It's the Sunday before Election Day

By Fernando Alfonso III and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 4:07 p.m. ET, November 1, 2020
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2:17 p.m. ET, November 1, 2020

FBI investigating alleged harassment of Biden campaign bus in Texas

From CNN's Josh Campbell

A campaign bus for Joe Biden traveling from San Antonio to Austin, Texas, was surrounded by multiple vehicles with Trump signs that attempted to slow down the bus and run it off the road, a Biden campaign official told CNN.
A campaign bus for Joe Biden traveling from San Antonio to Austin, Texas, was surrounded by multiple vehicles with Trump signs that attempted to slow down the bus and run it off the road, a Biden campaign official told CNN. Twitter/@ericcervini

The FBI is investigating an incident in Texas on Friday involving the alleged harassment of a Biden-Harris campaign bus by motorists displaying Trump 2020 flags, a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN.  

As CNN previously reported, the campaign bus was traveling from San Antonio to Austin as part of a push to urge Biden supporters to cast their ballots on the state's last day of early voting.

According to another source familiar with the incident, people in vehicles that were part of a "Trump Train" began yelling profanities and obscenities and then blockaded the entire Biden entourage. 

At one point they slowed the tour bus to roughly 20 mph on Interstate 35, the campaign official said. The vehicles slowed down to try to stop the bus in the middle of the highway. The source said there were nearly 100 vehicles around the campaign bus. Biden staffers were rattled by the event, the source said, although no one was hurt. Staffers on the bus called 911, which eventually led to local law enforcement assisting the bus to its destination.

After tweeting a video of the bus incident with the words "I LOVE TEXAS!," Trump claimed at a campaign rally on Sunday that his supporters were "protecting" the bus.

2:02 p.m. ET, November 1, 2020

Meet the "poll chaplains" hoping to keep the peace at the polls on Nov. 3

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale is used to diffusing tense situations from her time as a chaplain in a federal prison. This year, she’s hoping to bring the skills she learned working with prison inmates to the polls. 

“I see my role very similar here, in terms of bringing peace and calm to the situation and helping people resolve their issues as carefully as possible,” Hale, who is 68 years old, told CNN. 

Hale and hundreds of other members of the clergy have been trained as part of a nonpartisan initiative called Lawyers and Collars to act as “poll chaplains” in nine battleground states. Hale will act as a poll chaplain in Georgia, a state that was at the center of a debate over voter suppression during the 2018 midterms. 

In a tumultuous election year in which there are heightened fears about voter intimidation and suppression, these poll chaplains hope to ensure that every vote gets counted. They have been trained to provide information to voters about their rights, and deescalate any conflicts that may arise at polling locations. 

“In Georgia in particular, we have some real concerns about voter intimidation and voter suppression,” Hale said. “Some of these can be handled easily, you know, people not having the right ID, or something of that nature.”

Hale added: “So to be a poll chaplain is to be there as a clergy person giving people, in most instances, comfort, because they trust clergy people, and letting them know that there is someone there to support and help them. We're not there to get in the way of the process at all.” 

Hale is the founder and senior pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church, which doubles as her polling location. Prior to joining this church, Hale said she was the first woman to serve in an all-male federal prison as a chaplain in North Carolina. 

In addition to the poll chaplains, the group set up a hotline to make lawyers available to identify and address any voting irregularities and intimidation that may occur throughout the voting process. 

Around the US: Lawyers and Collars is the product of a partnership between Sojourners, Skinner Leadership Institute, and the National African American Clergy Network. The lawyers and poll chaplains will be located throughout Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 

Bishop Claude Alexander, a poll chaplain and pastor in Charlotte, North Carolina, told CNN, “We are still having incidences of suppression, where people are being intimidated, and they are actually being told, ‘Go away, you cannot vote here.’ And therefore, there has to be some counter-presence that helps redirect and then give assurance to those individuals.” 

1:57 p.m. ET, November 1, 2020

Texas Supreme Court denies challenge seeking to invalidate 120,000 drive-thru votes

From CNN's Ashley Killough, Kara Scannell, Ed Lavandera and Samira Said

The Texas Supreme Court denied a petition Sunday by a group of Republicans seeking to invalidate more than 120,000 drive-thru votes in Harris County. 

This is the second time in recent weeks the Supreme Court has blocked attempts to dismantle drive-thru voting in Harris County. The petition argued that drive-thru voting violated federal law. 

Meanwhile, a similar court case is pending at a federal court in Houston with a hearing set for tomorrow. 

Ten of Harris County's 120 early voting sites are drive-thru locations. As of Friday, nearly 127,000 votes had been cast via drive-thru, marking nearly 9% of the total votes cast in the country's third most populous county. While curbside voting in Harris County is limited to voters with a disability and located at all polling sites, the drive-thru voting locations are open to all voters.

1:31 p.m. ET, November 1, 2020

Ohio continues to see record levels of voters

From CNN’s Gary Tuchman, Devon M. Sayers and Amanda Lee

Voters wait in line outside the Geauga County Board of Elections in Chardon, Ohio to cast their ballot during early voting on October 16.
Voters wait in line outside the Geauga County Board of Elections in Chardon, Ohio to cast their ballot during early voting on October 16. Dustin Franz/AFP/Getty Images

Ohio's top election official affirmed that every legally cast vote needs to be counted in his state, including those that arrive after election day in accordance with Ohio law. 

