The latest on the 2020 election

By Fernando Alfonso III and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 10:36 p.m. ET, October 25, 2020
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1:11 p.m. ET, October 25, 2020

More than 7.1 million votes cast in Texas

From CNN's Ashley Killough

Voters wait in line to vote in Austin, Texas, on October 13.
Voters wait in line to vote in Austin, Texas, on October 13. Sergio Flores/Getty Images

More than 7.1 million people cast their vote in Texas, including the first 12 days of early voting, according to data posted on the Texas Secretary of State website Sunday morning.

That represents 42.31% of registered voters. In 2016 overall, 59.39% of registered voters voted. 

The last day of early voting in Texas is Oct. 30.

1:10 p.m. ET, October 25, 2020

Senate to hold procedural vote ending debate over Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

From CNN's Ted Barrett

Senate TV
Senate TV

The Senate is expected to hold a procedural vote ending debate over the confirmation Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The vote is expected to pass, setting up a final vote for Monday.

On Monday: The Senate will convene at noon when we expect opening speeches from Sens. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer.

At 1 p.m. ET, senators will have a roll call vote to break the filibuster of Barrett. A majority vote is needed to break it, not 60 votes.

After the votes, Democrats are expected offer a motion to adjourn — as they have a couple of times this week, arguing the nomination should be put off until after the election. 

1:08 p.m. ET, October 25, 2020

NASA astronaut votes from space 

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 


NASA astronaut Kate Rubins voted from space this week, using a secure electronic ballot and a makeshift voting booth on the International Space Station, according to a tweet from NASA Astronaut's verified account.  

Rubins said simply "I voted today," in Thursday's tweet.  

"It's critical to participate in our democracy, we consider it an honor to be able to vote from space," Rubins said in an Oct.16 NASA video.  

Some context: Rubins, who is a flight engineer, also cast her ballot from the International Space Station during the 2016 election, CNN reported.  

"I think it's really important for everybody to vote and if we can do it from space then I believe folks can do it from the ground too," Rubins said in October.  

Astronauts registered to vote in Texas got the right to vote from space in 1997, when Texas lawmakers ruled they could electronically cast their ballot off-planet if they'd be on a spaceflight during the early-voting period or Election Day, CNN reported. 

12:06 p.m. ET, October 25, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez discusses Biden's position on fracking

From CNN's Sarah Fortinsky

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would not directly criticize Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for his commitment not to ban fracking, saying she is not worried about his position on the issue. 

Ocasio-Cortez introduced legislation to get rid of fracking by 2025, and she told CNN that it would be a “privilege” to lobby Biden to take more progressive policy positions on issues like fracking.

“Vice President Biden has made very clear that he does not agree with a fracking ban, and I consider that, you know— it will be a privilege to lobby him should we win the White House, but we need to focus on winning the White House first,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And I’m happy to make my case, but I understand that he is in disagreement with that issue.”

She emphasized the importance of focusing on getting progressives into key cabinet positions in the Biden administration. Ocasio-Cortez did not answer directly whether the Obama administration was progressive, saying that it wasn’t the former president's fault that many progressive demands weren't met during his term because he was working with a Republican-controlled Congress.

11:33 a.m. ET, October 25, 2020

Trump campaign adviser: Pence will "do what is necessary" following virus outbreak

From CNN's Ali Main

Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks at a campaign rally in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, on October 23.
Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks at a campaign rally in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, on October 23. Gene J. Puskar/AP

When asked if he thinks Vice President Mike Pence should quarantine after being in close contact with his chief of staff Marc Short and others in his orbit who have tested positive for coronavirus in recent days, Trump campaign senior adviser Corey Lewandowski did not directly answer the question, saying he's sure the vice president will "do what is necessary and what is appropriate."

"I would make sure the vice president is taking all of the precautions necessary as he's always done," Lewandowski said in an interview on NBC on Sunday. 

Lewandowski compared the situation to an incident two weeks ago where two people close to Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris's campaign also tested positive, saying she took the necessary precautions. 

