Given the possibility of a pandemic, people who weren’t able to vote in the 2016 presidential election fear being out of touch with the issues affecting their communities if they have not managed to register yet. The threat of government shutdowns and, potentially, a potential shutdown of polling places in a pandemic, as well as delayed absentee balloting due to traffic jams, could further complicate the already frustrating decision-making process.
Some are urging voting be postponed. The Governors Association, for example, wants to delay elections in areas affected by a pandemic. “During a crisis, our greatest responsibility is to preserve lives, so that is why the use of vote-by-mail elections, early and absentee voting, and relocation of polling locations is vital,” said Geoff Colvin, the association’s chief counsel, in a statement. “The election date cannot be altered for political reasons; at its most basic, any change that affects early and absentee voting can only affect one group — the disenfranchised, who would suffer in this instance.”