SAUL I think it’s going to be interesting to monitor absentee ballot rejection rates. There’s some early data coming out suggesting that some states are rejecting young people and people of color at a higher rate than other voters.
CORASANITI I’m both most worried about and most intent on keeping an eye on all the pending litigation and attempts to challenge how the election will play out in November. We’re getting new decisions daily, but it’s rarely the end of the story.
EPSTEIN Just how many people are going to vote in 2020 is a huge question that will have ramifications for contests up and down the ballot. By all accounts, turnout will be through the roof. We haven’t seen 60 percent of voting-age Americans participate in a presidential election since 1968. Democrats keep saying that if more people vote, they will win. Republicans keep doing whatever they can to make voting harder. This election may show us which theory is the winning one.
SAUL I would also like to watch early voting sites. I’m wondering if we’ll see any more gatherings of Trump supporters like the recent one in Fairfax, Va. And I’ll also be watching to see what the turnout is at early voting locations.
HERNDON I want to see places where Democrats and Republicans work together. There were some real success stories in the primary — Kentucky comes to mind — where bipartisan deals were struck to make voting more accessible. It requires some political risk, and for Republicans it may mean crossing the president.
HEALY What are the best ways for people to vote safely?
CORASANITI If voting by mail, make sure to get your ballot back with enough time — a minimum of seven days before election. If voting in person, try early voting to avoid a line, and if voting on Election Day, wear a mask.
HERNDON I think universal advice is to research early and follow through.
SAUL I personally plan to vote by mail this year, mostly because I think I’ll be busy on Election Day. It’s important to read the mail ballot carefully and follow the instructions. Fill in the ovals or squares. In other words — no check marks or X marks within the ovals or squares. Don’t make stray marks on the ballots. On one uncounted ballot in Georgia, the voter placed hearts by preferred candidates. Don’t make erasures.
Elections officials have done a lot to make polling places safe. They are requiring voters to spread out, placing voting machines farther apart, and supplying hand sanitizer and, in some cases, souvenir one-use pens.