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The website crashed afterwards an electronic fiber has been cut just south of Richmond, according to the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, which deals with state cybersecurity. The cut hit several state government agencies on Tuesday. The fault should have been fixed by noon, an official said.
The Virginia Voter Registration website advised people trying to register to vote in the meantime to print and complete a paper application, which can count as long as it is delivered to a voter registration office or postmarked Tuesday. .
Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, said he was “monitoring the situation closely” and is expected to speak at 2:00 pm.
Andrea Gaines, a spokesman for the Virginia Election Department, said Verizon technicians are working to repair the cut.
Early voting began Tuesday in Texas with long lines in San Antonio and outside Houston, some the result of higher turnout and others related to voting machine failures.
In Fort Bend County, Texas, a rapidly growing suburb of more than 800,000 people southwest of Houston, all voting machines at 30 early voting sites failed Tuesday morning due to a “scheduling error. “, according to Judge KP George, the county’s top elected official.
Mr. George, a Democrat elected in 2018, said that by 10 a.m. local time, more than 70 percent of the voting machines on the county’s early voting sites were back online.
“We are about to start a full investigation. This is 100% unacceptable, “George said.” Something bad happened and I don’t have an exact answer. “
Fort Bend County is the epicenter of a rapidly diversifying suburban Texas constituency. The state’s 22nd congressional district, vacated by Rep. Pete Olson, a Republican, is considered a disaster by the Cook Political Report, a leading election meteorologist. Democratic candidate, Sri Kulkarni, has raised five times more money than his Republican opponent, Sheriff Troy Nehls.
The county is one of the fastest growing nations and is becoming a democratic stronghold. Mitt Romney took it by 6.8 points in 2012, but four years later Hillary Clinton won it by 6.6 points. In his 2018 Senate run, Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat, won the county by 12.1 points in his narrow loss to Senator Ted Cruz.
The downed voting machines led to long lines of voters trying to vote. The Democratic Party of Texas sent volunteers with food and water to encourage voters to stay on the line.
In San Antonio, long lines in polling stations it has nothing to do with car problems, officials said.
“They didn’t have a complaint about the cars,” said Judge Nelson W. Wolff, a Bexar County executive, which includes San Antonio. “It’s just a huge turnout.”
Mr. Wolff, a Democrat, said one reason for the long lines was the elimination of direct ticket voting by the Republican-controlled Texas state legislature.
For a century, Texas has allowed single ticket or one-shot voting: voters select a party’s entire list with one vote, instead of having to cast separate votes for each race.
Full ticket voting was especially popular with Democrats, but after Mr. O’Rourke led the party to overwhelming victories in local races in 2018, as lawmakers passed a law that eliminated the full-ticket voting option.
A federal appeals court upheld the law in a recent ruling. This means that many voters are taking longer to fill out their ballots, and they are doing it for the first time because this is the first election in which they can no longer vote directly.
“People are taking a little longer to vote,” Wolff said. “They have to pass and vote for everyone individually, so that means holding him back.”
Abhi Rahman, a spokesman for the Texas Democrats, said voter turnout Tuesday morning was particularly heavy in Democratic counties, adding that some voters were spurred on by the Supreme Court confirmation hearing in Washington.
An estimated 3 million new voters have registered in the state since 2016, which has had a net increase of 1.3 million voters since 2018 alone.
“The vast majority of these voters should become Democrats,” Rahman said.
The first lines of voting in Texas came the day after record turnout in Georgia, where election officials said 128,590 ballots were cast on Monday’s first day of early voting, nearly 38,000 more than in 2016. Some Georgian voters stood in line for eight hours.
Judge Barrett refused Tuesday to say whether she would withdraw, if confirmed, from considering an upcoming case in which Republican states are again trying to get the Supreme Court to cancel the Affordable Care Act – or any case that might arise. whether there is a legal dispute over the outcome of next month’s presidential election.
