NC GOP MAILER HAS PICTURE OF BLACK JUDGE WHO ISN'T EVEN RUNNING THIS YEAR: The North Carolina Republican Party featured a Mecklenburg County judge who isn't even on the ballot this year on a recent political mailer, beseeching voters not to choose "liberal activist judges." Superior Court Judge Karen Eady-Williams is Black, and the North Carolina Democratic Party blasted the mailer Thursday as "just the latest racist dog whistle from the state Republican Party." "This mailer is a disgusting example of the bigotry and discrimination that has permeated the North Carolina Republican Party for years," Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin said in a statement. "It’s dishonest, deceptive and blatantly racist." North Carolina Republican Party spokesman Tim Wigginton said those "wild false accusations ... do not merit a response."
CARRBORO REFUSES TO REMOVE BLACK LIVES MATTER FLAGS FROM EARLY VOTING SITE (TOWN HALL): “After consulting with the town attorney, the Mayor and Town Council have chosen to leave the flags in place,” Lazorko wrote in an email. The council voted unanimously on July 14 to fly the Black Lives Matter flags, she wrote, and they were first flown on July 20. In a letter emailed to the town Wednesday, the executive director of the State Board of Elections said the board had received a couple of emailed complaints about the flags, which hang inside the early voting buffer zone at 301 W. Main St. One of those complaints, which the board forwarded to The N&O, noted that the four flags were past a sign banning electioneering. They incite political division and do not belong on a government building, the letter stated. In its Carrboro Courier blog, the town said in September it has worked to address systemic racism and injustice, including reworking its town code for gender-neutral language and racial equity. “It is essential that we center, elevate and honor the voices and experiences of Black people and other people of color,” it stated.
FLORIDA WOMAN IN LABOR REFUSES TO GO TO HOSPITAL UNTIL SHE VOTED: A pregnant Florida woman didn't let labor stop her from casting her vote in the presidential election, refusing to go to the hospital until she filled out her ballot. Officials with the Orange County Supervisor of Elections said the woman was already in labor when she arrived at the polling site with her husband Tuesday afternoon, news outlets reported. Elections employee Karen Briceño González said the husband asked for a ballot for his wife and later told the staff that she was in the car, in labor and refusing to go to the hospital until she was able to vote. Briceño González said she rushed outside to give the woman her ballot and check her ID. The staffer thought the woman would fill it out later, but while doing some controlled Lamaze breathing, the woman filled the ballot out right away. “We are very, very busy, but when something like that happens it just makes our day,” Deliz said. "Every election cycle brings us a great little story.”
LATINO VOTERS EMERGE AS POTENTIAL GAME-CHANGERS IN ELECTION: Polls show that Latinos could be a decisive constituency in battleground states across the country — not only where they are recognized as a burgeoning political force, like in Nevada and Arizona, but also in places like Michigan and North Carolina, where they are a growing part of the electorate. Nationally, an estimated 32 million Latinos are eligible to vote in the 2020 election, according to Pew Research Center, a trend driven by the huge number of young American-born Latinos who have recently reached voting age. While Biden overwhelmingly leads among Latino voters, about 3 in 10 say they will vote for President Trump, according to national polls that also reflect surveys done in battleground states. In North Carolina, Hispanics are voting early at lower rates than White or Black voters, but comparable to previous cycles, said Morgan Jackson, a Democratic strategist in the state. Jackson said that, like many Black voters, many Hispanic voters prefer voting in person, and he is optimistic that higher numbers will continue to turn out for early in-person voting as well as on Election Day on Tuesday.
U.S. RECORDS 90,000 NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES IN ONE DAY, PASSING THE 9 MILLION MARK: More than 2,000 new coronavirus cases in Colorado. More than 6,400 new cases in Illinois. And more than 1,000 new cases in New Mexico. All record-breaking numbers for those states — and all on a day when the United States as a nation reached two grim new highs. On Thursday, the country recorded at least 90,000 new cases (that’s the equivalent of more than one per second) and crossed the threshold of nine million cases since the start of the pandemic. Over the past week, the United States has recorded more than 500,000 new cases, averaging more than 77,000 a day, and nine states reported daily records on Thursday. More total cases have been identified in the United States than in any other country, although some nations have had more cases in proportion to their populations. The surge that started in the Upper Midwest and rural West has now spread far beyond, sending infection levels soaring in places as disparate as El Paso, Chicago and Rexburg, Idaho. In the seven-day period ending Thursday, 24 states added more cases than in any other seven-day stretch of the pandemic. All of this is taking place against the backdrop of a bitter presidential contest in which the pandemic — and the government’s response to it — is the dominant issue. Daily reports of deaths from the virus remain far below their spring peaks, averaging around 800 a day, but those, too, have started to tick upward. Reports of new cases are increasing in 42 states. Northeastern states, including New Jersey and Rhode Island, are seeing infection numbers rise after months of stability. And in North Dakota, where more than 5 percent of the population has now tested positive — the biggest share of any state — reports of new cases continue to soar.