The latest on the 2020 election

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 5:54 AM ET, Thu October 15, 2020
14 Posts
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4:33 p.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Texas' Harris County breaks previous record for highest second day of early voting 

From CNN's Kay Jones

Harris County, Texas, has broken a record for the highest number of votes cast in the second day of early voting, according to a tweet from the county clerk's office.

The tweet says that more than 76,000 votes have been cast on Wednesday in Harris County, which includes the Houston-metro area. 

The previous record was in 2016, when 73,542 people voted on the second day. 

Maps on the voting website show that wait times range from a few minutes to 40 or more at the 122 locations in the county. 

Polls are open in Harris County through 7 p.m. local time today. 

4:16 p.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Barron Trump tested positive for Covid-19, first lady says

From CNN's Kate Bennett

In this August 16 file photo, President Donald Trump walks with First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron as they arrive at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey.
In this August 16 file photo, President Donald Trump walks with First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron as they arrive at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

In an essay posted on the White House website, first lady Melania Trump said she has now tested negative for the virus. But her son, Barron, 14, tested positive. 

“Naturally, my mind went immediately to our son,” she writes after she and President Trump’s diagnosis. Barron initially tested negative, but was tested again and turned up positive. She said Barron had “no symptoms,” and has now tested negative.

As for her symptoms, she said they were “minimal, though they hit me all at once and it seemed to be a roller coaster of symptoms in the days after.” The first lady said she had body aches, cough, headaches and was extremely tired. 

She also described her treatment plan, saying:

"I chose to go a more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food. We had wonderful caretakers around us and we will be forever grateful for the medical care and professional discretion we received from Dr. Conley and his team. It was an unfamiliar feeling for me to be the patient instead of a person trying to encourage our nation to stay healthy and safe. It was me being taken care of now, and getting first-hand experience with all that COVID-19 can do. As the patient, and the person benefitting from so much medical support, I found myself even more grateful and in awe of caretakers and first responders everywhere. To the medical staff and the residence staff who have been taking care of our family—thank you doesn’t say enough."

1:32 p.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Georgia's secretary of state assures citizens that "everyone will have the opportunity to vote"

From CNN's Maria Cartaya and Jason Morris

People in Marietta, Georgia, wait in line to vote on October 12.
People in Marietta, Georgia, wait in line to vote on October 12. Ron Harris/AP

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says some voting places are seeing longer lines due to some precincts being "more favored by voters" as well as pandemic guidelines. 

"Well, some of the longest lines, for example, we saw in Fulton County so far that I’ve heard of actually have been in North Fulton County, and so that’s not I would say that’s probably 50/50 Republican, Democrat area. It’s not really any demographic group, obviously. And then down to State Farm, you know, it’s 10-15 minutes. Our Implementation Director, Gabriel Sterling, voted there Monday, I believe it was, and I think it took him 17 minutes," Raffensperger said.

"It’s just something that some precincts are more favored by voters and they just have longer lines. Everyone will have the opportunity to vote. We’re just expecting a record turnout. You have a pandemic, and that’s the other thing that we tend to forget. If you look at those lines, they look like they’re long, but everyone is spaced six feet out on center and that just makes your lines look a whole lot longer. It also takes longer to actually vote through the process because the machines have to be cleaned down, wiped, and so it’s just a slower more cumbersome process just due to the pandemic," Raffensperger added.

Regarding a bandwidth issue affecting voting locations, Raffensperger said it's a capacity problem.

"The amount of information that’s just flowing. It’s like everyone jumping on 285 in the morning, and sometimes you have to stagger out the rush hour," added Raffensperger. 

12:14 p.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Trump is “not infectious for anyone else," NIH directors say

From CNN's Andrea Diaz

President Donald Trump holds a rally in Sanford, Florida, on October 12.
President Donald Trump holds a rally in Sanford, Florida, on October 12. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

CNN has obtained a statement from the National Institutes of Health, saying that Dr. Clifford Lane and Dr. Anthony Fauci have reviewed the President’s recent medical data, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and have concluded that President Trump is not infectious.

"At the request of the White House, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, M.D., and H. Clifford Lane, M.D., NIAID Deputy Director, Clinical Research, reviewed the totality of the COVID-19 test results from the President, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that was done at the NIH," the NIH said in an emailed statement. "They affirmed that all current evidence indicates that the President is not infectious for anyone else."

 The test was collected and analyzed by NIH Tuesday evening.

 

11:58 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Trump touts his coronavirus recovery during Zoom Rose Garden appearance

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Donald Trump speaks from the White House Rose Garden during a Zoom call on October 14.
President Donald Trump speaks from the White House Rose Garden during a Zoom call on October 14. The Economic Club of New York

President Trump railed against the media and touted his coronavirus treatment and recovery Wednesday as he addressed the Economic Clubs of New York, Washington Chicago, Sheboygan, and Pittsburgh in a remote event. 

Trump spoke from a podium in the White House Rose Garden, the event produced via Zoom with “White House” at the bottom left corner of Trump’s screen. His voice sounded raspy at the top of the event and he cleared his throat twice while speaking. 

The President praised his administration’s coronavirus response and “aggressive and early action,” as well as initial aid package – his comments coming as talks remain stalled on Capitol Hill. 

“We’re rounding that final turn” on the pandemic, he reiterated.  

