Vote Gets Out Early #91

Deepnews Digest #91

Vote Gets Out Early

Editor: Christopher Brennan
After an election cycle that stretched for years, early voting in the 2020 U.S. elections has already begun and by next week all votes will be cast. While there is no shortage of coverage vying for your eyeballs, I thought it was a good use of’s technology to search for in-depth, quality stories on the subject for this week’s Digest and unearth articles you might not see scrolling through social media. Below are the results, a mixture of reporting from Las Vegas to Long Island, from long-established outlets to local papers to upstarts with a new way of looking at things. All gathered with the Deepnews Scoring Model.
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Published every Thursday

Philadelphia Inquirer/ProPublica

Pennsylvania’s new vote-by-mail law expands access for everyone except the poor

Rem Em emigrated from Cambodia in 2002 to help take care of a grandchild with leukemia. Twelve years later, she became a U.S. citizen. It was one of the proudest moments of her life. Ever since, she’s made sure to vote, even though the native Khmer speaker isn’t fluent in English. She talks to her family, other Cambodian immigrants in her South Philadelphia neighborhood, and community groups about the candidates and the races. Before she votes, she studies what her preferred candidate’s name looks like in English, noting as well the shapes that form the word “VOTE.”

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New York Times

Inside Decades of Nepotism and Bungling at the N.Y.C. Elections Board

Some staffers read or watch Netflix at the office, while others punch in and then go shopping or to the gym, current and former employees said.

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Lawfare Blog

Mail Voting Litigation in 2020, Part V: Efforts to Halt Vote-by-Mail

This post is the fifth of a five-part series on litigation about mail voting during the 2020 general election. This series is part of Lawfare’s collaboration with the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project.

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Civil Eats

Fighting Voter Suppression in Hog Country, North Carolina

Elsie Herring spends many days documenting and responding to complaints from her neighbors — about everything from the stench coming off of factory farms to the clearcutting of trees for timber to the emissions from nearby factories. But lately, when Herring, a community organizer for the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (EJN), gets a call, she’s also been making sure the person on the other end of the line has a plan in place to vote.

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How the Associated Press Plans to Determine the Winner of This Year’s Election

The Associated Press has called America’s elections since 1848. But this year will be unlike anything it’s ever seen. Here’s an inside view of the AP’s massive vote-calling operation.

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Editor’s Note:

After all the voting is done, Election Night is on some level a media story, particularly when it comes to the practice of calling winners. Here Kate Storey speaks to members of the Associated Press on new initiatives such as VoteCast and how the process works. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

19th News

Mississippi faces voting barriers during a historic Senate race

Mississippi faces voting barriers during a historic Senate race Mississippi’s only woman in Congress is running against the state’s potential first Black senator since Reconstruction. Will COVID-19 get in the way?

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Associated Press

In Florida’s Old South, a new political battleground emerges

The farther north you go in Florida, the saying goes, the deeper South you’ll get. For generations, the Old South flourished in Duval County, a sprawling metropolis on the state’s northern Atlantic coast that is home to Jacksonville and was once a reliable bastion of Republican power.

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OK, Zoomer: GenZ/Millennials Getting Crushed at Polls by Older Voters

An NBCLX analysis of early voting reports through Oct. 27 indicates only 13% of voting-age Americans under the age of 30 have cast ballots so far, and only 19% of those between the ages of 30 and 39. Comparatively, approximately 47% of all Americans 65 and older have cast ballots with a full week of voting left to go.

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At a Long Island ‘Jews for Trump’ rally, Orthodox Jewry’s political contradictions take center stage

When Jacob Reich heard that Orthodox Jews would be staging a rally near his home to support President Donald Trump this weekend, just 10 days before Election Day, the Long Island father of two headed to Woodmere.

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Washington Post

In campaign’s waning days, both candidates seek to shore up support from Latino voters

In the closing days of the 2020 election, the Trump campaign is seeking to seize on a perceived opening with conservative-leaning Latinos, hoping to chip away at margins that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden needs to win in tight battleground races like Pennsylvania and Texas.

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Texas Tribune

Polls, late campaign activity suggest Republican dominance in Texas could be at risk

Joe Biden’s campaign will be running television ads in El Paso, San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth heading into Election Day. The Democratic nominee for vice president, Kamala Harris, is planning a visit to Texas during the homestretch of the campaign. And polls show the Biden-Harris ticket within striking distance — and, in some surveys, ahead — in the traditionally Republican state.

