We’ll round up a few of the big stories today, like the Federal Court’s decision on ballots in Texas.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s progressive District Attorney warns that quote “wannabe fascists” should stay home instead of quote “dressing up like GI joe” to intimidate voters at the polls. But a New York Times investigation shows militias in other states might get a much warmer reception.
And lastly, the Supreme Court could hear a case that directly challenges Roe v Wade as early as Friday.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
It’s election day. The Majority Report will be with you all day from noon until midnight today, streaming live, so make sure to hop in throughout the day with us.
Here’s where things stand on the morning of.
The biggest news of the past 24 hours is again on the GOP’s Texas ballot lawsuits. On Monday, a federal judge ruled against the Republican plaintiffs in their attempt to throw out over 100,000 ballots delivered by drive-through voting in the liberal Harris County. That makes the GOP oh for two on state and federal lawsuits to invalidate ballots, respectively. The plaintiffs have immediately appealed the case, but as the election gets closer it gets slightly less likely they’ll succeed.
Some other notes to consider: the _Times_ reports that despite a surge in absentee ballots, the percentage of them being rejected for errors is lower than usual.
Early voting numbers are also massive. We’re at almost 98 million already.
Trump has spent his last days on the campaign trail rambling incoherently about the media and calling Democrats criminals. Not really his strongest stuff, but he’s playing the hits I guess.
His only play has been clear for days: if he takes any kind of lead throughout the night, he’s going to try to declare victory. The big tech companies who will inevitably spread that kind of coup-content say that they’ll add some reminders at the top of their feeds that no victory is certified unless verified by election officials and major news outlets. Biden’s campaign manager,
for what it’s worth, said quote “Under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night.” Endquote. We’ll see how that goes.
FASCISTS AT THE POLLS
One big storyline outside of the political horserace to keep an eye on today is the presence of militias at polling stations. In Philadelphia, progressive DA Larry Krasner has taken an extremely strong stance at keeping the right-wing stormtroopers away. He told CNN on Friday quote:
"If you want to dress up like a G.I. Joe and claim you are protecting the polls when we all know what you're really doing is intimidating voters, you're getting locked up. Wannabe fascists stay home. If your idea of how to have a democratic election is to steal it, then I've got something for you. I've got a jail cell, and I've got criminal charges."
But it’s pretty likely that many jurisdictions won’t be like Krasner’s. In fact, a new investigation by the New York Times shows that cops have been friendly and even openly supportive to armed right-wing groups throughout this summer’s protests. Big surprise, I know.
The Times reviewed hundreds of incidents from the protests over the summer and found documented video evidence of police and various law enforcement authorities standing by while right wing groups fought with protesters, turning a blind eye to their presence, and, in some cases, directly supporting them on the streets.
Most of this was pretty obvious at the time. But it’s still notable to see it all laid out for you. What this means is while some DAs or local governments might say they’re going to crack down on militias, the cops responsible for doing the actual cracking down might not be predisposed to do so. We’ll see how this story plays out over the day, and what these armed groups do after results start to come in.
SUPREME COURT COULD TAKE ON ROE V WADE
SAM: We’ll have much more on the election later today. For now, let’s focus on another story that might get missed. The Supreme Court, with Amy Coney Barrett newly on the bench, could see a case with big implications for Roe V Wade as early as Friday.
The case, filed by the Mississippi Department of Health against the Jackson Women’s Health Organization and other abortion access groups, is a direct challenge to Roe v Wade.
That decision, if you remember, specifically mandates that states can’t restrict abortion prior to fetal viability, a term that medical experts use that means about 24 weeks.
Mississippi and other conservative states have been deliberately breaking this precedent in order to set up a court challenge for months, passing restrictive laws that they know will go to court.
This case in particular was supposed to get considered last week, but got bumped around in the schedule and will now come up on Friday. If the Supreme Court decides to take it, we could get an extremely early test of just how far Coney Barrett is willing to go to overturn Roe v Wade.
And remember, depending on what happens today, this could be in the first days of Trump’s incredibly destructive lame duck period. After the dust settles from the election, this will be one to watch.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is up to his old tricks: collaborating with Republicans to sabotage his own party. NY1 journalist Errol Lewis reported that Cuomo is believed to be behind a last minute effort and surge of money in order to try to stop Democrats from getting the votes they’d need to override his veto in the state legislature, just so he can make sure not too much progress happens in his firmly centrist state.
Terrorist attacks struck in Vienna and Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday. Multiple gunmen in Vienna killed two and injured at least 15 in what appears to be a coordinated attack. In an unrelated incident, multiple gunmen also stormed Kabul University in Aghanistan’s capital, killing at least 19.
Retailers and businesses in many major cities are boarding up windows in preparation for possible protests or violence tomorrow, which is generally not a great sign for a functioning democracy. Fences are also going up around the entire White House complex, which makes sense considering how much the protests this summer scared the big boy in the Oval Office.
And finally, One polling story that sounds hopeful: Dave Wasserman, a notoriously accurate pollster who had data that suggested Clinton was in trouble in 2016, now says that Biden could be heading for a blowout in the popular vote, possibly one of the biggest upsets for a first term president since Jimmy Carter for Trump. Let’s hope that holds up.
Oct 3, 2020 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn