Trump wraps final 2020 MAGA campaign rally after 1 a.m. on Election Day
President Trump wrapped his final 2020 campaign rally at 1:13 a.m. on Election Day in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mr. Trump hit his usual campaign points, and when he asked the crowd who had already voted, he said “good, save it for Tuesday.”
The rapper Lil’ Pump, whom Mr. Trump called “one of the big superstars of the world,” was invited onstage, although Mr. Trump mistakenly referred to him as “Little Pimp.”
“I’ve come here to say, Mr. President, I appreciate everything you have done for our country,” Lil’ Pump said. “You brought the troops home, you’re doing the right thing. MAGA 20 20 20, don’t forget that!”
Mr. Trump also recounted his victory in 2016, saying that on election night, “we came home late and we watched a beautiful victory. And we’re going to have another beautiful victory tomorrow.”
Harris County clerk says only 1 drive-thru location will be open Tuesday
Hours after a federal judge dismissed a bid by Republicans to throw out ballots from drive-thru polling locations in Harris County, Clerk Chris Hollins announced that nine of the county’s 10 drive-thru polling locations would be closed Tuesday, the final day of voting for this year’s election.
Hollins wrote in a series of tweets that Hanen’s order left the door open for challenges to votes cast Tuesday at all but one drive-thru location. Hanen wrote Tuesday that Texas election law allows for “movable structures” as early voting locations — which he said the tents used to how drive-thru ballot boxes qualify as — but not for election day locations.
“In order to allow for drive-thru voting on Election Day while ensuring that all votes will be counted, the only drive-thru voting center on Election Day will be at Toyota Center,” Hollins tweeted Tuesday night, referring to the arena home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.
“I know that drive-thru voting is a safe and convenient option for Harris County voters, but we also have 800 walk-in voting centers available for Election Day that we have worked tirelessly to make safe for voters and election workers,” Hollins said.
Harris County’s drive-thru sites are all located near to in-person voting locations.
Read more here.
Biden sweeps all 5 votes in tiny Dixville Notch
All five voters in the tiny New Hampshire town of Dixville Notch, which is the first town to vote in the country, cast their ballots for Joe Biden. The vote was held at the stroke of midnight.
Les Otten, who said he was a lifelong Republican, cast the first ballot for Biden. “I don’t agree with him on a lot of issues, but I believe it’s time to find what unites us, not what divides us,” he said in a video posted to Dixville Vote’s Twitter feed.
“My vote today is meant to send a message to my fellow Republicans that our party can find its way back,” he said. “It’s time to return to the values that our conservative government holds dear.”
Trump jokes about not paying staffer trying to fix mic
President Trump held his second-to-last rally of the 2020 campaign in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where there was a microphone problem. That led to Mr. Trump venting about “the worst microphone I’ve ever used in my entire life.”
“And we’re supposed to pay these people, right?” Mr. Trump quipped of the audio staff after his podium microphone let out a screech. At one point, the president walked to the end of the stage, grabbed another handheld mic, then promptly polled the audience about which microphone sounded better. The consensus was unclear, but eventually the handheld microphone won out.
“I’m always saying, I want a perfect mic,” Mr. Trump noted. After a staffer came on stage to try and fix the president’s microphone, the president said, “I don’t like to pay bills when people do a bad job.” He eventually relented. “They come from Kenosha so I’m going to pay the bill anyway. What the hell.”
Kenosha is the site of civil unrest this summer after police shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, seven times. A White teen is accused of opening fire at protests over Blake’s shooting, killing two people and wounding a third.
At Monday’s rally, Mr. Trump mentioned the unrest this summer by noting he had been there over the summer. “You were in the news, right? You were in the news,” he said. He also lamented seeing businesses board up in anticipation of violence after Election Day.
Biden delivers final message: “Tomorrow is the beginning of a new day”
Joe Biden held his final campaign rally in Pittsburgh on Monday night, finishing out the 2020 campaign with an upbeat message.
“Folks, I have a feeling we’re coming together for a big win tomorrow,” Biden said. He added that “tomorrow is the beginning of a new day” and there is “nothing that is gonna stop this nation from voting.”
Biden also stressed that he will not ban fracking, after President Trump has repeatedly insisted Biden is against fracking. Fracking has been central to the economy of western Pennsylvania, where Pittsburgh is located.
Harris at last stop before Election Day: “It ain’t over til it’s over”
Kamala Harris spoke at a drive-in rally in Philadelphia on the eve of Election Day, appearing with her husband Doug Emhoff and singer John Legend.
