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Megnyílt a lehetőség a megállapodásra a migrációs politika ügyében

A igrációs politika ügyében nem mehetnek tovább a dolgok úgy, ahogyan az utóbbi években - mondta Von der Leyen.
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Petri Dishes with Alexandra Petri (Oct. 27)
Humor columnist Alexandra Petri takes your questions on the news and political in(s)anity of the day.
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washingtonpost.com
'You have to start somewhere': Playoff plan provides a path for MLB to have fans in 2021
The NLCS and World Series at Globe Life Field have had fans in attendance, which MLB hopes can help put a plan in place for all teams in 2021.       
usatoday.com
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just played a video game on Twitch to encourage voting
Playing video games live on Twitch may not seem the most obvious way to get more Americans to the polls, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not one to take a conventional approach.
edition.cnn.com
Can this app help save the travel industry?
Global travel has ground to a near halt due to the coronavirus pandemic but now CommonPass, a new digital health passport, hopes to reverse the course. CNN's Anna Stewart reports.
edition.cnn.com
Now is the Time for Kuwait to Join the Growing Anti-Iran Coalition | Opinion
With a rapidly transforming Middle East, Kuwait has the opportunity to utilize its change in leadership to shift its diplomatic energies towards staving off Iranian aggression.
newsweek.com
A Protection Against Viruses Hides in an Overlooked Corner of the Constitution
Ever since state governors began implementing stay-at-home orders to contain the coronavirus pandemic, protesters have resisted such safety measures under the belief that they violate constitutionally guaranteed liberties. Proposals to mandate mask wearing have collided with allegations of First Amendment violations. Orders to close gun stores have clashed with concerns about Second Amendment freedoms. But a profound historical counter-vision to these ideas about “individual liberty” can be found in one of the most neglected and underappreciated corners of the Bill of Rights: the Third Amendment.“No soldier,” the amendment reads, “shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” Federal courts have rarely invoked it, and in 2015 even rejected a Third Amendment claim against police officers’ occupation of a house. Now the subject of memes, the amendment, in the words of the legal historian Morton Horwitz, is an “interesting study in constitutional obsolescence.”But surrendering to this senescence is a mistake. The Third Amendment might actually breathe new, constitutional life into what Ibram X. Kendi has labeled “freedom from infection.”The Third Amendment is a remix of ideas dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries. As the lawyers William S. Fields and David T. Hardy wrote in the American Journal of Legal History, centuries of criticism against quartering had accrued in Britain before gaining traction in the empire’s colonies. After conflicts in North America, including King Philip’s War in the 1670s, New York in 1683 became the first of the colonies to provide legal protections against quartering. In the next century, colonists opposed to quartering would come to feel a desire to separate civilian life from military intrusion, a growing sense that the home was a protected private place, a hatred of standing armies, and a commitment to individual rights.But another complaint also surfaced during the French and Indian War, which lasted from 1754 to 1763: Colonists worried that quartered soldiers might infect them with smallpox, a disease British soldiers deliberately transmitted to Native Americans.[Joshua Matz: The coronavirus is testing America's commitment to people's constitutional rights]The eventual Framers of the Constitution understood this fear. George Washington had battled smallpox himself in Barbados in 1751. The mother of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, another signer of the Constitution, wrote of her community in 1760 that a “violent kind of smallpox rages in Charles Town that almost puts a stop to all business.” James Madison never contracted the disease, but as suggested by the Madison biographer Ralph Ketcham, a number of his extended family members likely died from smallpox in the early 1760s, when he was just a boy.No wonder colonists fretted about the arrival of British troops. When residents of Albany, New York, learned in 1756 that some of the soldiers were carrying smallpox, they grew hostile to quartering. Soldiers arrived in Philadelphia to similar fears. In the words of one Pennsylvanian, “The small Pox was encreasing among the