The Daily Beast

The Coronavirus Bill Is a Massive Lifeline for Everything. Except Democracy

The sweeping $2 trillion deal that Congress and the White House reached on Wednesday seeks to ward off widespread economic and public health catastrophe caused by the coronavirus outbreak—but it may overlook the unprecedented disruption that it’s already having on American democracy.

As states cancel their spring primary elections to avoid spreading the virus—and questions loom over whether the November elections to decide control of the White House and Congress can happen without significant changes—the latest relief package provides $400 million for states to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, for the 2020 federal election cycle.”

States need those funds to implement vote-by-mail systems and other measures so that voters can still cast their ballots in November no matter the status of the coronavirus emergency. Lawmakers and election security experts widely agree, however, that the sum appropriated by Congress falls far short of what will be needed to guarantee a fair, open, and functional 2020 election process.

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