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Monday, November 23, 2020

US Elections 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: Rain or shine, democracy waits for no one, says Kamala Harris

US Presidential Election 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: On Monday, Harris resumed her election campaign, which she had paused for a few days after two of her staffers tested positive with COVID-19.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 21, 2020 11:27:37 am
US elections, US elections 2020, US presidential elections, US presidential elections 2020, US economy, US racial equality, World news, Indian ExpressDemocratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris. (The New York Times)

US Presidential Elections 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: Rain or shine, democracy waits for no one, says Kamala Harris, the US Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate for the November 3 election, as she is seen lightly dancing in the rain addressing voters in Florida in a video which has gone viral on social media.

Harris, whose mother was from India and father from Jamaica, scripted history in August when she was picked by the Democratic Party as its vice presidential nominee. She is the first Black woman and the first Asian-American woman to be selected as the vice presidential nominee of a major political party in the US.

“Rain or shine, democracy waits for no one,” Harris, 55, said in a tweet along with a picture of herself dancing in the rain with an umbrella over her as supporters cheer her along in Jacksonville, Florida.

On Monday, Harris resumed her election campaign, which she had paused for a few days after two of her staffers tested positive with COVID-19. On Monday, she campaigned in Orlando and Jacksonville.

Meanwhile, the final faceoff between US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden will introduce a mute button to allow each candidate to speak uninterrupted in an effort to avoid disruptions that dominated the first debate. The Trump campaign objected to the new changes introduced but assured that Trump would participate in Thursday’s event. In the first presidential debate Trump repeatedly talked over Biden and the speaker, violating the event’s agreed upon rules.

Till Monday over 30.2 million American voters have already voted. This number represents more than one-fifth of all the votes cast in the 2016 election.

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Follow this space for the latest on US Elections 2020.

21:11 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Republicans see bright spot in 2020 voter registration push

The Republican Party has cut into Democrats' advantage in voter registration tallies across some critical presidential battleground states, a fact they point to as evidence of steady - and overlooked - enthusiasm for President Donald Trump and his party.

Even though Trump trails in national polls and struggles with fundraising with just weeks before Election Day, Republicans see their progress signing up voters in Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona and other states as a rare bright spot. Democrats appear to have been set back by their decision to curb in-person voter registration drives during much of the pandemic.

And in something of a reversal, Republicans are crowing about their success bringing in new voters who could ramp up turnout and deliver the White House to their candidate. "The best thing for voter registration is enthusiasm for a candidate and the infrastructure," said Nick Trainer, director of battleground strategy for Trump's reelection campaign. (AP)

20:34 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Hindu groups seek apology from Kamala Harris' niece for tweeting image depicting aunt as Durga

Hindu groups in the US have sought an apology from the niece of Senator Kamala Harris for tweeting an "offensive" image, which depicted the Democratic vice presidential nominee as goddess Durga.

The tweet has now been deleted by Meena Harris, 35, who is a lawyer, a children's book author and the founder of the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, an organisation that works to bring awareness to intersectional social causes.

"Your tweeting a caricature of the feminine divine, Maa Durga, with faces superimposed, deeply aggrieved many Hindus globally," Suhag A Shukla of the Hindu American Foundation said in a tweet on Monday. HAF, which represents the Hindu American community, has issued a guideline for commercial use of images relating to the religion.

Rishi Bhutada of the Hindu American Political Action Committee said the "offensive" picture was not created by Meena Harris herself. It had been circulating on WhatsApp prior to her tweet and the Biden campaign confirmed to him that the image was not created by it. (PTI)

19:36 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Trump Jr and Kimberly Guilfoyle emerge as star campaigners for the Republican Party

The US president's older son, Donald Trump Jr, and adviser, Kimberly Guilfoyle, have emerged as star campaigners for the Republican Party ahead of the November 3 presidential election, having crisscrossed the length and breadth of the country, drawing massive crowds to events where traditional 'Red' favourites -- the president and his deputy Mike Pence -- have been absent.

Trump Jr and Guilfoyle have taken up the mantle to campaign in the battleground states. In the week gone by and this week, Trump Jr, 42, has more than 30 campaign events, in addition to his multiple appearances on national television channels and local media.

Guilfoyle, who is in-charge of fund-raising in her capacity as National Chair of the Trump Victory Finance Committee, has been joining Trump Jr in the rallies and conducting separate events. (PTI)

16:25 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Trump attacks Dr Fauci and other public health experts as 'idiots" during campaign call

In an unprecedented attack on Dr Anthony Fauci and other public health experts, President Donald Trump has said that Americans are "tired" of hearing from "these idiots" who have been trying to quell the coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 220,000 people in the country.

Trump, a Republican, has been at loggerheads with public health experts on how to contain the pandemic, a major topic that could impact the outcome of the November 3 presidential election in which he is being challenged by former US vice president Joe Biden, a Democrat. "People are tired of COVID. I have these huge rallies. People are saying whatever. Just leave us alone. They're tired of it.

People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots," Trump said during a campaign conference call on Monday from his hotel in Las Vegas.

