What You Should Know

2020 will be remembered as a year when Americans faced many challenges: The COVID-19 pandemic threatened our health and our economy. Schools closed; our social interactions changed. Uncertainty gripped the country.

2020 is also an election year. Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will vote for local, state and federal offices, as well as various ballot initiatives and referenda. States are experimenting with changes to election laws and processes in order to keep voters safe and protect public health.

Voting is a fundamental right of all Americans over the age of 18. But voting procedures must always take seriously the need to protect against voter fraud. Illegal ballots effectively cancel out the votes of legitimate voters. We need to balance the need to make voting accessible with the need to protect the integrity of the ballot. This is true for changes related to COVID-19, as well as for changes that preceded the pandemic..

All Americans want fair and free elections with results that we can trust. This is a critical component of our system of government.

In this policy focus, IWF will clarify some existing misperceptions about American elections in general, and about voting during this exceptional year. It is imperative that we count every legitimate ballot and honor the results—whatever they may be.