When questioned by Mr. Graham about his participation in the pending health case, the candidate, who criticized a previous Supreme Court decision that refused to eliminate a key part of the health care law, said whether a justice should recuse itself is a “legal question” and “not a question I could answer in the abstract.”
He also cited a statute which says, among other things, that judges should object “whenever their impartiality could reasonably be questioned”. However, Justice Barrett also acknowledged that whether that standard was met is up to each individual justice to decide for itself.
Later, under interrogation by Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont – who noted that President Trump said he needs confirmation from his candidate because he thinks the Democrats will try to steal his election and end up in court – even the Judge Barrett did not. respond, instead saying that he would work faithfully through the decision process on what to do.
Mr. Leahy noted that he simply offered a “kind of warm response to the recusal”.
Supreme Court justices don’t like to recuse themselves, in part because, unlike the district and appellate court levels, there’s no one to replace them if they step aside. If a judge decides to stay on a case despite allegations of conflict of interest, there is no appeal.
When asked about other issues – notably abortion rights – Judge Barrett spoke of the “stare decisis” doctrine, according to which the Supreme Court should be reluctant to review issues it has previously decided.
But he noted that the legal question at stake in the next Affordable Care Act case – whether the entire law needs to be canceled because part of it was found to be imperfect, or whether the defective part is “separable” from the rest – was not addressed. in the previous case, which means that there were no precedents to respect. And he reported that he did not think he had said or written anything expressing an opinion on the subject in question.
“Actually, the problem in the case is this doctrine of severability and it’s not something I’ve ever talked about with respect to the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “Honestly, I haven’t written anything about severability that I know of.”
Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah and his party’s 2012 presidential candidate, expressed on Twitter a fierce condemnation of President Trump and Democrats for their role in what he called the descent of American politics into a “swamp.” full of hatred “, pleading for the leaders to” lower the fire “on a speech that, he said, had become dangerously divisive.
In a statement, Mr. Romney said he had bitten his tongue in recent weeks as the November presidential election was approaching, but felt the need to weigh up after seeing vitriol rise from all sides and its amplification aside. of the media. He said the world was “watching in abject horror” at what was happening in the United States and warned that vitriol would lead to more violence and crime.
“I am troubled by our politics, as it has moved from a heated debate to a vile, shameful and hateful swamp that does not befit any free nation – let alone the birthplace of modern democracy,” Romney said. He was one of the few Republicans in the Senate willing to challenge Trump, even when he was the only party member to vote to remove him from office in the impeachment trial.
While Mr. Romney scolded both sides, he was particularly pointed in his criticisms of Mr. Trump. “The president calls the Democratic vice presidential candidate ‘a monster,'” Romney said. “Asks the justice department to jail the previous president; attacks the governor of Michigan the same day a plot to kidnap her is discovered. “
Democrats he pinpointed at fault included President Nancy Pelosi, for tearing up Trump’s State of the Union address earlier this year, and Keith Olbermann, a former MSNBC host who blamed for describing the president as a “terrorist”. It seemed to at least partially exclude former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
“Democrats launch violent attacks on their own, even if their presidential candidate refuses to stoop like the others,” Romney said.
“It’s time to turn the temperature down,” Romney concluded. He warned: “The consequences of the crescendo of anger lead to a very bad place.”
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has been debated as a possible target by members of an anti-government group accused last week of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor F.B.I. he said Tuesday.
During a hearing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Special Agent Richard J. Trask II of F.B.I. said Northam and other officials have been targeted because of their aggressive blocking orders to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Last week, 13 men accused of involvement in the alleged conspiracy were charged with a number of state and federal crimes including terrorism, conspiracy and possession of weapons. They also talked about planning to storm the Michigan State Capitol and start a civil war, authorities said.
During the hearing on Tuesday, authorities revealed that the suspects also spoke of “taking” the governor of Virginia “on the basis” of coronavirus blocking orders that restricted businesses.
In April, President Trump openly encouraged right-wing protests against social distancing restrictions in Virginia, Michigan and other states with stay-at-home orders, one day after his administration announced guidelines for governors to establish their own times for reopening. “FREE VIRGINIA and save your awesome second amendment” wrote the president on Twitter then. “He’s under siege!”
