Kevin Johnson and Yuval Levin on election must-do's...

But there are two kinds of steps that responsible leaders could take now to at least contain the danger without falling into partisan combat. The first is simply to speak to the problem in public. Elected officials and candidates — as well as journalists, commentators, scholars and others — should talk frankly about the challenges of running an election during a public health crisis, ...

prepare the public for the possibility that we will not have results on election night, and that this does not mean that the results will be tainted when we do get them. Election officials must be given the time they need to count every vote.

Second, Congress can take a simple step to provide those officials with that time, particularly when it comes to the presidential election. Election Day, Nov. 3, should not be changed.

But electing our president involves a series of steps following that day, which take place on a schedule established by law, not by the Constitution, and which Congress can adjust for this year’s special circumstances.

We can hope that the election is not too close, one way or another, or that the logistics all run smoothly. But hope is not a strategy, and 2020 has not been a great year for just assuming the best.


It would be a disaster if the outcome of the presidential election turned on an incomplete recount in a state struggling with unprecedented public health and administrative challenges under a deadline.

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