Soldiers to such a Degree that the whole Town would soon become a Hospital.” The governor ordered private homes to be used as quarters, and after resistance from shocked residents and the Pennsylvania Assembly, the British threatened to send soldiers to seize shelter. In response, an assembly committee that included Benjamin Franklin offered hospital space to house sick soldiers, sparing Philadelphians from the disease. Others weren’t so lucky. In 1758, Jane Webb Syer from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, was making a living by renting her house to a family, but British soldiers with smallpox transformed the house into a hospital. They ripped up her floors and doors for firewood; her tenants ran away.Britain soon enacted two quartering laws. The Quartering Act of 1765 required colonists to pay the costs of housing soldiers, a measure that peeved Franklin. England, he argued, should “first try the effects of quartering soldiers on butchers, bakers, or other private houses [in England], and then transport the measure to America.” Britain then passed the Quartering Act of 1774, allowing officers to take “uninhabited houses, out-houses, barns, or other buildings.” The Declaration of Independence soon denounced British legislation “quartering large bodies of armed troops among us,” and places such as Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire transformed this complaint into law within the next decade.The Revolutionary War brewed in the background, but smallpox was still a peril to soldiers. As the University of Colorado at Boulder historian Elizabeth Fenn has written, “Contagion was the defining and determining event of the era for many residents,” and with “the exception of the war itself, epidemic smallpox was the greatest upheaval to afflict the continent in these years.” Smallpox could freeze a regiment in its tracks. “Our army at Ticonderoga,” wrote the Continental Congress delegate, future Supreme Court justice, and quartering critic Samuel Chase, “consists of six thousand men, of which three thousand are in the hospital, from the small-pox and other camp disorders.” Would-be soldiers hesitated to join the army, and Virginia Governor Patrick Henry explained to Washington that the dread of smallpox was one of the obstacles. Washington understood, responding that smallpox was “more destructive to an army in the natural way, than the enemy’s sword.”The quartering of sick troops forced civilians to come into intimate contact with disease. Soldiers sometimes paid to stay in private homes instead of hospitals, but they weren’t always welcome. One man complained that soldiers had whipped his children, killed his animals, and deprived “his wife of her Bed by plasing in one of their party whome they said was sick.” In 1777, catastrophe struck when Washington billeted soldiers in the private homes of Morristown, New Jersey. Some homeowners originally volunteered their houses, but an outbreak of smallpox among the soldiers threw the town into a flurry. Washington had to order not only his soldiers but also civilians to receive inoculations. Churches transformed into hospitals, and private homes became inoculation sites, further endangering residents. That year, a bell in the steeple of Morristown’s Presbyterian church rang dozens of times to mark the many residents’ lives lost to smallpox.A decade later, the nation’s Founders spoke only broadly about the Third Amendment’s necessity, but they had been entangled in this history of disease and likely understood its relevance. Franklin and Washington would go on to sign the Constitution, and during the ratification process, Anti-Federalists would invoke the possibility of quartering to oppose a strong centralized government. One of these people was Chase, who had described smallpox among soldiers in Ticonderoga and now fretted that “Congress will have a right to quarter soldiers in our private houses not only in time of war, but also in time of peace.” This power, criticized former Governor Patrick Henry at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, in 1788, would be akin to Britain’s quartering of a standing army “to tyrannize, oppress, and crush us.” Madison soon proposed a Bill of Rights that included a provision against quartering, and Congress approved a version that became the Third Amendment.