Mr. Trask said some of the suspects held a meeting in Dublin, Ohio, several months ago, where they “discussed possible goals” for “hiring an incumbent governor.”
Mr. Trask also provided further details on the alleged plans to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. One of the suspects, Adam Fox, spoke of a plan to take Ms. Whitmer on a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan and leave her stuck with the engine disabled so that someone has to “come and rescue her,” Mr. Trask said.
Last week, authorities said the men were affiliated with an extremist group called Wolverine Watchmen, which court documents called “a group of anti-government and law enforcement militias.”
The group has met many times for tactical and firearms training and practiced explosives construction, F.B.I. he said, and spoke of attacking law enforcement.
Mr. Trask and the prosecutor mentioned several other men who, according to them, were involved in the surveillance and discussion of the plot, including one from Wisconsin, but who were not among those arrested.
The testimony also indicated that participants suspected government whistleblowers were monitoring or infiltrating their group, switching encrypted messaging platforms and exchanging codenames in hopes of escaping such surveillance.
At one point, after a planning trip to examine the governor’s vacation home and surrounding area, Mr. Fox requested that all attendees be scanned with a device that should identify if anyone was wearing a transmission cable or a recording device.
The effort apparently failed, Mr. Trask said, with the group eventually infiltrated by four informants or undercover agents who continued to document what the group was planning.
A poll from North Carolina’s Monmouth University brought more good news for Democrats on Tuesday, with Joseph R. Biden Jr. maintaining a tight lead over President Trump and Cal Cunningham continuing to beat Senator Thom Tillis.
The survey of 500 registered voters shows that Mr. Biden is three points ahead of Mr. Trump, from 49 to 46 percent, with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. Only two percent of registered voters said they were undecided.
Mr. Tillis, the Republican incumbent, is four percentage points behind Mr. Cunningham, from 48 to 44 percent, with just three percent of voters saying they are undecided, the poll found.
The poll was conducted October 8-11, following Trump’s first presidential debate and positive coronavirus test, and almost immediately after reports surfaced that Mr. Cunningham had been exchanging romantic text messages with a married woman who she is not his wife.
Mr. Cunningham, a former state senator and Iraq war veteran, immediately acknowledged the messages and apologized. This poll suggested that the controversy hadn’t hurt him: In a Monmouth poll conducted in September, Mr. Cunningham led Mr. Tillis by just one percentage point, from 46% to 45%.
A poll conducted last month by the New York Times / Siena College of North Carolina voters found Mr. Biden ahead of Trump by one point and Mr. Cunningham leading Mr. Tillis by five points.
North Carolina, which Mr. Trump led by nearly four points in 2016, is a critical battleground. The Democrats’ effort to oust Mr. Tillis is crucial to their hopes of regaining the Senate, which will require them to win three or four seats, depending on the presidential winner.
The Cook Political Report on Tuesday changed its ratings of three closely-watched Senate contests, shifting their projections towards Democrats to three weeks before election day and stating that “Democrats are now the favorites to overturn control of the Senate. “.
All three races feature the Republicans in office. The report shifted the rating for Senator Kelly Loeffler’s Georgia run from “Lean R” (for Republican) to “Tossup”, and the races of Senators Dan Sullivan of Alaska and John Cornyn of Texas from “Likely-R” to “Lean-R.”
“A drop not only in the number of President Trump’s re-elections after his disastrous first debate performance and coronavirus diagnosis, but also in the subsequent GOP ballot polls paint a disastrous picture for Republicans across the board at a very precarious time. “wrote Jessica Taylor, a publisher of Cook, one of the most important election forecasters.
Democrats must win four Senate seats held by Republicans to take the majority, or three if their presidential candidate, Joseph R. Biden Jr., wins the White House, which would allow his vice president, Kamala Harris, to break the rules. ties in the House.
