2020 Election

Election workers around the country are preparing for what could be one of the most chaotic elections in history. There's not only a pandemic, but dozens of ongoing legal fights over voting rules. That's left a lot of things up in the air only weeks before Election Day.

In election offices such as the one in Lehigh County, Pa., workers are trying to deal with the uncertainty.

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"The swingiest of swing states." That's what one political scientist dubbed North Carolina. Indeed, we've had some of the nation's closest presidential elections since the state went for Barack Obama in 2008 and then Republican for the next two elections. This time around, Democrats and Republicans are after what they agree is the demographic that could sway the presidential and statewide races. Politico's Michael Kruse looked at this dynamic in a recent article. He lives in Davidson and joins us now.

#NC11: Aggressive Tweets Overshadow Race

18 hours ago

Candidates seeking to replace former Congressman Mark Meadows in Western North Carolina have spent plenty of time attacking each other.  It’s gone to a new level now however after controversial tweets resurfaced earlier this month.

The greatest peril posed to American elections is that the cloud of fear and uncertainty about them will cause citizens to stop believing they matter, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Congress on Thursday.

Wray was asked in a House Homeland Security Committee hearing about his No. 1 concern as the FBI and other agencies work to quash the manifold foreign threats posed to this and future elections. He said the worst danger isn't something within the power of a foreign government.

NC GOP

Republicans are making "law and order" a key part of their fall campaigns. And that includes North Carolina’s state legislative races, where GOP House Speaker Tim Moore this week accused more than 40 Democratic candidates of supporting an agenda that would defund the police.

Biden Steps Up Focus On Health Care In New Ad

Sep 16, 2020
Joe Biden For President

The time of presidential candidates giving little attention to health care is starting to change.

Joe Biden's campaign says it now has a $65 million health care campaign underway. The campaign includes two ads that feature President Trump’s efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act.

TIFFANY TERTIPES / UNSPLASH / CREATIVE COMMONS

MATTHEWS -- A mixup with the first absentee ballots sent in North Carolina caused some voters to receive two identical ballots for the November general election, according to election officials.

Cal Cunningham ad
YouTube.com/CalCunningham

Health care was a central topic of last year’s Democratic presidential debates. 

A year later, the focus has shifted. Those who watched the Republican and Democratic conventions heard more about leadership, threats to the democracy, violence and the pandemic.

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It looks, for now, like President Trump has bounced back a little after bottoming out.

The president was at a low point against former Vice President Joe Biden, but in the past month, even though Biden still has an edge, the landscape has tightened some, according to the latest NPR Electoral College analysis.

Absentee Voting Bill Headed To SC Gov. McMaster's Desk

Sep 15, 2020
TIFFANY TERTIPES / UNSPLASH / CREATIVE COMMONS

 

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The first day of the South Carolina legislature's two-week special session to wrap up ends left loose by the COVID-19 pandemic was marked by two groups advocating for constitutional rights at the capitol building: One urging legislators to expand protections for voters this fall, and one demanding state leaders take the pandemic less seriously.

Do you have questions about the 2020 General Election? This year, with the coronavirus pandemic, knowing how to vote is just as important as what is on the ballot. WFAE has answers to some of the biggest questions you might have about the Nov. 3 election. 

Where Do I Vote?

Where you vote depends on what precinct you live in – and there are around 200 precincts in Mecklenburg County.

WRAL

Republican Thom Tillis and Democrat Cal Cunningham were asked a hypothetical question during their first debate Monday night: If a COVID vaccine arrives before Election Day, would they take it? Would they encourage others to do so?

Twitter and Facebook both flagged posts by President Trump on Saturday that encouraged Americans to vote by mail as early as possible and then follow up that vote by going to the polls on Election Day to check that it was counted — action that could cause unnecessarily long lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Camilo Villa, a sophomore at Providence College, and his peers, there's one issue that keeps coming up: getting ready to vote.

"It's an icebreaker. 'Are you registered? Are you voting? Who are you voting for?' " he describes. "We finally get to perform our first real adult civic duty. It's like — I'm a big boy now, I get to go out and vote for what I believe in."

There's a political adage when it comes to young voters: always promised, never delivered.

But Villa thinks this could be the year that trend is reversed.