[Conor Friedersdorf: How to protect civil liberties in a pandemic]The final text does not mention disease, but the text of the amendment has not been an impediment to expansive (albeit controversial) interpretations in other regards. In 1965, the Court, in Griswold v. Connecticut, cited the amendment to find an implied constitutional right to privacy, and similar reasoning could be used again. Yet if the Third Amendment may have something to do with a right to be free from infection, what exactly is that right? Construed most narrowly, the amendment might merely imply a right to be free from having a specific category of people who might carry diseases forcibly pushed into one’s house without consent. But broader interpretations are possible. The amendment could be interpreted to include other governmental actors, and house could be understood expansively. The broadest interpretation might recognize a general right to be free from being forced to come into close contact with diseases. Since the Founders’ world looked tremendously different from our world today, the question is where to draw the line: how much to limit the amendment to a narrow interpretation of its text and how much to prioritize the broader rationales at its foundation.A broad interpretation presents substantial dangers and limitations. The Supreme Court hasn’t yet decided whether the amendment applies to state and local governments. Recognition of a fundamental right to be free from forced close contact with disease vectors might shift discretion on important public-health issues from the hands of lawmakers and administrators to judges, who may be less democratically accountable or qualified to make these decisions. Perhaps too murky and open-ended to put into practice, such a right might also create a slippery slope for recognizing other “rights.” And whereas the Court in Griswold relied on multiple constitutional provisions to find an implied right to privacy, the Third Amendment on its own may not be enough to establish a right to be free from infection.Still, even if no such right exists in an immediately useful form, the amendment’s history offers vital lessons. It reveals that disease prevention was actually built into the Constitution, furnishing judges and lawmakers today with a constitutional anchor to weigh when balancing competing societal interests. It reframes debates over shelter-in-place measures away from a battle between “individual” versus “community” freedom, illustrating how protection from disease was once understood to also secure individual liberty. Most of all, it challenges us to explore how public-health goals might have been infused into other possible crannies of the Constitution, an urgent task in this particular, bleak year.
theatlantic.com
Trump Previously Told '60 Minutes' Host Lesley Stahl Why He Attacks Media
The president axed recording for the CBS show beforehand and has suggested he could release his own film of the interview before the CBS broadcast.
newsweek.com
Power Up: Here are 5 charts that help explain the state of early voting
It's data overload with just 13 days to go.
washingtonpost.com
'The Good Doctor' Season 4 Release Date, Cast, Trailer: New Promo Released
"The Good Doctor" Season 4 starts on ABC next month, and the network has released a new trailer that reveals a number of new cast members and a COVID-19-related plot.
newsweek.com
Footballer recommended to rest after suffering horror testicle injury
edition.cnn.com
Opinion: Why COVID-19 team bubbles would make sense for the NFL during the playoffs
When the NFL competition committee meets later this month, bubble concepts, first broached by Saints coach Sean Payton, will undoubtedly be discussed.       
usatoday.com
'Fortnite' Update 14.40 Adds Fortnitemares, Brooms & Shadow Midas - Patch Notes
"Fortnite" update 14.40 brings Fortnitemares content to the game. Learn all about it in our makeshift patch notes.
newsweek.com
As Lebanon's Hariri appears to make a comeback, a popular uprising turns into a political front
A 360-degree turn in Lebanon's political mood has prompted activists to organize into political parties and alliances.
edition.cnn.com
Spencer Davis, '60s rocker behind 'Keep on Running,' dead at 81
Spencer Davis, bandleader of The Spencer Davis Group who produced the hits "Keep On Running" and "Gimme Some Lovin'," has died at the age of 81.
edition.cnn.com
Wall Street could call the 2020 election before the media does
With an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots to count, news organizations will probably exercise extreme caution before declaring a winner on the night of the election. Wall Street, on the other hand, isn't known for its patience.
edition.cnn.com
Wall Street could call the 2020 election before the media does
With an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots to count, news organizations will probably exercise extreme caution before declaring a winner on the night of the election. Wall Street, on the other hand, isn't known for its patience.
edition.cnn.com
Former top CIA analyst on al Qaeda, Iraq and 9/11
On "Intelligence Matters," Mike Morell speaks with Kristin Wood about her time at the CIA briefing Scooter Libby and then-Vice President Dick Cheney as a backup briefer.
