The coronavirus emergency threatens to become a constitutional crisis. Several states have rescheduled primaries and other elections, amid warnings that we must act quickly to enact a national vote by mail system in case the pandemic continues toward November’s presidential election.

It’s an urgent moment. But the problems within our system have also been exacerbated by a patchwork of state-by-state election laws that create wildly disparate access to the ballot box and to voter registration. Just as dangerously, many leaders and state governments have politicized voting rights in such a way that may make it more difficult for leaders to quickly resolve important issues around this fall’s election in a nonpartisan manner.

We will need to act resolutely to ensure a fair and free

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