TIFFANY TERTIPES / UNSPLASH / CREATIVE COMMONS

COVID-19 has changed the way we work, the way we travel -- and the way we vote. More than 710,000 North Carolina voters have requested an absentee ballot for the November election. That’s compared to 46,000 requested ballots for the 2016 election.

WFAE's "All Things Considered" host Gwendolyn Glenn and reporter Alexandra Watts talk about how to vote absentee in the upcoming general election.

Google says it is making changes to its autocomplete feature ahead of the November presidential election.

Autocomplete suggests possible search terms based on what a user starts typing. In a blog post, Google said it was removing suggestions that could be viewed as being for or against a particular candidate or party.

The search engine also is blocking suggestions that could be viewed as claims about "the integrity or legitimacy of electoral processes."

10,000 North Carolinans Vote Absentee In First Week

Sep 11, 2020
Tiffany Tertipes / Unsplasn

RALEIGH — Nearly 10,000 North Carolinians had their mail-in ballots accepted in the first week of voting, according to data released Friday by the State Board of Elections.

The 2020 presidential campaign heads into the fall stretch with a dizzying pace of news developments threatening to upend the contest. But NPR interviews with voters across the country around Labor Day weekend found that most are locked into their support for either President Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The small contingent of undecided voters said they are unenthusiastic about their choices.

Denise Cross Photography

COVID-19 has made this election season more challenging — not just for voters, but the people in charge of elections. The hiring of poll workers, organizing precincts, mail-in ballot requests and mail and voting — you get the idea.

WFAE screenshot

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham hasn’t campaigned in person since the first stay-at-home order was issued in March.

Absentee ballots for the upcoming November election have already been mailed out to voters in North Carolina, and voters in some two dozen additional states can expect theirs in the coming few weeks. Because of the coronavirus pandemic a record number of Americans are expected to cast their ballots by mail this year.

Veterans Are Divided About Reports Trump Disparaged Military

Sep 6, 2020
PXHERE

FAYETTEVILLE — In this soldier's city and across the country, veterans and military families are divided about reports that President Donald Trump made disparaging comments toward the military, with some service members bristling at the remarks and others questioning whether they happened.

Unsplash

Your access to the internet could be vastly different in the future, depending on who is elected president in November. 

As Early Voting Days Approach, Some NC Counties Still Need Poll Workers

Sep 5, 2020
Erin Keever / WFAE

At least a quarter of North Carolina’s counties are struggling to recruit poll workers for the 2020 election.

That’s according to a survey of counties conducted last week by the state Board of Elections. State election officials expect millions of voters to cast ballots in person in North Carolina during October’s early voting days and on Election Day, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

President Trump is vehemently defending himself against allegations that he has privately disparaged veterans for their military service during his time in office even as his campaign has sought to showcase his support for those in uniform.

The characterization of Trump as a commander in chief who privately denigrates veterans even while he publicly lavishes praise upon them and claims them as part of his voting base is freighted with political risk ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

The 2020 general election has begun with North Carolina becoming the first state to start mailing out absentee ballots on Friday, two months before Election Day.

Other states will begin doing the same over the next few weeks in an election that's expected to break all records in the number of ballots cast early and by mail. Minnesota will be the first state to offer early in-person voting starting Sept. 18, with many states following not long afterward.

Tiffany Tertipes / UnSplash

North Carolina will start sending out absentee mail ballots on Friday for the November election – the first state to do so.

Updated at 3:08 p.m. ET

President Trump, who has frequently criticized mail-in voting, on Wednesday took his attacks on the process a step further, telling supporters in North Carolina they should go to polls even after voting by mail to "make sure it counted."

Voting twice would be a felony under North Carolina law — as is inducing someone to vote twice — warned Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, who issued a statement Thursday morning.

SC Senate OKs No-Excuse Absentee Voting; Rejects Drop Boxes

Sep 2, 2020
S.C. General Assembly
JASON AG / FLICKR

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Senate agreed on Wednesday to allow all voters in the state to cast absentee ballots because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but rejected a proposal by Democrats to allow ballots to be placed in drop boxes.

The historic district in the town of Waxhaw, N.C., is marked with lines of traditional shops and the sounds of the train that runs through it.

Sixty-nine-year-old Allen Cronk is visiting a used-book store in town. The Marine Corps veteran is a Republican voter and supporting President Trump for reelection, though he says the current state of retirement benefits, like Social Security and assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs, are "a mess."

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