Nationwide changes needed to make election coronavirus-ready could cost $2 billion: study

Expenses for the federal governing administration to make it safe for voters to participate in the basic election could add up to $2 billion, need to the coronavirus nonetheless be a problem in November, a new analyze by an impartial imagine tank reveals.

The research, which was carried out by the Brennan Middle for Justice, outlines many sweeping nationwide modifications to the latest voting procedure this kind of as universal mail-in voting, much easier on-line voter registration and additional.

According to study, the system of mailing and obtaining ballots would cost in between $413 million and $593 million alone. For example, fees would be incurred in quite a few states from ballot box design — a location in which voters could go and drop off their mail-in ballots. At the very least 4 states — California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington — previously have drop-off ballot bins. 

A further large chunk of the cost — roughly $270 million — would go to maintaining and bolstering in-particular person polling places.

“Irrespective of Covid-19, persons without having Net and mail obtain, those who want language assistance to vote, and men and women with disabilities who rely on voting devices to solid a personal and unbiased ballot could be disenfranchised if polling locations are closed,” the imagine tank claimed in its report.

General public education regarding the virus and the new improvements could value another $250 million.

“Condition officials, advocates, and citizens should acquire ways to reassure citizens that voting will be protected and to guard in opposition to the use of Covid-19 to suppress voters or normally manipulate the election,” the team mentioned.

There are more than 11,000 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and many states have postponed their major elections right up until June. Ohio, which was meant to vote on Tuesday, was a single of these states.

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