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The American South

‘One, two, three punch’: Back-to-back hurricanes and COVID-19 complicate voting in Lake Charles

A string of natural disasters has drastically altered how Lake Charles’ residents will cast their votes this election year.

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Des Moines Register

Iowa rejects fewer absentee ballots than most states do; election officials are working to keep it that way

As of Thursday, the Democrats have out paced the Republicans for number of requested and returned absentee ballots. The overall number, however, is down from previous election years.

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Editor’s Note:

Many of the articles on this list deal with absentee and early voting, which is impacted by turn out operations, legal challenges and more. Here the Register covers the situation in the Hawkeye State, rated as a toss-up by many election prognosticators. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

The Nevada Independent

Latino voters emphasize importance of elected officials speaking out and showing up

From December 2013 through the following year, Elvira Diaz spent an hour every Friday outside the federal courthouse in Reno and later Republican Rep. Mark Amodei’s office with a table, a Bible and a bowed head.

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Daily Beast

Local Dems Desperate for Biden to Visit Less Swingy States

In the final days of the campaign, Democrats in states with Senate seats on the verge of flipping hope Biden will pay a last-minute visit to help tip the balance.

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Arizona Republic

Democrats outpace Republicans in early voting in Arizona for first time with 1 week until Election Day

Of the 1.17 million ballots returned in Maricopa County through Monday, 457,000, or 39%, were from Democrats; 422,000, or 36%, were from Republicans; and 285,000, or 24%, were from independent voters and those not designating a party.

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Wall Street Journal ($)

The Push to Vote Early Shows No Sign of Slowing

At least 23 states have already seen more early voting than four years ago, including several battleground states.

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A Nonprofit With Ties to Democrats Is Sending Out Millions of Ballot Applications. Election Officials Wish It Would Stop.

Election officials say a flood of mailers from the Center for Voter Information has contained mistakes and confused voters at a time when states are racing to expand vote by mail.

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The Nation

In Key Cities, Activists Are Mobilizing Black Voters Biden Isn’t

According to canvassers in battleground states, the Democratic Party hasn’t done enough to reach out to the very constituency it relies on most.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The early vote in Wisconsin keeps climbing. But we’ll have to wait until election day to know what that means

With a week to go before Election Day, almost half the votes in Wisconsin have already been cast — 1.4 million and counting.

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Dallas Observer

For North Texas Activists and Others, the ‘Most Important Election’ Is Just a Start

There’s one week left to choose if you haven’t yet voted: Do you go for the senile socialist swamp creature or brilliant businessman patriot? Or to put it another way: Is your candidate the honorable public servant and blue-collar hero or the morally bankrupt grifter and racist?

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As U.S. election nears, researchers are following the trail of fake news

It started with a tweet from a conservative media personality, accompanied by photos, claiming that more than 1000 mail-in ballots had been discovered in a dumpster in Sonoma county in California. Within hours on the morning of 25 September, a popular far-right news website ran the photos with an “exclusive” story suggesting thousands of uncounted ballots had been dumped by the county and workers had tried to cover it up.

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The 74 Million

Too Young to Vote, Eager to Make Sure You Can: Meet the High School Students Keeping America’s Polls Open

They can’t vote — yet. But they can make sure the polls stay open so you can. Meet the students clamoring to staff America’s neighborhood election sites

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The Conversation

19th-century political parties kidnapped reluctant voters and printed their own ballots — and that’s why we’ve got laws regulating behavior at polling places

Author Edgar Allan Poe, the 19th-century master of American macabre, may have died of dirty politics. According to legend, a gang of party “poll hustlers” kidnapped and drugged him. They forced him to vote, then abandoned him near death. Details are murky, but we do know Poe died in Baltimore days after an election.

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Editor’s Note:

This election has seen worries about behaviors at polling places on Election Day itself. Here Kristin Kanthak, a professor at University of Pittsburgh, unpacks the history of “poll hustling” and issues like laws that limit what clothing voters can wear to the polls. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

The Hill

The Memo: Florida and Pennsylvania hold keys to victory

The 2020 election, after all its drama and controversy, is likely to hinge on two traditional battlegrounds: Florida and Pennsylvania.

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