The seat held by Senator Doug Jones, a Democrat from Alabama, is rated “Lean-R” by the Cook Political Report, and many Democratic strategists expect to lose it. But based on the report’s latest assessments, the party is competitive in contests for a dozen Republican seats. The party is favored to overturn at least two seats – in Arizona and Colorado – according to the analysis and is blocked in seven other seats, including Ms. Loeffler’s.
Ms. Loeffler is in a special multi-candidate election in November where the top two candidates will proceed to the January ballot if no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote. A University of Georgia poll released last week showed it in second place, with 22% support, behind Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, with 28%. But a plurality of Georgia voters said they supported a Republican for the seat – even a second Republican candidate voted over 20 percent.
In Texas, Mr. Cornyn faces a tough challenge from M.J. Hegar, a former Air Force helicopter pilot who came close to defeating a reigning House Republican member in a deeply conservative district two years ago.
And in Alaska, Mr. Sullivan has to contend with Al Gross, a former orthopedic surgeon and commercial fisherman running as an independent candidate with the backing of state and national Democrats.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci insisted Tuesday that there was no “rift” between him and President Trump, although he escalated his criticisms of Trump’s campaign for quoting him “out of context” in a televised ad praising the administration’s coronavirus response.
“I have been a public official for five decades now and have never directly or indirectly endorsed any political candidate,” Dr. Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease specialist, said in an interview, reiterating comments he made on CNN. on the weekend. “That announcement clearly implies that I am supporting a political candidate and have not given them permission to do so. And on top of that, the quote they took is completely out of context.”
The Trump campaign ran the new announcement last week after the president was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following treatment for Covid-19.
“President Trump has faced the virus head on, as leaders should,” the announcement states, before moving on to an interview in which Dr. Fauci said, “I can’t imagine that … anyone could Do more”.
Dr Fauci said the comment was made “months and months ago” (in March, at the start of the pandemic) in reference to the hard work of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, when the group “met literally seven days. per week”. and “knock ourselves out”.
He said he blamed the campaign, not “the president as a person,” but admitted he has little power to make the announcement go away. He said he hadn’t contacted the president or the campaign – “and I don’t want to contact them.” Ma ha anche avvertito che l’annuncio potrebbe ritorcersi contro.
“Penso che se continuano a farlo, e metto in chiaro che questo è qualcosa di cui non sono contento, perché non ho dato il permesso e che vorrei che smettessero, e continuano a farlo, “Ha detto,” potrebbero spegnere molte persone “.
La campagna di Biden ha pubblicato lunedì un annuncio che derideva la campagna di Trump per il modo in cui ha riproposto la citazione del dottor Fauci. L’annuncio presentava un montaggio ovviamente incollato dei discorsi del presidente, poche parole alla volta, in cui si diceva: “Non riesco a gestire l’epidemia di coronavirus”.
Donald Trump sta pubblicando annunci televisivi che escludono il dottor Fauci dal contesto e senza il suo permesso.
Quindi, ecco un messaggio del Presidente con le sue stesse parole. pic.twitter.com/WCYbIfrQLR
– Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) 12 October 2020
In un’intervista con The Daily Beast, il dottor Fauci ha detto che la campagna era “in effetti, mi molesta” – un commento che ha detto al New York Times che ha fatto “perché avevo sentito che avrebbero continuato a farlo con altri annunci , dato che ho detto esplicitamente che non mi piace e non do loro il permesso. “
Lunedì, il dottor Fauci aveva avvertito che il piano del presidente Trump di riprendere un programma completo di manifestazioni quando il virus è in aumento in gran parte del paese era “in cerca di guai”.
Lui ha detto alla CNN, “Abbiamo visto che quando si hanno situazioni di congregazioni in cui ci sono molte persone senza maschere, i dati parlano da soli. Succede. E ora è ancora di più un momento peggiore per farlo, perché quando guardi cosa sta succedendo negli Stati Uniti, è davvero molto fastidioso “.
