America’s 2020 election faces unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vote-by-mail needs to be vastly expanded before the election, and new technologies that make it easier to vote need to be implemented across the country. Meanwhile, the pandemic is complicating the ability of independent election monitors to do their job while also exacerbating the shortcomings of our existing election infrastructure. The 2020 elections will require us to grapple with both problems during a global health crisis.
This event will place these challenges front and center to understand how to protect against voter suppression efforts and lower barriers to voting by traditionally marginalized communities. How can technologies and mail-in voting expand ballot access while ensuring legitimacy, inclusivity and the transparency of elections? How do we protect the democratic goals of an empowered electorate, recognizing that people will continue to show up to vote in person, while also preserving public health?
Tiana Epps-Johnson, Executive Director of the Center for Tech and Civic Life, Kate Gage, Founding Partner of the Movement Cooperative, and Amber McReynolds CEO of the National Vote At Home Institute and Coalition will lead this discussion, which will be moderated by Columbia World Projects Fellow Hollie Russon Gilman. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A.