cbsnews.com
Obama returns to the campaign trail, rallying support for Biden in hopes of ending Trump's presidency
Barack Obama had always intended to sit out the first presidential election of his post-presidency, taking heed of the private guidance given to him from Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush.
edition.cnn.com
5 things to know for October 21: Coronavirus, election, economy, Nigeria, Google
Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
edition.cnn.com
Biden: desperate Trump campaign wants to smear him
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says the allegations involving Ukraine and his son Hunter Biden are actually a desperate attempt by President Trump's campaign to smear Biden and his family. (Oct. 21)       
usatoday.com
Op-Ed: How COVID-19 caused the U.S. to implement universal healthcare
As one of the most unassuming side effects of the coronavirus, the U.S., for the first time in its history, set up a system of universal healthcare.
latimes.com
John Travolta's Nephew Dies Aged 52, Months After Death of Wife Kelly Preston
Sam Jr. was a screenwriter and the son of John Travolta's older brother Sam. The "Pulp Fiction" actor's wife Kelly Preson passed away in July.
newsweek.com
Coronavirus live updates: CDC cites COVID in report on excess US deaths this year; Melania skips Trump rally over 'lingering cough'
Health experts urge Idaho governor to take action amid spike. New Orleans Saints to host 3,000 fans. Target to give employee bonuses. Latest news.       
usatoday.com
Letters to the Editor: USC is taking strong action against anti-Semitism and other forms of hate
An ugly fight over social media about racism at USC had one positive outcome: the university president's strong statement condemning anti-Semitism.
latimes.com
Some people want a U.S. truth commission. But truth commissions have limits.
Our research explains what these commissions can — and cannot — do.
washingtonpost.com
Video: Watch today's UFC 254 press conference with Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje (9 a.m. ET)
You can watch today’s press conference from Abu Dhabi in advance of UFC 254 here on MMAjunkie at 9 a.m. ET (5 p.m. GST local time).        Related StoriesTai Tuivasa had 'bit of a wake-up call' training for UFC 254 at American Kickboxing AcademyUFC 254 'Embedded,' No. 2: Jared Cannonier waxes philosophical on expectations for greatnessUFC on ESPN+ 40 official poster: Thiago Santos, Glover Teixeira battle for No. 1 contender spot 
usatoday.com
Liz Peek: 4 ways Trump can win the debate and the 2020 election
Here are four suggestions that could help President Trump win the final debate and the election
foxnews.com
Letters to the Editor: In the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Turkey is the real villain
Both the Armenians and Azerbaijanis are guilty of atrocities after the fall of the Soviet Union, a fact that Turkey is exploiting to assert its regional power.
latimes.com
Editorial: California failed the communities around Exide. This cannot happen again
A bankruptcy court let Exide walk away from its toxic contamination. California leaders cannot let this happen again.
latimes.com
People often assume all country singers have conservative views. This year has proved — yet again — that’s not the case.
In the lead-up to the election, country music artists including Maren Morris and the Chicks continue to push back on the genre’s stereotypes.
washingtonpost.com
Editorial: The DOJ is taking the gloves off against Big Tech
The Justice Department lawsuit accusing Google of abusing its online search and advertising dominance marks the first blow to Big Tech.
latimes.com
Letters to the Editor: Police shoot too many cyclists. Perhaps they should stop trying to ticket them
That 16 cyclists have been shot by police in L.A. County since 2005 suggests cops should not be routinely stopping bike riders for traffic violations.
latimes.com
A jailed Philippine activist is forced to attend her infant's funeral in handcuffs and a hazmat suit
The death of Reina Mae Nasino's 3-month-old daughter, River, has sparked an uproar over President Rodrigo Duterte's crackdown on human rights defenders. The underweight infant was separated from her mother, denying her breast milk that could have prolonged her life.
latimes.com
Social Media and the Hunter Biden Report
In trying to insulate their platforms from the spread of dubious information, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have ignited a different kind of firestorm.
