NC: Thousands of North Carolina voters wait weeks for absentee ballots
Understaffing, outdated technology and voter registration groups are straining a North Carolina system that has struggled to handle an unprecedented surge of requests as many seek to avoid the risks of in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
NJ: Segregation made COVID-19 spread quickly in New Jersey
In New Jersey’s most segregated county, racism and coronavirus made a vicious circle. Dozens of public health experts, community activists, researchers and housing advocates said racism is fueling COVID-19 deaths.
MO: Missouri outsources contact tracing in fight against coronavirus spread
Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s administration is farming out contact tracing efforts to private companies in the latest attempt to address the ongoing spread of the coronavirus in Missouri.
MN: Minnesota secretary of state says results won’t be available election night
Minnesotans shouldn’t see physical polling places as a “death trap,” but they should consider alternatives to voting in-person on Election Day, said Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon. He said residents should not be alarmed if precincts aren’t reporting full results as early as they usually do on election night.
OH: Ohio may pursue pair already charged in Michigan for voter intimidation in minority areas
Ohio authorities are considering whether charges are warranted against a pair of conservative extremists already accused of voter intimidation targeting minorities in Michigan.
MS: Mississippi makes free rapid testing available
The Mississippi State Department of Health is making free rapid testing available at its drive-through community test sites. Rapid test results will be returned within 15 minutes, but it’s unclear how accurate they will be.
SC: South Carolina schools to get million in COVID-19 protective equipment
When school children in South Carolina head back to class amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they will have more masks, more hand sanitizer and more plexiglass.
NY: New York state agency suppressed hundreds of child death reports
After the death of a child in New York state’s Child Protective Services (CPS) system, the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) must create a report examining whether CPS workers followed required protocols. But over the past decade, OCFS employed an exemption to block the public disclosure of more than 700 child death reports.
HI: Hawaii reopening plans hazy as pre-arrivals testing program set to begin
The first tourists whom Hawaii will welcome to the state since March without going through a 14-day quarantine will start arriving this week. But state and county officials were still moving the goalposts on a program that’s already been delayed three times.
OK: Judge finds Chickasaw Nation’s reservation still exists in Oklahoma
The Oklahoma judge’s ruling was the first judicial recognition of the Chickasaw reservation in the wake of the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision in July that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation was never disestablished.
VA: Virginia governor criticizes Trump’s rhetoric following kidnap threat
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, tied a thwarted kidnapping plot against him to public statements by President Donald Trump, calling the president’s rhetoric “regrettable.” Northam, in his first public appearance since being diagnosed with COVID-19, cited comments by Trump urging his supporters to “liberate Virginia” over shutdown orders.
MA: Pandemic leader says Massachusetts better prepared for any nursing home outbreaks
The leader of the state’s pandemic response effort said Massachusetts is far better prepared now than it was eight months ago to fight COVID-19′s deadly rampage through nursing homes.
VT: Cluster of coronavirus cases linked to Vermont hockey leagues
A dozen new cases of coronavirus have been linked to a youth and adult hockey league in the Montpelier, Vermont, area, state officials announced. The 12 cases were connected to a youth and adult hockey league that both use the rink at the Central Vermont Memorial Civic Center in Montpelier.
CO: Colorado ties top day for new COVID-19 cases
Colorado recorded 967 new cases of COVID-19, tying a record set at the height of the pandemic’s first wave in April and raising concerns about hospital capacity over the coming weeks.
AR: Arkansas governor extends emergency declaration
Arkansas recorded 680 new COVID-19 cases and 24 additional deaths, GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson said, adding that he’s extending Arkansas’ health emergency an additional 60 days.
WA: Washington governor moves 5 counties to second phase of reopening plan
Five Washington counties east of the Cascade Mountains will advance to the second phase in Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s four-part reopening plan. Those counties have been stuck in a modified first phase, and the move is the first large change since the governor this summer put his county-by-county plan on hold amid a spike in cases.
OR: Most Oregonians wear masks, but gatherings remain a concern
Eight in 10 Oregonians are wearing masks regularly indoors, and most are taking other protective measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, but over half report recently socializing outside the home as well. Researchers and health officials said the findings illustrate the challenges of trying to slow the spread of the virus.
UT: Utah governor announces new coronavirus strategy as cases rise
The level of transmission in Utah’s 29 counties will be measured based on case rates, positivity rates and hospitalizations. Each county will be listed as “high,” “moderate” or “low” levels, with mask requirements, gathering size limits and other restrictions varying across transmission levels.
WI: Wisconsin governor calls on GOP leaders to meet
Wisconsin again set records for COVID-19 deaths, cases and hospitalizations, which Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said should prompt GOP leaders to work with him to take meaningful action to curb the outbreak. Republicans, who in May successfully sued to strike down Evers’ stay-at-home order, have criticized the governor for taking unilateral steps without consulting state lawmakers.
DE: Delaware adds new details to COVID-19 dashboard
Percentage of positive tests in Delaware is now available, and hospitalizations can now be sorted by county. The state previously only posted percentage of positive persons.
TN: Tennessee’s soon-to-launch sports betting platform unlike any other in the country
Tennessee is less than a month away from launching its online sports gambling platform, and sports betting experts from across the nation are keeping a close eye on the state’s fledgling industry.
IL: Dozens of lives have been lost at dams on Illinois waterways
Dozens of boaters, anglers, children and would-be rescuers in Illinois have drowned in recent decades at “low head” dams or weirs, which let water spill over the top and create a dangerous trap. Now, after years of such tragedies, authorities are acting to remove the hazards and promising benefits for the environment and fishing as well.
ID: Idaho ballot measure would solidify legislative districts
Idaho voters will see a constitutional amendment on their Nov. 3 ballot that will decide whether to solidify how many people must be elected to the Idaho legislature. The measure would set in law that Idaho must have 35 legislative districts across the state — its current number — an amendment to the Idaho Constitution which currently permits as few as 30 and as many as 35.
AK: Alaska’s ‘I voted’ stickers celebrate women
The power of Alaska women is featured in the state’s new “I VOTED” stickers, available at the upcoming 2020 election.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.