Op-Ed: 8 Options for How To Run the 2020 Election


Running an election making it “easy to vote and hard to cheat” sounds straightforward, but quickly devolves into arguments regarding everything from voter ID requirements to mail-in voting.

Before deciding on the best combination of policies, here’s a quick review of some of the options.

Voter ID

Virtually the entire free world requires voters to produce identification when they show up to cast a ballot to stop organized efforts to cast multiple votes using various names.

The only exceptions are in Australia, where it is not necessary because everyone is required to vote and thus anyone showing up using a fake name would likely be caught. The only other exceptions are parts of England and the United States, where liberals argue they are used to suppress votes against Muslims or other minorities.

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Mail-in Voting

Almost 20 years ago, Florida Republicans passed laws to allow voters to vote by mail, and Republicans have won most of the state’s elections that allowed mail-in voting, including President Trump’s victory in 2016 and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2018 win.

Utah Republicans and Democrats in Washington state, Oregon and Colorado moved to switch to mail-in voting.

Do you support expanded mail-in voting?

While most states now allow any voter to request an absentee ballot to vote by mail for any reason, growing concern regarding the safety of voting in person in November has led some secretaries of state to decide to mail voters applications for ballots.

In other cases like Nevada, the state decided to mail an actual ballot to everyone on the voter list.

Early Voting

While mail-in voting has helped most Republicans in Florida and in an upset victory in California’s 25th Congressional District last month, Democrats tend to win early in-person voting.

In many cases, Democrats argue for starting voting earlier, weeks or more than a month before Election Day, to provide more time to bring voters to election places to cast their ballots.

Given that most states already allow absentee ballots for any reason and most are attempting to make it easier for voters concerned about public health to mail in a ballot instead of showing up in person, which of the following options is the closest to how you would like to see the 2020 election run?

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1. Only allow voting on Election Day, require ID.
2. Must bring ID to vote but can vote early in person.
3. Absentee voting allowed only if unable to vote Election Day.
4. Anyone can apply for a mail-in ballot, verify identify.
5. Mail applications to all voters, but voter must verify identify to get mail-in ballot.
6. Mail ballots to entire voter list and no ID required to vote in person.
7. Mail ballots to all voters and cancel in-person voting (Nevada this year).
8. Mandatory voting (Australia method). Anyone who does not vote is fined.

Federalism allows different states to try different approaches.

Which of these comes the closest to the combination you believe is the best realistic way most states could run the 2020 election that would give the greatest possible confidence that the results of the election were legitimate?

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Beyond his faith and his wife and nine children, John's two passions are ranking all 4,000 college basketball players for his site and working for conservative reform solutions as executive director at
ESPN wrote, “When you think about the intersection of advanced sports statistics and political forecasting, you think of Nate Silver. Far fewer people will know the name John Pudner, but college hoops fans probably should.”

Pudner’s projections based on statistical analysis and real-life experience resulted in him correctly projecting wide-ranging events such as Donald Trump winning 300+ electoral votes while losing the popular vote two months before the election, to working with NBA teams to project unexpected stars like Jimmy Butler who scouts did not expect to even make the league.

Professionally, he ran faith-based turnout for Bush 2000 in 16 states. He won a majority conservative editorial board for the school paper when he attended Marquette University with Scott Walker. John saw Republican takeovers in the three other states in which he lived and ran campaigns -- Virginia, Georgia and then Alabama.

Beyond his faith and his wife and nine children, John's two passions are ranking all 4,000 college basketball players for his site and working for conservative reform solutions as executive director at