots and equipment to sort it all will also be purchased with the funds.”I think we need to listen to election officials,” Hovland said, “hear what they need, and do as much as we can for them.”Larry Norden, the director of the Election Reform Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, says he doesn’t believe the money is enough.The center estimates at least $2 billion — not $400 million — will be needed to prepare for the November elections due to the pandemic.”If you want to get a sense of what’s going to happen if they don’t provide that money, all you have to do is look at what just happened in Wisconsin.”Democrats in Congress want to ramp up vote-by-mail options to help avoid chaotic scenes at the remaining primaries and in November.President Donald Trump said last week he’s against expanding that option.See how much your state will be receiving here.

Long lines, few precincts, frustrated voters: This is a typical sight of an election during the coronavirus age.

Wisconsin voted last week despite concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, and dozens of states still will before the national conventions in August.

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Coronavirus-related changes to elections are coming, and states are about to get financial help to implement them. But how quickly can the money be sent out?

“Congress gave us 30 days,” Ben Hovland, chairman of the Election Assistance Commission said. The EAC is an independent agency charged with administering payments to states and developing guidance for elections.

The EAC will be sending out $400 million to states this month, including for new protective equipment and hand sanitizer for poll workers. The funds will also be used to make elections safer, relocate polling places away from senior centers and provide extra training of volunteers after some quit.

In addition, more printing for an expected surge in absentee ballots and equipment to sort it all will also be purchased with the funds.

“I think we need to listen to election officials,” Hovland said, “hear what they need, and do as much as we can for them.”

Larry Norden, the director of the Election Reform Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, says he doesn’t believe the money is enough.

The center estimates at least $2 billion — not $400 million — will be needed to prepare for the November elections due to the pandemic.

“If you want to get a sense of what’s going to happen if they don’t provide that money, all you have to do is look at what just happened in Wisconsin.”

Democrats in Congress want to ramp up vote-by-mail options to help avoid chaotic scenes at the remaining primaries and in November.

President Donald Trump said last week he’s against expanding that option.

See how much your state will be receiving here.