With 4 days to Election Day 2020, here’s the news that you’ll want to know:
Democrats still worried about Biden’s chances in Florida. His 11-point lead has dropped 8 points in 3 weeks.
“Democrats are sounding the alarm about weak voter turnout rates in Florida’s biggest county, Miami-Dade, where a strong Republican showing is endangering Joe Biden’s chances in the nation’s biggest swing state. No Democrat can win Florida without a huge turnout and big winning margins here to offset losses elsewhere in the state.” (POLITICO)
- Democrats are worried about Joe Biden’s chances in Florida. It is a critical battleground state, and the key county for Democrats, Miami-Dade, has shown “weak voter turnout rates.”
- Some Democrats blame the issues on the Biden campaign’s decision to stop door-to-door campaigning during COVID. Republicans did not do the same, and the Biden campaign later re-started their door-knocking efforts, too.
As Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Democrat, told POLITICO: “We did not get the kind of funding for different vendors who would do that type of work until late in the campaign.”
- Florida has been an ongoing concern for Democrats, which fueled erstwhile presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s decision to spend $100 million for Biden in the state.
- And the race is tightening: Biden went from an 11-point lead to a 3-point lead in three weeks.
What’s at stake:
- Florida has 29 electoral college votes, which makes it a major prize for both campaigns.
- Biden has made Florida a major focus of his victory plan, telling an audience this week: “If Florida goes blue, it’s over. It’s over!” But Democrats’ concerns — and his dropping poll numbers — suggest it’s not over yet.
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Ballots arriving after Election Day in two battleground states — Pennsylvania and Minnesota — will be separated from the rest. Future legal challenges seem expected.
“A panel of federal appellate judges ruled Thursday that ballots that arrive after polls close in Minnesota on Election Day must be segregated from ballots that arrive earlier, suggesting that future rulings could invalidate the late-arriving ballots.” (POLITICO)
- A federal court ruled that Minnesota must separate mail-in ballots that arrive after Election Day from those that arrived earlier. Minnesota previously required ballots to arrive on Election Day; but, due to COVID, the deadline was changed to within seven days of November 3rd.
- Pennsylvania will require ballots received after Election Day to be separated as well. Due to COVID, the state previously extended its deadline to November 6. However, that faces a legal challenge that has gone all the way to the Supreme Court.
- The Supreme Court may still issue a ruling on the Pennsylvania lawsuit regarding the ballot deadline.
What’s at stake:
- Post-election legal challenges have long been expected. The Biden campaign has prepared a team of 600 lawyers and is “pre-funding” its legal strategy. Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee and Trump campaign doubled their legal budget to $20 million.
- But this is the first indication of what area those challenges may focus on — and what could be at stake. We’ll continue to bring you updates as these stories develop, on Election Day and after.
Pennsylvania county races to distribute ballots after thousands of voters say they haven’t received theirs yet.
“Of the 40,000 ballots sent out, approximately 21,300 have been returned, but officials claim that thousands of Butler County residents have phoned in or emailed to claim their ballot has yet to arrive. Around 40 people have been tasked with handling the issues, including deputy sheriffs who are delivering ballots to those who are incapable of voting in-person.” (Daily Wire)
- Thousands of voters in Butler County, Pennsylvania — described as a “staunch Republican county for decades” — have reportedly not received their mail-in ballots. The county had mailed out 40,000 ballots; so far, just over 21,000 have been returned.
- In response, the county has 40 people working to make sure voters can cast ballots. As Fox News reported, that includes “a triage call center, deputy sheriffs delivering ballots to those who can’t go vote in person, a team checking in the ballots that are getting back to the county, individuals in the lobby of the elections bureau taking ballots that are being hand-delivered and senior county staff pitching in as well.”
What’s at stake:
- First, and most important, eligible voters must be able to vote! The county’s major effort to make sure affected voters are able to cast ballots is the only good news in this story.
- But this development comes at a challenging time, as even the Pennsylvania governor has encouraged voters to now physically return their ballots — not rely on the mail — to get them in before Election Day.
- Pennsylvania is an important battleground state with a narrow margin of victory. President Trump won the state by just over 44,000 votes in 2016.