Ha notato che molti stati stavano ora vedendo un aumento dei test positivi e ha suggerito che gli americani dovrebbero “raddoppiare” le precauzioni piuttosto che metterle da parte.
La maggior parte del pubblico al raduno gremito di Mr. Trumps vicino a Orlando, in Florida, lunedì sera è stato smascherato.
A federal appeals court reinstated restrictions late Monday night that would allow just a single ballot drop-off site per county in Texas, allowing Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to proceed over criticism that it would make voting more difficult and dangerous.
The three-judge panel in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, all of whom were appointed by President Trump, reversed a lower court decision from Friday that had blocked the restrictions. The judges wrote that the order “does nothing to prevent Texans from mailing in their absentee ballots, as they have done in the past in election after election.”
It’s unclear if the decision will be the final word in the back-and-forth legal battle.
Gov. Abbott created the rule on Oct. 1, citing election security and saying it would “help stop attempts at illegal voting.” There is no evidence tying mail-in ballots to widespread fraud; Democrats see the move as voter suppression, arguing the restriction targets densely populated areas with more Democratic voters.
Several Texas counties had created multiple drop-off locations, intending to make voting easier for people wary of long Election Day lines or delays in mailing their ballots in. The Texas League of United Latin American Citizens and other civil rights organizations sued over the governor’s restrictions, saying they would harm vulnerable voters.
Polls have indicated Texas, long a Republican stronghold, is competitive this year in both the presdiential and U.S. Senate races. Early voting began in Texas on Tuesday.
A lot of voters are asking these questions right now: How quickly will ballots be counted in the presidential election? Which states will have results — and possibly a winner — on election night?
In a year when absentee ballots are surging, a lot depends on when officials first start what’s called pre-processing of ballots. This ranges from verifying signatures, opening envelopes and flattening ballots to get them ready for tabulation.
Some states begin this work weeks in advance and others are only allowed to begin on Election Day. States that begin early may have a lot more results counted by election night.
Because of the surge in mail ballots that need to be counted, if the presidential race is close, the winner may not be known on election night. More than 80.5 million absentee ballots have already been requested or sent to voters nationwide.
Facing a steep surge in coronavirus cases, health officials in Minnesota have connected two dozen virus cases to people who attended presidential campaign events in the past month, most of them attendees at airport rallies hosted by President Trump.
State officials said 16 of the cases were tied to a Sept. 18 outdoor rally at the airport in Bemidji, where Mr. Trump addressed a packed and mostly-maskless crowd.
Four of those cases were reported by people who had gone to the rally to protest Mr. Trump’s visit, Kris Ehresmann, the state’s infectious disease director, said on Monday. The officials were careful not to conclude that the infected people caught the virus at the events they attended.
Three people who attended a Sept. 30 Trump rally in Duluth and three people who attended a Sept. 24 rally featuring Vice President Mike Pence at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport also tested positive for the virus, Ms. Ehresmann said. One person was present at both events.
But the infections were not limited to Republican events: Health officials also reported that one person who attended a Sept. 16 event for Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Duluth later contracted the virus, as did one person who went to a Sept. 22 Biden event in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Park.
Minnesota reported 1,537 new infections on Saturday, its highest one-day figure since the pandemic began.
WinRed, the donation-processing digital platform created last year to help Republicans catch up with Democrats’ online fund-raising, announced this week that it had passed the $1 billion mark in only 15 months.
The for-profit site, founded by Republican strategists, processed $623.5 million in the third quarter of 2020. Its Democratic counterpart, the nonprofit platform ActBlue, which was launched in 2004, processed about $1.5 billion in that time frame.
Gerrit Lansing, the president of WinRed, wrote in a memo that Republicans were closing the gap on the Democrats’ online fund-raising advantage: “A critical problem grew continuously for 15 years, reshaping how politics was financed — and a solution had previously proven elusive.”
On its single biggest day, Sept. 30, WinRed raised $24.8 million. ActBlue did not hit that mark until this June, 15 years into its existence. (On Sept. 30, ActBlue processed more than $65 million.)
