With one week remaining until Election Day, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are heading to key battleground states for their final pushes.
Trump held afternoon events in Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as a Nebraska rally at 8:30 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, Biden visited Georgia, a traditionally Republican stronghold that Democrats are hoping they can flip.
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Three Florida counties limit early voting hours for Hurricane Zeta
Three counties in Florida's panhandle limited early voting hours on Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Zeta hitting the area.
Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties backed Trump in 2016 and are solid Republican areas. Trump held a rally in Escambia County after the debate last week.
Escambia and Santa Rosa counties will close voting at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday and reopen at 11 a.m. on Thursday, to assess any potential damage from the storm. Okaloosa County will close polling locations two hours early on Wednesday and reopen at 9 a.m. Thursday. Florida early voting hours regularly run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Hurricane Zeta is set to make landfall Wednesday afternoon and is the eighth storm to hit the Gulf Coast this hurricane season.
Despite universal mail ballots, study finds few dead people vote in Washington state
A study by Stanford University's Democracy & Polarization Lab found that over the course of a 7-year period, "dead people's ballots are almost never voted fraudulently and subsequently counted as valid votes in the state of Washington."
Trump has insisted that efforts in other states to send ballots to all registered voters to encourage mail-in voting would lead to rampant fraud, including insisting that ballots would be sent to dead people and others would vote on their behalf. His campaign has fought universal mailing efforts in other states.
The study released Tuesday found that between 2011 and 2018, there were ballots representing 14 dead people cast out of 4.5 million voters in the state. They said that this represented only 0.0003 percent of voters.
"Even these few cases may reflect two individuals with the same name and birth date, or clerical errors, rather than fraud," the study found.
Beto O'Rourke tries to bring the election heat on chilly Texas day
SAN ANTONIO — Democrat Beto O'Rourke braved a cold snap in Texas earlier Tuesday to fire up canvassers in the red state where the presidential race is tightening.
A masked O'Rourke gave a pep talk from beneath a city park pavilion to Texas Organizing Project canvassers who listened from their cars. He then went door-to-door with the canvassers in north San Antonio as early voting in state ends Friday.
O'Rourke, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, is trying to improve the turnout in the state beyond what it saw in 2018, when he was lost a close race against Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and helped drive up turnout.
"Texas will decide the outcome of the 2020 election," said O'Rourke, who drove 551 miles from El Paso to San Antonio for the canvassing. He raved about Texas' early voter turnout which has broken records.
His canvassing in Texas comes after NBC News changed its rating of Texas from leans Republican to Toss Up.
Trump stumps in Nebraska, pleads: 'Get the heck out and vote'
President Trump stumped in Omaha, Nebraska, on Tuesday, urging his supporters there to vote while slamming his Democratic rival with familiar attacks regarding the economy and the coronavirus pandemic.
"I am standing here, freezing — I ask you one little favor," Trump told the crowd. "Get the heck out and vote."
Trump is trailing in national polls but is ahead in Nebraska. At the rally, he slammed Biden for the size of his rallies and also hit President Obama — who held an event today for his former vice president where he bashed the president — for rally crowd size. Biden's campaign has used drive-ins to avoid large maskless crowds unlike the president.
“They are trying to figure out like if Trump is getting these crowds and Biden is getting like 12 people, you know the circles. He fills in the circles," Trump said. He went on to claim that the coronavirus is not the reason for small numbers of people attending Biden’s in-person events. "That's not the reason, okay? That's not the reason. It's a hell of an excuse but it's not the reason” Trump said.
Trump is spending time in the final stretch of the campaign in Nebraska because if the Electoral College is down to a single vote to the winning 270, unlike most states, which tend to use a winner-takes-all system, Nebraska divides their Electoral College votes. It gives two to the winner of the statewide vote and one to the winner of each congressional district. Maine, where Trump has also spent time in the final days, has the same system.
Trump to suburban women: 'We’re getting your husbands back to work'
President Trump has a new message to suburban women as he campaigns in Michigan: “We’re getting your husbands back to work.”
