More than 7 million have already voted: US live election news

  • 25 days until election day.
  • Donald Trump is set for radio and television appearances today.
  • Despite illness, Trump is mulling weekend campaign travel.
  • Joe Biden campaigns in the battleground state of Nevada.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raises questions about Trump’s fitness to serve.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the United States elections. This is Steve Chaggaris and William Roberts.

Friday October 9, 2020

11:30 ET – White House: Trump unlikely to travel this weekend

While President Trump is itching to get back to in-person campaign events and hinted he’s planning on hitting the road this weekend, the reality is that’s not likely to happen.

A Trump administration official said it’s unlikely he will travel this weekend and will probably have to hold off until Monday before returning to the campaign trail.

Earlier on Fox News, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who has also tested positive for COVID-19, hinted it would be “tough” to make tomorrow work.

“He wants to talk to the American people, and he wants to be out there. Logistically, whether tomorrow’s possible, it would be tough.”

Trump said on Sean Hannity’s Fox News programme last night that he was planning to try to visit Florida tomorrow and Pennsylvania on Sunday.

11:15 ET – Trump to get medical examination on TV

Donald Trump will appear on Tucker Carlson’s programme on Fox News tonight where he will sit for his first on-camera interview since his COVID-19 diagnosis. He’ll also receive a medical “evaluation” from Fox News’ resident doctor.

Dr. Marc Siegel, a contributor to Fox News, will interview the president and conduct the evaluation.

To date, the only updates on the president’s health have come from Trump himself and his doctors, and those have come in written statements the past several days.

Siegel, for his part, has a history of downplaying the pandemic during his appearances on Fox News, previously comparing the virus to influenza and saying there’s “no science” regarding the importance of mask-wearing.

10:45 ET – Pelosi pushes panel to determine president’s ‘capacity’ to serve

Insisting it is not a reaction to the current president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a proposal to create a panel that would determine whether a president is fit to serve. The panel would have the power to replace the president with the vice president if it’s determined he or she is not capable of serving.

“This is not about President Trump; he will face the judgment of the voters,” Pelosi said at a news conference. “But he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents.”

Despite her comments today, Pelosi has been highly critical of Trump’s behavior during his COVID convalescence. “The president is, shall we say, in an altered state right now,” she said in an interview Thursday.

Trump tweeted on Thursday: “Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation. They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!”

10:15 ET – Judge cites past Florida “chaos” to deny voter registration extension

A judge denied a request from civil rights and voting groups to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline, citing concern about overwhelming a state that has had a lot of trouble administering elections over the years.

Chief US District Judge Mark Walker said it was an “incredibly close call” but “Florida’s interest in preventing chaos in its already precarious — and perennially chaotic — election outweighs the substantial burden imposed on the right to vote.”

“This court notes that every man who has stepped foot on the Moon launched from the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida,” Walker wrote. “Yet, Florida has failed to figure out how to run an election properly – a task simpler than rocket science.”

Florida has had many controversial elections in recent years, most notably the close presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000, which ended up with the Supreme Court stopping a recount, resulting in Bush’s victory there and in the Electoral College.

09:30 ET – 7 million have already cast their ballots

Americans are voting early in record numbers, due to the pandemic, as almost 7.1 million have already sent in mail-in ballots or voted in person, according to the US Elections Project.

The current total is almost 10 times the number of voters who had voted early by this point in 2016. More than 50 million people have requested mail-in ballots this year. According to the US Elections Assistance Commission, 57.2 million Americans voted early in person, by mail or via absentee ballot in 2016.

Voters fill out their ballot during early voting at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections on October 6, 2020, in Cleveland, Ohio [Tony Dejak/AP Photo] (AP)Not every state registers voters by party, but in those that do, more Democrats than Republicans have requested and returned ballots so far. While that is notable and shows that registered Democrats in several states are eager to vote, experts point out that early vote totals are a poor predictor of electoral outcomes.

Democrats significantly outpaced Republicans in early votes in 2016, and polls indicated Hillary Clinton held a wide lead over Donald Trump among those who voted early, yet Trump was able to make up ground with those voters who showed up in person on election day.

09:00 ET – Trump itching to get back on the campaign trail

With no indication that he has completely recovered from COVID-19, a hoarse Donald Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday, “I think I’m going to try doing a rally on Saturday night, probably in Florida on Saturday … Pennsylvania the following night.”

Trump’s physician, Dr Sean Conley, said in a memo on Thursday “Saturday will be day 10 since Thursday’s diagnosis, and based on the trajectory of advanced diagnostics the team has been conducting, I fully anticipate the president’s safe return to public engagements at that time.” Trump, nor his doctors or spokespeople, have disclosed the last time he has been tested for the virus, or a test result, since his initial diagnosis. They also refuse to disclose the date of his last negative test.

08:30 ET – Biden releases new ads targeting Latinos, older voters

Joe Biden’s campaign will be running a new set of advertisements targeting various voting groups, including Latinos, rural voters and older voters.

Among the ads to run on television and online in 16 states is one targeting working-class voters that touts the Obama-Biden record on the economy while slamming Trump’s economic stewardship and handling of the pandemic.

 

Read the US election news from Thursday, October 8, here.

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