For four consecutive quarters, WinRed has doubled or nearly doubled the amount raised in its previous quarter — an enormous rate of growth that has been driven mostly by President Trump and the Republican Party using the platform. It has raised $1.2 billion in total.
Mr. Trump cheered the site’s success on Tuesday in a tweet.
The site did not break down how much various candidates and campaigns raised last quarter but will be required to do so in filings later this week with the Federal Election Commission.
His voice was hoarse and strained.
But during his 65-minute speech on Monday night from an airport hangar in Sanford, Fla., President Trump’s physical presence onstage was his takeaway message: He appeared, for the most part, unchanged despite being hospitalized less than two weeks ago with the coronavirus.
“I feel so powerful,” said the president, who claimed he was now “immune” to the virus and did not wear a mask while boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews before leaving Washington. His physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, said in a memo that the president had tested negative “on consecutive days” using a rapid antigen coronavirus test not intended for that purpose.
In a previous note, Dr. Conley had said that the president had a polymerase chain reaction, or P.C.R., test, which is more precise, but he did not release the specific results of that test.
“I’ll kiss everyone in that audience,” Mr. Trump said. “I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women. Just give you a big fat kiss.”
Mr. Trump, in short, was embodying his advice to Americans struggling through a pandemic that has killed more than 210,000 people in this country: “Don’t let it dominate your life.”
[[[[President Trump had votes and vitality in mind at his Monday night rally near Orlando, Fla.]
The speech he delivered was a variation of the same stump speech he has been giving for four years. He peddled false conspiracy theories about his political rivals (no, President Barack Obama did not spy on his 2016 campaign), inflating his own accomplishments (being nominated for the Nobel Prize is not really a notable milestone), and claiming that the news media is made up of “frauds.”
The main news event of the week, the confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, was mentioned only in passing, as part of a rambling list of accomplishments the president ticked off.
While highlighting his own quick recovery, the president also claimed, with no evidence, that his opponent, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., would delay a vaccine and “prolong the pandemic.”
Expect more of the same for the final three weeks of the race, as the president ramps up attacks on Mr. Biden, plays into the fears of voters by making false claims about his opponent’s stances, and maintains a breakneck schedule to show his physical strength after a health scare.
Trump campaign advisers said they expected the president to hold two to three events a day, and as many rallies as possible — all a reminder that the incumbent president is still running from behind.
Instead of trying to expand his political map into Democratic-leaning states like Nevada, Minnesota, New Hampshire and even New Mexico, as he had hoped to do, Mr. Trump is trying to shore up support in states he won four years ago, like Florida and Pennsylvania.
On Monday night, the campaign announced two more rallies, one in Florida and one in Georgia.
President Trump has tested negative “on consecutive days” using a rapid antigen coronavirus test not intended for that purpose, the White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said in a statement released Monday before the president began a rally in Florida.
The memo said the president tested negative on a rapid test called Abbott BinaxNOW, but experts cautioned that the test’s accuracy has not yet been investigated enough to be sure that the president is virus-free.
“It doesn’t make much sense in my mind that they should be using the BinaxNOW test for this,” said Dr. Michael Mina, an infectious diseases expert at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “But it’s one additional piece of information.”
The BinaxNOW, which costs $5 and functions like a pregnancy test, looks for a protein produced by the coronavirus. It is most effective when the amount of virus in the body is high, but is much less sensitive than the P.C.R., the gold standard laboratory test. The Trump administration has purchased 150 million BinaxNOW tests and plans to ship them to states for use in schools and nursing homes.
In an announcement of the tests’ deployment to states on Sept. 28, the Department of Health and Human Services cautioned that “results from an antigen test may need to be confirmed with a molecular test prior to making treatment decisions; this may be particularly true for negative results if there is a high clinical suspicion that the patient is infected.”
“Infectiousness should be based more on symptom onset,” said Dr. Ranu Dhillon, a physician at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. The BinaxNOW, he said, “could be giving false negatives.”
