2020 Elections & COVID: Voting in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic forced states to quickly adapt how they vote. Americans casted nearly twice as many votes by mail in 2020 as they did in 2016. Some states handled this flood of mail ballots very well, while other were forced to quickly make changes to handle these mail ballots. However, mail-in balloting is not a new thing in the US; 6 states conduct their elections entirely by mail. As more Americans for the first time cast their ballots by mail, this brings up the possibility that other states could soon adopt this voting reform.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “COVID"

Links

“Early and Mail-In Voting Expands for 2020 Election Expands Dramatically Despite Legal Fights”
https://www.wsj.com/articles/early-and-mail-in-voting-for-2020-election-expands-dramatically-despite-legal-fights-11604052000

“Mail-In: Ballots When Every State Starts Counting”
https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/politics/mail-in-voting/

“US Elections 2020: Do Postal Ballots Lead to Voting Fraud?”
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53353404

“What Oregon Can Teach The Rest of the Country About Voting By Mail”
https://www.vox.com/21401321/oregon-vote-by-mail-2020-presidential-election

“Voting By Mail: A Case Study of Success”
https://www.usnews.com/news/elections/articles/2020-10-27/vote-by-mail-a-case-study-for-success

“After 7 years of voting by mail, Colorado voters aren’t taken in by absentee ballot drama”
https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2020/10/01/colorado-mail-in-ballot-absentee-voting-how-state-perfected-system/3572176001/

Assessment

  • Debate: Should states adopt entirely mail-in ballots for future elections?
  • Do you think more people will use mail-in ballots in the future?
  • Poll: Would you personally prefer to vote by mail or in person?  
  • Short Answer: How many people voted using mail-in ballots in 2020?

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Featured Image Credit: Constitutional ConventionCorn Farmer

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