nytimes.com
The American Bar Association Is Wrong. Amy Coney Barrett Is Not Well Qualified | Opinion
The ABA has provided cover to senators who quote its irresponsible rating as if it were the final word from the legal profession. It is not.
newsweek.com
Sara Gilbert on Why the Conners Are Uniquely Qualified to Handle a Pandemic
"I feel that we're all able to, as a country, really talk and really listen to each other," Sara Gilbert told Newsweek about how the Conner family might be an agent for more understanding and communication in the nation post-election.
newsweek.com
Why the Supreme Court has Nine Justices | Opinion
The possibility of increasing the number of justices to artificially give one president, and one party, greater influence over the Court came to be recognized as the ultimate violation of constitutional norms.
newsweek.com
Donald Trump keeps begging women to like him. They keep saying no.
The president’s wheedling and whining isn’t working.
washingtonpost.com
Hundreds of Thousands of Voters Do Everything Right—Then Get Their Ballots Discarded
George Mangeni registered to vote as soon as he became a U.S. citizen in 2015. Mangeni, who immigrated from Kenya, always makes sure to cast a ballot in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, where he lives.“It’s just something you do,” he told me. “You are given an opportunity to select people who make influence over your lives, and so it’s important you have a voice.”This spring, with COVID-19 ravaging Ohio, he decided to cast his vote in the primary elections by mail for the first time. The instructions were straightforward enough, especially for a network engineer like Mangeni: He applied for a ballot, received it, marked it up, signed it, and prepared to submit it. As he got ready to post his ballot, though, Mangeni felt a pang and took a photograph of it. “I had a sinking feeling that something would happen,” he recalled. “I was like, I hope it gets counted.” But he sent the ballot to the board of elections, and didn’t worry about it any more.[Read: What really scares voting experts about the postal service]A couple of months later, he received a call from the ACLU of Ohio, informing him that his ballot had been rejected. “I was surprised twofold,” he said. “One, how the heck did they find out? And then why was it not counted?”The answer, it turned out, was that Mangeni’s signature on the ballot didn’t match the one he used when he registered to vote. Ohio, like 30 other states, uses signature matching as a fraud-prevention measure. Mangeni sometimes uses different signatures, and he didn’t recall which one he used to register. Under Ohio law, election officials are supposed to mail a notice to any voter whose ballot is rejected, giving them a chance to correct an error, but Mangeni said he never received a notification. His name did, however, go into a spreadsheet at the Ohio secretary of state’s office, which is how the ACLU found it. Mangeni agreed to become a plaintiff in a suit challenging Ohio’s signature-matching law.“I felt cheated out of something,” Mangeni told me. Besides, “it was irritating. Some of the people that won the elections, I didn’t vote for.”If Mangeni felt irritated, a voter who has her ballot rejected in the general election, especially in a tightly contested swing state such as Ohio, is likely to feel something closer to full-on rage. A political scientist at Carroll College, working on behalf of plaintiffs challenging Ohio’s signature-matching law, found that 97 percent of rejected signatures are likely to be authentic—or, for every invalid ballot, 32 valid ones are thrown out.Even in normal election cycles, signature-matching requirements result in many ballots being rejected. Hundreds of thousands of such ballots were disqualified this way in 2016—almost all, presumably, cast by voters who had done everything right. Rejections disproportionately hit certain demographic groups, including elderly voters, young voters, and voters of color, that are expected to heavily favor Vice President Joe Biden this fall. As voting by mail surges across the country, many elections, including the presidential race, could hinge on a process that one expert recently described to me as “witchcraft.”Earlier this year, voting-rights advocates, Democrats, and progressive groups began a major push to make voting by mail easier, and to persuade citizens to cast their ballot that way. In the midst of the pandemic, they thought it was the best way to ensure safety and get votes counted. The effort worked: Vote-by-mail rates this year are expected to easily set records. But the push to expand mail-in voting also introduces a number of risks. While some of these dangers, including a “blue shift” of late-counted votes and disruptions to the U.S. Postal Service, have been scrutinized, less attention has been paid to signature matching, the single-biggest reason for the disqualification of mailed ballots in 2016.