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“ It was important for me to do this one thing, ” a terminally ill voter said, voting for Biden.

Jack Arends wore a black beret, a bright blue tie and slammed his fist on the desk in front of him announcing that he was voting, faithfully, for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris.

“I was happy to do my duty and rid our nation of a little dictator,” Washington state voter Mr. Arends said, his voice shaking. “I did it with enthusiasm and of my choice. I didn’t need a law to tell me I had to do this.

The moment became emotional when he announced that he was diagnosed with a terminal illness in November and that he hoped to be able to vote again on Monday.

“I was told that there was no more medical treatment that would help me, so it was important for me to do this one thing that I could do, while I still could,” Mr. Arends before breaking down to sob, eliciting applause as the body gathered in the capital building.

Although Mr Arends, one of the state’s 12 voters, criticized the Electoral College, saying it was ‘not great’, he stressed that he was determined to do his duty by submitting his vote. .

In 2016, three of Washington state’s Democratic voters became “infidels” and voted for Colin L. Powell, while a fourth Democratic voter voted for Faith Spotted Eagle, a Native American tribal chief, rather than for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate. , who had won the state.

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Electoral college voter: long an honor and now also a headache

In Michigan, Democratic voters have been promised police escorts from their cars to the State Capitol, where they will officially vote for Joseph R. Biden Jr.

In Arizona, state officials are holding the vote at an undisclosed location for security reasons, away from what is expected to be a heated hearing on electoral integrity issues Republicans will conduct in the Statehouse.

Even in Delaware, the tiny, deeply Democratic home state of the president-elect, officials moved their ceremony to a college gymnasium, a site believed to offer better public health and safety checks.

For decades, Electoral College voters have been the would-be bureaucrats of American democracy, operating well below the political radar in providing pro forma certification of a new president. Despite its procedural nature, the role has long been viewed as an honor, bestowed as a means of recognizing political stature or civic service.

This year, the Electoral College is yet another piece of routine electoral mechanics thrown into the reticule of President Trump’s sustained assault on voting integrity. After five weeks of lawsuits, recounts and Republican investigations into unsubstantiated fraud allegations, Americans will look to the 538 Electoral College members to give a measure of finality to Mr Biden’s decisive victory.

And as voters in small towns face harassment and larger figures adjust to heightened security measures, a duty long regarded as a privilege has also become a headache. Even as voters prepared to vote on Monday, Mr. Trump on Twitter on Sunday denounced the “THE MOST CORRUPTED ELECTION IN UNITED STATES HISTORY” and suggested that swing states could not certify “Without committing a severely punishable crime” – raising more concerns about the personal safety of voters.

“Trump supporters didn’t get the same kind of vitriol in 2016,” said Khary Penebaker, a Democratic voter from Wisconsin who will vote for Mr. Biden at the State Capitol in Madison. “That’s scary stuff, man, and that’s not what America is supposed to be.”

Aside from security and pandemic concerns, which led to the state capitals of Michigan and Wisconsin being closed to the public, the process has become an unlikely media event. From protests outside polling stations to live broadcasts of activities inside the halls, voters, state officials and party leaders are bracing for an extraordinary attack.

The new focus on voters comes as the Electoral College system receives weak support from the American public, especially Democrats who say it does not represent the will of the people, after the last two presidents Republicans George W. Bush and President Trump took the White House while losing the popular vote.

Monday’s certifications will take place against a backdrop of tense partisan acrimony. The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the desperate 11th hour effort by Trump allies to change the election result, the latest in a string of stinging legal defeats. A broader effort to persuade legislatures in Republican-controlled states to swap Democratic voters for a list loyal to Mr. Trump has also failed.

Despite the legal losses, much of the party rallied around the president’s desire to overthrow the will of millions of voters, resulting in a wave of outrage and threats from supporters who now believe in the theories of the president’s plot.

On Saturday, thousands of Mr. Trump’s supporters demonstrated in Washington DC and several state capitals, many carrying Trump signs and chanting “four more years.” Clashes with counter-demonstrators produced several incidents of violence.

The anger of the president’s supporters – and their seemingly unwavering adherence to his false narrative of stolen elections – can prove difficult to quench.

“I don’t think we’re at a point where Joe Biden can legitimately be called president-elect,” said Ken Blackwell, a former Ohio secretary of state who will vote for Mr. Trump in Columbus. “It’s almost laughable that anyone who thinks President Trump should give in prematurely.”

Even some Republicans who are more willing to acknowledge electoral reality seem unable to give up hope entirely.

“I imagine Monday can close the door,” said Michael Burke, who just won his reelection as President of the Republican Party in Pinal County, Arizona. “Most people are realistic that the way is narrowing so that we can change anything. But, you know, miracles happen.

For Democrats, the Electoral College vote will be the latest assertion of the defeat of a president who they say has undermined the foundations of the country’s political system.

“Our courts and our institutions have stood,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, who will serve as a voter for the third time on Monday, voting for Mr. Biden. “No politician – no matter his ego and however reckless his lies – will compromise the will of the people.

