DAILY CASE COUNTS FOR CORONAVIRUS CONTINUE TO RISE IN NC: North Carolina reported 6,819 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the second-highest total since the pandemic began, according to data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Across the state, 2,520 people were hospitalized with the virus, according to data reported by 95% of hospitals. That’s the second-highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations during the pandemic, topped only by Saturday’s reported number. Hospitalizations have been steadily increasing for a month, reaching new highs on each of the 10 days before Sunday. North Carolina also reported 27 new COVID-19 deaths Sunday, bringing the virus’ total toll to 5,823 residents.
CHERI BEASLEY CONCEDES CHIEF JUSTICE RACE TO PAUL NEWBY: North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley conceded on Saturday to Republican Paul Newby in their extremely close election after two rounds of recounts saw little change in the vote margin between them. Beasley, a Democrat, said she called Newby, the senior associate justice, to congratulate him on winning their election. “I offer my very best to him and his family as he moves into that new role,” she said in a news release. Newby had led Beasley by 401 votes from almost 5.4 million ballots cast in the Nov. 3 race after a statewide machine recount was completed last week. Beasley then requested a hand recount of ballots in 3% of the voting sites in all 100 counties, chosen at random, which began this week. With all but one county yet to complete work, Newby had actually expanded his lead by 12 votes, according to state elections data. A complete hand recount would have been ordered had Beasley narrowed the margin enough during the partial hand recount.
CHATHAM COUNTY GOVERNMENT SLOWLY RECOVERING FROM OCT CYBER ATTACK: The day the cyberattack hit, staff responded as soon as they learned what was happening, hiring cybersecurity experts and posting new contacts and additional information online, LaMontagne said. Management and Information Systems staff started working with local, state and federal agencies to trace the attack and repair the damage. The priority became ensuring minimal disruptions to public safety, public health and social services, Montagne said. Regional and state partners, from Person, Wake and Durham counties to the UNC School of Government, responded by donating spare laptops and offers of help. Most services, including phones, have been restored, although Montagne said they can’t always respond as quickly as they would like without the efficiency of technology. But email and voicemail is still in progress. Employees will have a .gov email domain when it’s done, instead of the previous .org domain.
MULTIPLE STABBINGS OCCUR AS DRUNKEN PROUD BOYS ROAM THE STREETS OF DC: For most of the day, police largely kept opposing factions separated, at times frustrating the Proud Boys, a male-chauvinist organization that supports Trump’s attempts to reverse an election he lost. Confrontations broke out after dark, when Proud Boys and their supporters ventured near Black Lives Matter Plaza and were prevented access by police, many using bicycles as mobile barricades. Four people were stabbed, one critically, during a scrum near Harry’s Bar at 11th and F streets NW, a Proud Boys hangout where hundreds had gathered, some dressed in body armor and helmets, and where many had been drinking in the street for hours. Newsham estimated there were as many as 700 Proud Boys or people supporting their cause, a group that often splintered in smaller factions, and about 200 anti-Trump protesters moving about. The chief said officers were “trying to prevent any of these groups from coming together and getting involved in altercations. It was a lot of work.” Overall, Newsham said “largely, people are going to be very pleased the police department was able to keep it under control to the extent that we did.” He said most activity was limited to small areas of downtown, and some fights involved “mutual combatants.” He said eight officers were injured, one seriously from being struck in the face with an object, causing multiple fractures.
THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTE TODAY IS ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY: In Michigan, Democratic electors have been promised police escorts from their cars into the State Capitol, where on Monday they will formally vote for Joseph R. Biden Jr. In Arizona, state officials are holding the vote at an undisclosed location for safety reasons, far from what is expected to be a heated hearing on election integrity issues that Republicans will conduct in the Statehouse. For decades, Electoral College voters have served as the rubber-stamping bureaucrats of American democracy, operating well below the political radar as they provided pro forma certification of a new president. Despite its procedural nature, the role has long been considered an honor, bestowed as a way to recognize political stature or civic service. And as small-town electors face harassment and more prominent figures adapt to increased security measures, a duty long considered a privilege has also become a headache. Even as the electors prepared to vote on Monday, Mr. Trump on Sunday railed on Twitter against the “MOST CORRUPT ELECTION IN U.S. HISTORY” and suggested that swing states could not certify “without committing a severely punishable crime” — further raising concerns about electors’ personal security. Monday’s certifications will be conducted against a backdrop of tense partisan acrimony. The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a desperate 11th-hour effort by Trump allies to change the outcome of the election, the latest in a string of stinging legal defeats. A broader effort to persuade Republican-controlled state legislatures to swap out Democratic electors for a slate loyal to Mr. Trump has also failed.