National: Voting by mail: Why states will have a hard time setting it up | Amber Phillips /The Washington Post
The safest way to hold an election during the coronavirus pandemic is to not. But canceling elections, especially in a presidential year, isn’t an option. So 15 states have moved their primaries back to the summer, and nearly every state is considering how it can have more people vote in November by mail instead of in person. That means they could either expand absentee balloting while keeping fewer polling places open, or they could mail ballots to all voters. But easier said than done. Only five states have the ability to hold a statewide by-mail election, and it took them years to set it up and work out the kinks. The states considering it now have months, if that, which means they need to decide in the next few weeks whether to push for all-mail elections for November and hope it can be done. Here are the biggest hurdles to having more people vote by mail in November. The equipment that states have to conduct in-person elections won’t work for mail-in elections. The scanners many states have to count ballots in each polling places can’t handle counting ballots en masse from the whole county or state. The kind of scanner that can do that heavy work costs $500,000 to $1 million, said Wendy Underhill, an elections expert with the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.Full Article: Voting by mail: Why states will have a hard time setting it up - The Washington Post.