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Illustration: Sara Grillo/Axios

Americans should vote in the 2020 general election by mail if physically going to the polls remains unsafe due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, Ellen Weintraub, commissioner of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), said in a statement on Thursday.

What she's saying: "No one knows what the coronavirus situation will be when America votes this November. The U.S. government has the duty to prepare for the worst. And it can. But only if it acts now."

  • "Voting by mail offers the best path. Making vote-by-mail broadly available will not solve every election-related challenge this year, but it is a necessary and urgent beginning," Weintraub wrote.
  • "No one should have to risk their life — or the lives of their loved ones — to cast their vote."

Where it stands: Seven states have delayed primaries or caucuses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Thursday that the state is rescheduling its 2020 primary to June 2.

The other side: The FEC "has no jurisdiction over the administration of elections, including whether states decide to offer mail-in ballots," Republican FEC chair Caroline Hunter told Axios.

  • "I hope my colleague will cease misleading the American people about the role of the FEC in American elections, particularly during this unprecedented crisis," Hunter said, referring to Weintraub.

Go deeper: Census Bureau halts field operations for 2 weeks

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Ellen Weintraub is the commissioner of the Federal Election Commission, not the chairperson, and Hunter is an FEC chair.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden starts negotiating to raise capital gains tax rate

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden wants to nearly double the capital gains tax paid by wealthy Americans, as first reported yesterday by Bloomberg and confirmed by Axios.

Counterintuitive: Biden's plan is better for private fund managers (hedge, PE, VC, etc.) than what he proposed during the campaign.

Scoop: Caitlyn Jenner makes it official for California governor

Caitlyn Jenner. Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Former Olympic decathlete and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner has filed her initial paperwork to run for governor of California and will officially announce her bid later today, her campaign tells Axios.

The big picture: Jenner, a longtime Republican, is seeking to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election, hoping her celebrity status and name recognition can yield an upset in the nation's most populous state.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
2 hours ago - Sports

New laws, new rules bring big changes to college sports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The college sports landscape could change more in the next six months than it has in the last 50 years, as the NCAA grapples with new competition, new laws and new rules.

How it works... 1. Startup leagues: Investors are flocking to new leagues that aim to compete with the NCAA, evidence of just how much opposition there is to the amateurism model — and how much belief there is in new ones.

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