Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:9
Early Voting Begins in Three US States
TEHRAN (FNA)- Lines formed at polling stations in three states on Friday, 46 days out from November 3, election day itself, as early voting began.

Concern about ballot access under the coronavirus pandemic has been widespread, particularly as President Donald Trump continues to attack voting by mail with baseless claims of widespread fraud, The Guardian reported.

In Minnesota, a state Hillary Clinton won by just 1.5 points in 2016 and which the Trump campaign is targeting, the president and Joe Biden were both on the campaign trail.

In Virginia, the state’s two Democratic US senators were among early voters. At one site in Richmond, the state capital, dozens lined up before a polling station opened. CNN reported local officials as saying “they’ve never seen this many people show up on the first day”.

Virginia was until recently a swing state but now leans firmly Democratic. Voting also began on Friday in South Dakota, which is solidly Republican.

Trump has repeatedly stated he wants to flip Minnesota in November, in hopes that it could offset losses elsewhere. He has visited regularly and has tailored policy moves to rural parts of the state, including reversing an [Barack] Obama policy prohibiting the development of copper-nickel mining and bailing out soya bean, corn and other farmers hurt by Trump’s trade clashes with China.

More recently, Trump has embraced a “law and order” message aimed at white voters concerned by protests against racism and police brutality which have sometimes turned violent. Minnesota saw unrest after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.

However, polls indicate Biden has a significant edge in the state. According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll this week, Biden leads by 16 points among likely voters, 57% to 41%.

On Friday, Trump was scheduled to speak in Bemidji while Biden traveled to Duluth for a tour of a union training center.

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson told the Associated Press, “One of the things the Trump campaign has been very good about is visibility in Duluth, but also in areas around Duluth.”

In Michigan, meanwhile, a judge handed down a key ruling concerning mail-in voting, writing that the state must accept ballots postmarked the day before election day, November 3, which arrive in the weeks following.

The decision will probably result in thousands more voters having their ballots counted in a key battleground state.

In 2016, Trump won Michigan by about 10,000 votes. One of the top reasons mail-in ballots are rejected is because they arrive past the deadline to be counted: 6,405 ballots were rejected for that reason in Michigan’s August primary. Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat who is the state’s top election official, called for extending the deadline.

The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with reports of mail delays, have made that deadline unrealistic, wrote Judge Cynthia Diane Stevens of the Michigan court of claims.

“Some flexibility must be built into the deadline in order to account for the significant inability of mail to arrive on what would typically be a reliable, predictable schedule,” the judge wrote, ordering ballots counted as long as they are postmarked by November 2 and arrive within 14 days of election day.

The ruling was the second in two days extending ballot deadlines in a key state. On Thursday, the Pennsylvania supreme court blocked the state from enforcing an election night deadline for absentee ballots, instead ordering it to count them as long as they are postmarked by election day and arrive by the following Friday.

The Michigan ruling was in a suit filed by Priorities USA, a Democratic group. Michigan also restricts who can return an absentee ballot on behalf of a voter. Stevens, citing the pandemic, noted the state could not enforce those restrictions from the Friday before election day through election night.





Bottom top
Iranian Army, IRGC to Stage Joint Aerial Drills

TEHRAN (FNA)- Lieutenant Commander of Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Qader Rahimzadeh announced that the Iranian Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) are preparing to stage joint aerial wargames codenamed 'Modafe'an-e Aseman-e Velayat 99' (Guardians of Velayat's Sky-99) on wednesday.
Karabakh War Drone Crashes at Iran’s Bordering Areas

TEHRAN (FNA)- Another drone most likely belonging to the warring sides of Azerbaijan and Armenia crashed near a village in East Azarbaijan province in Northwestern Iran.
UK Taps Open Orphan to Explore Vaccine Trials That Infect Volunteers with Coronavirus

TEHRAN (FNA)- Healthy, young people in the UK may soon be asked to volunteer to get deliberately exposed to COVID-19 as part of a set of human challenge studies, which aim to speed up the process of vaccine development.
Report: US Colleges Welcomed Students Back Likely Led to A Surge in COVID Cases

TEHRAN (FNA)- From late July through September, students from more than 2,400 colleges and universities went back to campus to participate in what has ultimately become an American experiment in how institutions of higher education can operate during a pandemic.
Iran Reports 5,039 New Coronavirus Cases

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian health ministry announced on Tuesday that 5,039 new cases of coronavirus infection have been identified across the country during the past 24 hours, adding that 322 patients have passed away during the same period.
Iran’s Exports Threefold Imports in H1

TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of Iran's Customs Administration (IRICA) Mehdi Mirashrafi said that the volume of exported goods was three times more than imports in the first six months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-September 20).
Beijing Says US Smearing Cooperation Between China, Trade Partners

TEHRAN (FNA)- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is “smearing” normal economic and trade ties between China and other countries, Beijing announced.
Study: US Must Invest More Public Money in Early Childcare

TEHRAN (FNA)- The United States needs to invest more public money in early childcare, a sector hit hard by the pandemic, according to a study by the Boston Federal Reserve released Monday.
‘Shameful’: Palestinians Slam UAE Delegation Visit to Israel

TEHRAN (FNA)- The arrival of a United Arab Emirates delegation in Israel has been slammed as “shameful” by Palestinian officials.
Argentina Passes 1 Million Cases as COVID-19 Hits Latin America

TEHRAN (FNA)- Argentina has passed one million coronavirus cases and it is now smaller cities like Ushuaia – known as “The End of the World” at the edge of the country – that are seeing some of the most notable upticks.
Senior Commander: Iran’s Defense Power Aimed at Deterring Threats

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Headquarters Major General Gholam Ali Rashid said that Iran’s military power is based on deterring any possible threats.
Iran to Start Coronavirus Vaccine Human Test in Mid-November

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that the country has successfully tested its coronavirus vaccine on animals, adding that the human test phase will begin in mid-November.
Kremlin Slams Hacking Accusations Against Russian Intel Agencies as Blatant Russophobia

TEHRAN (FNA)- Western countries’ urge to blame everything on Moscow and Russian intelligence services is a sign of Russophobia, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.
Rouhani Stresses Government’s Endeavor to Tackle Economic Woes

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his administration is striving to confront economic problems to have the least consequences for the low-income strata, noting that no justification is accepted for shortages of basic goods.
Former FDA Head Says US Entering 'Biggest Wave' of Coronavirus Pandemic, Calls Trump 'Problematic' for Holding Large Rallies

TEHRAN (FNA)- The former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the US is entering the 'biggest wave' of the coronavirus pandemic.