In the past week, elections officials have been swapping advice on what it would take: enormous orders of printed ballots and envelopes, high-speed scanners capable of counting the returns and in some cases constitutional amendments to lift restrictions on who may vote by mail — and hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for it all.“The main thing we’ve discussed is how difficult it would be to go to vote-by-mail in a state where so few people do it,” said Patrick Gannon, spokesman for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, noting that only about 4 percent of voters in his state cast ballots by mail in the 2016 presidential contest. “It’s not something that you can turn around overnight.”That has left voting advocates and political scientists sounding the alarm that states need immediate help from the federal government — or the prospect of a fair election in November is at risk.This week’s chaotic primaries previewed what could come: Ohio canceled voting hours before voting was set to begin, the Phoenix area shuttered a third of its voting places, hundreds of scared poll workers called in sick in Florida and voters showed up to closed polls in Illinois.On Friday, Indiana

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