The United States presidential election was Tuesday (3 Nov 2020).
Here is a summary of the top 5 political issues making headlines today.
1. Biden takes lead in Pa., Georgia, edging him close to victory
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden took the lead from U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday in Pennsylvania as more votes were counted. The state’s 20 electoral votes would give the former vice president more than the 270 he needs to become the next U.S. president.
Overall Biden leads Trump in the popular vote by more than 4 million votes.
Biden’s lead in another closely contested state, Georgia has increased to more than 4,000 votes. A recount in the state is likely. Biden has also nearly doubled his lead over Trump in Nevada. He also remains ahead in Arizona, one of the other states still being contested.
Despite what is looking like an inevitable victory for Biden, Trump has reportedly vowed to some close to him not to concede the election. His campaign has also filed numerous legal challenges in several states.
“This is no longer about any single election. This is about the integrity of our entire election process,” Trump said in a statement Friday. “We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee the American people have confidence in our government. I will never give up fighting for you and our nation.”
“He’s in fighting mode,” one source close to Trump told CNN. “He thinks it’s in his benefit to fight.”
He was scheduled to address the nation Friday evening.
b. Joe Biden 2020: What a Democratic Presidential win would mean for America – The Telegraph
2. Experts refute Trump’s claims of voter fraud
U.S. President Donald Trump’s claims that his ever-more-likely election loss to Joe Biden was a fraud and the ballot-counting system and mail-in voting corrupt might have ignited his never-give-up supporters. But the experts say there is absolutely now truth to it, no conspiracy anywhere.
Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford told The Washington Post: “We need to trust the process and finish it out. Rest assured, again, that we have people here who know how to run fair, safe and secure elections, and voter fraud is a very minimal occurrence.”
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs told CNBC:
“There is absolutely no merit to any claims of widespread voter fraud in Arizona,” she said. “There is no evidence to back it up, and it is not something that we’ve experienced here.”
Nicholas Stephanopoulos, an expert on election law and constitutional law and a professor at Harvard Law School, said: “All available evidence indicates that mail-in voting in the United States is safe and secure. In states that use mail-in voting, there are infinitesimal rates of problems. More importantly, in these states, there are more people.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray, whom Trump appointed, also refuted Trump’s claim of widespread voter fraud back in September in a Senate hearing.
“Now, we have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise,” he said. “We have seen voter fraud at the local level from time to time.”
3. Graham says a President Biden should get his Cabinet
Lindsey Graham, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who won reelection in South Carolina on November 3, has told reporters that Joe Biden “deserves” to have his Cabinet appointees confirmed by the Senate if he ends up the winner of the presidential election.
Some analysts have said that because of the close contest between Biden and U.S. President Donald Trump in some states, Biden might have to compromise on his Cabinet picks.
But Graham told reporters on a Zoom call that he would oppose the Democratic agenda when he disagrees with it but will also seek to find common ground, such as on Biden’s picks to serve as secretary of state and other positions, if possible.
“When it comes to finding common ground, I will do that. The vice president deserves a Cabinet. I will give him my input about who I could vote for as secretary of State, attorney general,” Graham said.
“I recognize that he won, he deserves a Cabinet. There may be some people that I just can’t vote for because I think they’re unqualified or too extreme.”
a. Biden could create a Cabinet of qualified men and women. What a concept. – Washington Post
4. Pelosi seeks to remain speaker of the House of Representatives
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is 80 years old. Her Democratic Party lost seats to the Republicans in the November election, but still holds the majority in the legislative body.
Pelosi, who has been the Democrats’ leader since 2002, formally expressed in a letter to her colleagues Friday that she wants to remain in charge.
Will she face competition for a post she has held for so long?
“He bridges moderates and progressives better than anyone. And most importantly, he’s not Nancy Pelosi,” a moderate Democratic congressman told The Hill newspaper, which focuses on the legislative branch of the U.S. government.
“It’s time for Democrats to elevate a new generation of leadership in both the House and the Senate,” another Democratic lawmaker told the newspaper
FiveThirty Eight, which tracks campaigns and politics, points out that in choosing the next speaker, “there is a big, complicated stew of ideology, loyalty, ambition, age, gender and race at play here. Take gender alone: The new House Democratic Caucus will include at least 88 women, which is almost 40 percent of the party’s House members.”
5. Facebook shuts down pro-Trump ‘Stop the Steal’ online group
It had acquired more than 350,000 members in its less than a week lifespan,
But some members of the “Stop the Steal” Facebook group supporting U.S. President Donald Trump’s reelection had called for violence. Others spread Trump’s own baseless claim that Democrats were trying to “steal” the election.
That was enough for Facebook to shut it down as the social media platform became concerned the group was organizing in-person events.
“In line with the exceptional measures that we are taking during this period of heightened tension, we have removed the Group ‘Stop the Steal,’ which was creating real-world events,” Facebook said in a statement. “The group was organized around the delegitimization of the election process, and we saw worrying calls for violence from some members of the group.”
Politico reported that the Facebook group had been created by Amy Kremer, a longtime conservative activist with Tea Party roots and founder of the pro-Trump group Women for America First.
While Facebook removed the original group, countless localized alternatives have surfaced around the country, The New York TImes reported.
Facebook told the Associated Press that it is continuing to monitor activity that violates its rules and will take action against groups that do.
a. After ban, new ‘Stop the Steal’ Groups spread conspiracy theories on Facebook – Mashable