Harris said she “knew” America would elect Biden, but “we can’t let up, because it ain’t over til it’s over.”
She told the crowd of about 750 what she had seen while out campaigning, saying she had seen people “lining the streets” and “the energy out there is real.”
“Across our country, you can feel that something is happening, in big cities and small towns,” Harris said.
Nevada GOP “evaluating an expedited appeal” after judge denies appeal to pause counting ballots in Clark County
Nevada Republicans say they are “evaluating an expedited appeal” to the battleground state’s highest court after a lower court judge on Monday filed an opinion denying their joint plea with Mr. Trump’s campaign to pause the counting of early ballots in Clark County, the state’s most populous.
Democrats in the state have repeatedly decried the GOP’s complaints around the county’s handling of election observers and mail ballots, and Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford in a statement Monday denounced the case as part of “the president’s deliberate attempts to undermine Nevada’s elections.”
In his order denying the Republicans’ petition, Nevada District Judge James Wilson said “the above-cited statutes created observers not counters, validators, or auditors. Allowing such access creates a host of problems.”
Federal judge rejects GOP effort to toss 127,000 ballots in Texas
A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by four Republicans seeking to prevent officials from counting about 127,000 votes cast at drive-thru polling locations in the Houston area.
The lawsuit asked a judge to invalidate votes cast at the drive-thru sites. Harris County’s 10 drive-thru locations were established as part of an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling comes just over a day before voting concludes in the presidential election, and a day after the Texas Supreme Court denied a similar petition seeking to block Harris County’s drive-thru votes filed by the same group of Republicans. The Texas Supreme Court already rejected a similar case last month.
In delivering his decision in court just half an hour after hearing arguments, Hanen criticized the timing of the lawsuit.
“I don’t find it timely. (Planning for drive-thru voting) has been going on basically all summer,” Hanen said. “And then at least since October 16, people have actually, I think it’s the 16th, have been voting. And to file it late last week, I find that not to be timely and that therefore the likelihood of success does not weigh.”
He said the plaintiffs did not adequately argue why, even if Harris County’s plan was not permissible, voters should be punished.
“They voted according to the statute as far as they’re concerned, that also weighs into balancing the harms. We have over 120,000 people that have already voted. With the vast, vast, vast majority of those did that in reliance on their public officials telling them that this was legal and this was the right way to vote and that it had been sanctioned,” Hanen said.
Read more here.
Senior defense official: “No evidence” foreign actor has accessed election infrastructure
While U.S. intelligence and national security officials have warned voters to be aware of efforts by foreign actors to interfere in the general election through disinformation campaigns, a senior defense official said there is “no evidence a foreign adversary has gained access to election infrastructure.”
“Given the size, complexity and diversity of America’s electoral system no country has the ability to change the outcome of the election,” the official said on the eve of Election Day.
Former RNC communications director votes for Biden
Ryan Mahoney, the Republican National Committee’s communications director during Mr. Trump’s presidency from 2017 to 2019, announced on Twitter that he’s voting for Biden.
“Proud to vote country over party; proud to vote for @JoeBiden,” Mahoney tweeted, along with a picture of his ballot.
Biden campaign announces Election Day plans
Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff will fan out to five battleground states to get out the vote on Election Day, the Biden campaign announced.
Biden is set to visit Scranton, where he was born, and Philadelphia, while Jill Biden will be in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida, as well as Wake County, North Carolina.
Harris, meanwhile, is set to travel to Detroit, Michigan, and Emhoff, her husband, will stump for Biden and Harris in Columbus, Ohio.
Biden campaign outlines paths to victory on Election Day
Biden’s top campaign officials held a briefing to detail their expectations for election night, outlining Biden’s paths to victory and denouncing reports that the president might prematurely declare victory while millions of votes remain to be counted.
“It was reported yesterday that President Trump believes that if he wins the East Coast battleground states — Florida, North Carolina and Georgia — he plans to go out and declare victory. And we want to be clear with you — if he tries to do that, that will not be true,” campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said. “Under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night, and we think that’s really fundamental to how we want to approach tomorrow.”
O’Malley Dillon said Biden holds a “significant advantage” heading into Election Day, given his lead among early voters. “Leads like ours and what we’re seeing will be difficult to overcome,” she said, pointing to leads in states like North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona.
