Ethics & Public Policy Center

Why It’s So Important That America’s General Election Occurs on Time

Published in The Washington Post on March 18, 2020


More and more states are postponing their primary elections because of justified fears that holding them now would endanger their citizens’ health. That’s the laudable and, for now, correct sentiment. But as we look forward to the fall, policymakers have to understand that our democracy’s health is important, too.

Elections are the lifeblood of any democracy. The United States has an enviable and unparalleled record of holding regular national and state elections on time since the Constitution’s ratification in 1787. Localities in dire crisis, such as New York after the 9/11 attacks, have postponed elections, but we have never postponed or canceled a regularly scheduled national election. Even the Great Depression, the Civil War and the outbreak of riots in 1968 did not stop democracy’s march.

Click here to read the rest of this piece at the Washington Post’s website.

Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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