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An Election in a Pandemic

Americans are grappling with a pandemic amid an election year. How will it influence the outcome?

This year's election cycle looks highly unfamiliar. Citizens are headed to the polls with masks to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fears of votes not being counted have become increasingly omnipresent, as the country see’s a sharp increase in votes cast by mail.

This unusual election cycle is unfolding in Minneapolis as we speak. In May, Mayor Jacob Frey signed legislation requiring use of masks when inside places of public accommodation – and this has made polling places look highly unusual.

There has also been an unprecedented amount of mail in ballots being sent – and city officials are warning that due to a recent court decision – voters should return ballots ASAP at in person drop of location.

COVID-19 will not only change how Minneapolis residents vote – it will also influence who they vote for.

Minneapolis, like many U.S cities, has been battered by the pandemic.

According to city data, there have been 13,844 total cases, 1,338 total hospitalizations and 262 dead from COVID-19.

The city’s Black residents have been disproportionately affected – as they make up only 19% of the city’s population but are 31% of confirmed cases.

Data from Pew Research Center shows that Black Americans tend to vote Democrat nationwide.

Data from the Star Tribune, MPR News and KARE 11 finds that as of late May, most Minnesotans support stay at home restrictions.

Recent data from the Pew Research Center shows that Minnesotans have increased mask wearing substantially between June and August.

This may spell trouble for President Trump, who has criticized lockdowns and criticizes mask wearing.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has taken a different approach that is more in line with public health advice and reflects public opinion in the state of 10,000 lakes. This may reward him at the ballot box.

According to Mr. Biden’s website, he plans to combat COVID-19 by ensuring the availability of free testing and eliminating cost barriers for prevention of and care for COVID-19.

Mr. Biden has also vowed to immediately restore the White House National Security Council Directorate for global health security and biodefense.


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