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Morning Reads: Voter Suppression in North Carolina, Pennsylvania? Clinton’s Precarious Position

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: Voter Suppression Attempts in NC, Pennsylvania?

Mavis Wilson looks over a sample ballot as she waits to early vote with her husband, Ron Wilson in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

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Suppressing turnout? –> The Guardian reports that black early voting turnout is down in North Carolina and Florida, and, at least in North Carolina, voter suppression efforts may be to blame. “Republicans in the state have purged thousands of voters from the rolls, the majority of whom are black Democrats,” Sabrina Siddiqui and Richard Luscombe write. ” The NAACP filed a lawsuit this week, stating that the practice of purging voter rolls up to 95 days before an election was a violation of federal law. The US justice department also issued a sharp warning to the election boards in the relevant counties of Beaufort, Moore and Cumberland.

“…An Associated Press analysis of early voting data in North Carolina found that black voters have cast 111,000 fewer ballots than at the same time in 2012. Democrats cited voter suppression tactics by Republicans as part of the challenge, noting an initial reduction by the GOP-led election board in the number of early voting sites.”

In Pennsylvania, a no on GOP pollwatching –> Dave Davies reports for the Philadelphia public radio program Newsworks, “A federal judge has turned down the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s request to expand the reach of poll watchers in the state. A bill permitting poll watchers to enter any polling place in the state stalled in the legislature, so the state GOP went to court, arguing there just aren’t enough Republicans in Philadelphia County for the party to recruit the poll watchers needed to monitor voting in the city.” If the court had allowed the GOP to move forward, the party could have sent poll watchers from conservative areas into urban, Democratic strongholds.

Scenario for an Electoral College tie –> Nate Silver writes that, because of the swing states in play this year, Clinton’s current chances of election are lower than Obama’s were in 2012. “There’s been a potential breach of Hillary Clinton’s electoral firewall,” he writes. (The “electoral firewall” refers to swing states where Clinton had been polling well, before James Comey’s announcement.) “It’s come in New Hampshire, a state that we said a couple of weeks ago could be a good indicator of a Donald Trump comeback because of its large number of swing voters… If Clinton lost New Hampshire but won her other firewall states, each candidate would finish with 269 electoral votes, taking the election to the House of Representatives.”

Meanwhile, speaking of polling, Jonathan Martin, Dalia Sussman and Megan Thee-Brenan write for The New York Times: “An overwhelming majority of voters are disgusted by the state of American politics, and many harbor doubts that either major-party nominee can unite the country after a historically ugly presidential campaign, according to the final pre-election New York Times/CBS News Poll.”

Historic moment –> The Paris agreement goes into effect today! It is the first international agreement to reduce emissions that bears the signatures of the world’s major polluters (including the US, China, India and the EU). It’s not enough, however: In a new report, the UN notes that the current commitments that countries have made under the deal fall short. Jack Fitzpatrick summarizes for Morning Consult: “In order to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, world leaders will need to quickly cut greenhouse gas emissions, limiting them to 42 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030, according to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Emissions Gap Report. But the policies currently in place put the world on a trajectory for 59.4 gigatons per year.”

TPP reanimated –> “President Barack Obama is forging ahead with a long-shot bid to bring a 12-nation Pacific trade agreement to a vote in Congress immediately after an election that has stirred deep antitrade sentiments in both parties,” William Mauldin reported for The Wall Street Journal earlier this week. Obama wants to add TPP to his presidential legacy, Mauldin wrote, although both candidates running for president say they oppose it. In an interview with The Journal, US trade rep Mike Froman said, “We’re doing everything we possibly can to maximize the chance of getting it done.”

More dirt on Wells Fargo –> Amie Tsang for The New York Times’ Dealbook: “Wells Fargo, already reeling from a scandal over fake accounts and a settlement over home appraisal overcharges, has been hit with yet more accusations. The latest? Former employees say the bank used termination notices to retaliate against attempts to blow the whistle on its fraudulent activities. These forms, which must be filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority when the broker or financial adviser leaves, can leave a black mark on that person’s career.”

Dueling ballot measures –> Californians are facing two death penalty-related ballot measures. One would get rid of executions, the other would speed them up. And voters seem to be confused: In October, 40 percent of voters who supported the measure to end the penalty also supported the one to hasten the process. “Californians could conceivably vote ‘yes’ on both,” Liliana Segura reports for The Intercept. “If both measures pass, the one with the most ‘yes’ votes wins.”


Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!



We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email newsletter each morning.