Trump, who polls show has diminishing support from suburban women, also criticized the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Trump told the women in the crowd of thousands in Lansing: “We’re getting your husbands back to work, and everybody wants it and the cure can never be worse than the problem itself.”
The comments came as part of criticism of the state’s governor, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer. The crowd also chanted, “Lock her up!”
Trump took credit for the actions of federal law enforcement in disrupting an alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer, while seemingly raising questions about the seriousness of the threat.
“It was our people that helped her out with her problem,” Trump says. “And we’ll have to see if it’s a problem. Right? People are entitled to say, ‘Maybe it was a problem, maybe it wasn’t.’”
Texas Supreme Court upholds governor's order for one ballot drop-off site per county
The Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Gov. Greg Abbott's order limiting counties to one drop-off site for absentee ballots, dealing a blow to Democrats and voting rights groups that won a temporary injunction blocking the mandate.
“The Governor’s October Proclamation provides Texas voters more ways to vote in the November 3 election than does the Election Code. It does not disenfranchise anyone,” the court said in its ruling.
“The plaintiffs have not established a probable right to an injunction blocking the October Proclamation. As a result, they were not entitled to a temporary injunction, and the trial court erred in granting that relief. The judgment of the court of appeals is reversed, and the temporary injunction issued by the trial court is dissolved.”
Democrats and voting rights groups said Abbott's Oct. 1 order, which allowed for only one absentee ballot drop off location for every county regardless of its size, amounted to voter suppression because the order would affect the state’s largest cities, such as Houston, some of which are Democratic strongholds.
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Trump campaign website hacked
President Trump's campaign website appeared to fall victim to hackers on Tuesday night.
"This site was seized," read a message that was briefly posted on a page at donaldjtrump.com. The "world has had enough of the fake news spreaded daily" by the president, the message continued.
The message said it had information that "discredits" the president and his family, and demanded cryptocurrency to either release or withhold the information.
The site then appeared to go offline soon after, and was restored minus the hacked message a short time later.
A spokesman for the Trump campaign, Tim Murtaugh, said the “website was defaced and we are working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the source of the attack. There was no exposure to sensitive data because none of it is actually stored on the site. The website has been restored.”
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How to track your ballot after mail-in voting
Judge stops Election Day gun ban near Michigan polling sites
A judge on Tuesday blocked a ban on the open display of guns near Michigan polling places on Election Day, agreeing with critics who said a Democratic secretary of state failed to follow state law with her sudden order.
Gun-rights groups accused Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson of exceeding her authority in banning people from openly carrying guns within 100 feet of voting sites. She acted after authorities recently busted up an alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
But Benson failed to go through a formal rule-making process required under state law, Judge Christopher Murray said.
Compliance “is no mere procedural nicety,” Murray said. “Instead, our appellate courts have repeatedly emphasized the importance of the democratic principles embodied in the (law), which requires notice and an opportunity to be heard on the subject under consideration.”
South Carolina cannot reject ballots due to mismatched signatures, judge rules
A federal judge in South Carolina ruled Tuesday that local election boards cannot reject voters’ absentee ballots on the basis of mismatched signatures and must review and reprocess previously rejected ballots for the upcoming general election.
The temporary injunction comes after a recent survey by the South Carolina State Election Commission discovered a handful of county election boards were conducting signature matching on ballots, though the state has no laws, rules or regulations on the practice.
U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel of Charleston wrote Tuesday that counties that wish to continue matching signatures on absentee ballots must seek approval of the court first.
Voter outreach groups filed the lawsuit earlier this month, as the significant number of first-time absentee voters this election has brought due process issues to the forefront, said Christe McCoy-Lawrence, co-president of the League of Women Voters’ South Carolina chapter. The suit sought a permanent procedure for elections officials to notify voters and allow them to fix ballots with signature issues.
“This decision is a significant win for voter confidence in a year when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended our elections with rule changes, delays and massive surges in mail voting,” McCoy-Lawrence said in a statement. “This ruling erases the uncertainty voters might feel about whether their absentee ballot signature may not exactly match a previous one on record.”