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US Election 2020 LIVE updates: Donald Trump hits Michigan, Iowa while Joe Biden visits Pennsylvania

The US Postal Service (USPS) must remind senior managers they are required to follow its “extraordinary measures” policy and use its express mail network to expedite ballots ahead of Tuesday’s presidential election, under an order signed by a judge.

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order on Sunday, to which the USPS agreed, said the postal service must reinforce its “special procedures” to ensure it “delivers every ballot possible by the cutoff time on Election Day”.

USPS will also reinforce to managers that “all ballots with a local destination must be cleared and processed on the same day or no later than the next morning for delivery to local offices, from now through at least November 7”.

Sullivan, from the US District Court in Washington, on Friday had ordered USPS to adopt “extraordinary measures” at numerous processing locations to ensure the timely delivery of millions of ballots before Tuesday’s presidential election.

Sunday’s order, following a series of court hearing over the weekend, directed USPS to redistribute to all division directors and plant managers by 9pm EST Sunday the “extraordinary measures” policy providing specific guidance for the final week of the 2020 election, “and that it is recirculating this policy at the instruction of a federal district court”.

Sullivan also said the USPS must reinforce the need to apply a legible postmark to every ballot reflecting the date it was collected. USPS must postmark all ballots, even those without postage, Sunday’s order said.

USPS must use its “Express Mail Network on Monday, Tuesday, and after Election Day to expedite ballots out of local service area to ensure timely delivery of ballots, unless there is a faster surface option,” the order said.

-Reuters

Philadelphia: As the national early vote climbs past a staggering 93 million and challenges to the electoral process intensify across states, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are barrelling into Pennsylvania and turning it into the top battleground in Wednesday AEDT’s election, with Democrats flooding in with door-knockers and Republicans trying to parlay Trump’s rallies into big turnout once again.

​Both campaigns see Pennsylvania as increasingly crucial to victory: Trump now appears more competitive here than in Michigan and Wisconsin, two other key northern states he hopes to win, and Biden’s clearest electoral path to the White House runs through the state.

Pennsylvania has more Electoral College votes, 20, than any other traditional battleground except Florida, and Trump won the state by less than 1 percentage point in 2016.

Donald Trump campaigning in North Carolina on Monday AEDT.

Donald Trump campaigning in North Carolina on Monday AEDT.Credit:AP

Trump devoted Sunday AEDT to four rallies across the state, and he and Biden planned campaign events for the final 48 hours of the race as well.

In Pennsylvania in particular, the possibility of extended court battles and confusion hangs over the race, with the state Republican Party hoping the Supreme Court will reconsider its decision last week to allow the state to continue receiving absentee ballots for three days after election day.

Court battles have already rearranged the voting process across an array of states and continued to do so on Monday AEDT. The Texas Supreme Court denied an effort by Republicans to throw out more than 120,000 votes that had been cast at drive-through locations in Harris County, an increasingly Democratic area anchored in Houston. Republicans are now hoping for a favourable ruling at the federal level, where a judge has called an election-eve hearing for Tuesday AEDT.

Throughout his final sprint of rallies, Trump has moved to baselessly sow doubt about the integrity of the electoral process. At an appearance in Dubuque, Iowa, on Monday AEDT, Trump claimed, inaccurately, that the result of the election was always determined on election day.

“We should know the result of the election on November 3,” he said.

Biden countered with his own warning later on Monday AEDT, saying, “The president is not going to steal this election.”

The New York Times

Doc Rivers only began his term as Philadelphia 76ers coach last month but the NBA championship winner was warmly greeted while speaking at Joe Biden’s drive-in rally in Philadelphia on Monday AEDT.

Rivers has been an outspoken voice on social justice and on registering to vote during his years in the NBA while he was also a respected voice on issues around police shootings as his father was an African-American policeman in Chicago.

Biden cited Rivers’ emotional comments at events following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin in August. Rivers was then the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Rivers will coach Australian star Ben Simmons in Philadelphia this coming NBA season but Rivers was promoting the need to vote for Biden and bring other people to the polls during his short speech on Monday.

“I’m your coach today and we are in the third quarter of the game, the election is the fourth-quarter and we need to close out the game,” Rivers said.

“Don’t leave that line on Election Day. If you are there for one hour, two hours or three. Don’t leave that line. You stay the course.

“We are winners right? We are winners right? Well winners don’t give in.

“We are not going to be bullied. No one will scare us. You know what bullies do? They start using scare tactics when they have nothing to run on, nothing to say. They try to scare you. I’m telling you be strong, be mighty and vote.

“This is a country that needs to come together.”

Donald Trump has had some of his own sporting endorsements with former Minnesota NFL player Matt Birk appearing at a rally this past week and long-time football coach and TV analyst Lou Holtz appearing with him in Butler, Pennsylvania.

Golfer Jack Nicklaus also endorsed Trump last week via social media.

Washington: The FBI said on Monday AEDT it was investigating an incident in which a convoy of vehicles flying flags in support of President Donald Trump’s re-election bid surrounded a bus carrying campaign staff for Democratic challenger Joe Biden on a Texas highway.

