Mail-In Ballot Deadlines, Instagram v Disinformation, Two Charged with Possession of Explosives in PA

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Vol. 1 Edition 2
The Monday, Wednesday, and Friday digest featuring US news.

PA, WI, NC, MN Mail-In Ballot Deadlines

Covid-19 has brought with it its fair share of chaos, quarantines, masks, and social distancing. It also brought something not many expected, a massive influx of people mailing in the votes and hoping they will be counted. There are a few states that have passed extensions to the deadline. Here is a brief guide on the states that have passed such rulings and whether the Supreme Court upheld them or overturned them.

The curious part of this process is that the newest Justice, Amy Coney Barrett, has remained silent after being asked to recuse herself. When pressed about not casting her vote on Wednesday in regards to the rulings, a spokeswoman said the Barrett “has not had time to fully review the parties’ filings.”

Absentee ballots received after Election Day need to be separated from the rest of the ballots to avoid confusion if a ruling against an extension is passed. This ruling does not affect the seven-day extension for counting absentee ballots. Ballots must be received by November 10 and postmarked on or before November 3. The late ballots will be separated in this case they may be “removed from vote totals in the event a final order is entered” which would make them invalid.

North Carolina
Wake County Supreme Court will not intervene with N.C. Board of Elections for collecting mail-in ballots. They will continue to collect the ballots through Nov. 12 as long as they are postmarked by November 3. This ruling came down less than 24 hours after the Supreme Court accepted the deadline extension with a 5-3 vote. The Justices in the minority were Alito Jr., Gorsuch, and Thomas. Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in neither the decision nor the consideration.
The deadline for mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania is November 6. Like all other preceding this one, all ballots must be postmarked on or before November 3. The ballots arriving after November 6 will be separated in case another ruling makes them invalid as they could be uncountable after the fact.
Pennsylvania Republicans have a pending appeal in this matter. The court said the appeal would not be rushed.

Wisconsin could not extend their deadline. The Supreme court ruled 5-3 on Monday night against the extension.

Chief Justice explained the difference in the rulings between Pennsylvania and Wisconsin stating that he is more willing to allow state courts to extend statutory deadlines than federal courts. All states not listed in this article must have their mail-in ballots in by November 3.
If you are not sure if your vote will arrive in time, it is suggested that you take your mail-in vote and deposit it in an approved ballot box at a polling location.

My Two Cents:
Though it is thoughtful that some states have seen fit to extend the deadline, I don’t personally feel it should be extended. We have had the same deadlines through H1N1, natural disasters, and war times. This pandemic should be treated no differently in terms of mail-in ballots.

Two Charged with Possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction In Philadelphia

Amidst the protests and riots in the Pennsylvania city following the shooting of Walter Wallace Jr, two men have been arrested and charged after explosives were found in their van. On Wednesday, police took notice of 10-15 vehicles parked in a lot of a hotel on the edge of Philadelphia and started to follow them.
The convoy attempted to ram through a barricade in a parking lot and the police gave chance over the interstate which lead into the downtown area.
The van was pulled over and “a quarter or half sticks of dynamite, handheld propane torch, a taser and various tools including electric drills, bolt cutters, and machetes” were found inside.
The driver, Brian Larue, and passenger, Eric Murray, were charged with the following:
-possession of weapons of mass destruction
-conspiracy and risking a catastrophe,
-various misdemeanor charges
according to the attorney general’s office.
The men have yet to ask for legal representation.

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Instagram v Disinformation

First, Facebook and Twitter, and now Instagram has joined the fight against disinformation.It is doing this by temporarily remove the “Recent” tab from hashtag pages on Thursday. There reasoning for this was quoted in their statement “We’er doing this to reduce the real-time spread of harmful content that could pop up around the election.”Their “Recent” tab was a tool that placed hashtags in chronological order and boosts content. This has raised concern with researchers who say this could aid the spread of misinformation. This is a response to increasing pressure to fight election-related misinformation and to get ready for possible violence or intimidation as polling places.

My Two Cents:
Due to the recent suppression of the Hunter scandal, I can’t help but think that this is just furthering the curation of content across Facebook’s platforms. After all, Instagram is a Facebook property. So, it would not be a stretch to speculate they will be furthering the suppression of content from one side of the political spectrum while boosting the other side. As we get closer to November 3, the bias these platforms have been trying to hide is becoming more and more obvious.

Mail-In Ballots
Bloomberg-Understanding the Split Supreme Court Decisions on Mail Ballots
News Observer-US Supreme Court settles final case on NC’s absentee ballots, when they can be accepted
MPR News-Court: Late Minnesota absentee ballots must be separated
NBC News-

Explosives in PA
US News-2 Charged With Possessing Explosives Amid ATM Break-Ins

Instagram-Instagram pauses ‘recent’ search listings on U.S. site to stop fake election news

Categories: News, politics

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