Headlines: November 5, 2020
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Vote counting continues in numerous key states as authorities in Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Michigan work to finish tallying all ballots for the November 3rd race. The Georgia Secretary of State on Thursday morning announced that there were just over 50,000 votes remaining to be counted as President Donald Trump’s lead over Biden started to narrow. In Arizona, which news outlets had claimed Joe Biden won, more batches of votes were counted on Wednesday night narrowing the difference between Trump and Biden. Vote counting in Pima and Maricopa counties announced they will release updated vote counts on Thursday. Some voters in Arizona complained that the markers they were given to fill out their ballots bled through the paper thereby invalidating their ballots but authorities have assured them that all votes are being counted. In Nevada where vote counting has appeared slow, Biden’s lead over Trump has grown.
President Trump’s campaign has filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, and is expected to file one in Nevada as well to try to seize power as vote counting in the Presidential race continues and shows him losing to Joe Biden. In Pennsylvania specifically Trump has asked the Supreme Court to stop the counting of mail-in ballots that were postmarked before election day but received after. The Georgia suit is based on a similar line of logic but on Thursday a judge tossed out the case saying there was no evidence of fraud.
Trump supporters gathered at numerous locations demanding that their President’s will be respected. Outside a vote counting center in Maricopa County, Arizona, Trump supporters and those demanding a fair count held dueling rallies. In Detroit, Trump’s protesters gathered outside the TCF Center and at one point even entered the building chanting “Stop the Count.” Reuters reported that, “Police in New York City, Denver, Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon, all reported they had arrested some protesters, often on charges of blocking traffic or similar misdemeanors.” We speak with people who have been monitoring the polls as well as progressive activists organizing to “count every vote.” On Wednesday the New York Times reported that Attorney General Bill Barr has claimed it is legal for federal armed agents to enter ballot counting centers, sparking fears among state authorities who are in charge of vote-counting.
Meanwhile Trump’s son Eric was caught posting a false claim that 80 ballots for Trump had been burned in Virginia. The City of Virginia Beach debunked the false claim explaining that sample ballots had been destroyed. Trump’s own Twitter feed is so full of lies that it is covered with warning flags by the social media platform. He has been tweeting things like “Stop the Count!” and “Stop the Fraud!” International election observers with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said that Trump’s unfounded allegations of fraud have, “undermined trust in democracy.”
Democrats have retained control over 48 Senate seats in total, just two short of the 50 minimum they would need to control the chamber. A new avenue for Senate control opened up in Georgia, a state where Senate candidates are required to have 50% of the vote or face a run off. On election night it appeared clear that Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler would face a runoff race in January. Now, Georgia’s incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue is ahead of his challenger, Democrat Jon Ossoff but his share of the votes is currently right at 50%. If it slips below, he too could face a runoff in January giving Democrats the chance to win those two needed Senate seats in early 2021.
While all eyes are on the election coronavirus infection rates in the U.S. have skyrocketed and a whopping 100,000 new infections were just recorded in a 24-hour period –the highest rate by far since the pandemic began. According to one report, “Twenty-three states have recorded more cases in the past week than in any other seven-day stretch.”
And, right as Americans were voting on election day, the U.S.’s participation in the Paris Climate accords formally ended. Joe Biden tweeted that his administration would rejoin the accords when he is inaugurated as President.