According to guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with severe Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, may need to isolate for up to 20 days. But it has been unclear when exactly Mr. Trump’s symptoms began, or how severe they have been. On Monday, he departed for his Florida rally without a mask covering his face.
Doctors said it’s somewhat reassuring that Mr. Trump has tested negative more than once, but said without more details from the more sensitive P.C.R. tests, it’s impossible to be sure that he is past the point of infectiousness.
BinaxNOW’s “real power lies in marking someone who is transmissible, not the other way around,” Dr. Mina said. “I think they’re mixing things up a bit.”
In a memo released Saturday night with limited information, Dr. Conley said that Mr. Trump was “no longer considered a transmission risk to others.” That memo did not explicitly categorize the president as “negative” for the coronavirus.
The California Republican Party has admitted responsibility for placing more than 50 deceptively labeled “official” drop boxes for mail-in ballots in Los Angeles, Fresno and Orange Counties — an action that state officials said was illegal and could lead to voter fraud.
The dark gray metal boxes have been popping up over the past two weeks near churches, gun shops and Republican Party offices, mostly in conservative areas of a deep-blue state, affixed with a white paper label identifying them as either an “Official Ballot Drop off Box” or a “Ballot Drop Box.”
To the average voter, they are virtually indistinguishable from drop-off sites sanctioned by the state, which are governed by strict regulations intended to prevent the partisan manipulation of ballots.
The actions of the largely marginalized state party come at a moment when Republicans and Democrats are engaged in a bitter national struggle over voting rights, with President Trump’s allies accusing Democrats in Minnesota and elsewhere of undermining the integrity of the electoral process by expanding absentee voting and other measures to increase ballot access.
On Monday, California’s secretary of state, Alex Padilla, and Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent a cease-and-desist order to the state- and county-level Republican parties, ordering them to remove the boxes. They also urged voters who might have unknowingly dropped off their ballots in the receptacles to sign up with the state’s voter tracking website to ensure their vote is counted.
“Misleading voters is wrong regardless of who is doing it,” Mr. Padilla said in a conference call with reporters, adding that the boxes “are not permitted by state law.”
Mr. Becerra called the boxes “fake,” adding that it was “illegal to tamper with a citizen’s vote.” He warned that anyone “engaging in this activity” could be subject to criminal prosecution or civil action.
Hector Barajas, a spokesman for the California Republican Party, said the party would continue to distribute the boxes, without adding any label identifying them explicitly as Republican ballot drops.
Here are the daily schedules of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates for Tuesday, Oct. 13. All times are Eastern time.
President Donald J. Trump
7 p.m.: Holds a rally in Johnstown, Pa.
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Afternoon: Speaks in Pembroke Pines, Fla. on his vision for older Americans.
Late afternoon: Attends an event to encourage voters to make a voting plan in Miramar, Fla.
Vice President Pence
Noon: Holds a rally in Waukesha, Wis.
Senator Kamala Harris
Beginning at 9 a.m.: Takes part in the Supreme Court confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
The attorney general of Washington State announced Tuesday that Twitter will pay $100,000 for violating the state’s campaign finance laws by failing to maintain public records about political ads that ran on its social media platform.
According to a judgment filed Tuesday in King County Superior Court, at least 38 candidates and committees in Washington reported paying more than $194,000 for political ads on Twitter since 2012, and Twitter failed to maintain the required records for those ads.
Prosectors said the ads ran on Twitter until last November, when the platform placed a ban on all political advertising.
“Transparency in political advertising is critical to a free and informed electorate,” the attorney general, Bob Ferguson said in a statement. “Whether you are a local newspaper or a multinational social media platform, you must follow our campaign finance laws.”
Twitter said in a statement on Tuesday that the resolution of the issue was “reflective of our commitment to transparency and accountability.”
Mr. Ferguson’s office said officials first became aware of the potential violations last October after an independent researcher called them to the attention of the state Public Disclosure Commission.
His office previously garnered separate payments of more than $200,000 from Google and Facebook in similar campaign-finance cases.