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.”
Hotels are amping up their ‘Painkiller’ perks for Election Night
Election Day, and perhaps the days and weeks to follow, may be especially tense this year for a myriad of reasons. To help ease the stress but still mark the day, some hotels and restaurants are offering discounts and perks for overnight guests and complimentary cocktails for those who have proof that they have voted.
Some hotels, and at least one museum, are even turning their lobbies and rooftops into polling stations.
Some hotels around the country are turning ballrooms, rooftops and other large spaces into polling places where citizens can cast a vote or drop off a mailed ballot — all with adequate social distance.
The Crossroads Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, is offering a “Not at a Crossroads” package on Nov. 3 to guests who show proof of voting. Perks for overnight guests include CBD gummies, “Painkiller” cocktails and a variety of candies and snacks.
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North Carolina’s Senate race hit with a sexting scandal and a Covid diagnosis. Do voters care?
Sen. Thom Tillis has had a busy week.
The first-term Republican senator voted to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice, campaigned with Vice President Mike Pence, given several rounds of media interviews and announced a packed schedule of events in the final days of his re-election bid.
Tillis’ Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham, rocked by weeks of controversy, has been a bit harder to find.
His last scheduled interview was several weeks ago, and journalists requesting sitdowns say they’re finding their calls unreturned. While he’s still speaking to voters, many events are entirely virtual, and local reporters complain his campaign is no longer sending out schedules to the media.
And yet his campaign, pivotal in determining who controls the chamber, is still seen as one of the Democrats’ best chances to flip a Senate seat this year.
Tillis announced he tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 2 after attending a White House event in honor of Amy Coney Barrett. That same day, Cunningham, a married father of two and an officer in the Army Reserve who has centered his campaign on his character, was caught in a sexting scandal and later admitted to having an extramarital relationship.
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Rapper Common entertains Biden’s supporters in Georgia
Pelosi says no Covid-19 relief before election day, blames White House for failing ‘miserably’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ended any hopes of a Covid-19 relief bill before the Election Day, blaming the White House for failing “miserably” in a letter to House Democrats on Tuesday.
“For a long time now, Congressional Democrats have laid out a strategic plan to crush the virus. The White House and Mitch McConnell have resisted, and on Sunday, Mark Meadows told us why saying ‘We’re not going to control the pandemic,'” Pelosi said in the letter, referring to the chief of staff’s interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” this past Sunday.
“From ‘hoax’ to hundreds of thousands dead, the White House has failed miserably — not by accident, but by decision,” she wrote. “Now we know why they resisted science at the expense of lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy. Again, it was a decision to do so.”
This news comes as Covid-19 case numbers reached a record high this past weekend and hospitalizations are climbing, more than 225,000 people have died in the United States and there is a 7.9 unemployment rate. President Donald Trump himself has also signaled that no stimulus deal is coming before the election.
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Harris talks immigration, DACA in Reno
“We have to have a president and a vice president who understands that the way this country was built includes the hard work the sweat and blood of immigrants through the generations.” Harris said while standing on top of a truck during an unscheduled stop in Iddlewild Park in Reno, Nevada.
“When Joe and I are elected, get rid of any policy that is about separating children from their parents, any policy that is about putting babies in cages. We will renew our promise to our dreamers. We will reinstate DACA.”
Democratic presidential effort poised to outspend Republicans in race’s final days
President Trump’s campaign is poised to be heavily outspent on TV and radio ads in the final six days ahead of Election Day.
Trump’s campaign has $10.1 million booked on television and radio between Wednesday and Election Day, compared to Biden’s $46.9 million, according to Advertising Analytics, an ad-tracking firm.
The president can still count on a big assist from the Republican National Committee, which is spending another $12.6 million in key swing states, and from outside groups set to spend tens of millions more.
But when all aligned outside groups are combined with the campaign’s future spending, Democrats are set to outspend Republicans $93.4 million to $40.7 million on the presidential ad airwaves in the closing days.
More about the Trump campaign’s spending here.