[Derek Thompson: How voting by mail could cost Biden the election]“Everybody's vote should count,” says Hannah Fried, the national campaign director at All Voting Is Local, a nonprofit that seeks to expand voting access. “If you’re an eligible voter and you voted, your ballot should not be rejected for a highly technical reason out of your control—because the signature was sloppy, or you cannot write in the same way you used to be able to write. There’s something fundamentally unfair about it.”States use signature verification as a way to protect the sanctity of the ballot. (Some require only that an envelope be signed, or mandate a witness, a notarized signature, or a photo ID.) In-person voter fraud is vanishingly rare because a would-be fraudster has to present herself as someone else at a polling station. Vote-by-mail fraud is also very rare, but signatures are intended to add an extra layer of security: First, a voter has to attest under penalty of law that the ballot is hers. Second, the voter’s signature provides a way to make sure she’s really the person who signed the ballot.How that is done, like the rest of the American election system, varies wildly from state to state and even from county to county. Some jurisdictions use the signature on a voter-registration form or a ballot request or a driver’s license. A software program might make the first cut, or humans might conduct the whole process. Examiners might have a single autograph to compare, or dozens. Many people use more than one name, and might use the wrong signature on their ballot. The singer Lady Gaga tweeted a timely reminder on Sunday: “When I sign legal documents, I repeat Stefani Germanotta over+over quietly in my head so I don’t accidentally sign as Lady Gaga,” she wrote, referring to her birth name.“When you pay attention to this stuff, you start realizing how important things like the signature pad at the DMV is for election administration,” Nathaniel Persily, a law professor at Stanford University, says. “Absentee voting is not what you think of when you’re 16 and getting your first license.”The training and rules for officials are all over the place too. Florida law says that ballots can be rejected because of a mismatch, but a 2019 lawsuit filed by Democrats complained that the state offered no training or procedures for officials assessing signatures, “resulting in processes that are demonstrably standardless, inconsistent, and unreliable.” Under a new law, the state must offer standardized training, and a two-hour training video is posted online. You can also watch an Oregon training session on YouTube. Colorado, which conducts its elections via mail, posts its signature-verification guide online.Your mileage may vary, but these materials didn’t give me a great deal of confidence in the system. It’s not that election officials aren’t trying—the presentations are earnest and straightforward—but they offer fairly minimal training to the people who will decide whether someone’s vote for president gets to count. Professional forensic document examiners are typically trained for two to three years, but even the most robust training systems for election officials are more like eight hours. Some of the judgment calls depicted in the materials are obvious mismatches, but others are much fuzzier.The New York Times recently asked a Jefferson County, Colorado, election official to identify forged signatures, and he succeeded, but that’s probably the wrong way to test the process. Fraud is exceedingly rare; the much greater danger is that legitimate ballots will be thrown out.[David A. Graham: The damage of Trump’s voter-fraud allegations can’t be undone]“At the end of the day, officials are not trained in how to conduct signature-match verification,” Kristen Clarke, the president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, says. “They use procedures that would not stand up in a court of law.”One result of this patchwork of laws and practices is widely varying rates of rejection. In a recent study of “lost votes” in voting by mail in 2016, Professor Charles Stewart III of MIT found that states that conduct their elections primarily by mail have a much lower rejection rate (0.92 percent) than those that allow voters to cast ballots by mail only for limited reasons (1.8 percent). These numbers are small, but in close elections they could be consequential. The differential rates seem to stem from different philosophies about examining signatures. Stewart notes that absentee voting by mail has historically been viewed as a convenience, so voters took the risk. But if states mail all voters a ballot, that argument no longer holds.