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And now for the Back Story on …
How the pandemic is changing the U.S. election
Drive-through polling places. Candidates meeting voters on video chats. Canvassers in masks and gloves knocking on doors and then scurrying six feet back. Just days before the Nov. 3 election, our reporters looked at how the coronavirus has upended the election season at nearly every turn.
The pandemic has emerged as the dominant issue among candidates up and down the ballot, scrambled American campaign traditions and complicated the way votes are cast. The collision of an election and a pandemic has thrown campaigns and early voting efforts into a last-minute frenzy.
“All we’re missing is the asteroid landing with flesh-eating zombies, and our year will be complete,” said Paul Lux, the supervisor of elections in Okaloosa County, Fla., and one of the nearly nine million Americans who have contracted the virus.
Voters who had never considered mailing their ballots are doing so for the first time rather than braving their usual indoor polling places. And some in the nation’s army of Election Day workers are weighing what levels of protective equipment to wear — if they go to the polls again this year at all.
The share of cases reported in Republican counties has grown every month, from 20 percent in March to 56 percent now, a Times analysis of virus data shows. Much of it is occurring in counties that represent President Trump’s base within battleground states that could decide the election.
That’s it for this briefing. See you on Friday.
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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