When natural disasters disrupt the vote

CityLab Daily

In the eye of the storm: In an already challenging election year for the U.S., climate catastrophes present yet another obstacle to voting. For weeks, community activists have been scrambling not only to locate voters displaced by recent hurricanes in the South and wildfires in the West, but also to help them navigate myriad voting challenges.

Evacuees sheltering hundreds of miles from their hometowns have been struggling to vote in person at polling sites — some of which may even be closed because of power outages from storms. And while election officials encourage them to vote absentee, advocates tell me that people affected by the storms may not be getting their mail or don't know how to request their ballots. Displaced residents also face other challenges like not having proper documents in states with voter ID laws, and being purged from voter rolls. Today on CityLab: What Happens to Voting When There's a Natural Disaster

-Linda Poon

More on CityLab

Is My Vote Being Counted? Check the Livestream.
In a season plagued by misinformation about voter fraud, watching ballots be counted in real time could be a salve for your Election Day fears. 
The World's Worst Public Transport System Attempts to Modernize
Incomplete roads in Karachi — the biggest city in Pakistan and the third-largest in the world — show what happens when a megacity becomes a political orphan.
Real Estate Investors Want to Know What Cities Are Doing About Climate Risks
The real estate industry is increasingly looking at how resilient communities are to natural disasters before deciding whether to buy or develop land.

What we're reading

  • In Texas, the polls open for a graveyard shift (New York Times)
  • How extreme gerrymandering paved the way for Republican vote-counting chaos (Rolling Stone)
  • The capital of sprawl gets a radically car-free neighborhood (New York Times)
  • Where is the contact-tracing army we were supposed to get? (Slate)
  • When Trump's Environmental Protection Agency needed a climate scientist, they called on John Christy (Inside Climate News)

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