Upon learning of the positive diagnoses, Harris cancelled a planned campaign trip and stayed off the trail for multiple days. Pence plans to proceed with his scheduled trip to North Carolina even though he was traveling with Short on Thursday and Friday.

Lewandowski said he had not spoken with Pence or his team within the past 24 hours.

The Trump aide also deflected when asked about the Washington Post's report that the President privately told donors it will be "very tough" for Republicans to keep control of the Senate, namely because he refuses to support some senators.

Lewandowski said the President has been campaigning "aggressively" for Republican senators and believes keeping the majority in the chamber is important, pointing to his own trip to Arizona last week to fundraise for vulnerable GOP Sen. Martha McSally.

10:43 a.m. ET, October 25, 2020

Pence and his wife test negative for Covid-19 Sunday morning

From CNN's Kevin Liptak and Daniella Diaz

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Both Vice President Mike Pence and his wife tested negative Sunday for coronavirus, a White House official said. 

“This morning, both Vice President Pence and the second lady tested negative for Covid-19,’ the official said.

10:41 a.m. ET, October 25, 2020

Harris says Pence "should be following" Covid-19 guidelines

From CNN’s Jasmine Wright, Nicky Robertson, and Liz Turrell 

Getty Images
Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris said Sunday that Vice President Mike Pence "should be following the guidelines" when it comes to mitigating the spread of Covid-19.

"We're doing it. I think what we have modeled the right and good behavior, and they just take our lead,” Harris said when asked if Pence should still be campaigning after his office confirmed Saturday that his chief of staff, Marc Short had tested positive for Covid-19. 

Additionally, CNN has confirmed three other staffers, as well as outside adviser Marty Obst, have also tested positive.

The Democratic vice presidential candidate cancelled travel a week ago “out of an abundance of caution” after two people in her orbit tested positive for the virus. 

Harris, speaking shortly after arriving at the airport in Detroit, Michigan, also responded to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows claims on CNN that “we are not going to control the virus.”

“They are admitting defeat,” Harris said “We are breaking records of the number of people that are contracting, a deadly virus, and this administration fails to take personal responsibility or responsibility in terms of leading the nation through this dangerous, dangerous and deadly mass casualty event. And that's why they have forfeited their right to a second term in office.”

10:26 a.m. ET, October 25, 2020

White House chief of staff says "we are not going to control the pandemic"

From CNN's Devan Cole 

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN Sunday that the US is "not going to control" the coronavirus pandemic, as cases surge across the country setting national records.

Nearly 225,000 Americans have died from the virus.

"We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," Meadows told CNN.

When asked by CNN's Jake Tapper why the US isn't going to get the pandemic under control, Meadows said: "Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu."

He added that the Trump Administration is "making efforts to contain it."  

"What we need to do is make sure that we have the proper mitigation factors, whether it's therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don't die from this," Meadows said.


10:16 a.m. ET, October 25, 2020

White House chief of staff refuses to disclose extent of VP office outbreak 

From CNN's Sarah Westwood

During an interview on CNN, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows refused to disclose the extent of a Covid-19 outbreak in Vice President Mike Pence’s orbit, and he said Pence will be wearing a mask and social distancing when he resumes campaign travel today despite his direct exposure to the virus. 

“Sharing personal information is not something that we should do,” Meadows told CNN.

Meadows said such disclosures are only appropriate in the case of the President, vice president or those in their inner circle. 

“Anytime there’s someone in harm’s way, we have an obligation to let people know for contract-tracing," he added.

More context: Pence’s office announced Saturday evening chief of staff, Marc Short had tested positive for Covid-19. CNN has confirmed three other staffers as well as outside adviser Marty Obst have tested positive as well. 

Pence’s office said the vice president will continue with a scheduled trip to North Carolina today after he and wife Karen Pence tested negative for the virus Saturday. 

CNN’s Daniella Diaz contributed to this story.