Navigating Elections and Civic Life

The coronavirus has presented new challenges for some of the most important pillars of democracy—including voting. States governments are quickly adapting to ensure that elections can proceed in a manner safe for both voters and poll workers. All levels of government and civil society are grappling with how to stay connected and engaged in a time when traditional physical meeting options no longer exist.

Elections in a Pandemic: The Crisis Response Should Be Permanent Policy

The best way to keep people safe during this election season is also the best way to maximize participation: give people the widest possible range of opportunities to register and to vote, advocates Ash Center Senior Fellow Miles Rapoport.

Vote and Die: Covering Voter Suppression during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Journalists must cut through rampant disinformation around the pandemic to robustly report on efforts to suppress voting and delegitimize election results says the Nieman Foundation.

The Brennan Center’s Responding to the Coronavirus Crisis Project

The disease will test our democracy. Here are the resources and expert analysis to help ensure it doesn’t undermine it.

Early Voting and Mail Voting: Overview & Issues for Congress

A brief from the Congressional Research Service about sending voters ballots by mail (mail voting) and designating a pre-Election Day period when voters can receive and cast a ballot in person (early voting).

How to Vote During a Pandemic

Foreign Affairs provides a primer on what resources states will need to ensure that U.S. elections may continue to be held.

How to Protect the 2020 Vote from the Coronavirus

The Brennan Center’s plan to ensure that the 2020 election is free, fair, accessible, and secure.

Estimated Costs of Covid-19 Election Resiliency Measures

The Brennan Center argues that proper planning can ensure that the pandemic does not prevent a free and fair election. To be effective, funding is urgently needed.

The Coronavirus Crisis Response Should Point the Way to Long-Term Voting Reform

As election officials, legislatures, and organizations scramble to make plans for the November election, their activity should be a roadmap to a process of reform that has already been moving in that same direction writes Miles Rapoport, Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy at the Ash Center and former Secretary of the State for Connecticut.

Civic Health and Social Distancing

Ash Center Fellow Hollie Russon Gilman asks, what will become of civic life during Covid-19?

Voting by Mail Is the Hot New Idea. Is There Time to Make It Work?

The coronavirus has left states rapidly searching for ways to protect democracy’s most sacred institution. The New York Times discusses how feasible it would be to implement vote-by-mail en masse.

Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How.

Ash Center’s Archon Fung discusses a new civic federalism with Politico.

Miles Rapoport on the Challenges Coronavirus Poses to Election Day

As the presidential primary season unfolds, the Ash Center sat down with Miles Rapoport, Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy at the Ash Center and former Secretary of the State for Connecticut, for a conversation about the steps that election officials can take to lessen the risks posed by coronavirus on election day.



A resource center, curated by the Ash Center at Harvard Kennedy School, for public sector practitioners to highlight cases, teaching, policy solutions, and other examples of how governments are responding to the outbreak

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Harvard Ash Center

Research center and think tank at Harvard Kennedy School. Here to talk about democracy, government innovation, and Asia public policy.