October 30, 2020

Need to know: COVID-19

For your consideration

In a normal election year, we would know the results of the election by the time this email is sent out next week. But this year is not normal. So when will we know?

These two articles, from the New York Times and the Pew Research Center, are the best resources I’ve found that explain why it’s so hard to know when we will know the election results this year. Here are some key takeaways.

  • Only eight states expect to have 98% of results reported by noon on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
  • 22 states (including North Carolina) and D.C. allow postmarked ballots to arrive after Election Day.
  • 33 states (including North Carolina) allow mail-in ballots to be processed (but not always counted) before Election Day. Six states, including Pennsylvania, do not allow mail-in ballots to be processed before Election Day.

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  • Pay attention to which results are announced first. Because Democrats are more likely to vote early and by mail and Republicans are more likely to vote on Election Day, reports of who is leading will be skewed if one group is reported before another.
  • In 32 states (including North Carolina) and D.C., members of the Electoral College must back the winner of the statewide popular vote (meaning they cannot be “faithless electors”).

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  • States have until Dec. 8 to resolve any “controversy or contest” regarding appointment of their slate of electors.
  • Electors will formally cast their votes for president and vice president on Dec. 14.

For more on what happens after the polls close, see the article from Pew Research Center. For a detailed look at when each state expects to report results and the type of ballots that will be reported first (mail-in versus in-person), see the article from the New York Times.

In the weeds

We’ve heard many reports of women dropping out of the labor force during the pandemic, but it’s difficult to understand the magnitude of the problem. A few new articles shed light on this issue.

The National Women’s Law Center published a fact sheet examining women in the workforce since the pandemic started. Since February 2020, women have lost nearly 5.8 million net jobs, which is about 54% of the overall net job loss. When you break it down, women of color, younger women, and women with disabilities have higher rates of unemployment than women overall.

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A recent article in The Upshot from the New York Times attempts to quantify how many mothers have left the workforce because of school closings. Since February 2020, 1.2 million parents with school-age children have left the workforce, but that number is disproportionately women.

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To try to understand the role of school closings in women leaving the labor force, the researcher compares labor force participation rate changes between childless women and mothers across states with varying levels of school closures. He finds that a 10% rise in the school closing rate in September was associated with lower summer labor force growth for mothers than for childless women to the tune of 1.6 million fewer mothers in the labor force in September.

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  • NC Part of Alliance to Spur Wind Energy

    Coastal Review Online | 10/29/2020

  • How career and technical education shuts out Black and Latino students from high-paying professions

    The Hechinger Report | 10/22/2020

  • Hospital Bills for Uninsured COVID Patients Are Covered, but No One Tells Them

    Kaiser Health News | 10/29/2020

  • Daycares in Finland Built a 'Forest Floor', And It Changed Children's Immune Systems

    Science Alert | 10/22/2020

  • Why food allergies are on the rise

    BBC | 10/25/2020

  • How our Google searches have changed in this presidential election

    Vox | 10/27/2020

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