Did you get your "I voted" sticker yet? Ballots already are being cast – and in some states for several weeks now – in the heated race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Crucial races in states such as Georgia and North Carolina could determine control of the Senate. There are key House races, too, and numerous ballot issues in states across America.
In the news today is curbside voting, a term you'll probably hear more often as we race toward Nov. 3. In Mississippi, those with active symptoms of COVID-19 just got the OK to vote this way from a federal judge. This is just one of the myriad ways the pandemic is bringing changes to this election cycle.
Some context: Mississippi is pretty strict about who has access to early voting, as are many other states. In the era of the coronavirus, anxiety around going to the polls in-person has fueled massive early voting nationwide.
More news to keep in mind: We're less than two weeks until Election Day. USA TODAY is keeping track of what's happening as voters around the country cast ballots. Keep refreshing this page for updates.
A uniformed Miami police officer who was photographed wearing a "Trump 2020" mask at an early voting site could face suspension.
In a Los Angeles County suburb with a roughly 75% Latino population, a ballot box was set on fire. It's being investigated as arson.
If you want to go in-depth: So far, Black voters have slightly outpaced their share of the electorate in North Carolina: Closer to 1 in 4 Black registered voters have mailed in ballots or voted in-person. If Biden is indeed inspiring the turnout, it could decide who claims the state.
Voters are already casting ballots: Numbers compiled by @electproject show 37,904,665. In other numbers, the Guardian reports 16% of registered voters in swing states have had their mail-in ballots accepted. USA TODAY's politics team has the latest updates from the campaign trail here.
DNI head John Ratcliffe says Iran sent threatening emails to Florida residents
U.S. intelligence officials have concluded Iran was behind the intimidating emails sent to some voters this week, which purported to originate from the far-right group Proud Boys, supporters of President Donald Trump.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said at a Wednesday news conference that Russia is also among the foreign countries trying to interfere with the upcoming U.S. election.
“We have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump,” Ratcliffe said.
Some voters in Florida have received threatening emails supposedly from the Proud Boys warning recipients to "vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you.'' Enrique Tarrio, international chairman of the Proud Boys, said the group wasn't involved, and there are signs the emails were made to appear as if they had come from the group.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has received reports from roughly 100 voters who said they received the emails, said David Brody, counsel and senior fellow for privacy and technology. The “overwhelming majority” are in Florida, he said.
“These emails are meant to intimidate and undermine American voters’ confidence in our elections,” said Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security.
– Kevin Johnson; Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, Florida Today, David Dorsey, Fort Myers News-Press, Donovan Slack, USA TODAY
Nikki Haley on Iran cyberbullying campaign: 'Cheapest form of warfare'
Less than an hour after the FBI announced that Iran was responsible for a multi-state voter intimidation effort, former Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said it was "no surprise" that foreign actors wished to influence the U.S. election.
In Iowa to stump for President Donald Trump and other Republicans, Haley called hacking and cyberbullying "the cheapest form of warfare."
"It's what they do. Russia doesn't have a lot of money. Iran is in the economic tank. This is the cheapest way that they can cause chaos and that's what these countries are trying to do," Haley said. "I saw this at the UN all the time. Their No. 1 goal is to cause chaos in the United States."
– Zachary Oren Smith, Iowa City Press-Citizen
Battleground Wisconsin draws crowds on first day of in-person voting
More than 75,000 voters across Wisconsin cast ballots on the first day of early, in-person voting, the state Elections Commission reported Wednesday. Social distancing was enforced, masks were everywhere and hand sanitizer was plentiful when the polls opened Tuesday. Trump won the state by less than 23,000 votes four years ago and this year’s race is expected to be close – and crucial. More than 1 million Wisconsinites have already voted by mail. The combined total is equal to about one-third of all votes cast in the state for the 2016 election.
There were some glitches: The commission told Outagamie County officials Tuesday that they would need to go to a judge to deal with thousands of ballots that can't be read by counting machines because of a printing error.
– Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Mail delays continue, especially in Michigan, tracking effort finds
Less than two weeks before the Nov. 3 election, delays in mail delivery continue to be a problem in a year when a record number of voters are expected to use the U.S. Postal Service to cast their ballots.
A mail-tracking effort by the USA TODAY Network and the University of Maryland's Howard Center for Investigative Journalism found more than 20% of letters and packages sent short distances within battleground states since mid-September took longer to arrive than the Postal Service’s three-day service standard for first-class local mail.
The issues were particularly acute in Michigan, where quarterly on-time reports produced by the postal service show the metro area of Detroit, the state's largest city, has had one of the highest rates of late mail in the country at 34%.
In Florida, one letter with a GPS tracking device sent from a post office in Bradenton to a destination six miles across town traveled through large portions of the state before arriving at its destination a week later.
-- Matt Wynn
Iowa Supreme Court ruling a win for GOP
The Republican Party scored a victory in Iowa on Wednesday when the state Supreme Court upheld a new law making it harder for county auditors to process absentee ballot requests with missing or incomplete information.
The Republican-supported law prevents auditors from using the state's voter registration database to fill in any missing information or correct errors when a voter requests an absentee ballot. The law instead requires the auditor's office to contact the voter by telephone, email or regular mail.
Opponents of the law said auditors have used the database to correct errors in the past and that the law burdens Iowans' right to vote.
-- Stephen Gruber-Miller, Des Moines Register
Voting in Mississippi: Curbside voting for COVID-19 patients, signature fixes
Mississippi is expanding access to curbside voting for people with symptoms of COVID-19 and setting a new process to let voters correct, or "cure," minor discrepancies with signatures on absentee ballots.
The changes are being made after voting rights groups sued the state in federal court. U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan signed an order Tuesday that ends the lawsuit. The plaintiffs obtained some of the changes they sought, but not all.
A new rule issued by Secretary of State Michael Watson says curbside or open-air voting must be made available to people showing signs of COVID-19, including coughing, vomiting, headaches, fever, sore throat, congestion or loss of taste or smell.
Also, election officials must notify a voter about any problem with his or her signature on an absentee ballot, and the voter must be given a chance to correct it.
NYPD plans bigger presence for 'contentious' Election Day
New York City police are taking extra precautions to ensure that Election Day comes off without a hitch across the city's 1,201 polling places, Chief of Department Terence Monahan says. There are no known threats or disruptions planned and authorities "do not expect any," Monahan said Tuesday. Still, special teams of officers will be available and hundreds of extra uniformed police will be on duty starting next week, he said.
"It is no secret that this election is more contentious than in years past," Monahan said. "For that reason our plan also includes the ability to respond to any type of incident that may occur."
Court approves extension for mail-in ballots in North Carolina
North Carolina can accept absentee ballots that are postmarked by Election Day until Nov. 12, a federal appeals court has ruled. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block the extension. The change – from Nov. 6 – was made as part of a legal settlement with voting rights advocates. State and national Republican leaders had filed an emergency request to halt the extension. The opinion said forcing the state to shorten the deadline would violate a legal principle that limits how federal courts intervene in ballot rules close to an election.
State Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, called the ruling a "huge win" that "recognizes the reality of an overburdened postal service.”
Headlines from elsewhere and resources on voting
From ProPublica: Their Electionland project goes deep on issues that can affect eligible voters' ability to cast a ballot.
From Pew/Stateline: The Barriers to the Ballot Box project takes on how changes to polling places impact communities.
Ballotopedia: Resources and guides to not just the election, but also voting.
Associated Press: More voting headlines that should be on your radar.
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Contributing: Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Voting 2020: 'Voter intimidation' in Florida; Wisconsin ballot issues