Regardless of the election’s outcome a sizeable proportion of the population will be deeply angered by the result and will cite reasons why the vote was illegitimate (both real, like voter suppression, and imagined, like widespread voter fraud). With the population already at a fever pitch after months of civil unrest, it is almost certain that there will be protests and riots featuring violent clashes. Faith in government will undoubtedly suffer. Soon America’s democracy may be added to COVID-19’s ever-growing death toll.
Sharon Chu explains how cancelling elections in response to the pandemic poses a threat to democracy.
“Postponing elections might just seem like a one-off, genuinely benevolent action, but it could set a terrible precedent and lead to democratic backsliding, especially in places where democracy is already under threat. We must not let this slide.”