Embedded in the Constitution, voters are called upon to act weeks after the end of elections. A majority is required by law or by the promise to vote for the winner of the popular vote in his state. Although the Constitution allows them to change their votes (unless state laws prohibit it), becoming what are known as “unfaithful voters,” they never changed the outcome of an election.

Their votes are usually a matter of sleep, a final ceremonial step in moving the country forward towards inauguration day.

Not this year.

The 16 who will vote for Mr Biden in Michigan are expected to walk through a gauntlet of protesters, some armed, from a group who believe the election was stolen from Mr Trump.

“It’s terrible when these things are used to intimidate people,” said Bobbie Walton, 84, a longtime political activist from Davison, Mich., And first-time voter. “Maybe I should wear one of my favorite t-shirts: ‘Don’t push, I’m old’.

In Wisconsin, voters were given new security protocols on Friday, with instructions to enter the Capitol District through an unmarked side door away from expected protesters.

“You watch the Batman movie and you see how he jumps through the waterfall to get to the Batcave,” Mr. Penebaker, the Democratic voter for Waukesha County who is also a gun control activist. “It’s like that.”

Mr Penebaker and the other nine Wisconsin voters have received a wave of pleas on social media and email from Trump supporters in recent weeks urging them to renounce their loyalty to Mr Biden. Some posted comments on a photo Mr. Penebaker shared on Instagram of his teenage son’s new haircut, urging him to ditch Mr. Biden.

An email from a woman in eastern Wisconsin pleaded with Democratic voters in Wisconsin in apocalyptic terms. “For goodness sake, don’t destroy America as we have known it,” the woman wrote in the email, which was viewed by The New York Times.

Much of the security concern centers on five states that only affected Mr. Biden: Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania. The states won by Mr. Trump don’t expect much heckling in their votes. Frank LaRose, Secretary of State for Ohio, said he had not requested additional security measures.

The growing coronavirus pandemic adds to the general feeling of anxiety. Public health restrictions have prompted several states to limit the public to their events and enforce strict masking and social distancing guidelines.

As a result, more than half of the states plan to broadcast their events live, provide transparency, and anticipate some of the conspiratorial thoughts that many officials plan to follow their events.

Once voters have voted, the votes are counted and voters sign certificates showing the results. These are matched with certificates from the governor’s office showing the state’s total votes. Typically, the whole process takes less than an hour.

Van R. Johnson, the mayor of Savannah, Georgia, said his security service had been beefed up due to his role as a voter. He described the decision as a “precautionary measure” that did not stem from specific threats but, he said, reflected the climate in which voters were working.

“It’s a crazy time,” he added, “and we don’t know what these people are going to do.”

Yet none of it, he said, has eclipsed how “exhilarating and humiliating” it is to be one of 16 Democratic voters, the first in Georgia in nearly three decades, the last time a Democrat won the state.

A voter from Wisconsin, State Representative Shelia Stubbs of Madison, said she cried with joy after being named a voter this year.

“Being an African American and a woman, and being able to be a voter to see Senator Kamala Harris become our vice president – that’s an ‘aah!’ moment, ”she said. “I’m so excited.” She said she had been urged to “do the right thing” but had not received any threatening messages.

Although the process for selecting voters varies, they are generally chosen by States Parties. Each state has the same number of voters as senators and congressional representatives, plus three voters from the District of Columbia, which has no congressional representation.

There is no real qualification to become a voter beyond a deep connection with a political party, whether as an activist, donor, politician or super-volunteer. Those invited to serve range from former President Bill Clinton to Mary Arnold, a retired social worker who is president of the local Democratic Party in Columbia County, Wisconsin – a swinging area just north of Madison that has picked Mr. Trump by just 517 – the voting margin.

Ms. Arnold says that most of her neighbors in Columbus, the small town of about 5,000 where she grew up and has now retired, have supported and excited her.

“If people want to push me away, let them,” she said. “I certainly won’t let anyone try to push me – I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.

In Delaware, John D. Daniello prides himself on helping kickstart Mr. Biden’s political career, saying he drafted the president-elect to replace him on New Castle County Council in 1970.

The 88-year-old former state party chairman is disappointed that his daughter, the current party chair, cannot accompany him to the college gymnasium where he will vote. And he’s not sure if he will attend Mr. Biden’s inauguration, given his age and the pandemic.

But Mr Daniello does not intend to miss his chance to vote in his state’s election for his old friend.

“We are known as the first state to sign the constitution, so I consider my vote the first vote for him,” he said. “Hell or believe, I’ll show myself up there.”

Kathleen Gray, Kay Nolan and Hank Stephenson contributed reporting.

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Barr admits Justice Department found no widespread voter fraud

“Most fraud allegations are very specific to a particular set of circumstances, actors or behaviors. These are not systemic allegations and they have been nullified; they’re run down, ”he said. “Some were broad and potentially cover a few thousand voices. They were followed up. “

The Trump campaign and his surrogates have filed dozens of lawsuits in battlefield states that offered a series of attacks on election results: claiming that mail-in ballots were used illegally, that ballots were used illegally. postal votes were poorly counted and ballot candidates were denied proper access. to monitor the vote count.

