The latest on the 2020 election

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 11:08 PM ET, Thu October 29, 2020
19 Posts
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4:49 p.m. ET, October 29, 2020

CNN’s Rosa Flores explains the diversity of the Hispanic vote in Florida and answers viewers' questions

From CNN's Melissa Macaya and Melissa Mahtani

The Hispanic vote could be crucial for both candidates’ election victory, especially in the state of Florida. But they are an extremely diverse group.

Ahead of President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden's dueling campaign events in the Sunshine State today, CNN’s Rosa Flores explained some of the biggest policy issues that differentiate Hispanic voters and spoke to three voters at an early voting location at the Westchester Regional Library in Miami.

She also answered viewers' questions in both English and Spanish.

Watch here.

12:46 p.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Louisiana working on alternate polling sites following Hurricane Zeta

From CNN’s Carma Hassan

Louisiana Governor's Office
Louisiana Governor's Office

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said an election task force has been created to make sure there are alternate polling places if normal sites are out of service following Hurricane Zeta.

He said the task force has identified the polling places without electricity, and those will be priority locations to get power turned back on. The task force is also looking at polling sites that have storm damage.

“As we get closer to Tuesday, obviously, a determination is going to have to be made whether they’re going to be able to power those locations back up or not and that has to be done in advance of Tuesday, far enough so that if it can’t happen, that the voters who would typically vote at those locations can be given instructions to vote elsewhere,” Edwards said.
2:54 p.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Pre-election voting continues through weekend in Arizona's largest county

From CNN's Bob Ortega

People wait in line to drop off mail-in ballots at an early voting location in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 16.
People wait in line to drop off mail-in ballots at an early voting location in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 16. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Early voting in Arizona is scheduled to end Friday, but elections officials in Phoenix’s Maricopa County said that, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the county Board of Supervisors decided to keep around 90 voting centers open on Saturday, about 20 on Sunday and 150 on Monday.

The decision to allow for emergency voting was made back in September, anticipating it would be needed. 

Maricopa County is the state’s most populous county, with about 2.6 million registered voters.

Each county decides whether to open locations from Saturday through Monday, Arizona’s “emergency voting” period.

Any voter who has an issue preventing them from voting on Election Day may vote at those locations over the weekend. 

Voters who received ballots by mail also may return their ballots at those locations.

11:31 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

It's too late to mail back mail-in ballots in most places

From CNN's Zachary B. Wolf

Election workers extract mail-in ballots from their envelopes and examine the ballot for irregularities at the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorders' mail-in ballot processing center at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, California on October 28.
Election workers extract mail-in ballots from their envelopes and examine the ballot for irregularities at the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorders' mail-in ballot processing center at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, California on October 28. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Voting by mail? USPS says it needs seven days to safely deliver ballots.

We're five days to the election.

Bottom line: If you've got a mail-in ballot, you probably shouldn't mail it. If you haven't requested a mail-in ballot, it may be too late to count on one arriving in time, even though some states still allow those asks.

Kathy Boockvar, the secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, told CNN's Jake Tapper on Tuesday that even though Pennsylvania can count mail-in ballots received up until Nov. 6 (three days after Election Day), she'd rather people just drop their ballots off.

"At this point, we're a week out, right? We've all heard of stories of ballots being delayed in the mail. I don't want anybody to lose their opportunity to vote, so I want every voter who has the ability to drop it off in person," Boockvar said.

So what are your options? Voters in most places can also deliver their ballots directly to their election offices to sidestep any potential mail delays. There's usually also the option to vote early or on Election Day.

In states that allow the counting of ballots received after Election Day — including the battleground states of Ohio, Iowa and Nevada — it's still possible to use the postal system and be outside that seven-day recommended time period. But the mail-in window is about closed. There are other options.

You can read more from CNN's voter guide is here, and see a list of which states will accept mail-in ballots after Election Day is here.

11:18 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

How the Biden campaign aims to court Latino voters in final stretch to Election Day 

From CNN’s Sarah Mucha and Arlette Saenz 

Writing on a car window reads, ' Latinos con Biden,' as people show their support for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during a Worker Caravan for Biden event on October 18 in Doral, Florida.
Writing on a car window reads, ' Latinos con Biden,' as people show their support for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during a Worker Caravan for Biden event on October 18 in Doral, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Joe Biden’s campaign says they are keeping their “foot on the gas” and “aggressively” courting Latino voters in the final stretch before Election Day as the Democratic nominee visits Florida to make his closing argument to the community Thursday.   

Following the release of a new ad highlighting Biden’s plan to issue an executive order to reunite separated children from their families, the Biden campaign’s Cristobal Alex called the subject a “top priority” for Biden if he were to be elected. 

“This is an issue that has had a profound impact on the vice president,” Alex said on a call held with reporters. “The centerpiece and core focus on Joe Biden’s immigration policy is family unification.” He called the Trump administration’s handling of the situation “criminal.”  

