Thousands of people, some braving hours-long waits, glitches and politically motivated obstruction, are flocking to cast early ballots and writing the story of a pandemic-era election that may change how America votes.
Heavy turnout at early voting centers in Georgia and Texas comes as many voters elsewhere take advantage of mail-in ballots, defying President Donald Trump’s misleading attempts to cast the election as the most corrupt in history.
Another of the President’s many misinformation efforts — his claim that the Obama administration spied on his team — suffered a serious blow on Tuesday when it emerged in a Washington Post report that a Justice Department probe into one key aspect of the conspiracy theory will end without even a public report.
Inspirational scenes of eager voters, in some cases in Georgia waiting eight hours to exercise their democratic rights, reflected enthusiasm on both sides at a raw moment in US history at the tail-end of a tumultuous presidential term.
Voters are facing the most difficult circumstances imaginable given the health emergency. Confidence in the election is also being challenged by court battles in a handful of states arising from apparent GOP efforts to complicate early balloting that Democratic voters prefer.
There are also infrastructure problems — for example the registration portal in Virginia crashed on Tuesday on the last day when citizens can sign up to vote.
Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden mostly concentrated Tuesday on winning votes rather than on how they will be counted.
The President corralled another large crowd in defiance of his own government’s social distancing recommendations as the pandemic takes a dark turn.
He is now promising multiple rallies per day — potentially risking the health of his supporters and making it likely they will spread Covid-19 into their communities as the predicted fall spike in infections takes hold.
Trump’s trip to Pennsylvania Tuesday highlighted the state’s potential role as a kingmaker on November 3 and forthcoming rallies in Iowa, North Carolina and Georgia show he’s playing defense across swathes of territory he won in 2016
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