Some of the lawsuits echoed Mr. Giuliani’s comments of conspiracies that foreign powers like Venezuela were working with corrupt US officials to manipulate voting machines. Others have made much more modest claims, challenging the validity of tiny lots of 60 ballots.

But none, at least so far, has won Mr. Trump anything more significant than the ability to move his poll observers 3 to 6 feet from the workers who count the votes in Pennsylvania. The campaign and its allies have now lost nearly 40 cases across the country, as judge after judge – including some appointed by Mr. Trump – discredited the efforts as lacking both legal basis and convincing evidence.

Mr Barr also suggested that prosecutions or checks of election officials served as a remedy for suspicion of electoral irregularities, not criminal investigations. “There is a growing trend to use the criminal justice system as a sort of default solution, and people don’t like something, they want the Department of Justice to step in and ‘investigate’,” Mr. Barr in the Associated Press Interview.

Mr Barr has potentially put himself in a precarious position with Mr Trump, who recently sacked Christopher Krebs, the senior cybersecurity official responsible for securing the presidential election, who widely disputed Mr. Trump that the presidency was stolen.

“I’m assuming he’s the next one to be fired because he’s now saying there is no fraud,” New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s top Democrat, said of Mr. Barr. The attorney general visited the White House on Tuesday afternoon, sparking speculation about his future, but was there to attend a previously scheduled meeting, a spokeswoman said.

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Barr gives prosecutors the power to investigate allegations of voter fraud

WASHINGTON – Attorney General William P. Barr, addressing President Trump’s unfounded accusations of widespread electoral irregularities, told federal prosecutors on Monday that they were authorized to investigate “specific allegations” of electoral fraud before the results of the presidential race are not certified.

Mr Barr’s clearance prompted Justice Department official who oversees electoral fraud investigations, Richard Pilger, to resign from the post within hours, according to an email Mr Pilger sent to his colleagues and obtained. by the New York Times.

Mr Barr said he had authorized “specific cases” of investigative steps in certain cases. He clarified in a carefully crafted memo that prosecutors have the power to investigate, but he warned that “speculative, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched allegations should not be a basis for opening federal investigations.

Mr Barr’s directive ignored long-standing Justice Department policies to prevent law enforcement from affecting the outcome of an election. And it followed a movement weeks before the election in which the ministry lifted the ban on election fraud investigations before the elections.

“Since voting in our current elections is now over, I authorize you to pursue substantial allegations of voting and tabulation irregularities prior to certification of elections in your jurisdictions,” Barr wrote.

A Justice Department official said Mr Barr had authorized the review of allegations of ineligible voters in Nevada and backdated postal ballots in Pennsylvania. Republicans have circulated the two claims in recent days without any evidence emerging to back them up.

Mr Barr did not write the memo under the direction of Mr Trump, the White House or any Republican lawmaker, the official said.

Mr Barr privately told ministry officials in the days following the election that any dispute should be resolved in court by the campaigns themselves, according to three people briefed on the conversations. He said he had not seen massive fraud and that most of the election fraud allegations were linked to individual cases that did not signal a larger systemic problem, people said.

But Barr’s critics immediately condemned the memo as a political act that undermined the Justice Department’s typical independence from the White House.

“It would be problematic enough if Barr rescinded the Department of Justice’s longstanding guidelines over substantial and substantiated allegations of misconduct – which could presumably be dealt with at the local and state level,” Stephen said. I. Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas School. of the law.

“But doing it when there is no such evidence – and when the president’s clear strategy is to delegitimize the results of a proper election – is one of the most problematic acts of any attorney general in my life.” , added Mr Vladeck.

Mr Pilger, a career prosecutor in the ministry’s Public Integrity Section who oversaw investigations related to fraudulent votes, told colleagues he would move to an unsupervising role working on corruption prosecutions.

“After familiarizing myself with the new policy and its ramifications,” he wrote, “I regret to resign from my role as director of the Electoral Crimes Directorate.” A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Mr Pilger’s post.

Department of Justice policies prohibit federal prosecutors from taking overt steps, such as questioning witnesses or obtaining subpoenas for documents, to initiate a criminal investigation into any election-related matter until the results of the trial. votes have been certified in order to prevent their existence from spreading into public view and to influence either voters or local election officials who ensure the integrity of the results.

“Public knowledge of a criminal investigation could have an impact on the adjudication of electoral disputes and contests in state courts,” say the Justice Department’s long-standing electoral guidelines for prosecutors. “Accordingly, the general policy of the ministry is not to conduct open investigations.”

More covert investigative steps, such as an undercover investigator, are permitted, but require permission from a career prosecutor in the department’s criminal division.

Mr Barr’s memo allows US lawyers to bypass this career prosecutor and submit their demands to his office for approval, effectively weakening a key guarantee that prevents political interference in an election by the ruling party .

