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The fight for the vote

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Democrats and Republicans are engaged in a bitter struggle for the right to vote. In almost all cases, Democrats are trying to make it easier for Americans to vote, and Republicans are trying to make it harder.

Much of the fight is voting by mail, which many people would rather do this year, to minimize their risk of contracting the coronavirus at a polling station. Lawyers have already filed more than 300 lawsuits, in 44 states, on issues related to pandemic voting. The most important cases are in the battlefield states on which the presidential election or the control of the Senate could hinge.

Here are the latest developments:

Pennsylvania: The state’s highest court has ruled that election officials should count mailed ballots that arrive up to three days after election day. Pennsylvania Republicans are trying to get the Supreme Court to overturn the order, so only ballots received before election day count.

North Carolina: Republicans and the Trump campaign have asked the Supreme Court to prevent the state’s board of elections from extending the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots. The council said ballots can arrive until Nov. 12, provided they are mailed out before election day.

Wisconsin: On Monday, the five Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices sided with Republican officials in Wisconsin, deciding that the ballots must arrive by 8 p.m. on election day to count. (A lower court ruling would have allowed state officials to count all ballots posted on polling day and received up to six days later.) In response, the state’s Democratic Party is urging voters to return the mail ballots in person – to a drop box. or the clerk’s office – rather than mailing them.

Nevada: The Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit to stop the counting of mail-in votes in the Las Vegas area, obviously hoping to challenge the signatures on many ballots. Last night, the campaign and the Nevada Republican Party filed a separate complaint, seeking detailed information about the counting process.

Texas: The state’s highest court yesterday upheld a policy announced by Greg Abbott, the Republican Governor, which limits each county to a single drop box for mail-in ballots. The state’s largest county – Harris, which includes Houston – has 4.7 million people.

Michigan: A Conservative judge yesterday overturned an order from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, and ruled that people can carry open weapons in polling stations on election day.

In many of these cases, Republicans have argued that changing voting rules due to the pandemic could lead to fraud (a largely baseless claim) and that allowing ballots to be counted after Election Day leads to confusion and chaos.

Democrats argued that protecting citizens’ right to vote, during a national crisis, should be the top priority. Democrats also pointed out that some Republicans had changed their stance on counting postal ballots: When late ballots seemed likely to help George W. Bush in Florida in 2000, Republicans argued that the state should them. to count.

For more: lists the false statements President Trump made yesterday about the vote. In Lawfare, Zahavah Levine explains the recent wave of lawsuits. In the Washington Post, electoral law expert Richard Hasen analyzes recent Supreme Court decisions. And the Times offers tips to make sure your mail-in ballot counts. (Short answer: use a drop box.)

The 2020 campaign

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers, after years of near-misses, beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1, to win their first World Series title since 1988.

  • The governor of Louisiana declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Zeta moved towards the Gulf Coast. The storm is expected to make landfall later today.

  • A Brooklyn judge has sentenced Keith Raniere, the leader of the Nxivm sectarian group, to life in prison for sex trafficking, racketeering and other crimes.

  • Latest from The Times Tax Investigation of Trump: Since 2010, his lenders have written off about $ 287 million in outstanding debt.

  • A federal judge has ruled that writer E. Jean Carroll can sue Trump over a decades-old rape allegation. The Justice Department had tried to block his prosecution.

  • Americans are buying guns at an all-time high, including many who previously did not own them.

  • One morning read: Mort Zwick, 82, has not been able to see his family since the start of the pandemic. He told The Times how he was doing, “Whenever I miss them I think about how lousy they were at one point in their growth.

  • Lives lived: Ming Cho Lee has created sets for hundreds of plays, dance works and operas, helping to redefine American stage design. He died at the age of 90.

The Times can help you navigate the election – to separate fact from fiction, make sense of polls, and make sure your ballot counts. To support our efforts, please consider subscribing today.

Residents of Puerto Rico are US citizens who do not have voting representation in Congress. Next week, they’ll vote in a referendum on whether they want to change that – and make the island a state.

Ultimately, the decision rests with Congress and the President. But if the referendum passes, it will increase the chances that a future Congress and president will grant statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington, DC Both the Democratic and Republican party platforms support allowing Puerto Ricans to decide whether they want to become a state.

“Puerto Rico’s statehood will definitively end the denial of the right to vote and the discrimination inherent in territorial status, which for more than a century has deprived US citizens of the island of their rightful place as equal members of the American family, ”state advocate George Laws Garcia told me yesterday. (Here’s a longer version of her case, in The Boston Herald.)

The composition of the Senate now gives disproportionate political power to white Americans, for two reasons: small states are heavily white, and the two most populous parts of the country without Senate representation – DC and Puerto Rico – are heavily black or Hispanic. Puerto Rico would become roughly the 31st largest state in terms of population, like Iowa and Utah.

Six months after its debut, Quibi – a streaming service that offered shows and movies in five to 10 minute increments – is in the process of shutting down. The company was built on the idea that people would pay for short form content that was produced in an expensive manner and specifically designed for their phones.

Much of Los Angeles appeared to be involved in its programming, including Steven Spielberg, LeBron James and Jennifer Lopez, and the company had raised nearly $ 1.8 billion. Still, Quibi’s trajectory is more likely to serve as a “Harvard Business School case study of what not to do when launching a streaming service,” an analyst told The Times.

The pandemic is partly responsible. Since Quibi was intended for phones, programming initially couldn’t be watched on TV – a feature that became increasingly problematic when people stayed at home.

But the company also didn’t seem to understand the needs of its extremely online audience. At first, users couldn’t take screenshots or share clips of Quibi’s shows, hampering its ability to generate interest on social media. “It didn’t provide any device with which its content could go viral,” Adam Epstein wrote in Quartz. “No memes. No trending hashtags. She relied almost entirely on her own marketing to increase her brand awareness. “

He didn’t have a clear audience either. Quibi didn’t offer high-profile shows, like HBO does, or bingeable content, like Netflix does. It was competing for attention with free platforms like TikTok, which arguably perfected the bite-size entertainment format. During a period when people’s screen time was on the rise, Quibi still couldn’t capture their attention.

Ground pork and green beans sautéed with a generous amount of ginger, garlic and chili peppers for this tasty dish. It is best served over rice or with rice noodles.

Yesterday’s Spelling Bee pangram was magazine. Today’s puzzle is above – or you can play it online if you have a Games membership.