“What it means for Election Day is that, with our advantage coming into North Carolina, where we estimate about 87% of the projected vote is already in, we believe that Trump is going to need 62% of the votes on Election Day in order to win,” O’Malley Dillon said, noting the campaign estimates that figure to be 61% and 60% in Wisconsin and Arizona, respectively.
“We know that all the ballots aren’t going to be reported on election night, and in fact, that’s not just our supporters, that’s going to be his supporters, too,” she said. “It’s also going to be our military overseas who have turned in their ballots. It’s also going to be our COVID frontline workers … We believe every vote should be counted, as it always has been.”
O’Malley Dillon outlined various ways Biden could win the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the White House, saying the president “has a very narrow path to win.”
“We can get to 270 without Florida, which is a significant advantage,” she added, saying the campaign would still have “a clear and viable path” to 270 even if Mr. Trump wins Florida and North Carolina, both of which will begin reporting results earlier. That path runs through Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, which O’Malley Dillon said was also the former vice president’s “easiest” path to victory.
Campaign adviser Bob Bauer detailed the campaign’s election protection program and said it has seen “minimal” incidents of voters reporting difficulties exercising their right to vote.
The Biden campaign, he said, has deployed thousands of poll observers to assist election officials with identifying and addressing issues that may arise at the polls. Like O’Malley Dillon, Bauer dismissed the notion that Mr. Trump could declare himself the victor Tuesday night.
“It is absurd for the president to suggest there is any significance at all to his declaring victory on election night,” Bauer said. “He has no constitutional legal right to declare himself the president.”
“When you hear the noise out of election night from the direction of Donald Trump, if you read the tweets, if you read the tweets of some of his supporters echoing what he is saying, just ignore it. There’s nothing to it,” he continued.
Addressing potential legal challenges that may arise after Election Day, Bauer said the Biden campaign is “fully prepared” for any “legal hijinx” from the Trump campaign.
“I think it’s very telling that President Trump is focused not on his voters but on his lawyers, and his lawyers are not going to win the election for him, there’s no question about it,” he said. “The case he’s turning over to his lawyers when the voters have spoken is a case that no lawyer can win and his lawyers will not win it. We’re going to match them, I assure you, and exceed them in quality and vigor and we’ll protect the vote.”
Stefan Becket and Melissa Quinn
Justice Department sending monitors to 18 states ensure compliance with federal voting laws
The Justice Department announced its Civil Rights Division will dispatch personnel to 44 jurisdictions in 18 states to “monitor for compliance with the federal voting rights laws” on Election Day.
This year, staff will be sent to counties and cities in the following states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. A full list of jurisdictions can be found here.
The Justice Department’s move is not out of the ordinary. For the 2016 general election, the department deployed more than 500 employees to 67 jurisdictions in 28 states, and for Election Day in 2012, the Justice Department sent more than 780 observers and personnel to 51 jurisdictions in 23 states.
Biden rebukes Trump’s attacks on Fauci: “Elect me and I’m going to hire Dr. Fauci”
Addressing supporters at a drive-in rally in Cleveland, a last-minute addition to his campaign schedule, Biden lambasted the president for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and said the first step toward defeating the virus is denying Mr. Trump a second term.
“This guy is a disgrace,” the former vice president said of the president.
Responding to Mr. Trump’s suggestion Sunday at a rally in Opa-locka, Florida, that he may fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, after the election, Biden said he will ensure Fauci remains in government if he wins the White House.
“Elect me and I’m going to hire Dr. Fauci and we’re going to fire Donald Trump,” Biden said.
The former vice president drew contrasts between his own middle class upbringing in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Claymont, Delaware, with Mr. Trump’s childhood in a wealthy neighborhood in Queens.
“It’s about time a guy from a state university graduated into the White House because if I’m there, you’re going to be there, too,” Biden, who graduated from the University of Delaware, said.
Trump planning election night festivities at the White House
A senior administration official told CBS News that Mr. Trump is planning to host an election night party at the White House. Roughly 400 guests have been invited, though it’s unlikely all will attend, the official said.
The party is expected to take place on the State Floor of the White House, which includes the East Room. While other festivities are set to take place around the nation’s capital, it’s unclear whether the president will appear at any other election night parties.
Republicans express concerns about Georgia
Some Republicans are concerned about the Peach State, which Mr. Trump won easily in 2016 but could spell trouble for him this year.
One plugged-in GOP donor in Georgia who has seen party battleground internal polls says Republicans have “lots of worries” about Georgia.