The memo is unlikely to change the election outcome but could undermine public confidence in the results, Justice Department prosecutors have warned, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. They said the ministry’s public posture has also given Republicans, including Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, a tool to refuse to recognize Mr. Biden as president-elect.

Mr. McConnell and Mr. Barr met on Monday afternoon. Representatives from their two offices declined to comment on what they discussed.

Mr. Trump faces an uphill battle in his attempt to alter the election results. Mr Biden declared victory on Saturday after several news outlets declared him the winner on the basis of aggregated election results.

“It’s not just about showing evidence of fraud, but that the fault would actually affect the outcome in multiple states,” said Matt Gorman, a Republican strategist. “You talk about changing hundreds of thousands of votes.”

While Mr. Trump’s campaign lawyers have filed a dozen legal challenges to the results in battlefield states, none appear to be gaining ground in the courts. And none were likely to give the president an edge in the votes he would need to change the outcome of the race.

Department of Justice investigators are reviewing a referral from the Nevada Republican Party, which claims more than 3,000 people living out of state voted in his election, the department official said. The official did not say whether the department had opened a full investigation. A federal judge dismissed the request in court last week.

The department is also reviewing a sworn affidavit written by a postal worker in Erie, Pa., Alleging that postal officials devised a plan to backdate postal ballots in the state, the official said.

The local postmaster denied the allegations and said the accuser had been punished several times in the past. This affidavit was sent to the department by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who is a close ally of the president.

In the days following the election, Barr was pressured by Mr. Trump and his aides to step in to help the president. Conservative commentators criticized Mr Barr’s lack of action, saying he was looking elsewhere.

Mr Barr had remained silent about voter fraud in recent weeks after issuing unfounded warnings of widespread fraud due to the large number of ballots in the mail in that election. Election fraud is rare, and no major cases of it emerged during the election.

At the same time, the ministry made it easier for prosecutors to prosecute electoral fraud cases and publicized details of the headline-grabbing investigations that aided Mr. Trump, drawing sharp criticism from officials. Democrats and civil rights activists.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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In Pennsylvania, Trump Voter Fury Predicts Nation Still Divided

PITTSBURGH – Like many Trump supporters, Dennis Tippie watched the steady tally of votes that wiped out the president’s advance in Pennsylvania, not with the belief that democracy was being played out, but with grim and growing anger.

“If he ends up with this number of electoral votes,” he told Joseph R. Biden Jr. last week, as Mr. Biden appeared en route to winning the state and the White House, “he would have won them by fraud, deception and simple criminality. ”

There is no evidence of fraud, deception or criminality in the counting of the postal votes that accumulated during the worst health crisis to hit the country in a century. The state’s Republican-controlled legislature has refused to allow processing of those ballots upon arrival, compounding delays until the race is called on Saturday, making Mr Biden the 46th president-elect.

But Mr. Tippie, a retired truck driver who absorbed the president’s words in part via Fox News, agreed with Mr. Trump and his surrogates that the election was stolen in front of their eyes. He lives in Nanty Glo, Pennsylvania, inside the state that so-called Philadelphia elites sometimes refer to as “Pennsyltucky.” For Mr. Tippie, Mr. Biden is “a total jerk,” his running mate, Kamala Harris, is “a very scary woman,” and a Biden presidency would be both illegitimate and disastrous.

But, he said, “I am not resigning myself to him being president.

While Mr. Biden has had major successes in turning Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania back to the Democrats, and succeeded in the rare ouster of an incumbent, he did not mark the crushing demolition of Mr. Trump to which de many Democrats had aspired, despite leading the popular vote of over four million.

Instead, Mr. Biden will inherit a country where many Americans are already supported in mutually hostile corners. It threatens the President-elect’s most fundamental campaign pledge: to unite Americans, to overcome divisions as a government strategy, to heal “the soul of the nation.”

“I think we are a long way from unifying the country, and I am sure Trump will continue to work to divide us,” said Catherine Lalonde, Democratic Party chairperson from Butler County, a blue-collar region in the western Pennsylvania.

“I don’t think his supporters will accept Biden’s victory and wouldn’t even do it if it were a bigger margin,” she added. “I have a feeling all of the Trump flags and signs will stay put until they fall apart.”

Interviews with Pennsylvania voters, mostly Trump supporters, showed that Pennsylvania reflects a nation still mired in tribal polarization. The country is perhaps ahead as deeply divided as ever.

Many of the president’s supporters were swayed by his blizzard of disinformation that illegal voting was rampant and election officials suppressed a Trump victory. They envision a democratic White House that bow to leftists, abandon the fight against China, and encourage rioters and looters.

While Mr. Biden has done a little better in the many Trump counties of Pennsylvania than Hillary Clinton did in 2016, the margins haven’t tightened as much as Democrats had expected or hoped. With a record turnout approaching 7 million in the state, Mr Biden’s advantage over Mr Trump was less than 1 percentage point on Saturday night – a far cry from Barack Obama’s wins of over 10 points in 2008 and more than five in 2012.