Across every state, the campaign is launching Latino-specific get out the vote efforts, including bilingual phone banks and text banks and hosting car caravans that end at polling locations.  

Volunteers are launching socially distant rosarios, or prayer circles, in East Las Vegas, and the campaign is holding horse parades in Las Vegas and socially distanced rallies in Pennsylvania and Florida with well-known DJs.  

The campaign’s pollster, Matt Baretto, pushed back on publicly available polling that show Biden underperforming with Latinos compared to Hillary Clinton in 2016, arguing that the campaign’s own polls have consistently shown a strongly consistent lead that is "right on track" with Barack Obama’s numbers in 2012.  

Christian Ulvert, the campaign’s senior advisor in Florida, shared that the campaign has forty events planned between today and Election Day to drive turnout in the state.

It’s hosting community-specific events and harnessing star power to encourage early voting, including hosting an event with actress America Ferrera in central Florida and “parties at the polls” with DJs and food trucks at polling locations in the Tampa area.

In the Miami market, which also includes Broward County, Ulvert says they are hosting 25 events alone.  

In Arizona, the campaign highlighted the recent trip by Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, and shared that it recently hosted a “Low Riders for Biden” event in their efforts to encourage Latino voters to cast their ballot early.  

10:38 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Texas casts more than 8.4 million votes — 94% of total 2016 vote

From CNN's Ashley Killough

Voters line up and wit to cast a ballot at the American Airlines Center during early voting on October 15 in Dallas.
Voters line up and wit to cast a ballot at the American Airlines Center during early voting on October 15 in Dallas. LM Otero/AP

More than 8.4 million people have cast their vote in Texas, including the first 16 days of early voting, according to data posted on the Texas Secretary of State website Thursday morning.

That represents 49.84% of registered voters. The state could eclipse the 2016 overall vote in the 2020 early vote.

So far, the number of early votes this cycle is 94% of the overall vote in Texas in 2016 — with two days of early voting plus Election Day remaining. In addition to the enthusiasm in the state, the number of registered voters has grown 12% since 2016 or almost 1.9 million people.

If this trend holds, the state is on track to far surpass the 59% of registered voters who cast a ballot in 2016.

On Wednesday, at least 243,350 people voted in person, bringing the total in-person votes to 7,543,086. Cumulative ballots-by-mail so far this cycle were 906,772.

10:22 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Biden tests negative for Covid-19 ahead of trip to Florida

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden arrives to board his plane in New Castle, Delaware, on October 29.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden arrives to board his plane in New Castle, Delaware, on October 29. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Democratic nominee Joe Biden tested negative for Covid-19 Wednesday night ahead of his trip to Florida today. 

“Vice President Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 last night and COVID-19 was not detected," the campaign said, according to pool.

Biden is holding a drive-in event in Broward County at 1:30 p.m. ET and will then head to Tampa for another drive-in event at 6:30 p.m. ET.

10:18 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Vice President Pence tests negative for Covid-19

From CNN’s Kaitlan Collins 

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a Make America Great Again rally at Greensboro International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, on October 27.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a Make America Great Again rally at Greensboro International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, on October 27. Grant Baldwin/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Pence has tested negative for coronavirus again, according to his office.

He’s been cleared by the medical unit to continue traveling. Pence is scheduled to have rallies in Iowa and Nevada today.

 

10:00 a.m. ET, October 29, 2020

Voters weigh in on the biggest issues to them in the 2020 election

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

From the economy to the coronavirus pandemic, six voters discussed what they believe are the biggest issues in the 2020 election.

The panel did not use the voters’ last names. The voters have all been on previous “Pulse of the People” voters panels on CNN’s “New Day.” 

Jimmy, who is voting for Trump, said that the biggest issue is the economy. 

“By this time next year, we will be talking about the economy. If Biden gets in, it's going to be a disaster; if Trump stays in, it will probably be as good as it was,” he said to CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.

“The economy is intertwined with the virus. You know, I think to a large extent, a lot of the social unrest has been connected and intertwined with the virus. So I think the virus is the big issue here,” said Dale, who is voting for Joe Biden. 

Stephanie, who is voting for Biden, said she thinks the issues of education and health care largely intertwines with the coronavirus pandemic as well. She said she’s been waiting for four years to see Trump’s health care plan. 

Trump still has not presented a plan to replace Obamacare.

Voter Jimmy said he’s confident that Trump will not leave out people with pre-existing conditions. 

“He said he would not do it; the man does what he says,” Jimmy said. 

Voter Vanity said there are other “interlocking” issues along with the pandemic. “There are epidemic rates of police brutality against Black Americans, there are epidemic rates of violence against black transgender women,” she said.

Bobby, an undecided voter, said that the country will adapt no matter who the victor is.

“If Trump wins or Biden wins, I mean, I'm fine either way; we'll live, we'll move on as a country, we always have. The country will survive,” he said.  

Watch: