Editorial: Before 2024, we had better fix the election law failings we saw last year | The Washington Post
Now that President Biden is in the Oval Office, it may be tempting to forget the election-law failings we saw in 2020. That would be a historic mistake; those weaknesses must be addressed before the next presidential race. Many Republicans, meanwhile, want to take the wrong lessons from 2020, making it harder to vote rather than easier and safer. This, too, would be a tragic error. The needed reckoning should be thoughtful, extensive and ambitious — and it will cost money. The National Task Force on Election Crises, a cross-ideological group of more than 50 experts on elections, security, public health and other relevant areas, released a report in January that offers a good starting point. The task force noted that, despite the lies that former president Donald Trump spun, the 2020 vote itself went remarkably well. Amid a pandemic, the nation smashed turnout records. Though some people faced massive lines, most did not. Voting machines were much more secure than in previous years. This success was in large part due to the nimble response of election officials who had months to prepare for a pandemic election. Expanding vote-by-mail and early-voting options was essential. Experimenting with drop boxes and curbside voting made casting a ballot easier than ever. Stepped-up recruitment of polling workers ensured adequate staffing in case some called in sick. These changes did not imperil election integrity; on the contrary, credible election observers deemed the vote free and fair. An overwhelming lesson of 2020 is to maintain and expand on these shifts.