The first state primaries and caucuses of the 2020 elections cycle were held at around the same time as a new coronavirus was beginning to spread through the United States. The pandemic did not threaten to derail the Republican presidential nomination process, because Donald Trump faced no realistic challenger. The same was not true on the Democratic side, which began with more than two dozen potential candidates. If the pandemic had hit most severely about a month earlier than it did, the Democratic nomination process might have fallen into disarray. As it happened, Joe Biden had all but sewed up the nomination by the time the pandemic posed serious threats to the voting process. Many other races were on the primary ballots, though, and the experience of election administrators over the spring and summer of 2020 running those primaries became invaluable for developing best practices for the general election in the fall.
Author: Lisa Keen