Certainly, there were Trump voters willing to accept the results as fair and move forward.

Chace Torres, 37, was making grilled cheese sandwiches for his family in Northampton County on Thursday night. At the time, Mr. Trump’s lead in the state, once close to 700,000, was shrinking as the ballots mailed were counted.

“I think the Trump supporters are going to suck it up and move on,” said Mr. Torres, a railway union. “We’re not going to miss tomorrow to loot and riot. We will bow our heads, go to work, feed our children, take care of the country as we always do. “

But others have not been swayed by Mr Biden’s calls for unity after four years of division.

Jessica Bell, a Trump voter in the suburbs of Philadelphia, said, “We are locked up and loaded” because she sees the country heading into civil disorder.

“I have my television on the news 24/7,” Ms. Bell said. “I have my phone in hand to follow social networks. I have slept about six hours since Monday. I watched very, very closely.

She cited reports on social media and Fox News to support her belief that the election was hijacked: Black Sharpies given to Arizona voters made the ballots invalid; Republican poll observers in Philadelphia were not allowed to see the tally; Nancy Pelosi controls the company that supplies electoral machines to Nevada.

These accusations, some raised by the Trump campaign and the president himself, are distortions or mere plots. Arizona election officials, for example, said the Black Sharpies did not invalidate a ballot and that a judge allowed observers in Philadelphia to be within six feet of the polling poll.

But Ms Bell, 32, who quit her job this summer as an assistant in a doctor’s office, insisted that “Americans are being silenced” and baselessly accused: “It’s a blow. of state.

Some Democrats hoped that with Mr. Trump removed from office, the nation would return to some semblance of normalcy, that divisiveness as government policy would end.

In Erie County, which Mr. Trump won in 2016 after long voting Democratic, the president raised expectations and hopes with his pledges to restore the industry. But Mr. Trump lost Erie County this year, in part because of his mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic and the chaos it has wreaked, said Carl Anderson III, a Democrat on the county council.

“Its flaws have been exposed,” Mr. Anderson said. “There are elements of extremists and ideologists who initially will not accept the outcome and may be able to protest, but as the dust settles and reality emerges, normalcy takes over.

The nature of Mr. Biden’s narrow victory in Pennsylvania underscored the challenges he will now face. His vote count was prompted by a surge of suburban voters: he improved Ms Clinton’s 2016 margins in the voice-rich counties surrounding Philadelphia by notable margins, including more than 7 percentage points in the county. of Chester and nearly five points in Montgomery County, the third most populous in the state.

But in Red Pennsylvania – a vast strip stretching from northeast to center to southwest – Mr. Trump has ceded very little ground. It has swept over most of the rural counties and small towns, with their faded industrial economies, through landslides. This suggests that the message behind Trumpism – a combination of promised industrial restoration and white grievances – has lost none of its appeal.

“People here still feel left out,” said Rob Gleason, a former state Republican Party chairman who lives in Johnstown, once a steel-making hub, now bleeding and struggling. “I can’t tell you how many people are saying that Trump is saying what I’ve been thinking my whole life.

Cambria County, which includes Johnstown, replaced Mr Trump with 37 points four years ago. This year, the county favored it by an identical margin.

“Trump’s support here in rural counties and the West will last two years,” Gleason said.

He predicted that with Mr. Biden in the White House, Republican senators would block him at every turn, with a view to winning seats midway through 2022.

“You know the Senate won’t give him a thumbs up,” he said.

Democrats’ views of Trump supporters over the past five years have been driven in part by journalist trips to places like Johnstown, once a Democratic stronghold. Many Democrats see the president’s base as enslaved to an authoritarian, energized by his racism and xenophobia, and unable to separate reality from his endless lies.

Many Trump supporters, in turn, do not have a more generous view of Biden’s voters. “Most of them are morons,” said Lois Peters, a retired saleswoman at a Westmoreland County department store.

She was baffled that Biden voters couldn’t see what she is doing, that the former vice president is mentally unfit to lead, and that a liberal and permissive Biden administration would lead to violence and looting, as following some demonstrations against police shootings. and the mistreatment of black people this spring.

“This vice president of Biden, oh my god, that woman is vicious,” Ms Peters said of Ms Harris. Then she surprised herself. “Now I look vicious,” she said. She continued, “But I feel like what I’m doing.”

Mary Jo DePalma, 60, who owns a jewelry store in Westmoreland County with her husband, said Democrats “seemed to hate the president so much” that she feared even Mr Biden’s victory would end their animosity to the right. “It will take a miracle to heal the nation,” she said. “I believe it started a long time ago, not just over the past three years.”

“I hope that in two years I am completely wrong,” she added. “I want the country to be united. I want to continue to have faith in America.”

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In Pennsylvania, Trump Voter Fury Predicts Nation Still Divided

PITTSBURGH – Like many Trump supporters, Dennis Tippie watched the steady tally of votes that wiped out the president’s advance in Pennsylvania, not with the belief that democracy was being played out, but with grim and growing anger.

