Free, Fair and Healthy Elections in 2020

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Free, Fair and Healthy Elections in 2020

A 2020 election-focused resource hub for research, analysis and commentary from scholars at FSI.


Election Integrity Partnership seal logo


The EIP is a newly launched coalition of research entities whose objective is to detect and mitigate the impact of attempts to prevent or deter people from voting or to delegitimize election results.
Healthy Elections Project


The Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project was developed to ensure that the 2020 election can proceed with integrity, safety, and equal access.

Upcoming Events

The Crisis of American Democracy

Thursday, September 24, 2020, 11:30am - 12:30pm

Public Policy and the 2020 Elections

Thursday, October 8, 2020, 11:30am - 12:30pm

The Historic 2020 Elections

Thursday, November 5, 2020, 11:30am - 12:30pm
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Our Democracy Depends on a Safe Election in November

On the World Class Podcast with host Michael McFaul, guests Larry Diamond and Nathaniel Persily discuss what needs to be done to ensure a healthy election in November.

Pre-Election Video Roll

Nate Persily seminar

Administering an Election During a Pandemic with Nate Persily

Co-director of the Cyber Policy Center Nathaniel Persily discusses the 2020 election and the ways the nation is preparing to vote in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fighting Election-Related Disinformation with the Election Integrity Partnership

Fighting Election-Related Disinformation with the Election Integrity Partnership

Speakers from the newly formed Election Integrity Partnership discuss how the partnership aims to tackle electoral disinformation in real time.

Social Media and Democracy - Daphne Keller

Social Media and Democracy Symposium

Authors of the new book "Social Media and Democracy" discuss how new online media are impacting democratic information ecosystems.

Blog Series: Preserving American Democracy


Preserving American Democracy: The Imperative of a Free and Fair Presidential Election in November

Despite obstacles, a free and fair presidential election in November 2020 is still possible, write Michael McFaul and Bronte Kass.
Election map

Preserving American Democracy: Lessons from Primary Elections in August for Election Day in November

Many state officials demonstrated a passion and creativity for creating the necessary conditions for Americans to vote in August. But additional reforms are required for November, write Michael McFaul and Bronte Kass.

FSI Analysis and Commentary

Women in front of White House

What Protests For Racial Justice Tell Us About U.S. Democracy

American democracy is facing its most serious challenge in decades, says Larry Diamond on the World Class Podcast. But there are signs of hope.
image of front cover of securing american elections

'Securing American Elections' Report Offers a Policy Road Map

A white paper by FSI scholars urges policymakers, in both government and the private sector, to act immediately in order to protect the integrity and independence of U.S. elections, particularly in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.
hand holding a phone

Recommendations to Safeguard Democratic Elections Around the World

A recent report by FSI scholars takes an in-depth look at the challenges faced by democracy today and makes a number of recommendations as to how best to tackle the threats posed by social media to free and fair elections.

Scholar-Authored Articles

With Six Weeks to the Election, Six Ways to Protect It — Nathaniel Persily (The New York Times, 9/20/20).

‘It’s 8 P.M. on Election Day.’ Experts Share Their Nightmare Scenarios — Renée DiResta, Christopher Painter, and Alex Stamos (The New York Times, 9/9/20).

The Terrifying Inadequacy of American Election Law — Larry Diamond (The Atlantic, 9/8/20).

How Might the Sleeper Agents From “The Americans” Interfere in the Election? — Herbert Lin (Lawfare, 8/4/20).

Ensuring Electoral Integrity — Stephen Stedman (The American Interest, 7/10/20). 

The Looming Threat to Voting in Person — Nathaniel Persily (The Atlantic, 6/27/20).

The Danger of Electoral Violence in the United States — Stephen Stedman (The American Interest, 6/19/20).

It’s Not Too Late to Save the 2020 Election — Nathaniel Persily (The Wall Street Journal, 6/12/20).

Spies, Lies, and Algorithms — Amy Zegart (Foreign Affairs, 5/15/20). 

We Need to Start Preparing for the November Election Now — Michael McFaul (The Washington Post, 4/15/20).

Scholars in the Media

How the Supreme Court Could Affect Voting Rules on Election Day  — Nathaniel Persily (The New York Times, 9/21/20). 

Voting 2020: What to Know About Mail-In Ballots, Ovals and Election Night Results — Nathaniel Persily (The Buffalo News, 9/21/20).

In the Most Litigated Election Ever, Early Democratic Wins but Few Clear Signals — Nathaniel Persily (The New York Times, 9/18/20). 

Judge Orders Expanded Mail-In Voting in Louisiana for Presidential Election — Nathaniel Persily (FOX 8, 9/16/20).

Hackers Can’t Pick the Next President, Just Erode Trust in the Vote, Experts Say — Nathaniel Persily (, 9/16/20).

With Anxiety over Voting by Mail, We Need a New Strategy — Nathaniel Persily (The Washington Post, 9/14/20).

What To Expect When You’re Electing — Renée DiResta (WNYC, 9/11/20).

Stanford Scholars Find No Partisan Advantage of Mail-in, Absentee Voting but Other Challenges Lie Ahead — Nathaniel Persily (Stanford News, 9/9/20).

Facebook is Paying People to Stop Using it and Instagram Until the U.S. Election — Alex Stamos (Gizmodo, 9/8/20). 

Mail-In Voting has No Partisan Advantage, Stanford Researchers Say — Nathaniel Persily (Palo Alto Weekly, 9/8/20).

Facebook Won’t Stop Facebook from Spreading Lies about the Election — Alex Stamos (Vox, 9/3/20). 

What Do the Doomsday Clock and the Presidential Election Have in Common? — Herbert Lin (WNPR, 8/21/20).

Facebook Braces Itself for Trump to Cast Doubt on Election Results — Alex Stamos (The New York Times, 8/21/20).

Biden Supporters More Likely Than Trump’s to Vote by Mail, Poll Shows — Nathaniel Persily (The Wall Street Journal, 8/17/20).

Navigating 2020's Turbulent Election Season — Nathaniel Persily (KCBS Radio, 8/6/20). 

The Slow-Motion 2020 Election Disaster States are Scrambling to Prevent, Explained — Nathaniel Persily (Vox, 7/31/20).

The U.S. Election is in 100 Days: What are the Biggest Threats to It? — Nathaniel Persily (The Guardian, 7/26/20).

Media Contact: Ari Chasnoff, Associate Director for Communications