Saturday AEDT’s incident – captured on video that was retweeted by Trump on Sunday AEDT with the message, “I LOVE TEXAS!” – prompted the Biden campaign to cancel at least two of its Texas events as Democrats accused the president of encouraging supporters to engage in acts of intimidation.

Video footage showed a swarm of pickup trucks and SUVs bearing pro-Trump flags surrounding the Biden campaign bus as it travelled north along Interstate 35 between San Antonio and Austin.

Trump Biden 2020

Understand the election result and its aftermath with expert analysis from US correspondent Matthew Knott in our Trump Biden 2020 newsletter. Sign up for the The Sydney Morning Herald‘s hereThe Age‘s hereBrisbane Times here and WAtoday‘s here.

US President Donald Trump’s claims his campaign will send lawyers into Pennsylvania ‘as soon as the election [voting] is over’ has caught the ear of the state’s attorney general.

Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro has, via Twitter, dared Trump to send in his lawyers and vowed that the election won’t be declared over until all votes are counted.

“But if your lawyers want to try us, we’d be happy to defeat you in court one more time,” Shapiro tweeted.

Joe Biden is campaigning in states that have not been blue in four decades. Such is his momentum in the final days of the election, the Democratic challenger this week shifted his focus from Midwest battlegrounds to Republican strongholds, such as Texas and Georgia.

Speaking deep in the Bible Belt last week, he promised to tax “the wealthiest and the biggest corporations” to pay for the rebuilding of the post-pandemic economy. It therefore may surprise some that another hostile territory has been wooed by the former vice-president.

Executives from the likes of Blackstone, Bain Capital and Soros Fund Management are among those donating to Biden.

Executives from the likes of Blackstone, Bain Capital and Soros Fund Management are among those donating to Biden.Credit:Bloomberg

Yet Biden is also Wall Street’s candidate. More than $US50 million ($71 million) has been ploughed into the Democratic challenger’s campaign coffers by the finance industry with executives from the likes of Blackstone, Bain Capital and Soros Fund Management among those donating to Biden’s party, according to the non-partisan Centre for Responsive Politics. By comparison, the US finance industry has raised just under $US30 million for Donald Trump, marking only the second time during an election or midterm year since 1992 that Democrats have gained more donations from the executives.

Telegraph, London

Click here to read the story.

Miami, Florida: When Americans – and viewers around the world – tune in to watch the results of the US election come in on November 3 they are going to see something very different than what they are used to.

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to make it more difficult for media outlets to project whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden has carried a particular state if the results are close. As for the election outcome itself, it’s possible the winner will not be known until several days after the election.

President Donald Trump has said the results should be known on election night despite the surge of early voting.

President Donald Trump has said the results should be known on election night despite the surge of early voting. Credit:AP

Trump and his campaign have made clear they are prepared to use the confusion to claim a premature victory if the President is leading in enough swing states on election night.

Click here to read the story.

Mary Trump, the niece of US President Donald Trump, says her uncle is not warning of ‘bedlam’ in the event of an unclear election result, but inciting it.

“He’s not predicting bedlam, he’s going to cause it,” she said. “Why would there be [bedlam]? All of the votes are never counted on election day – in any country.”

US President Donald Trump and his niece Mary Trump.

US President Donald Trump and his niece Mary Trump.Credit:Agencies

Mary Trump told ABC Radio’s RN program on Monday there was no reason anyone needed to know an immediate election result and delays had occurred in the past, peacefully.

“There is a 79 day period between the election, and the inauguration, in which to figure all this out, it doesn’t change anything. We waited for weeks during the election between George W Bush and Al Gore, without knowing, and there were no armed insurrections.

“Yeah, it was frustrating but it didn’t change the day-to-day lives of most Americans and it didn’t change the fact that our government could still operate.

“He’s allegedly the person in charge, it’s up to him to set the tone. If he’s saying it’s going to be bedlam, he is essentially telling his supporters that there will be and that they’re going to be part of it,” she said.

“Donald is singularly responsible for the atmosphere in this country right now.”

Mary Trump also said her uncle’s campaigning should be perceived not for his energy with the crowds but his willingness to put his fellow Americans in harm’s way.

“These aren’t rallies, they’re super-spreader events,” Ms Trump said.

“We now have data that shows that many people have gotten sick with COVID from attending his rallies and hundreds of people have died from attending his rallies. So the fact that his ego was so fragile that he needs to be sustained by these crowds, literally willing to put themselves in harm’s way, is deeply disturbing.

“Joe Biden may look sedate by comparison, but he’s being responsible. He’s not going to jam thousands of people into a closed space together, just to, you know, fire people up.”

A group of Stanford University economists estimates there have been at least 30,000 coronavirus infections and 700 deaths as a result of 18 campaign rallies President Donald Trump held from June to September.

Ms Trump, a clinical psychologist, said a loss in the election would cause Donald Trump a “deep narcissistic injury”.

“A loss of any kind, but particularly on this scale and one that is so public will be a very deep narcissistic injury to him, who was taught from a very early age that losing is, like, the worst thing that you could get basically.”

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