“We believe in signature verification, and when we do that verification, we’re really confirming someone’s identity,” Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, told me. “So it’s important to do that for us in Colorado. But I will say that we believe in accessible elections. And if you have a right to vote, you should have your voice heard.”The bias toward inclusion is sometimes a matter of policy and sometimes a matter of law. In the Oregon seminar video, for example, a trainer explains: “You’re looking for reasons to keep the signature in, to validate the signature, rather than looking for reasons to throw the signature out. That was—in the last few years that internally has been a mindset shift that we have really focused on. We’re looking for any reason to keep the signature.” In Florida, a voter’s signature can be rejected only if a majority vote of the canvassing board concludes beyond a reasonable doubt that it does not match.Because many states have expanded access to voting by mail, and many more voters tell pollsters they intend to use it, it’s impossible to predict rejection rates this year. Will states that are new to the game maintain their old strict standards? Or will they adopt the more lenient approach of vote-by-mail states, in the service of trying to make sure as many votes are counted as possible? These answers could make a big difference to the presidential race in close states, and certainly to down-ballot races. Officials will also face a new challenge: Many people will vote absentee who have never done so in the past, which means they’re more likely to make errors in the process, including submitting shoddy signatures or failing to sign ballots or envelopes at all. According to a study of Florida’s 2016 and 2018 elections, first-time mail-in voters are nearly three times more likely to have their ballot rejected.[Priscilla Southwell: The moral urgency of voting by mail]Regardless of the overall rejection rates, it’s a safe bet whose ballots will be rejected most: those of the youngest voters, the oldest voters, disabled voters, and voters of color. The first three of these are relatively easily explained. As schools phase handwriting instruction out of their curriculum, young people no longer learn cursive. They are less likely to have consistent, well-practiced signatures, and as a result, are less likely to have two signatures from different occasions match. Over time, their handwriting matures too. Freda Levenson, the legal director of the ACLU of Ohio, told me about a voter who had registered with a girlish signature when she was in high school. By the time she tried casting an absentee ballot in her 30s, “she in effect had to forge her own signature to make it match.” Similarly, older voters’ handwriting is sometimes in decline. Voters who suffer from illnesses such as stroke may lose the ability to sign the way they once did. But why voters of color so often see their ballots rejected is not well understood.Theories include greater scrutiny of votes of people of color—or of voters in minority-heavy precincts—and less understanding of the system among minority voters, due to disparities in the government services provided to them. Whatever the reason, the pattern is clear. An analysis of the 2020 Florida primary by the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project found that Black and Hispanic voters’ ballots were rejected at roughly double the rate white voters’ were. The same was true in Wisconsin, where more than 10,000 Black voters’ ballots were rejected in the 2020 primary. President Trump’s 2016 margin of victory in the state was fewer than 23,000 votes.In 2018, civil-rights groups sued over ballot rejections in Gwinnett County, a suburban Atlanta county that is nearly 30 percent Black. The county rejected more than 7 percent of mail-in ballots, a staggering figure compared to the national total of 1.4 percent in 2018, but only about 3 percent of ballots from white voters were rejected, compared with 5.1 percent from Hispanic voters, 10.3 percent from Black voters, and 13.9 percent from Asian American voters. Gwinnett accounted for nearly 40 percent of all the ballots rejected in Georgia in 2018.“In a state like Wisconsin in 2016, or even Georgia, where the rejection rate in [Democrat] Stacey Abrams’ election [for governor] was as high as it was, signature matching could make or break the states,” says Vanita Gupta, the president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division under President Barack Obama. “That’s why there’s a lot of litigation now at the front end.”The disparities have inspired occasional demands for states to scrap signature laws altogether. In order to end a lawsuit earlier this year, the state of Pennsylvania announced that ballots cannot be thrown out solely because an official believes there is a signature mismatch. But Gupta told me that, despite the problems with the process, there are good reasons for states to have signature-matching requirements. “It’s an important security measure that can lead to greater voter confidence,” she said—all the more relevant given public concerns about the integrity of elections.When ballot rejections are challenged in court, judges almost always side with voters. But