Editorials: Amid coronavirus, give clerks support to conduct the November election | Tina Barton, Kammi Foote and Paddy McGuire/Detroit Free Press
COVID-19 comes 102 years after the Spanish Flu epidemic that coincided with 1918 midterm elections, during Woodrow Wilson’s second term as president. Technology and the political climate have changed drastically in the last century, but protective measures such as quarantines, are eerily similar to today. In 1918, our country managed to hold its November election during a pandemic, suspending quarantines to do so, but it wasn’t without great cost to the health and safety of our nation. We election officials have confidence that we can hold the November 2020 presidential election if this pandemic continues, but we are going to need to act quickly, and without partisanship, if we are going to be successful in that endeavor. Today, more than ever before, local and state election officials across this country have the capacity to provide safe and transparent elections to all voters. We are calling on Congress and States to act now to provide the funding and local autonomy needed to protect the sanctity of this November’s election.