Trump then called Fauci, America's top infectious disease expert, "a disaster" and lamented that he would receive lots of negative press if he fired the doctor because he is a "nice guy." (AP)

16:17 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Rain or shine, democracy waits for no one: Kamala Harris

Rain or shine, democracy waits for no one, says Kamala Harris, the US Democratic Party's vice-presidential candidate for the November 3 election, as she is seen lightly dancing in the rain addressing voters in Florida in a video which has gone viral on social media.

Harris, whose mother was from India and father from Jamaica, scripted history in August when she was picked by the Democratic Party as its vice presidential nominee. She is the first Black woman and the first Asian-American woman to be selected as the vice presidential nominee of a major political party in the US.

"Rain or shine, democracy waits for no one," Harris, 55, said in a tweet along with a picture of herself dancing in the rain with an umbrella over her as supporters cheer her along in Jacksonville, Florida. (AP)

13:40 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Photos| Trump's latest rally in Tucson, Arizona

President Donald Trump spoke at a campaign rally at the Tucson International Airport in Arizona on Monday. (Photos by AP)

12:35 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Next year will be the greatest economic year in US history, says Trump

US President Donald Trump has predicted that the American economy will soon recover from the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown and that the next year will be the greatest economic year in the country's history. Republican incumbent Trump faces a stiff challenge from the Democratic Party's presidential nominee, Joe biden, in the November 3 elections. The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic condition and racial tensions have emerged as the main poll topics.

"Next year will be the greatest economic year in the history of our country, that's what's going to happen," Trump said at an election rally in Arizona, a battleground state, on Monday. (PTI)

10:59 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Trump appears to cut into Biden's lead in Pennsylvania

President Donald Trump appeared to cut into Democratic rival Joe Biden's lead in Pennsylvania, one of the election's most important battlegrounds, but Biden maintained a solid lead in Wisconsin, Reuters/Ipsos opinion polls showed on Monday.Reuters/Ipsos is polling likely voters in six states - Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona - that will play critical roles in deciding whether Trump wins a second term in office or if Biden ousts him.Below is a state-by-state look at Reuters/Ipsos findings, based on the online responses of likely voters, which include responses from some who cast ballots ahead of the formal Nov. 3 Election Day, which is increasingly common due to the coronavirus pandemic.

10:50 (IST)20 Oct 2020
WATCH| Are the 2020 US election voting systems secure?

10:07 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Supreme court rejects Republican bid to limit mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday allowed an extension of the deadline for mail-in absentee ballots in Pennsylvania for the Nov. 3 elections, declining a Republican request to block a lower court's ruling that gave voters more time.

"With nearly a million votes already cast in Pennsylvania, we support the court’s decision not to meddle in our already-working system," Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said in a statement.The state Republican Party and Republican officials in Pennsylvania separately had appealed the state Supreme Court ruling as they sought to tighten deadlines for mail-in ballots.

Pennsylvania is an election battleground state in the presidential election.

08:28 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Over 30 million have casted their votes till now

Till Monday over 30.2 million American voters have already voted. This number represents more than one-fifth of all the votes cast in the 2016 election. This week, more states will open their voting centres to avoid crowding on the election day. Floridians began early voting in much of the state Monday with no serious problems reported as the Trump campaign tries to cut into an early advantage Democrats have posted in mail-in votes in the key swing state.

08:27 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Trump objects to mute button, but committed to attend the debate

Trump's campaign objected to the change but said he would still take part.'President Trump is committed to debating Joe Biden
regardless of last-minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate,' campaign manager Bill Stepien said.

08:24 (IST)20 Oct 2020
How will the mute button work?

The Presidential Commission on Debates said each candidate's microphone would be silenced to allow the other to make two minutes of opening remarks at the beginning of each 15-minute segment of the debate. Both microphones will be turned on to allow a back-and-forth after that time.

08:21 (IST)20 Oct 2020
Final Trump-Biden debate will feature 'mute' button after chaotic first clash

The final faceoff between US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden will introduce a mute button to allow each candidate to speak uninterrupted in an effort to avoid disruptions that dominated the first debate. The Trump campaign objected to the new changes introduced but assured that Trump would participate in Thursday’s event. In the first presidential debate Trump repeatedly talked over Biden and the speaker, violating the event’s agreed upon rules.

22:22 (IST)19 Oct 2020
Florida begins early voting with no major problems reported

Floridians began early voting in much of the state Monday with no serious problems reported as the Trump campaign tries to cut into an early advantage Democrats have posted in mail-in votes in the key swing state.

The most populous counties reported wait times of 15 minutes or less at most of their early voting sites Monday afternoon, although a few sites reported waits of up to 90 minutes. One Palm Beach County site reported a three-hour wait. One county had to close an early voting site after the elections supervisor and an employee tested positive for the coronavirus and another county had its website go down.

In Miami, Aldo Rodriguez, 62, lined up early and waited in heavy rain to cast his ballot for Democrat Joe Biden over President Donald Trump. He said he wanted to make sure his ballot for the former vice president gets counted.

