Op-Ed

The Miracle and Tragedy of the 2020 U.S. Election

Nathaniel Persily Charles Stewart III The Journal of Democracy

The 2020 election was both a miracle and a tragedy. In the midst of a pandemic posing unprecedented challenges, local and state administrators pulled off a safe, secure, and professional election. This article discusses metrics of success in the adaptations that took place—record-high turnout, widespread voter satisfaction, a doubling of mail voting without a concomitant increase in problems often associated with absentee ballots, and the recruitment of hundreds of thousands of new poll workers. However, a competing narrative of a “stolen election” led to a historically deep chasm between partisans in their trust of the election process and outcome.

Now is the time to prepare for the next election emergency

Michael Caudell-Feagan and Charles Stewart III The Hill

The 2020 election has rightly been judged as well-managed, despite the enormous challenges posed by casting and counting millions of votes in the midst of a deadly pandemic and national lockdown. Election officials nationwide provided access to early voting and mail-in ballots and managed to keep poll workers and voters safe during an intense election with record turnout.  They did a remarkable job but the outcome could have been much, much different.

Europe can defend itself

Barry Posen The International Institute for Strategic Studies

Could Europe dispense with the services of the US military? And could it cope on its own with Russia’s querulous foreign policy and revived military? Barry Posen argues that Europe is better placed to defend itself militarily than many, including the IISS, have portrayed it to be. 

Keep calm and let the election officials carry on

Charles H. Stewart III and Michael Caudell-Feagan The Hill

The enormous interest in the 2020 election is plagued by anxiety that election officials are not ready for the tidal wave of mail-in and drop-off ballots already coming in and the crush of in-person votes to be cast and counted. Although we can’t say how the system will acquit itself on Nov. 3, we do know that local officials are better prepared to weather the storm than they were 20 years ago.

Actually, We Will Know a Lot on Election Night

Nathaniel Persily and Charles Stewart III The Wall Street Journal

Most states begin processing their presidential ballots before Nov. 3, and local officials have been preparing all summer for a surge in mail ballots.

With Six Weeks to the Election, Six Ways to Protect It

Nathaniel Persily and Charles Stewart III The New York Times

The pandemic presents a huge challenge, but we can still ensure a safe and accessible vote this November. Here are six ways to make that happen.

Unearthing the stories of yesterday’s George Floyds

Melissa Nobles The Boston Globe

When we call the victims’ descendants to share our findings, they tell us ‘I never thought I’d get this call.’ The scars remain, and luckily, because we have found documents, so does proof.