A simple solution to safe pandemic voting: Close streets to let people vote outside

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A new guide helps cities understand how to best use space to maximize distance and speed on Election Day. A record number of people have already voted in the U.S. presidential election—more than 8 million Americans had voted by October 9, more than 50 times above the number that had voted by the same point in 2016. But even as many states push for voting by mail as a safe alternative in a pandemic, it’s possible that in-person voting could surge on Election Day, with many voters questioning mismanagement of the Postal Service or if their ballots will get thrown out on a technicality. If it looks anything like what happened in some state primaries , people might have to wait in line for hours. Read Full Story

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Early voting in 2020 vs. 2016: These maps will show you which states are seeing bigger turnout so far

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As voters aim to avoid Election Day crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic, early voting in 2020 is smashing records. The number of people either mailing in their ballots or voting early in person this year continues to dwarf comparable levels seen four years ago. With five days to go until Election Day 2020, early voter turnout in some states is more than six times what it was in 2016. Read Full Story

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These companies are offering free childcare to working parents, so they can go vote

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Some workers are not only getting PTO to vote, but their companies are hooking them up with free childcare, too. Although Election Day isn’t officially a federal holiday, many employers grant workers paid time off to cast their votes without worrying about missing a day of work. This year is trickier as the pandemic put the kibosh on standard operating procedures. While there’s been a surge in mail-in ballots and in-person polling places open early (in some states for the first time), a small but growing number of companies have instituted even more voter-friendly policies to accommodate employees with children. Read Full Story

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This is the one election chart I’m going to keep refreshing all day

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We know how last night went. Here’s something to keep in mind today. Last night did not prove to be the Election Day landslide for Joe Biden that many analysts had thought possible, or even probable. Democrats voted early, yes. But Donald Trump more than put up a fight, bringing new voters to the polls and wooing Hispanic and Latino voters. Now, as the world awaits the full voting results of states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, the question is: Can Biden still surge and win this thing? Read Full Story

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Can I still register to vote? What to know about same-day registration and states that offer it

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Election Day 2020 is upon us. Did you forget to register? It’s not too late in some states, including critical swing states that could tip the race. As we head into the final weekend before the 2020 election, it’s safe to say that many, many Americans are just waking up to the fact that—for whatever reason—they are not registered to vote. Perhaps they have procrastinated, or have tuned out the news, or have been working extra hard and simply missed the deadline. Read Full Story

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These behavioral science tweaks could boost voter turnout during a pandemic election (even if it’s voting by mail)

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This organization found little ways to help increase midterm voter turnout in 2018. Next up: a 2020 election in a pandemic. Fears of voter suppression are firmly in the minds of many Americans in the lead-up to 2020, especially following the April primary election in Wisconsin when the Supreme Court refused to allow the state to make changes to its voting process, forcing 450,000 people to turn out in person during the height of a global pandemic and preventing an untold number of people from voting at all because they decided to stay home. Still, intentional suppression is just one of many reasons people don’t cast ballots. There are also unintentional barriers, such as complex or outdated registration systems, as well as lack of motivation or know-how on the part of voters. Read Full Story

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Abolish the Electoral College? We could also just work around it

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The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is trying to create a coalition of states with 270 electoral votes to promise to support the presidential candidate who gets the most votes. Colorado voters seem to have confirmed the state would join. Every time there’s a massive divergence between the results of the popular vote and the results in the Electoral College—as there was in 2000 and 2016—our electoral system comes under scrutiny. It may be how the Constitution was written, but critics argue that the system gives people in reliably red or reliably blue states much less sway in the election than the people in swing states. Republican votes in California, for instance, play essentially no role in electing the president. The arguments are effective: Three in five Americans would support ending the Electoral College, switching instead to electing the president via popular vote. The most straightforward way of making that …

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8 last-minute ways to volunteer on Election Day

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Motivate people to vote, work on a local campaign, or . . . pizza! Maybe you’ve already voted, like 92 million other Americans. But if you happen to work at a company that gives Election Day off as a paid holiday, here are some last-minute ways to volunteer to contribute to this incredibly consequential presidential election. Volunteerism is surging now; Mobilize, a left-leaning digital platform that connects people with election-related volunteer opportunities, has had more than a million shift signups over the last four days. “We’ve just seen an incredible explosion of volunteer activity in 2020,” Mobilize CEO and cofounder Alfred Johnson says, adding that it’s about 12 times the activity that the startup saw in the 2018 midterms. “The midterms was, at that time, the largest digital mobilization that had ever happened in American political history.” Read Full Story

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Hate Trump? Buy this merch to remind people to vote

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Michelle Obama’s necklace isn’t the only accessory urging people to vote. Michelle Obama had one clear message in her keynote at the Democratic National Convention this week: Voting matters, in this election more than ever before. She said that with her speech, but she emphasized it with a gold necklace emblazoned with the word “Vote.” Read Full Story

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