Biden “knows pretty much how the country was running and hopefully he’ll get it back the same way it was,” Rodriguez said. “No fighting against any colors or races, we are all the same. ...We shouldn’t have this bickering.” (AP)

21:20 (IST)19 Oct 2020
Some states allow ballots if voters die before Election Day

At 90 years old and living through a global pandemic, Hannah Carson knows time may be short. She wasted no time returning her absentee ballot for this year’s election.

As soon as it arrived at her senior living community, she filled it out and sent it back to her local election office in Charlotte, North Carolina. If something were to happen and she doesn’t make it to Election Day, Carson said she hopes her ballot will remain valid.

“I should think I should count, given all the years I have been here,” she said.

In North Carolina, a ballot cast by someone who subsequently dies can be set aside if a challenge is filed before Election Day with the county board of elections.

Questions over whether ballots will count if someone votes early but dies before Election Day are especially pressing this year, amid a coronavirus outbreak that has been especially perilous for older Americans. People 85 years and older represent nearly one in three deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. As an election looms, the odds against older people who contract the virus are on the minds of the elderly and their family members. (AP)

20:22 (IST)19 Oct 2020
Michigan governor pushes back against Trump rally chants

Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that President Donald Trump is inciting domestic terrorism following lock her up chants at his rally in the state the night before. Whitmer told NBC's Meet the Press that the rhetoric is incredibly disturbing a little more than a week after authorities announced they had thwarted an alleged plot to kidnap the Democratic governor."The president is at it again and inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism," Whitmer said.

"It is wrong. It's got to end. It is dangerous, not just for me and my family, but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow Americans. People of good will on both sides of the aisle need to step up and call this out and bring the heat down."

17:43 (IST)19 Oct 2020
Trump, Biden go on offense in states they're trying to flip

President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden went on offense Sunday, with each campaigning in states they are trying to flip during the Nov. 3 election that is just over two weeks away. Trump began his day in Nevada, making a rare visit to church before an evening rally in Carson City. Once considered a battleground, Nevada hasn't swung for a Republican presidential contender since 2004.

While seated in the front row at the nondenominational International Church of Las Vegas, Trump received blessings from the church's pastors, with Denise Goulet telling attendees that God told her Trump is the apple of his eye and would secure a second term. "At 4:30, the Lord said to me, 'I am going to give your president a second win,'" she said, telling Trump, you will be the president again.

Trump offered short remarks, saying "I love going to churches and that it was a great honour to attend the service. The president also said that we have a group on the other side that doesn't agree with us, and he urged people to get out there on Nov. 3 or sooner to vote. He dropped a wad of $20 bills in the collection plate before leaving. Biden, a practicing Catholic, attended Mass in Delaware before flying to North Carolina, which a Democratic presidential candidate hasn't won since Barack Obama in 2008. (AP)

15:51 (IST)19 Oct 2020
For good relationship with India, vote for Trump: Indian-American supporters

escribing President Donald Trump as India's "good friend", a group of Indian-Americans have urged the community members across the country to support and vote for the Republican leader in the November 3 elections.

Al Mason, co-chair of the Trump Victory Indian American Finance Committee, on Sunday said the Indian-American community has emerged as a force to reckon with for the first time in the history of the US presidential election.  "Your support will contribute to President Trump's win," he said.

"This is a historical election where we all e have to make a simple choice. Do we want better economy, less taxes and smaller government, then let's re-elect President Trump? You want to have a good friend for India, first time ever, let's elect President Trump," said eminent Indian businessman Chintu Patel.

Trump also needs to be elected to successfully address the challenges posed by China, said the founder of the Amneal pharmaceuticals at a 'meet a greet' event organised for Donald J Trump Jr, son of the president, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, national chair of the Trump Victory Finance Committee. (PTI)

13:57 (IST)19 Oct 2020
Trump runs the kind of campaign he likes, but not the one he might need

In public, President Donald Trump and his campaign team project a sense of optimism and bravado. When they meet with Republican donors and state party leaders, presidential aides insist they are fully capable of achieving a close victory over Joe Biden on Nov. 3.

On television and in campaign appearances, Trump and his children dismiss public polls that suggest that his prospects are bleak. The president’s calendar of events is packed through Election Day, with aides predicting a thrice-a-day rally schedule in the final weeks of the race. When Trump contemplates the prospect of defeat, he does so in a tone of denial and disbelief. (Read full analysis here)

President Donald Trump Saturday campaigned in Michigan as part of a swing through states that he won in the 2016 polls.  Addressing a rally in Muskegon, Michigan, Trump painted the Democrats as "anti-American radicals" on a crusade against American history. "The Democrat party you once knew doesn't exist," he highlighted. The president also leaned into fear tactics and accused the "left" of  erasing American history, purging American values and destroying the American way of life.

The tour comes Trump faces headwinds not only in national polling, which shows Democrat Joe Biden leading, but also in key battleground surveys. And it comes after the campaign largely retreated from TV advertising in the Midwest, shifting much of its money to Sun Belt states such as Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia, as well as Pennsylvania.

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