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Trump, Biden compete in Midwest battlegrounds

Get the latest presidential election news and campaign updates.
Image: President Donald Trump and Joe Biden on a background of concentric circles made up of blue and red stars.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are competing for voters in crucial Midwest swing states.

Both candidates were in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Trump also visited Michigan and Biden made a stop in Iowa.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading election news for Saturday, October 31, 2020.

Stories we're following today:

—Latest polls from battleground states and more

—Plan your vote here

—The road to 270: How Biden or Trump could win

Nevada judge rejects Trump lawsuit to stop mail-ballot counting in largest county

A district court judge in Nevada on Monday rejected a Republican lawsuit seeking to stop the count of early votes of mail-in ballots in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas. 

Judge James E. Wilson Jr., said in his ruling that the state Republican Party and the Trump's campaign had no standing to bring the case. Nevada is a key battleground state and Clark County is heavily Democratic. 

Republicans filed the lawsuit late last month and alleged that election observers were not able to view the ballot processing and that it's impossible to check signatures in the state’s biggest county. They argued that the software that checks the authenticity of signatures had a "low tolerance" and would therefore lead to most ballots being accepted. 

The judge, however, indicated in his ruling Monday that election officials did nothing to stop members of the general public from observing the counting of ballots. 

"The president's deliberate attempts to undermine Nevada's elections have failed yet again," Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford said in a statement Monday. "Today's ruling makes clear that there is a proper procedure to observe an election that even the president must follow, and it's most certainly a victory for the constitutional rights of all Nevadans."

Trump to spend election night at the White House, McEnany says

Trump will be spending election night at the White House, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday.

"Yes, we will be together. We'll be there at the White House in D.C.," McEnany said on Fox News Monday morning. 

Trump's campaign began planning an election-night event at the White House after he delivered his convention acceptance speech there and felt the it was a success, sources familiar with the details told NBC News at the time

Democrats criticized Trump for using the White House as a backdrop of a purely partisan event, a move he defended by saying logistically it was easier. 

McEnany didn't offer any additional details about where exactly they would be at the White House and who would be attending the event as the results are tallied. 

Trump's campaign told supporters he would hold an event at his hotel in Washington, D.C., but those plans appear to have been abandoned.

Monmouth poll: Biden leads Trump in Pa. by 5 to 7 points

Biden leads Trump by 5 to 7 percentage points among likely voters in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, according to a new Monmouth University poll released Monday. 

The poll found that under a high-turnout scenario, Biden is ahead of Trump 51 percent to 44 percent. In a low-turnout scenario, however, that apparent margin shrinks slightly to 50 percent to 45 percent. Four percent said that they were undecided or declined to say which candidate they planned to vote for. 

In a similar poll conducted last month, Biden led Trump by 11 percentage points in a high-turnout scenario and 8 points in a low-turnout scenario. 

Among all registered voters in the state, which Trump carried in 2016, the latest poll found that 50 percent said that they support Biden and 45 percent said that they support Trump. 

The poll surveyed 502 registered voters between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1 and it has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

Southern Poverty Law Center: 24 million voters have outstanding mail ballots they haven't returned

Twenty-four million people have an outstanding mail ballot that they haven't returned, the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a new analysis released Monday morning. 

The organization said that potentially hundreds of thousands or even millions of votes may arrive late and won't be counted due to delays through the U.S. Postal Service and a series of court decisions affecting how people can vote. 

Officials began warning voters last week to drop off their ballots in official drop boxes or deliver them in person to the local board of elections because of the USPS delays.

Pelosi tells Democrats not to let up or celebrate 'until every vote is counted'

In a Dear Colleague letter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Democrats to not let up in the last days — and hours — of their campaigns.  

"In these last days, we must not waste any time, underutilize any resource, or have any regrets that we could have done more to win," she said in the letter. 

"We all agreed that we must be calm, confident, and patient — and not be celebrating until every vote is counted," she wrote. "As a Californian, I am especially concerned that we do not declare victory before the polls close in the West. That could harm Senate, House and local races across the country." 

What happens if Trump loses the election and refuses to concede?

 

Iran targeting U.S. state voter rolls and spreading election propaganda, officials say

The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency both issued advisories Friday warning that Iran is spreading propaganda and targeting U.S. state websites, including election sites, in “an intentional effort to influence and interfere with the 2020 U.S. presidential election.”

The FBI sent a FLASH bulletin to various states, saying an Iranian group is “creating fictitious media sites and spoofing legitimate media sites to spread anti-American propaganda and misinformation about voter suppression.” It added, “This group has been linked to efforts to disseminate a propaganda video concerning voter fraud and hacking of U.S. voter information. The FBI advises this video is almost certainly intended to make U.S. voter information and the voting process appear insecure and susceptible to fraud.”

The CISA advisory went further, stating that the Iranian hackers have also “successfully obtained voter registration data in at least one state.” The agency did not disclose which state.

Both the FBI and CISA confirmed that “a review of the records that were copied and obtained reveals the information was used in the propaganda video.”

There is no indication that any voter registration databases have been manipulated or any votes have been changed.

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We apologize, this video has expired.

 

Photos: Stores are boarding up windows over Election Day protest fears

In New York: 

Workers board up windows at the Chanel, Tiffany & Co. store in Soho, New York on Oct. 30, 2020.Luis Andy

In Washington: 

A worker boards up the Angels Share Wines and Liquors store in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington DC on Oct. 30, 2020.@cenksidar

Here's what happened when NBC News tried to report on the alleged Hunter Biden emails

The complaints from President Donald Trump and his allies have been growing louder as the election approaches: Why isn’t the mainstream media covering the Hunter Biden laptop story?

Trump and his allies say there is evidence of corruption in emails and documents allegedly found on a laptop belonging to Democrat Joe Biden’s son. They say those and other documents show that Hunter Biden used his father’s influence to enrich himself through business deals in Ukraine and China, and that his father not only facilitated that, but may have benefited financially.

But the Wall Street Journal and Fox News — among the only news organizations that have been given access to key documents — found that the emails and other records don’t make that case. Leaving aside the many questions about their provenance, the materials offered no evidence that Joe Biden played any role in his son’s dealings in China, let alone profited from them, both news organizations concluded.

As to Ukraine, a single email published by the New York Post suggests Joe Biden may have had a meeting with a representative of a Ukrainian company that employed his son. Trump and his allies alleged that means Joe Biden has lied when he said he never discussed his son’s business roles. The Biden campaign denies the meeting happened.

The lack of major new revelations is perhaps the biggest reason the story has not gotten traction, but not the only one. Among others: Most mainstream news organizations, including NBC News, have not been granted access to the documents. NBC News asked by email, text, phone call and certified mail, and was ultimately denied.

And, although no evidence has emerged that the documents are the product of Russian disinformation, as some experts initially suggested, many questions remain about how the materials got into the hands of Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who has met with Russian agents in his effort to dig dirt on the Bidens.

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