“If he ends up with this number of electoral votes,” he told Joseph R. Biden Jr. last week, as Mr. Biden appeared en route to winning the state and the White House, “he would have won them by fraud, deception and simple criminality. ”

There is no evidence of fraud, deception or criminality in the counting of the postal votes that accumulated during the worst health crisis to hit the country in a century. The state’s Republican-controlled legislature has refused to allow processing of those ballots upon arrival, compounding delays until the race is called on Saturday, making Mr Biden the 46th president-elect.

But Mr. Tippie, a retired truck driver who absorbed the president’s words in part via Fox News, agreed with Mr. Trump and his surrogates that the election was stolen in front of their eyes. He lives in Nanty Glo, Pennsylvania, inside the state that so-called Philadelphia elites sometimes refer to as “Pennsyltucky.” For Mr. Tippie, Mr. Biden is “a total jerk,” his running mate, Kamala Harris, is “a very scary woman,” and a Biden presidency would be both illegitimate and disastrous.

But, he said, “I am not resigning myself to him being president.

While Mr. Biden has had major successes in turning Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania back to the Democrats, and succeeded in the rare ouster of an incumbent, he did not mark the crushing demolition of Mr. Trump to which de many Democrats had aspired, despite leading the popular vote of over four million.

Instead, Mr. Biden will inherit a country where many Americans are already supported in mutually hostile corners. It threatens the President-elect’s most fundamental campaign pledge: to unite Americans, to overcome divisions as a government strategy, to heal “the soul of the nation.”

“I think we are a long way from unifying the country, and I am sure Trump will continue to work to divide us,” said Catherine Lalonde, Democratic Party chairperson from Butler County, a blue-collar region in the western Pennsylvania.

“I don’t think his supporters will accept Biden’s victory and wouldn’t even do it if it were a bigger margin,” she added. “I have a feeling all of the Trump flags and signs will stay put until they fall apart.”

Interviews with Pennsylvania voters, mostly Trump supporters, showed that Pennsylvania reflects a nation still mired in tribal polarization. The country is perhaps ahead as deeply divided as ever.

Many of the president’s supporters were swayed by his blizzard of disinformation that illegal voting was rampant and election officials suppressed a Trump victory. They envision a democratic White House that bow to leftists, abandon the fight against China, and encourage rioters and looters.

While Mr. Biden has done a little better in the many Trump counties of Pennsylvania than Hillary Clinton did in 2016, the margins haven’t tightened as much as Democrats had expected or hoped. With a record turnout approaching 7 million in the state, Mr Biden’s advantage over Mr Trump was less than 1 percentage point on Saturday night – a far cry from Barack Obama’s wins of over 10 points in 2008 and more than five in 2012.

Certainly, there were Trump voters willing to accept the results as fair and move forward.

Chace Torres, 37, was making grilled cheese sandwiches for his family in Northampton County on Thursday night. At the time, Mr. Trump’s lead in the state, once close to 700,000, was shrinking as the ballots mailed were counted.

“I think the Trump supporters are going to suck it up and move on,” said Mr. Torres, a railway union. “We’re not going to miss tomorrow to loot and riot. We will bow our heads, go to work, feed our children, take care of the country as we always do. “

But others have not been swayed by Mr Biden’s calls for unity after four years of division.

Jessica Bell, a Trump voter in the suburbs of Philadelphia, said, “We are locked up and loaded” because she sees the country heading into civil disorder.

“I have my television on the news 24/7,” Ms. Bell said. “I have my phone in hand to follow social networks. I have slept about six hours since Monday. I watched very, very closely.

She cited reports on social media and Fox News to support her belief that the election was hijacked: Black Sharpies given to Arizona voters made the ballots invalid; Republican poll observers in Philadelphia were not allowed to see the tally; Nancy Pelosi controls the company that supplies electoral machines to Nevada.

These accusations, some raised by the Trump campaign and the president himself, are distortions or mere plots. Arizona election officials, for example, said the Black Sharpies did not invalidate a ballot and that a judge allowed observers in Philadelphia to be within six feet of the polling poll.

But Ms Bell, 32, who quit her job this summer as an assistant in a doctor’s office, insisted that “Americans are being silenced” and baselessly accused: “It’s a blow. of state.

Some Democrats hoped that with Mr. Trump removed from office, the nation would return to some semblance of normalcy, that divisiveness as government policy would end.

In Erie County, which Mr. Trump won in 2016 after long voting Democratic, the president raised expectations and hopes with his pledges to restore the industry. But Mr. Trump lost Erie County this year, in part because of his mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic and the chaos it has wreaked, said Carl Anderson III, a Democrat on the county council.

“Its flaws have been exposed,” Mr. Anderson said. “There are elements of extremists and ideologists who initially will not accept the outcome and may be able to protest, but as the dust settles and reality emerges, normalcy takes over.