a challenge requires a voter to be aware that his ballot has been rejected, and to either have the resources to fight against it in court or know where to turn for help. Meanwhile, postelection wrangling is likely to be the subject of extensive litigation this year. Both parties and both presidential campaigns have spent months lining up lawyers and preparing for litigation after votes are cast.Vote totals are far more likely to be fair and accurate, then, if mismatch issues are handled early, through what is known as “curing.” Tammy Patrick, a senior adviser at the Democracy Fund and a member of the National Task Force on Election Crises, told me curing isn’t merely a way to help get votes counted, as its detractors claim—it’s also an important anti-fraud tool, because there’s no way to know whether a rejected signature is malfeasance or just messiness unless officials contact voters. During her years working as an election administrator in Maricopa County, Arizona, Patrick said she never encountered a voter whose signature had been rejected who said their name had been forged.“They would say, ‘I had my hand in a cast,’ ‘I was writing with my left hand,’ ‘I’d recently suffered a stroke,’ ‘I was signing on top of the mailbox or my dashboard,’” she said. “Things like that confirm the legitimacy of the signature. Those are all things you learn and you know when you make that contact.”Yet only 18 states mandate a curing process, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures, and these too are a patchwork, with requirements as varied as mailing a notice, calling on the telephone call, or simply making “reasonable efforts.” The deadlines for curing range from 8 p.m. on Election Day, in Montana, to 21 days after Election Day, in Washington. Several states have new procedures, including Georgia, which passed a curing law in 2019, and Arizona, where a federal judge ruled in September that voters must have until five days after Election Day to correct errors.Voters can take a few steps to try to keep their ballot from being rejected. It’s useful to keep track of the signature you use for official documents and keep that consistent. Reading instructions carefully is important, especially because they are not always user-friendly. It’s also wise to mail or turn in ballots as soon as possible, to leave enough time for curing in states that allow it. Perhaps the simple best step a voter can take is to vote in person, either early or on Election Day, because voter errors are much less likely to disqualify votes cast in person. Earlier this year, some experts believed that as many as seven in 10 ballots would be cast by mail, but a recent NPR survey found that just 35 percent of voters now intend to vote that way, while a Navigator poll found a six-point drop between August and October in the number of Democrats who intend to vote by mail.Although some of the rejection rates from primaries early in 2020 were extremely troubling, Patrick told me she expected improvement in November as states that were caught off-guard by the pandemic professionalize their approach. “Between the primary and the general, many states have adopted these best practices,” she said. “I’m hopeful that those changes in the process are going to help inform the voters.”[Read: The election’s biggest threat is no longer the postal service]In Ohio, a federal judge ruled against the ACLU in September, concluding it was too late for the state to eliminate its signature-matching requirement for the 2020 election. Mangeni told me he agreed with the judge’s reasoning, but still hopes the requirement will be lifted in future elections. He told me he doesn’t blame his local officials for his ballot being rejected: “If I am given a bunch of signatures, and I’m under the gun to count 50,000 ballots, it’s hard. There’s a reason they have experts in court to analyze this,” he said.The broader problem, in his view, is that requirements such as signature verification make it harder for valid voters to cast their ballot. “For a country that promotes democracy and goes around the world telling people they have the right to do stuff, for them to make it harder for me to exercise my right to vote is hypocritical,” he said.As for November’s election, Mangeni isn’t taking any chances. He’ll be going to his local polling place to cast a vote in person.
theatlantic.com
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edition.cnn.com
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usatoday.com
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usatoday.com
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newsweek.com
USA TODAY's experts say securing a COVID vaccine in record time could be easy. Distributing it won't be.
Our panel of experts expect at least one COVID-19 vaccine will be approved in the coming months. Then things could really get complicated.       
usatoday.com
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newsweek.com