Another Republican staffer on Capitol Hill said that Republicans are feeling weak-kneed about the state. This source said to keep an eye on the Senate race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Senator David Perdue. It’s possible that Perdue does poorly and drags Mr. Trump down with him, the person said.
Voting in Georgia has already surpassed 2016 turnout, and high turnout usually means good things for Democrats.
The Georgia GOP donor pointed to swelling Black and Latino populations in the state, along with GOP Governor Brian Kemp’s unpopularity and strong get-out-the-vote efforts from Democrats.
“There’s a reason that President Trump made time for his Rome, Georgia, stop last night,” the donor said.
Arden Farhi and Nicole Sganga
DNC touts success of “IWillVote” initiative, releases new digital ad with Billie Jean King
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is hailing the success of its voting initiative “IWillVote,” revealing that its website iwillvote.com has attracted 18,599,788 individual visitors so far this year. With one day until Election Day, the DNC is also releasing a new digital ad featuring tennis legend Billie Jean King, urging Americans to vote if they haven’t yet done so. The ad will run in key battleground states.
In the ad, King referenced the record turnout of Americans who have voted early. In a final push, King asks viewers to “help us make this election have the highest turnout in American history. Be a history maker — vote on Election Day.”
Throughout the campaign, the DNC has released ads on various platforms featuring figures like former President Obama and “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom, Jr., directing people to the IWillVote website for more information on how and where to cast their ballots. Mr. Obama plugged the website in person at a rally in Flint, Michigan, on October 31.
“Just go to iwillvote.com,” Mr. Obama said. “Find your polling place, get out there and vote.”
The DNC’s “I Will Vote” website provided voters with educational resources to identify vote-by-mail and early voting deadlines in their states. The website also gave voters the opportunity to request a ballot via email specific to their state, to print a vote-by-mail request form and to request an envelope with prepaid postage.
The site attracted its highest level of traffic on October 8, the night of the vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris. Nearly 1.7 million people visited the site, totaling more than 2.2 million page views, according to a DNC official. During the debate, Harris mentioned the website.
The DNC official noted that 507,703 people started the voter registration process through the website this year, and 636,358 people utilized the website to request a vote-by-mail application or to learn how to vote by mail in their state.
Key House races to watch on Election Day
Although Democrats are in little danger of losing their majority in the House, there are several close elections in critical districts which could indicate which way the presidential race will swing. Here’s a rundown of some key House districts that may flip in this election.
Where Trump and Biden are speaking on Monday
Here’s where both candidates are speaking on Monday:
Delivers remarks in Cleveland, Ohio, in the afternoon to encourage Ohioans to vote
Canvas kick-off in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, time TBD
Drive-in rally in Pittsburgh, time TBD
Drive-in rally with Dr. Jill Biden and Lady Gaga in Pittsburgh at 8:55 p.m. ET
Rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, at 11:45 a.m. ET
Rally in Avoca, Pennsylvania, at 2:15 p.m. ET
Rally in Traverse City, Michigan, with Vice President Pence at 5:15 p.m. ET
Rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin, at 8 p.m. ET
Rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with Vice President Pence at 10:30 p.m. ET
Early vote total tops 94 million
Monday is the last day of the early-vote period, and so far, more than 94 million people have cast their ballots, which is 67.7% of the total votes counted in the 2016 general election, when 138 million Americans voted.
In-person early votes make up 34,045,137 of the total early votes so far. Of mail-in ballots, 59,961,024 have been returned, while 31,385,941 are outstanding.
Trump to hit several swing states and Biden’s hometown
The president will be campaigning in several swing states on Monday. He will kick off campaigning in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and then will travel to Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Trump will then head to Kenosha, Wisconsin, which erupted in protests this summer after police shot Jacob Blake and a 17-year-old allegedly killed two people during demonstrations.
Mr. Trump will cap the night off with an event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with Vice President Mike Pence.
Obama to campaign in Georgia and Florida on Monday
Former President Obama will hold campaign events in Georgia and Florida on Monday, the Biden campaign announced Sunday. Mr. Obama will hold a get out the vote rally in Atlanta and then will have an election eve rally in Miami.
Mr. Obama will be campaigning for Biden-Harris but also for Jon Ossoff, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Senator David Perdue. An October 25 CBS News Battleground Tracker poll found Ossoff trailing by 1 point.
Mr. Trump won Georgia by 5 points in 2016, but the CBS News Battleground Tracker ranks the state as a toss-up in this election. Mr. Trump campaigned in Rome, Georgia, on Sunday.