States are rushing to get their mail voting infrastructure up to task as they anticipate a surge in absentee ballots in November's general election in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reports.
"We're going to see a substantial switch to mail voting whether or not anybody prepares for it," said Wendy Weiser, the vice president for democracy at the Brennan Center. "The question is, will the system be prepared to accommodate that, or will it be a real mess?"
Wisconsin recently showed what could happen if states aren't prepared — some staff reportedly worked 100 hour weeks trying to fill all the ballot requests for its controversiial April election, and there were reports that the state's system crashed under the workload, per Politico.
Two states that are at greatest risk of experiencing similar failures are also two of the most crucial states in the election, Michigan and Pennsylvania, said Amber McReynolds, CEO of the nonprofit Vote at Home Institute. The two swing states only recently enacted no-excuse absentee voting, so their new system will likely be more prone to error, McReynolds said. Practice, after all, makes perfect, but it remains to be seen if states will have everything running smoothly in time. Read more at Politico.