The nature of Mr. Biden’s narrow victory in Pennsylvania underscored the challenges he will now face. His vote count was prompted by a surge of suburban voters: he improved Ms Clinton’s 2016 margins in the voice-rich counties surrounding Philadelphia by notable margins, including more than 7 percentage points in the county. of Chester and nearly five points in Montgomery County, the third most populous in the state.

But in Red Pennsylvania – a vast strip stretching from northeast to center to southwest – Mr. Trump has ceded very little ground. It has swept over most of the rural counties and small towns, with their faded industrial economies, through landslides. This suggests that the message behind Trumpism – a combination of promised industrial restoration and white grievances – has lost none of its appeal.

“People here still feel left out,” said Rob Gleason, a former state Republican Party chairman who lives in Johnstown, once a steel-making hub, now bleeding and struggling. “I can’t tell you how many people are saying that Trump is saying what I’ve been thinking my whole life.

Cambria County, which includes Johnstown, replaced Mr Trump with 37 points four years ago. This year, the county favored it by an identical margin.

“Trump’s support here in rural counties and the West will last two years,” Gleason said.

He predicted that with Mr. Biden in the White House, Republican senators would block him at every turn, with a view to winning seats midway through 2022.

“You know the Senate won’t give him a thumbs up,” he said.

Democrats’ views of Trump supporters over the past five years have been driven in part by journalist trips to places like Johnstown, once a Democratic stronghold. Many Democrats see the president’s base as enslaved to an authoritarian, energized by his racism and xenophobia, and unable to separate reality from his endless lies.

Many Trump supporters, in turn, do not have a more generous view of Biden’s voters. “Most of them are morons,” said Lois Peters, a retired saleswoman at a Westmoreland County department store.

She was baffled that Biden voters couldn’t see what she is doing, that the former vice president is mentally unfit to lead, and that a liberal and permissive Biden administration would lead to violence and looting, as following some demonstrations against police shootings. and the mistreatment of black people this spring.

“This vice president of Biden, oh my god, that woman is vicious,” Ms Peters said of Ms Harris. Then she surprised herself. “Now I look vicious,” she said. She continued, “But I feel like what I’m doing.”

Mary Jo DePalma, 60, who owns a jewelry store in Westmoreland County with her husband, said Democrats “seemed to hate the president so much” that she feared even Mr Biden’s victory would end their animosity to the right. “It will take a miracle to heal the nation,” she said. “I believe it started a long time ago, not just over the past three years.”

“I hope that in two years I am completely wrong,” she added. “I want the country to be united. I want to continue to have faith in America.”

Categories
Travel News

Making sense of the Californian voter

(The two are still too close to follow, but Proposition 19 was ahead while Proposition 15 was lagging behind early Thursday.)

Of course, there is no one explanation and no two voters are the same.

But McCuan said that in the absence of clear partisan priorities, voters have to judge for themselves which initiatives reflect their values.

[Here’s what’s at stake in the key propositions and Congressional races.]

And in the privacy of the (proverbial) voting booth, what he called a sort of California voter “Jekyll and Hyde” often emerges.

The Californian voter has “historically wanted good roads, good schools”.

At the same time, Mr McCuan said, “There is this notion of ‘Don’t tax me, tax the person behind the tree.

In other words, California voters may, by and large, want well-funded schools and infrastructure, and decent housing for all. They just aren’t willing to tax themselves to pay for these things.

[Read more about Proposition 15.]

This may explain the support for Proposition 19, which would give Californians 55 and older property tax relief when buying a new home, and opposition to Proposition 15, which would increase property taxes for some. business owners.

Then in some cases there is just a lot of money.

Proposition 22, the extent to which gig companies like Uber and Lyft spent more than $ 200 million on adoption, bombarding voters with push alerts, mailers and advertisements assuring voters that drivers preferred to stay independent contractors rather than employees, “sets a new threshold,” McCuan says.

Categories
Travel News

Twitter points to Trump posts that made premature or baseless claims of victory about voter fraud.

For the sixth time in less than 24 hours, Twitter flagged President Trump’s tweets on Wednesday for violating his rules, as they included unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud and premature declarations of victory in key battlefield states. .

Twitter attached warnings to each of the president’s tweets, but also to others posted by his allies, including, among others, his official campaign account, White House press secretary Kayleigh mcenany and the president’s son Eric trump. All three had, like the president, claimed Mr. Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania, a race no major news agency has said was decided.

At least three of Mr. Trump’s posts were hidden and one was partially hidden, but each allowed Twitter users to view them. The platform also restricted the ability of users to retweet or repost messages from the president who had violated company standards.

Twitter’s actions came as the possible path to Mr. Trump’s re-election narrowed, with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. winning over Wisconsin and Michigan, two states of the so-called Blue Wall of the Midwest that Mr. Trump won in 2016.

Mr Trump falsely claimed on Wednesday afternoon that he won not only Pennsylvania but also Georgia and North Carolina, states in which he had topped early vote totals, but where a significant number of ballots remained without count. In each case, his lead was diminishing.

Mr. Trump has nearly 88 million Twitter followers, who have been accused of Republicans bias during the campaign.