“I know a lot of people like this idea of election night coverage is sort of reality TV but it's not really the way that it works and it certainly may not be the way that it works this year in an election where we're relying more heavily than ever on absentee ballots.” Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said. 

When asked about what President Trump has said that he wanted the results of the election that night, LaRose added, “That's not the way elections work. It's just simply not, it's not the way elections work in Ohio or most any other state election night is a snapshot in time.” 

Ohio law allows for absentee ballots post marked by election date to be received up to 10 days after election day and still be counted. 

“Every legally cast valid deserves to be counted and will be counted by our boards collections and reported as part of our final certified result at the end of the month,” LaRose added. 

Some context: Last week, Ohio set two new daily records for new cases of Covid-19.

The state is under a statewide mask order, to try and slow the spread of the virus. The order has been contentious in some parts of the state. Voters who arrive to the polls who do not wear a facemask will be offered one, LaRose said. If they refuse to wear one other accommodations like curbside voting will be offered, he added.

“Of course, if somebody refuses all of those accommodations that we offer them, we can't turn anyone away. No one will be disenfranchised here in Ohio," he added.

1:19 p.m. ET, November 1, 2020

First lady will visit North Carolina on Monday

From CNN’s Kate Bennett

US First Lady Melania Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Whitewoods venue in Wapwallopen, Pennsylvania on October 31.
US First Lady Melania Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Whitewoods venue in Wapwallopen, Pennsylvania on October 31.

First lady Melania Trump is set to make her fourth solo campaign stop of the election on Monday in Huntersville, North Carolina.

12:08 p.m. ET, November 1, 2020

More than 61% of registered voters in North Carolina have already voted

From CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux and Dan Shepherd 

Voters arrive and depart a polling place on October 31, in Yadkinville, North Carolina.
Voters arrive and depart a polling place on October 31, in Yadkinville, North Carolina. Brian Blanco/Getty Images

As of Sunday morning in North Carolina, 61.7% of the 7,345,481 registered voters in the state have already voted, by either Absentee Ballot or Early Voting. Early voting concluded Saturday at 3 p.m. local time.  

There were more than 3.6 million one-stop early voting ballots cast, and over 929,000 absentee by-mail ballots in the state.

Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte is located, has similar numbers with 62% of the county’s registered voters having already cast their ballot via absentee ballot or early voting.  

11:56 a.m. ET, November 1, 2020

Trump election night party likely moving to East Room

From CNN's Sarah Westwood

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally on October 31, in Montoursville, Pennsylvania.
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally on October 31, in Montoursville, Pennsylvania. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

President Trump’s election night party is expected to be moved to the East Room of the White House, a person familiar with the plans said.

While Trump had initially planned to hold a gathering on Tuesday night at the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC, the limits on the number of people who can gather indoors caused some problems for the planning. Discussions shifted to the idea of just holding it at the White House, where Trump will spend the evening of Election Day.

Trump on Saturday said he might be going to the hotel during some of the evening.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The New York Times first reported the plans.

11:10 a.m. ET, November 1, 2020

Harris tests negative for coronavirus on Sunday

From CNN's Jasmine Wright

Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Sen. Kamala Harris makes a campaign stop at the Palm Beach State College on October 31, in Lake Worth, Florida.
Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Sen. Kamala Harris makes a campaign stop at the Palm Beach State College on October 31, in Lake Worth, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris underwent PCR testing for Covid-19 Sunday and the virus was not detected, per a Harris aide.

Harris is in Georgia and North Carolina today and Pennsylvania on Monday for the last days of campaigning.

1:23 p.m. ET, November 1, 2020

White House pandemic adviser appears on Russian state media, dismisses predictions about Covid-19 deaths in US

From CNN’s Marshall Cohen and Maggie Fox

White House pandemic adviser Dr. Scott Atlas gave an extensive interview to RT, the Kremlin-controlled state media network in which he asserted coronavirus lockdowns “are killing people,” attacked public health experts and dismissed models predicting hundreds of thousands more pandemic deaths in the US.

Atlas gave the interview via satellite from the White House grounds, according to the footage. He said the pandemic is improving in the US, even as daily case counts and death counts hit new records for the pandemic as a whole.

“We see a lot of cases. We do not see an explosion of deaths,” Atlas asserted.

Atlas, who is a radiologist and who has no expertise in infectious diseases or epidemiology, also dismissed forecasts from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine that forecasts 399,000 coronavirus deaths in the US by Feb. 1 under current conditions.

“The IHME model is really sort – it’s absurd to start looking at this model at this point,” Atlas said. “At this point in time anybody who’s even focusing on models has not learned from the past.”

Atlas tweeted an apology Sunday.

“I recently did an interview with RT and was unaware they are a registered foreign agent. I regret doing the interview and apologize for allowing myself to be taken advantage of. I especially apologize to the national security community who is working hard to defend us,” Atlas said in the tweet.