In order to have an election, a bunch of volunteers—most of them well over the age of 35—get together in a firehouse or a school cafeteria. They then interact with a steady stream of people at close range for a day. These people hand objects to the volunteers (driver licenses, voting ID cards) and are then handed other objects (ballots or forms) in return. They stand within arm’s length of one another. And if the turnout is heavy, the voters stand in a line, waiting as a group.
Maybe this isn’t the Dulles airport petri dish, but it isn’t best-practices, either.
Could you and 30 other people manage voting interactions without engaging in risky behaviors? Sure. But when you scale the number of interactions out to a couple million people—which is roughly how many Democrats voted on Tuesday—there are going to be moments of incidental contact and carelessness.
And if you scale it out to several million more voters—which is the number of people who will have to go to the polls in order to formally lock down the nomination? The entire process is simply daring the coronavirus to propagate.
This would be a risk worth taking if we were talking about a real election with real implications for the future. Our democracy is precious and we should not allow it to be overrun by emergencies.
But that is not what is happening at this moment.