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2024 Race

Over 9,000 uncounted mail-in ballots found in Illinois election

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The Chicago Board of Elections revealed on Saturday that more than 10,000 ballots hadn’t been included in previous vote totals by mistake, making unofficial counts lower than expected.

Preliminary Report:

SOURCE: https://cboeresults.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/results/Summary%20Report%20(2%20Column).pdf

In a news release, a spokesperson for the CBOE explained that while adding up vote-by-mail ballots, he accidentally left out additional ballots that had been delivered by the U.S. Postal Service on Monday.

“I traded speed for accuracy in reporting out numbers this week as quickly as I could,” spokesperson Max Bever said in a statement, in part. “I truly regret this error on my part and for the confusion that it has caused the voters of Chicago.”

The 10,659 ballots in question were added to the unofficial vote count on Saturday, increasing the total of ballots cast in Chicago to 368,990. Voter turnout citywide was reported to be 24.44% out of 1,509,554 registered voters.

Recent elections have sparked widespread discussions and debates regarding the integrity of the electoral process. As citizens grapple with various viewpoints and concerns, questions surrounding election integrity have taken center stage in political discourse.

One of the key issues that has emerged is the security and reliability of voting systems. With advancements in technology, concerns have been raised about the susceptibility of electronic voting machines to hacking and manipulation. Critics argue that these vulnerabilities could potentially undermine the integrity of election results and erode public trust in the democratic process.

Furthermore, the handling and counting of ballots have also come under scrutiny. Allegations of irregularities, such as ballot tampering or mishandling, have led to calls for increased transparency and oversight in the electoral process. Some argue that stringent safeguards and protocols are necessary to ensure the accuracy and fairness of vote tabulation.

Another area of contention is voter identification laws. Proponents argue that such laws are essential for preventing voter fraud and maintaining the integrity of elections. They contend that requiring voters to present identification helps verify their eligibility and prevents unauthorized individuals from casting ballots. However, critics argue that these laws disproportionately disenfranchise marginalized communities, such as low-income or minority voters, who may face barriers to obtaining valid identification.

Additionally, concerns have been raised about the role of money in politics and its potential to influence election outcomes. The influx of campaign contributions from special interest groups and wealthy donors has raised questions about the fairness and transparency of the electoral process. Critics argue that the influence of money in politics undermines the principle of equal representation and gives undue advantage to powerful interests.

Amidst these debates, calls for reform and strengthening of election laws and regulations have grown louder. Advocates emphasize the need for comprehensive measures to safeguard the integrity of elections, including increased funding for election security, implementation of robust auditing procedures, and expansion of voter access while ensuring strict enforcement of anti-fraud measures.

Ultimately, the issue of election integrity remains a complex and multifaceted challenge. As citizens and policymakers grapple with these questions, finding common ground and implementing effective solutions will be essential to uphold the integrity and legitimacy of the democratic process.

SOURCE: NBC NEWS

2024 Race

Wisconsin Supreme Court Reinstates Unstaffed Drop Boxes Ahead of 2024 Election

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In a significant ruling on July 5, the Wisconsin Supreme Court decided to reinstate the use of unstaffed drop boxes for absentee ballots, reversing the prohibition that had been in effect since 2022. The court’s 4–3 decision marks a pivotal change in Wisconsin’s election procedures ahead of the 2024 elections.

In 2022, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that state law did not allow for absentee drop boxes to be placed anywhere other than in election clerk offices. This decision effectively banned the use of unmanned drop boxes, which had been widely utilized in previous elections to facilitate absentee voting.

The reversal of the 2022 ruling was influenced by a change in the court’s composition. A new justice was elected in 2023, which led to a re-evaluation of the previous decision. During the arguments in May, Justice Jill Karofsky questioned the validity of the 2022 ruling, suggesting that it may have been a mistake. “What if we just got it wrong? What if we made a mistake? Are we now supposed to just perpetuate that mistake into the future?” Karofsky asked during the proceedings.

The court heard arguments three months before the August 13 primary and six months ahead of the November presidential election. Attorneys representing Republican backers of the 2022 ruling contended that there had been no changes in the facts or the law to justify overturning a decision that was less than two years old. Misha Tseytlin, at torney for the Republican-controlled Legislature, argued that overturning the ruling could lead to future instability, as the court might have to revisit the issue whenever its composition changes.

However, Justice Karofsky countered this by pointing out the potential flaws in the 2022 decision, questioning whether the court should continue to uphold a ruling that was “egregiously wrong from the start” with “exceptionally weak” reasoning and damaging consequences.

Democrats and voting rights advocates argued that the 2022 ruling misinterpreted the law by concluding that absentee ballots could only be returned to a clerk’s office and not to a drop box controlled by the clerk. David Fox, attorney for the groups challenging the prohibition, described the current law as unworkable and unclear about where ballots can be returned.

Several justices expressed concerns about revisiting the previous ruling, with Justice Rebecca Bradley cautioning against the court acting as a “super Legislature” and giving municipal clerks excessive discretion in conducting elections.

