How can we protect voting rights during a pandemic?


In such a consequential election year, voter suppression is more rampant than ever. Organizations like Fair Fight 2020 and the ACLU are doing everything they can to fight the lawmakers and other players working to suppress votes, especially those cast by minorities. We just witnessed voter suppression on a massive level in Wisconsin where the legislature refused to push back the election despite COVID-19, rendering voting a life-risking activity. In November, it’s likely that it will still be extremely dangerous to vote in person yet the President and some members of congress refuse to pass crucial legislation to ensure all states have mail in voting.  

Wisconsin residents wait in line to vote.

There are two players in this game.  Player one is a voting rights group attempting to ensure as many eligible voters are able to safely vote on election day as possible. Player two is a group of lawmakers in the majority party attempting to suppress the vote of the other party. This game is focused on November 3, 2020, when it is very likely it will still be unsafe to go to the polls. Below are the strategies and my game with payoffs.

Player one can A) discourage voters from going to the polls or B) lobby lawmakers to pass legislation to ensure safe voting.

Player two can A) encourage their base to go to the polls, B) pass legislation that would prevent measures to be taken to ensure safe voting, or C) do both.

Player ones’s payoffs take into account the safety of the voters and the votes cast. The safety is the most important with more safe votes cast leading to a better outcome.

Player two’s payoffs take into account electoral advantages and how they are viewed by voters. A higher electoral advantage and a more favorable image lead to higher payoffs.

Using movement diagrams I found the solution to be at P1: B, P2: B

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