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Democracy Works

135 EpisodesProduced by Penn State McCourtney Institute for Democracy/The Democracy GroupWebsite

Examining what it means to live in a democracy


Free and fair elections during a pandemic

As COVID-19 intensifies throughout the U.S., questions about the future of the remaining primary elections and the general election in November are beginning to surface. The last thing you want are large groups of people standing in line near each other for long periods of time. At a time when seemingly everything in life has gone remote, states are starting to think about what a remote election would look like, too.Our guest this week is one of the people helping them figure it all out.

Charles Stewart III, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at MIT and a contributor to the Election Updates blog, a partnership between MIT and the California University of Technology. He’s spoken with election officials across the country and about how to implement voting by mail and change processes to make in-person voting safe.

Voting by mail does not come without its problems in terms of election security and electoral integrity. We explore those with Charles and discuss how planning now can help mitigate those risks in the fall.

Democracy Works is proud to be part of Lyceum, a new platform dedicated to educational audio. The app includes curated lists of shows around topics like climate change, linguistics, and ancient history, as well as opportunities for listeners to connect with podcast creators and with each other. Visit to learn more.

Additional Information

Election Updates blog

Ted Recommendations to Ensure a Healthy and Trustworthy 2020 Election – a piece Charles c0-wrote for Lawfare

Related Episodes

The promise and peril of early voting

How states are working to keep you vote safe

Episode Credits

This episode was recorded on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. It was engineered by Jenna Spinelle and edited by WPSU’s Chris Kugler, and reviewed by Emily Reddy.

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