The case was brought by voter mobilization group Priorities USA and the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Voters. Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which oversees the state’s elections, supported the use of drop boxes. Election officials from four counties, including the state’s two largest, also filed briefs in support of overturning the prohibition, arguing that drop boxes had been used securely for decades.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys highlighted the practical impact of the 2022 ruling, noting that over 1,600 absentee ballots arrived late and were not counted in the 2022 election when drop boxes were not in use. By contrast, in the 2020 election, when drop boxes were available, only 689 ballots arrived after Election Day, despite a significantly higher number of absentee voters.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate unstaffed drop boxes is a crucial development in the state’s election laws, potentially increasing accessibility and convenience for absentee voters. As the 2024 elections approach, this ruling may have significant implications for voter turnout and the administration of elections in Wisconsin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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2024 Race

CNN Abruptly Cuts Off Trump Campaign Spokeswoman Live on Air Ahead of First Presidential Debate

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CNN abruptly cut off Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt during a live interview on Monday morning. The incident occurred just days before the network is set to host the first presidential debate between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.

The interview began with anchor Kasie Hunt asking Leavitt about Trump’s strategy for the upcoming debate in Atlanta, Georgia. Leavitt started by asserting that Trump is well-prepared and doesn’t need to rely on advisors for what to say, contrasting this with her depiction of Biden’s approach.

“President Trump is well-prepared ahead of Thursday’s debates. Unlike Joe Biden, he doesn’t have to hide away and have his advisors tell him what to say. President Trump knows what he wants to say,” Leavitt stated.

Leavitt then shifted the conversation to the debate environment, expressing concerns about potential bias from CNN’s moderators, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

“That’s why President Trump is knowingly going into a hostile environment on this very network on CNN with debate moderators who have made their opinions about him very well-known over the past eight years in their biased coverage of him,” she said.

Hunt quickly responded, defending her colleagues as “professionals” and proceeded to play a series of clips showing Trump’s previous comments about debate moderators. As Leavitt attempted to interject, reiterating her point about bias, Hunt repeatedly interrupted her.

“Ma’am, we’re going to stop right there if you’re going to keep attacking my colleagues,” Hunt said firmly. “I would like to talk about Joe Biden and Donald Trump, who you work for.”

Shortly after, Hunt abruptly ended the interview. “I’m sorry guys … Karoline thank you very much for your time. You’re welcome to come back at any time,” she declared before cutting the feed.

Hunt later defended her decision on social media, writing on X, “You come on my show, you respect my colleagues. Period. I don’t care what side of the aisle you stand on, as my track record clearly shows.”

This incident has added fuel to the already intense anticipation surrounding the upcoming presidential debate. Both Trump and Biden are scheduled to take the stage in Atlanta on Thursday, with CNN’s moderators expected to play a pivotal role in guiding the discussion.

Leavitt’s abrupt cut-off has drawn mixed reactions from viewers and political commentators. Some criticized CNN for silencing a campaign spokesperson, while others supported Hunt’s stance on maintaining respect for her colleagues.

The debate on Thursday is expected to be a crucial moment in the 2024 presidential race, with both candidates facing off on various pressing issues. The incident on Monday has set the stage for what promises to be a highly charged and closely watched event.

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2024 Race

Trump Leads Biden by 10 Points in New National Poll

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In a surprising turn of events, former President Donald Trump is leading President Joe Biden by 10 points in the 2024 White House race, according to a new national poll. The Rasmussen Reports survey, released on Friday, shows that 46% of likely voters support the 78-year-old presumptive Republican nominee, while 36% back the 81-year-old incumbent.

Trump’s Lead Extends Beyond Head-to-Head Matchup

The poll also includes third-party candidates, further highlighting Trump’s lead. Independent candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West received 9% and 2% support, respectively, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein garnered 1% support. Even in a head-to-head matchup without third-party contenders, Trump leads Biden with 49% support to Biden’s 40%. Additionally, 7% of voters indicated they would vote for another candidate, and 4% remain undecided.

Divergence from Other Polls

Despite the striking numbers from the Rasmussen Reports survey, it remains an outlier compared to other polls. According to a FiveThirtyEight average of recent polls, the race is much closer, with Biden at 40.7% and Trump at 40.4%. Similarly, a RealClearPolitics average of surveys shows Trump leading Biden by less than 1 point in a head-to-head race, with Trump at 46.1% and Biden at 45.2%. In a five-way race, Trump’s lead expands slightly to 1.9 points, standing at 42.1% compared to Biden’s 40.2%.

Voter Disapproval of Biden’s Performance

The Rasmussen poll also highlights a significant disapproval of Biden’s performance in office. A majority of voters (54%) disapprove of Biden’s job as president. Additionally, 59% of respondents believe that the government is not doing enough to combat illegal border crossings and visitor overstays.

Former President Trump celebrated the Rasmussen poll results on Truth Social, sharing a graphic that read, “Trump crushes Biden big with 10-point lead.” He pinned this post to the top of his timeline, emphasizing his significant lead in the survey.

As the 2024 presidential race heats up, the Rasmussen Reports survey injects new dynamics into the political landscape. While it stands as an outlier compared to other polls, it highlights the volatility and unpredictability of the current political environment. The coming months will reveal whether this substantial lead for Trump will hold or if other polls will show a closer race between the two candidates.

SOURCE: RASMUSSEN POLL

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