After his coronavirus diagnosis, he noted, “I wasn’t feeling so hot,” adding that Regeneron “made me feel very good very fast,” calling it a “cure.”

“Who knows, maybe I would have recovered beautifully anyway. All I know is once I had Regeneron, it worked out very well,” he said of his treatment. 

Trump went on to claim that the media has “undermined our public health efforts and put innocent lives in danger.”

“We must allow lower risk Americans to resume normal activity,” slamming “unscientific lockdowns pushed by left wing politicians.”

He warned of a “depression” and tax increases in a Biden administration and touted his perceived economic successes, repeatedly railing against the Obama administration. 

Trump sought to cast Joe Biden as weak on immigration and on China, claiming, “If I don’t get elected in a little while, 20 days, China will own the United States,” adding at one point that he is “not interested in making friends in the corrupt media.”

One day after questioning his own support among suburban women, Trump warned that in a Biden administration there would be “an economic catastrophe of unimaginable proportions” and “your suburb will be gone. The American dream will be gone.”

At one point, he suggested Biden wouldn’t have agency in his own potential administration: “It isn’t really him that wants to do it, it’s other people that are at a much higher level than Joe.”

He also took a moment to directly address the Democrats listening to his remarks: “I know I’m speaking to some Democrats and some of you are friends of mine. You will see things happen that will not make you happy. I don’t understand your thinking. I don’t understand how you can be backing such policies. But you’re wrong.”

Trump will participate in a rally this evening in Des Moines, Iowa. It will be his third rally in three days.

11:25 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

These voters are waiting hours to cast their ballots in Georgia

From CNN's Melissa Mahtani

People wait to vote in Fulton County, near Atlanta, on October 14.
People wait to vote in Fulton County, near Atlanta, on October 14. CNN

We’re in Fulton County, near Atlanta, where long lines of voters have turned out to cast their ballots. Some voters in Georgia were forced to wait up to eight hours yesterday as the state saw a record turnout on the first few days of early voting.

CNN’s Amara Walker is speaking to people, some of whom have been waiting in line since 6 a.m.

Watch:

Are you having difficulty registering or voting, whether in person or by mail? Tell us more about it here.

11:30 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Georgia's secretary of state says bandwidth issue affecting some voting places is "capacity problem"

From CNN’s Maria Cartaya and Jason Morris

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger holds a press conference in Atlanta on October 14.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger holds a press conference in Atlanta on October 14. CNN

Regarding a bandwidth issue affecting voting locations, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said it's a capacity problem.

"The amount of information that’s just flowing.  It’s like everyone jumping on 285 in the morning, and sometimes you have to stagger out the rush hour," added Raffensperger. 

"Everyone will have the opportunity to vote. We’re just expecting record turnout," said Raffensperger.

"You have a pandemic, and that’s the other thing that we tend to forget. If you look at those lines, they look like they’re long, but everyone is spaced six feet out on center and that just makes your lines look a whole lot longer. It also takes longer to actually vote through the process because the machines have to be cleaned out, wiped, and so it’s just a slower more cumbersome process just due to the pandemic," added Raffensperger. 

"Georgia voters are excited and setting records every hour," said Raffensperger

Some context: Monday was the first day that Georgia offered in-person voting opportunities. There were some early hiccups reported, including glitches that slowed down voting at one supersite in Atlanta.

Elsewhere, early voters endured long lines, sometimes snaking around buildings, according to local reports.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden hopes to peel the Peach State away from President Trump, who won by five percentage points in 2016. There are also not one but two Senate races on the ballot in Georgia, with two incumbent Republicans trying to fend off challengers.

With reporting from Nick Valencia, Annie Grayer and Marshall Cohen.  

11:36 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Texas could turn blue for Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke on CNN's "Newsroom" on October 14.
Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke on CNN's "Newsroom" on October 14. CNN

Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke says Texas could turn blue this election and vote for Joe Biden. 

“If Joe Biden is the first Democratic nominee to win Texas in 40 years, then this election is over on Election Night,” he told CNN Wednesday.

“We don't wait for Pennsylvania to count the returns for days or maybe even weeks. We don't allow Donald Trump the opportunity to try to steal or prematurely or illegally claim victory when the results are still in doubt,” he added. “Texas will decide this mathematically, psychologically in every way that matters. And we can turn the page on Donald Trump and begin that next chapter for our country. That's how important Texas is and Texas can happen.”

O’Rourke also criticized a late-night ruling that upheld Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's directive limiting only one ballot drop box location per county in the state.

“It's really unfortunate because it enables the voter suppression that has kept so many of our fellow Texans historically from being able to cast their ballot and have their vote counted. It's compounded by voter ID laws, racial gerrymandering, a number of other really bad practices made much worse since the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013,” he said.

In-person early voting began in Texas on Tuesday, with long lines and massive turnout.

Watch:

10:26 a.m. ET, October 14, 2020

Texas state appeals court dismisses GOP lawsuit attempting to block curbside voting in Harris County

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

A state appeals court in Texas dismissed a lawsuit brought by Republicans who were trying to block curbside and drive-through voting in Harris County, which is home to Houston, a major Democratic stronghold. 

The judges ruled that the Republican Party of Texas did not have standing to bring the lawsuit.

They also said they were dismissing the lawsuit because it was filed too late and “the election is currently in progress.”

In-person early voting began this week in Texas, with long lines and massive turnout.