Every weekday through Nov. 3, we’ll be posting live updates on candidates, voting and other political news in Washington and across the U.S.
What to know in Washington:
What to know across the U.S.:
Options dwindling for U.S. voters diagnosed with COVID-19 as Election Day nears
Hundreds of thousands of Americans will be diagnosed with COVID-19 between now and Election Day, leaving many scrambling for alternatives to in-person voting and injecting another dimension of uncertainty into an election already shadowed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Those voters will need to navigate an unfamiliar and varied landscape to cast their ballots. Some will be required to get doctor’s notes or enlist family members to help. Others, in isolation, will need to have a witness present while they vote. Planned accommodations — such as officials hand-delivering ballots — may prove inadequate or could be strained beyond limits.
Sudden illness is an impediment to voting every election year, typically for a small number of Americans. Many provisions to help those voters apply exclusively to people who are hospitalized.
But with some 70,000 new cases of COVID-19 recorded each day, a swath of Americans larger than the population of Wyoming or Vermont will probably contract the disease in the 10 days leading up to Nov. 3, which is now five days away. The number of people affected is greater still when accounting for those who quarantine not because they are diagnosed but because they had contact with an infected person.
Many of these people will already have voted or will not be eligible to vote. But for those who intended to vote in person, the options are dwindling.
Read the full story here.
Florida, butt of election jokes, believes system is ready
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Even if the presidential election hinges on a Florida recount like 20 years ago, hanging chads and butterfly ballots won’t be around to trip up voters and officials — changes to ballots, equipment and laws have made the Bush-Gore circus a relic never to be revisited, state elections officials believe.
Though there are other scenarios that make elections officials nervous, the computer punch-card ballots that fueled 2000’s chaos are buried in history’s landfill. Casting valid ballots and processing them is now easier, even before Election Day, and the Legislature has enacted clearer laws governing recounts.
The Associated Press spoke with most of Florida’s 67 county elections supervisors or top aides in recent weeks along with voting rights groups, and they expect the system to run smoothly in the nation’s largest swing state, even with the pandemic. And if the winner’s victory margin is razor thin, recounts in 2018 for governor and U.S. Senate, while not perfect, showed the system works even when candidates, elected officials and their supporters apply pressure.
Read the full story here.
Wisconsin Republican Party says hackers stole $2.3 million
MADISON, Wis. — Hackers stole $2.3 million from the Wisconsin Republican Party’s account that was being used to help reelect President Donald Trump in the key battleground state, the party’s chairman told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The party noticed the suspicious activity on Oct. 22 and contacted the FBI on Friday, said Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt.
Hitt said the FBI is investigating. FBI spokesman Leonard Peace did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
The attack was discovered less than two weeks before Election Day as both Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden made their final push to win Wisconsin and its 10 electoral votes. Trump won the state by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016 and planned his third visit in seven days on Friday. Biden also planned to campaign in Wisconsin on Friday. Polls have consistently shown a tight race in the state, usually with Biden ahead by single digits and within the margin of error.
Read the full story here.
The candidates vying to represent Washington’s 36th Legislative District are really similar. Here’s where they differ.
Voters in Seattle’s Queen Anne, Magnolia and Ballard neighborhoods are going to elect a Democrat to replace Washington state Rep. Gael Tarleton, who vacated her 36th Legislative District seat to run for secretary of state. They’re going to pick a working parent who supports a tax on capital gains, a clean fuel standard, an assault weapons ban and affordable child care.
The question is: Which one?
Liz Berry and Sarah Reyneveld agree on most issues and even once belonged to the same book club. But there are some differences in experience, priorities and policies.
Read more on what sets each candidate apart, and how a negative mailer shook up the race.
Catch up on the past 24 hours
King County will open six new voting centers Saturday to try to serve voters before and on Election Day. You can register, drop off your ballot or get a replacement ballot there.
Democrats won two big Supreme Court victories involving voting deadlines in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and North Carolina yesterday. With hundreds of lawsuits flying, this is already the most litigious presidential election in memory.
The fatal shooting of another Black man by police has brought the fraught issues of policing and racism back to the fore of the presidential election. After Walter Wallace Jr.’s shooting in the key election state of Pennsylvania, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are both talking about some of the same issues that roiled cities earlier this year.
After a video of voters dancing for joy went viral, its very energetic star is talking about how “they can’t break us down.” In Seattle, too, musicians are lifting their voices and instruments to boost voter turnout in the “most important election of our lifetime” — no surprise, as activism and civic engagement are deeply ingrained in Seattle music culture.
The Spokesman-Review, the daily newspaper in Spokane, will no longer publish endorsements or unsigned editorials. The decision from one of Washington’s largest papers comes after an editorial published over the weekend calling President Donald Trump a “wretched human being” but endorsing him for re-election anyway. The endorsement was attributed to the newspaper’s editorial board, which is one person: publisher Stacey Cowles.
“Unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices” by tech giants Google and Facebook have suffocated local news outlets, contributing to a critical deficit of trustworthy local journalism. That’s according to a new minority report from the Senate Commerce Committee released by ranking member Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
A former Trump administration official who penned a scathing anti-Trump op-ed and book under the pen name “Anonymous” made his identity public Wednesday, tweeting: “Donald Trump is a man without character. It’s why I wrote ‘A Warning’ … and it’s why me & my colleagues have spoken out against him (in our own names) for months. It’s time for everyone to step out of the shadows.”
2020 Election Resources
For more information about voting, ballot drop boxes, accessible voting and online ballots, contact your county elections office. Ballots are due by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3.
For more information on your ballot, in any county, go to: myvote.wa.gov