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Sunday, Oct 25th

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Texas court temporarily reinstates limited ballot drop-off sites

Texas court temporarily reeinstates some drop off boxesThe Texas Supreme Court on Saturday temporarily reinstated the governor’s ban on multiple drop-off sites for mail ballots, in a short-term victory for President Donald Trump.

The ban will remain in effect while the state supreme court fully reviews a Friday appeals court ruling that overturned the order by Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican like the president, who faces Democrat Joe Biden in a race for the White House on Nov. 3.

The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals had unanimously agreed with a lower court that limiting the number of drop boxes would lengthen lines, increase the risk that voters could get infected with COVID-19, and infringe on their right to vote.

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Reports: Top adviser to Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for the coronavirus

Marty Obst tests positive for Covid-19Vice President Mike Pence was in the middle of his second campaign rally in Florida Saturday when Bloomberg reported that one of his closest advisers had tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this week.

Bloomberg said it wasn't immediately clear whether Marty Obst, Pence's senior political adviser, had developed symptoms of COVID-19.

CNN reported that Obst tested positive earlier this week.

Obst and Pence's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Reuters: U.S. State Department suspends all diversity training after Trump's directive

Pompeo stopes diversity trainingThe U.S. State Department has suspended all training programs for employees related to diversity and inclusion, an internal cable obtained by Reuters showed, after President Donald Trump directed federal agencies last month to end programs deemed divisive by the White House.

“Beginning Friday, October 23, 2020, the Department is temporarily pausing all training programs related to diversity and inclusion in accordance with Executive Order ... on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping,” the cable said.

“The pause will allow time for the Department and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to review program content,” it said.

TVNL Comment:  Bigotry at the top will just disappear, like Covid-19.  Wake up America.  There are just 10 days left to change things.

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Spin, hyperbole and deception: How Trump claimed credit for an Obama veterans achievement

Trump's lie about VAThe first time President Trump claimed false credit for the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act — which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2014 — was on June 6, 2018. That day, as Trump signed the Mission Act, a modest update to the bipartisan VA Choice legislation, he seemed to conflate the two.

“So it’s now my great honor to sign the VA Mission Act, or as we all know it, the Choice Act, and to make Veterans Choice the permanent law of our great country,” the president said, standing in the Rose Garden. “And nobody deserves it more than our veterans.”

In the coming weeks, Trump began systematically erasing from the legislation’s history not just Obama but also the late senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), who not only co-sponsored the VA Choice Act but also was so instrumental in passing the Mission Act that he is one of three senators for whom the act is officially named.

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Federal appeals court won’t lift North Carolina ballot-receipt extension

Appeals Count in NC allows vote count extension

A bitterly divided federal appeals court has denied an attempt by Republicans to block an agreement by North Carolina state officials allowing absentee ballots in next month’s election to be counted if they are postmarked by Election Day and received up to nine days later.

The Tar Heel State typically counts absentee ballots that arrive up to three days after the election, but last month the State Board of Elections agreed to extend that window to nine days due to the increased ballot requests related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as well concerns about mail delays due to recent Postal Service changes.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court says ballots can’t be rejected based on signature comparisons

Pennsylvania SC says ballots can't be rejected for signature

The Pennsylvania state Supreme Court ruled Friday that ballots in the state cannot be rejected because of signature comparisons, backing up guidance issued by the state’s chief elections officer heading into Pennsylvania’s first presidential election with no-excuse mail voting.

The ruling is a defeat for President Donald Trump’s campaign and other Republicans, who had challenged the decision by Pennsylvania election officials, arguing that efforts to match signatures on ballots to signatures on voter rolls were necessary to prevent fraud.

“We conclude that the Election Code does not authorize or require county election boards to reject absentee or mail-in ballots during the canvassing process based on an analysis of a voter’s signature,” the state Supreme Court wrote in an opinion signed by six of the seven justices, including five Democrats and one Republican.

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Judge throws out Trump campaign lawsuit against New Jersey’s election plans

Judge throws out Trump campaign aagainst NJ

A federal judge on Thursday tossed the Trump campaign’s lawsuit against New Jersey’s primarily mail-in election, ruling that most of its arguments were speculative and that the campaign failed to show how it being harmed.

The lawsuit, filed in August by the Trump campaign as well as the Republican State Committee and Republican National Committee, was basically moot anyway.

New Jersey from changing the way it was conducting its election. County clerks began mailing out ballots weeks ago and about 2 million have been cast so far.

“Plaintiffs have alleged nothing more than the possibility of future injury to their members,” U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shipp wrote in his ruling.

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