Teams of undergraduate, graduate, and law students at Stanford and MIT are hard at work compiling and analyzing reports about the experience of voters and election officials as they navigate voting in the midst of COVID-19. Each state will be added to the menu at the left as they become available.
State pages include primary election after-action reports written by the students. The pages also include links to official reports, reports by citizen groups, commentary, and media accounts that inform an understanding of health-related voting challenges and approaches to meeting them.
Rehearsal for November: An Analysis of Sixteen August State Elections
In sixteen states with primary and runoff elections in August, the process went much more smoothly than in the earlier presidential primaries. Election administrators across these states worked hard ahead of the elections to pandemic-proof their voting regimes, often by expanding access to absentee balloting and revamping in-person voting to accommodate public health guidance. These preparations proved essential, as the August elections saw higher voter participation compared to past state primaries and runoffs, with a record number of voters relying on absentee balloting and early voting options. Despite record numbers at the polls, these elections saw only a fraction of the statewide turnout expected in November. Accordingly, the August primaries are not a perfect preview of what’s to come: in the general election, greater turnout will much more aggressively test voting infrastructure. Although the ground continues to shift and much may change between now and November, the August state competitions provide important lessons for administering the general election.
Read the MemoLast update: August 25, 2020