Pandemic Politics: Covering voting by mail

With Kentucky facing a very encouraged “vote for mail,” this item from the National Press Foundation could well be beneficial to KPA member newspapers. The online briefing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16, at 12 noon Eastern/11 a.m. Central. You can register in the block provided.


In this online briefing, experts will examine the move to vote-by-mail systems, their effect on turnout and the evidence – or lack thereof – that they are prone to fraud.

Oregon residents have been casting their votes from their kitchen tables and mailing them in since the 1990s. In Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado and Hawaii, registered voters automatically get a ballot by mail. Now COVID-19 has prompted other states to experiment with vote-by-mail systems for primaries – and perhaps for the November general election. This act of political participation has become highly politicized. This briefing will help journalists understand the research on vote-by-mail, the status of the legal battles to date, data on voting trends in vote-by-mail states, and how to cover this highly partisan issue.

Join us Tuesday, June 16, at 12 p.m. Eastern




The briefing will be held on Zoom and journalists who register may ask questions by audio or chat. You may also submit questions for panelists in advance by sending them to Alyssa Black at

This program is sponsored by Arnold Ventures. NPF retains sole responsibility for programming and content of the briefings.



Herb Jackson is politics editor for CQ/Roll Call and manages the coverage of voting by mail during the 2020 primaries. @HerbNJDC




Wendy Weiser directs the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law. She has written about how to handle an election during a pandemic and the evidence of fraud in vote-by-mail systems. @WendyRWeiser




Adam Bonica is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. He recently co-authored an examination of how voting by mail increased turnout in Colorado. @adam_bonica

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