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Voting season off to scary start in battleground states: The Note


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Voting season off to scary start in battleground states: The Note

The TAKE with Rick KleinThe first ballots of the 2020 general election are barely in the mail. It didn’t even take that long for early alarm bells to grow louder around election integrity and security.In Pennsylvania, state officials say they are fielding complaints about robocalls designed to scare people from voting by mail, an issue…

Voting season off to scary start in battleground states: The Note

The TAKE with Rick Klein

In Pennsylvania, state officials say they are fielding complaints about robocalls designed to scare people from voting by mail, an issue that’s already come up in Michigan. A shortage of poll workers is worrying officials across battleground states — raising the possibility of longer lines in the age of COVID-19.

And Tuesday brought a stunning announcement from Georgia’s secretary of state: As many as 1,000 individuals are suspected of voting twice in elections held over the summer. Some of those votes appear to have been actually tabulated and included in certified results, though state officials say they did not swing any contests and the issue is still being investigated.

Those elections were held before President Donald Trump started advising people that they should try to vote in person as well as by mail, if they’re concerned about having their votes count. Voting twice is, of course, illegal, and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that alleged double voters will be prosecuted.

The Georgia example is startling in its implications. Perhaps predictably, it was seized upon by Republicans as an example of massive voter fraud — without evidence of why people are alleged to have voted twice — and by Democrats as evidence of GOP leaders pursuing “conspiracy theories and disinformation” around voting integrity.

The process of voting is changing in massive ways in advance of November. Scattered headlines and fear of potential outcomes are likely to only grow in intensity over the next eight weeks.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Not in my backyard: President Donald Trump announced Tuesday in Florida that he was extending a ban on offshore drilling in his home state for another 10 years, after he would be out of office, and expanding the ban to include Georgia and South Carolina coastlines too.

At his press event, the president omitted that experts say the country has more than enough of an oil supply already. Bank of America forecasted this week that global energy demand will not recover to pre-crisis levels for another three years. Oil prices are down almost 35% this year, a fact that would have hurt the prospects for new drilling anyway.

The president argued Tuesday that his administration had a “sacred obligation” to the environment, though during his time in office his agencies have worked at record speed to undo significant protections and roll back meaningful pollution standards.

Raised in New York, the president changed his permanent residency to the Sunshine State in 2019, and at his press event he referred to Florida as his “home.” Arguably, he has a vested interest in keeping the area clean with his real estate investments along the coastline in the state.

By comparison, the president has not given any indication that his administration is slowing or stepping away from plans to sell new drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The Interior Department recently approved the plan to open the coastal plain to leasing, although local tribes say the area is a crucial lifeline and environmental groups argue it is a vital ecosystem. The Trump administration says there could be a lease sale before the end of the year.

The TIP with John Verhovek

When former Vice President Joe Biden steps foot in Michigan on Wednesday, his visit will be nothing like the last time he visited the critical battleground state in March, when he rallied in Detroit with his future running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, just days before the COVID-19 pandemic halted in-person campaigning.

Flash forward roughly five months, and Biden is set for another targeted, but socially distanced, campaign stop to meet with autoworkers in Macomb County, an area just north of Detroit, rich with the kinds of voters that strayed from Democrats in 2016 and delivered Trump the White House.

The former vice president is set to deliver remarks on his plans to juice the American manufacturing sector by encouraging the purchase of goods made in the United States, and discouraging companies from offshoring and outsourcing jobs, a phenomenon Biden will say is a result of Trump’s “broken promises” to workers.

The trip comes as Biden continues his attempt to chip away at what has been a consistent and rare bright spot for Trump in the polls: his handling of the economy. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University shows the two candidates tied when it comes to who voters trust more to handle the economy, a departure from voters’ views on who can best handle the coronavirus pandemic and racial inequality.

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THE PLAYLIST

ABC News’ “Start Here” Podcast. Wednesday morning’s episode features ABC News’ Trish Turner, who tells us why plans for a new Republican coronavirus relief bill are more aimed at politics than actual relief. ABC News Senior Investigative reporter Matthew Mosk explains why interest groups are already lining up to be first in line for a potential vaccine. And, ABC News’ Trevor Ault joins us from Rochester, New York, to tell us about a major police shakeup in the city following the death of Daniel Prude in March. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” podcast. CNN’s Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter’s recently released book “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth” dives into the relationship between the president and his favorite TV channel. Stelter joins ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl to discuss the book and more. https://bit.ly/2w091jE

FiveThirtyEight’s Politics Podcast. As Republicans have improved their competitiveness in the Midwest and Democrats have improved their standing in the Sunbelt, some states that have not traditionally been thought of as competitive are now in play. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew discusses how those trends are playing out and what it means for the 2020 electoral map. They also assess whether a recent Military Times poll of active duty military members is a “good use of polling or bad use of polling.” https://53eig.ht/2Zjizoa

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, former adviser and close friend of first lady Melania Trump, appears on ABC’s “The View” to discuss her book “Melania and Me.”
  • At 10 a.m., Director of the National Institutes of Health Francis Collins and Surgeon General Jerome Adams testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on vaccines.
  • Jill Biden will travel to Minnesota as a part of her “Back to School” tour where she will visit with students and public school teachers at 10:55 a.m. CT.
  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany holds a press briefing at noon.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden travels to Warren, Michigan, to deliver remarks about America’s workers at 1:15 p.m.
  • Vice President Mike Pence will host a “Workers for Trump” event in Freedom, Pennsylvania, at 3 p.m.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., will attend virtual Biden for President finance events.
  • Download the ABC News app and select “The Note” as an item of interest to receive the day’s sharpest political analysis.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day’s top stories in politics. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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