Today is Election Day. Over 100 million people have already voted — a record-shattering number that is more than two-thirds of the total votes cast in 2016 — with tens of millions casting their ballots today. Election officials have warned full results could take days, or possibly weeks, to be verified due to the much higher number of mail-in ballots this year. But President Trump has decried post-Election Day ballot counting and threatened to “go in with our lawyers.” On Monday, Trump claimed on Twitter that a Supreme Court ruling allowing Pennsylvania to count mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day, and received up to three days later, will “induce violence in the streets” and “rampant and unchecked cheating.” Twitter labeled the tweet with a warning that its content “might be misleading.” Reports emerged Sunday that Trump is preparing to claim victory tonight if he appears to be ahead of Joe Biden. Biden told reporters in response, “The president is not going to steal this election”.
Trump and Biden made their final pitches over the last 24 hours, with Trump traveling to four pivotal states. Both candidates spoke at rallies in Pennsylvania, where Trump has already vowed to challenge results if they are not in his favor. This is Joe Biden addressing supporters in Pittsburgh.
Joe Biden: “Tomorrow we can end a presidency that has divided this nation. Folks at home would know. Tomorrow we could put an end to a presidency that’s failed to protect the nation. Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has fanned the flames of hate across this nation, pouring gasoline on every racial incident in the country.”
Biden also appeared in Ohio Monday. Trump campaigned in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, where he attacked Democrats and reiterated many of his racist attacks against immigrants.
President Donald Trump: “The open border lobbyists that killed our fellow citizens with illegal drugs and gangs and crime, they support Biden. The far-left Democrats that ruined our public schools, depleted our inner cities, defunded our police and demeaned your sacred faith and values, they support Biden. The anti-American radicals defaming our noble history, heritage and heroes, they support sleepy Joe Biden.”
Meanwhile, “non-scalable” fencing was installed around the White House Monday in anticipation of possible protests. Many businesses in New York City, Washington, D.C., and other cities have boarded up their windows, while the government center in Minneapolis was also boarded up.
A federal judge has thwarted an attempt by Texas Republicans to throw out nearly 127,000 drive-thru votes already cast in Harris County. The 10 drive-thru polling sites were set up to help Texans vote safely amid the pandemic. The Republican plaintiffs are appealing the decision. Following the ruling, Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins announced late Monday nine of the 10 polling drive-thru places would be closed today in order to protect votes from any potential future challenges, after the judge in the case said Election Day polling places must be inside buildings. Most of the drive-thru sites were inside tents.
A judge in Nevada blocked a lawsuit by the Nevada Republican Party and the Trump campaign that sought to halt mail-in ballot counting in Clark County, Nevada’s most populous county and home to Las Vegas. About 70% of Nevada’s voters live in the county. Republicans claimed observers were unable to closely watch the counting of ballots, among other complaints.
In international pandemic news, Britain is preparing to go into a month-long second lockdown this week, as many European countries grapple with a surge in cases. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government is extending its 80% wage subsidies for another month.
In Afghanistan, gunmen stormed Kabul University Monday, killing at least 22 people. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, though some, including Afghanistan’s vice president, said the Taliban were to blame. This is the latest deadly attack to hit Afghanistan as intra-Afghan peace talks continue in Qatar. On Tuesday, students came out to protest the ongoing violence.
Mohammad Younus: “I came here today to protest against all this injustice. We want to raise our voices to the world and say that we will never give up and that no matter how much they try to kill us, we will continue our studies.”
In Austria, at least four people were killed, and over a dozen injured, after a series of shooting and stabbing attacks in six different locations in Vienna. Several people have been arrested, but authorities say they’re unsure of how many suspects are still on the run. One suspect, an unnamed 20-year-old man with North Macedonian and Austrian citizenship, was killed by police. This comes as Austria begins a partial lockdown today amid a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.
U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said Monday strikes on civilians in the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could constitute war crimes, and called again for a halt to attacks on towns, schools and hospitals. This comes after Armenia’s leader asked Russia for military assistance, after Azerbaijan’s army pressed deeper into the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh over the weekend. The conflict has entered its sixth week, with three failed ceasefire agreements. Armenia has also called for an investigation into the presence of “foreign mercenaries” after Armenian forces said they captured two fighters from Syria. Azerbaijan’s president said Monday he is ready to end fighting if Armenia pledges to pull out of Nagorno-Karabakh. A day earlier, he warned his army is prepared to fight Armenia “to the end.”
Protests are continuing in Washington state over the police killing of 21-year-old Kevin Peterson Jr. in the city of Vancouver. Peterson was fatally shot by three Clark County sheriff’s deputies Thursday in a parking lot. According to reports, Peterson was sitting alone in his parked car when police approached. He got out and ran, though it’s still unclear what happened just prior to his fatal shooting. Over the weekend, anti-police brutality protesters were confronted by right-wing counterprotesters. At least seven people were arrested after a vigil Friday night. An independent investigation into Peterson’s killing is underway.
More information has emerged about a Black family that was attacked in their car by a horde of Philadelphia police officers last week during protests over the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. Video of the attack was caught by a nearby observer from their rooftop. An attorney for Rickia Young, the Black mother who was driving the SUV at the time, confirms police busted all the car’s windows, assaulted and arrested Young, pulled her 16-year-old nephew from the car and grabbed her 2-year-old son, who suffered a bump on his head from the assault. The police union then posted on social media a now-deleted photo of an officer holding the child and claimed he was “wandering around barefoot in an area experiencing complete lawlessness.” The post also said, “We are the Thin Blue Line. And WE ARE the only thing standing between Order and Anarchy.” The union, the Fraternal Order of Police, has also published posts urging people to vote for Trump to preserve “law and order.”
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a case against activist DeRay Mckesson, sending it back to state courts for now. The lawsuit was filed by a police officer who was injured at a protest over the 2016 police killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The unnamed officer was hit with a piece of concrete or rock allegedly thrown by a protester. The officer sued Mckesson for damages because of his affiliation with Black Lives Matter, even though the identity of the alleged assailant is unknown.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear vowed to take immediate corrective action Friday following reports Kentucky police used three Hitler quotes in a training slideshow and urged officers to be “ruthless killers.” One of the Hitler quotes was: “The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.” The slideshow was first reported by a high school newspaper. A police spokesperson said it was removed in 2013 and no longer in use.
Hurricane Eta is nearing Category 5 strength as it barrels toward Nicaragua. Eta is expected to cause catastrophic damage in the region, including flooding and nearly three feet of rain in other areas of Central America. Eta is the 28th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which is on pace to break all records.