Categories
Travel News

California’s role in historic voter turnout

In other words, Californians play a major role in what my colleagues have reported as a historic increase in turnout across the country; the country is on track to exceed 150 million votes for the first time.

While it’s easy to say that opposition to the president is what drives Golden State voters to the polls, as The Reporter reported in Vacaville, Republican Party officials say their base is more energetic than never. This is part of why President Trump’s attacks on postal voting could backfire on the California government, according to CalMatters.

[Read The Times’s guide to the California races to watch.]

Yet the latest Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll found that not only will Joseph R. Biden Jr. clean up in California, but he could also win by the biggest margin since 1920, when Republican Warren Harding defeated the Democrat James Cox. by 42 percentage points.

Mr Biden leads by 36 percentage points, according to the poll, which – if confirmed in the vote tally – would be a Democratic presidential candidate’s biggest victory in state history, the poll’s authors said.

Either way, election officials are preparing to vote a lot more in person in the days ahead.

Over the weekend, new stadiums and arenas were opened as polling stations. While voters in some places, like Butte County and Riverside County, encountered computer delays, for the most part, things seemed to be going smoothly.

Learn more about the election:

  • On Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom has traveled to Nevada to campaign for Mr. Biden. [The Sacramento Bee]

  • President Trump has called on his supporters to watch the polls. It’s something people are already instructed to do – and it’s actually quite boring. [The New York Times]

  • Economists at Stanford University created a statistical model which estimated that at least 30,000 coronavirus infections and 700 deaths have been linked to 18 Trump campaign rallies. [The New York Times]

  • “I didn’t know there were so many Trump supporters in California.” Hundreds of people rallied for president in Beverly Hills. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • Here is how the A’s transformed the Oakland Coliseum at the largest polling center in Alameda County. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

  • Connect to a live broadcast of The Daily on Election Day with Times reporters across the country. They will describe what is happening in the major battlefield states from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. PT, at nytimes.com/thedaily.

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Register to have it delivered to your inbox.)


As the picture of the pandemic grows darker across the country, California’s progress in tackling new cases of the virus has been mixed.

[Track coronavirus cases by California county.]

The governor on Friday cut the ribbon on a new lab built by the state in partnership with the company PerkinElmer, which will double the state’s current testing capacity, once it is at full capacity in March – a decision Newsom says will help more schools, healthcare facilities and businesses operate more safely.

Still, there are worrying signs that the virus is far from under control in the state.

In recent days, some counties in southern California, including Los Angeles and Riverside, have reported worrying increases – again. The numerous cases in Orange County have hampered authorities’ efforts to reopen more businesses, like Disneyland. Even in San Francisco, which has been touted as a model for a measured reopening, officials said over the weekend they would suspend reopening plans due to the increase in cases and hospitalizations.

[Read about a debate over reopening classrooms in San Francisco.]

And after months of growing arrears, which led to a hard reset of the state’s unemployment claims system, California Department of Employment Development Director Sharon Hilliard announced on Friday that she would take his retirement at the end of the year.

Ms Hilliard, a nearly four-decade veteran of the ministry, stepped in to help manage the pandemic response in February.

Her departure will make her the second major figure in California’s coronavirus response from following a tech-related snafus: In August, Dr Sonia Angell, the state’s director of public health, abruptly said resigned a week after a data tracking problem caused nearly 300,000 records to disappear from the state system. The governor did not respond to repeated questions at the time as to whether the two were related.

[Here’s what to know about California’s tiered reopening plan.]

Taken together, the incidents underscore how much work remains to be done to overhaul what Mr Newsom has described as catastrophically outdated computer systems “decades in the making” and how essential that work will be for millions of unemployed Californians.

Learn more about the pandemic:

  • “It was Covid who really killed this child. Police link pandemic stress to spike in homicides in cities across the country, including California. [The New York Times]

  • If you missed it, here’s a detailed look, in partnership with 11 local newsrooms across the country, on what it means to be unemployed during the pandemic. A story comes from Santa Ana. [The New York Times | Voice of OC]

  • Rural farming towns of Kern County were hardest hit by Covid-19. [The Bakersfield Californian]

Here’s why the pandemic has hit Central Valley communities. [The New York Times]

  • Skeptical that masks actually work? (Again?) Here’s a graphic that shows how they’re protecting you and the people around you – in microscopic detail. [The New York Times]

  • The pandemic made this the saddest Día de los Muertos: “The dead man? There are so many.” [The Los Angeles Times]


As Election Day – as it will exist this year – gets closer and closer, my colleagues in the Style office have once again broadened the boundaries of “public service journalism” with this slightly chaotic electoral distractor. (Disclaimer: Eligible voters are only allowed to use it if they have already voted.)

Click to listen to Michael Barbaro, host of The Daily, react to things; watch a video showing the birth of a baby star; and watch a comedian try to guess which paint color is mixed. In the process, stay away from social media and try to forget that we are unlikely to get any final results on Tuesday night. In fact, we never did, anyway – and certainly not in California.


California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Have you received this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley, and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.