The 2020 Presidential Election

May 14th, 2020 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Facts, Not Disinformation

There is a lot of chatter on social information sites about whether or not the Presidential Election will be held this fall (November 3, 2020). Some of the chatter has even made the main-line news. So let’s see if we can set this matter straight.

Federal law requires the election day for president is the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November. The Constitution Center says this about federal presidential elections: “In general, a combination of state or congressional actions (italics added) could delay elections but not postpone the selection of a president and vice president. The only hard deadline spelled out in the Constitution is the end of a president’s term and a vice president’s term on January 20 of the year following a general election.”

This clearly means no one, including the president, can postpone the election. And no matter what, the end of a president’s and vice-president’s terms is January 20 of the year following a general election.

Voting Safely

So what has to happen in order for all of us to vote safely in the midst of a pandemic? AARP Bulletin has some viable suggestions:

  • Vote by mail. Some states already permit mail-in ballots; others are seriously considering it. Five states (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington) already vote only by mail. Many states offer the option.
  • Absentee balloting may be made easier. Some rules regarding eligibility may be relaxed this year.
  • Early voting might be expanded. At this time, forty states plan to offer early voting several weeks prior to election day.

It is likely social distancing will mean polling booths will be farther apart this November. Health and safety precautions will likely be taken, including fewer senior citizens hired as poll workers, as well.

Voting rights need to be maintained to ensure our democracy continues to function for each and every citizen.

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