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Wednesday News: Welcome aboard


SOME 800,000 OF NC'S EARLY VOTERS THIS YEAR DID NOT VOTE IN 2016: More than 3.3 million people have either voted early in person or mailed in an absentee ballot. Nearly a quarter of them didn't vote in 2016, according to State Board of Elections figures. Of the 24 percent who are voting this time around after not voting in the last presidential election, most weren't even registered to vote in North Carolina back then. "We may be moving towards record turnout, which, you know, that’s what we’re in this for," Brinson Bell said. "We want to ensure that every voter has the ability to cast their vote, and if they’re turning out this year, that’s the best thing we could have happen." Early voting runs through 3 p.m. Saturday. But people have only until 5 p.m. Tuesday to request an absentee ballot if they don't want to or cannot get to a polling place either for early voting or on Election Day next week. The looming absentee deadline means it's too late to mail in a request, Brinson Bell said.

Tuesday News: Mindless automatons


TILLIS AND BURR GUSH OVER UNQUALIFIED SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: “I think Judge Amy Coney Barrett is going to go down in history as one of the great justices on the Supreme Court,” Tillis said in a seven-minute speech Monday on the Senate floor. “Judge Barrett has proven to be an exceptionally qualified and well-respected jurist. Throughout her distinguished career, she has demonstrated that she will faithfully serve as an impartial judge to defend the Constitution and rule of law,” Burr said in a statement after the vote. Barrett, a former law professor at the University of Notre Dame, has been an appellate court judge in the 7th U.S. Circuit since 2017, when she was nominated by Trump. Barrett is a mother of seven, including two adopted children from Haiti. In June, Burr and Tillis signed a brief asking the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade, the 1973 law that allowed women the right to seek an abortion nationwide.

Monday News: Four thousand, one hundred fifty seven


OVER A QUARTER MILLION NC RESIDENTS HAVE CONTRACTED CORONAVIRUS: At least 260,099 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 4,157 have died, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 1,807 new COVID-19 cases, down from 2,584 the day before and a record high of 2,716 on Friday. About 7.2% of tests were reported positive as of Friday, the latest day for which data were available. That’s higher than the 5% target set by health officials. At least 1,148 people in North Carolina were reportedly hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday, down from 1,181 the day before. Private schools in North Carolina have more coronavirus clusters than public schools, The News & Observer reports.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


PANDEMIC SHOWS FREEDOM IS NOT AFFIRMATION OF SELFISH ENTITLEMENT: Callous and frivolous notions of acceptable casualties, particularly among the old and infirmed ignore the obvious: None of those who die of COVID-19 have been fated to it. Each is loved by someone – as a parent, child, sibling, spouse relative or friend. The ways to deal with controlling the spread are not about limiting freedom, but rather affirm the notions of freedom that inspired our nation’s founders. Freedom is “doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow, without impediment from our fellow creatures, as long as what we do does not harm them even though they should think our conduct foolish, perverse or wrong,” said John Stuart Mill in “On Liberty.” It is selfish entitlement that gives anyone license to, by choice or purposeful neglect, ignore and put at risk the liberty and life of others. No society that values freedom can survive on these terms.

Saturday News: Racist dog-whistle

MADISON CAWTHORN ATTACKS JOURNALIST FOR SUPPORTING "NON-WHITE" CANDIDATES: Madison Cawthorn, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House from western North Carolina, created an attack website accusing a journalist of leaving a job in academia “to work for non-white males, like Cory Booker, who aims to ruin white males running for office.” The journalist, Tom Fiedler, who had written favorably about Cawthorn’s opponent, is a retired dean of the Boston University College of Communications. He volunteered for the 2020 presidential campaign of Booker, a Democratic U.S. senator from New Jersey. "My initial reaction was to find it so ludicrous that it was hardly worth a response," said Fiedler, a Pulitzer Prize winner who was part of the team at the Miami Herald that exposed the extramarital affair of one-time presidential candidate Gary Hart. Cawthorn's campaign has complained about him before, he said, "accusing me of being biased against Mr. Cawthorn because Mr. Cawthorn is a white candidate."

