Here’s what’s happening Friday in Election 2020, 18 days until Election Day:
ON THE TRAIL: President Donald Trump will be in Florida and Georgia; Democratic challenger Joe Biden will be in Michigan.
TODAY’S TOP STORIES:
TRUMP, BIDEN GO AT IT: President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden showed striking differences in temperament, views on racial justice and approaches to the pandemic that has reshaped the nation in dueling televised town halls. Trump was defensive about his administration’s handling of the coronavirus. Trump also refused to denounce the QAnon conspiracy group, and only testily did so regarding white supremacists. Biden, for his part, denounced the White House’s handling of the virus.
EARLY VOTE: A record-setting amount of early voting has changed the 2020 election. More than 17 million people have voted so far, which is about 12% of all votes cast in 2016. Experts predict there may be higher turnout in this election than in any presidential contest since 1908. Democrats so far are overwhelmingly more engaged than Republicans. That does not necessarily mean Democrats will win the election, because most Republicans are expected to vote on Election Day.
TWITTER CHANGES RULES: Twitter said late Thursday it was changing its policy on hacked content after an outcry about its handling of an unverified political story that sparked cries of censorship from the right. Twitter and Facebook had moved quickly this week to limit the spread of a New York Post story citing unverified emails from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son. An executive tweeted that the social media company will no longer remove hacked material unless it’s directly shared by hackers or those working with them. And instead of blocking links from being shared, tweets will be labeled to provide context.
TRUMP'S DOCKET: Controversial Trump administration policies on the census, asylum seekers and the border wall, held illegal by lower courts, are on the Supreme Court’s agenda. The most pressing case before the justices is the administration’s appeal to be allowed to exclude people living in the U.S. illegally from the census, which will be used to allocate seats in the House of Representatives. The administration wants the court to hear arguments in December and decide the case before Trump’s Jan. 10 deadline to send the figures to Congress.
DISCOUNT CARDS: Trump’s plan to mail millions of seniors a $200 prescription savings card has hit legal and budget roadblocks, making it unlikely the government can carry it out before Election Day. Democratic lawmakers have raised questions about whether the administration has the authority to order on its own billions of dollars in unanticipated Medicare spending for what the Democrats say are political reasons.
BLACK VOTERS: A group of U.S. Black scholars, activists, and writers has launched a new project to combat misleading information online around voting, reparations and immigration. The recently launched “National Black Cultural Information Trust” seeks to counter fake social media accounts and Twitter trolls that often discourage Black voters from participating in elections.
QUOTABLE: “And then they talk, ’Will you accept a peaceful transfer?’ And the answer is, ‘Yes, I will.’ But I want it to be an honest election, and so does everybody else.” — Trump during his town hall event in Miami.