As coronavirus concerns are increasing rapidly, many people are self-quarantining and cancelling large events. President Trump has limited gatherings across the country over ten people. Although this is in effort to slow the spread of the global pandemic, many do not realize the effects that this will have on the 2020 elections.
So far, five states — Maryland, Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky, and Louisiana — have postponed their presidential primaries until the end of May. However, for the states that are yet to postpone elections, voter turnout will be significantly lower due to panic and anxiety in the lives of all Americans. Florida held its primary election on Tuesday, regardless of the nationwide panic, and voter turnout was reportedly as low as 20 percent, compared to Florida’s typical 60 percent. States are carrying on with primary elections, even though polling locations and facing possibly large crowds in line to vote are major health risks during this pandemic.
Not only does the virus decrease voter turnout, it halts almost all campaigning efforts as a whole. All campaigns, whether they are for presidential or congressional candidates, have stopped certain campaign efforts, such as canvassing, holding fundraisers, rallies and petitioning. Though the more local campaigns do not have an election until the summer or in November, the effects on the campaigns now will affect their success when it is time to vote. The earlier a candidate gains popularity, the bigger chances they have to win. Now is a very crucial time for all campaigns, and with this important of an election, there is a lot on the line.
It is extremely important to practice self-distancing and self-quarantining at this time, and it is also important to be as informed as you possibly can on the latest updates on COVID-19. However, if you find yourself bored at home with nothing to do during quarantine, read up on your current candidates and issues on the ballot. Making an informed and educated decision in upcoming elections is just as important as washing your hands.