Friday News: No-plan Dan


FOREST CONTINUES TO DODGE MEDIA QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW HE WOULD PROTECT ELDERLY FROM VIRUS: The lieutenant governor hasn’t released a plan, and he wouldn’t respond to WRAL News' questions about it this week. He hasn’t reached out to advocacy groups that work in that space, including the North Carolina Assisted Living Association, the North Carolina Senior Living Association, the AARP and Friends of Residents in Long Term Care, which advocates for people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. As for Forest’s plans, his campaign website gives more information about his plan to improve coastal fishing than his promise to protect senior citizens. Forest said on the radio show that protecting the vulnerable is "not that difficult to do," but "we’re not being told the truth." He also complained about being asked for his pandemic response plan. “The media wants to come back now, now that we’re two weeks away, and say, 'Well, what would Dan Forest do to protect nursing homes?'" he said. "Why don’t you ask Gov. Cooper what Gov. Cooper would do to protect nursing homes, because he’s not doing it? That’s the story. He’s the governor. The weight falls on his shoulders while he’s the governor.”

Thursday News: Faith is not enough


2 DEAD, 68 INFECTED AFTER CHARLOTTE CHURCH EVENTS: A COVID-19 outbreak linked to a multi-day church event in North Carolina has left at least two people dead, health officials said Wednesday. Mecklenburg County authorities said there are now 68 cases since the local health department initially reported the outbreak on Saturday, The Charlotte Observer reported. That was one week after the conclusion of the Oct. 4-11 event at the United House of Prayer for All People in Charlotte. The county said at least four people have been hospitalized. Officials said the county will host a no-cost, drive-thru testing event at a health department site on Thursday and Friday near the church. United House of Prayer leaders have not agreed to conduct testing on site, Mecklenburg health officials told county commissioners Tuesday.

Wednesday News: Ahead of the game


2.1 MILLION VOTES CAST SO FAR IN NORTH CAROLINA: With two weeks to go until Election Day, more than a quarter of all voters in North Carolina have already cast their ballots. More than 1.4 million people have cast early, in-person votes since last Thursday, and elections officials statewide have accepted another 658,000 absentee ballots that have been mailed in, according to the State Board of Elections. The combined total of nearly 2.1 million is 28.4 percent of the state's 7.3 million registered voters. With so many votes coming in before Election Day, North Carolina will be far ahead of other states on what could be a long election night. State law allows absentee ballots cast both by mail and in person to be approved over the course of five weeks at each county’s elections board meetings. Those ballots are scanned into a tabulator and recorded, but the vote totals aren't counted up.

Tuesday News: 10,000 and counting...


COUNTY ELECTION BOARDS CAN RESUME CURING PROCESS FOR REJECTED BALLOTS: Under the rules issued Sunday, voters’ ballots can be fixed if the voter did not sign the voter certification, the voter signed in the wrong place, the witness or assistant did not print their name, the witness or assistant did not print their address or the witness or assistant signed on the wrong line. But the county boards were ordered to destroy the ballot and issue the voter a new ballot if the witness or assistant did not sign, the envelope arrived at the county office unsealed or the envelope indicates the voter is requesting a replacement ballot. If a document to fix the ballot, or a new ballot, needs to be issued to the voter the county boards are mandated to contact the voter within one business day.

Monday News: Three thousand, nine hundred thirty four


NORTH CAROLINA APPROACHES A QUARTER OF A MILLION INFECTIONS: At least 246,028 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 3,934 have died, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 2,303 new COVID-19 cases, up from 2,102 the day before. Five coronavirus-related deaths were reported Sunday. At least 1,129 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday, down 11 people compared to Saturday. Phase 3 of reopening is set to expire on Oct. 23, but Gov. Roy Cooper has not yet said whether he plans to extend the phase or if he will tighten rules to restrict the spread of the virus.


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