PRESENTED BY the Stop The HIT Coalition
Good morning! Polls are open so get out and vote! Best of luck to all the candidates and campaign workers. Hope you left it all on the field. Here’s your Daily News for Tuesday, November 6.
1. Election Day is here.
- Severe weather in North and Central Alabama could play a factor in this morning’s voting. A line of storms is moving through Birmingham right now.
- Rain sometimes discourages people from voting, particularly in areas where they’d have to stand and wait in line outside.
- All Alabama polling locations are open from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Even though the weather is causing some schools to delay opening, voting precincts in schools are still opening at 7:00 this morning. Secretary of State John Merrill clarified this last night in his latest Election Day update.
- Merrill has also pushed back hard against an AL.com storyclaiming systemic suppression of voter registrations in Madison County. His office called it “inaccurate,” “misinformed” and “a disservice to the people of the State of Alabama to be presented with inaccurate and inflammatory information so close to an election.”
- Pepper Bryars also thinks the claims out of Madison County are bunk.
- He writes that Probate Judge Tommy Ragland is “crying wolf,” which is dangerous because it only leaves the public less likely to believe real claims of voter suppression and fraud.
- Everyone has their favorite channels on election night, both local an national.
- If you’re in the Birmingham area I’ll be helping WBRC Fox 6 with some of their election coverage, which will be live streamed on Facebook.
- If NBC is your network of choice, you’ll be glad they got ahead of the inevitable viewer confusion by issuing an explainer for election night calls.
- You (or the friends you forward this to) can go online HERE to check your voter registration status, where your polling place is, see how to fill out a provisional ballot, etc.
- A lot of people fought and marched and struggled to make sure we’d have the right to vote, so don’t take it for granted!
2. Final Arguments.
- Gov. Kay Ivey and Mayor Walt Maddox crisscrossed the state via airplane Monday making their final pitches to voters.
- Maddox claimed that his internal polling had him essentially tied with Ivey, meaning within the margin of error. Ivey was less specific, but said she was confident she’d win as long as supporters got out to vote. We will see who was right tonight.
- Read more on the final push from Maddox and Ivey from Kim Chandler HERE , from Brian Lyman HERE, from Jeff Poor HERE and from AL.com’s team of reporters HERE.
- I’ve heard there was some tightening of the generic Republican-Democrat ballot in Alabama here late. It might not be enough to get Maddox or the other statewide candidates over the top, but could a late surge help Democratic legislative candidates?
- Read more about the down ballot races and the challenge Democrats have competing in deep-red Alabama from Jay Reeves HERE.
- President Trump and a band of surrogates continued barnstorming battleground states, mostly in support of Senate candidates.
- It’s not that he doesn’t care about or has given up on the House, but rather that his endorsement/presence in toss-up House districts would not be helpful to his side.
- Trump called his successes “fragile” and seemed to invite the fact that this election is a lot about him. I found his interview with Sinclair to be REALLY interesting. How many sitting presidents have you ever heard acknowledge regret and say they’ll do better?
- All of that in the latest Trump campaign trail update HERE.
- Cook Political Report issued its final ratings for the House, and it wasn’t good news for Republicans. If Democrats and Republicans each won all their “lean” districts and then split the 30 “toss up” races, Democrats would win a six seat majority.
- As Dave Wasserman notes, that kind of split almost never happens, and a wave on either side is historically more likely.
- Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gives Republicans an 80.9 percent chance of holding the Senate majority. His updated model gives a decent chance for the GOP to pick up a few seats, and that’s with Democrat leans in Arizona and Florida, so go figure.
- Keep in mind: nobody really knows right now. But we all will once the votes are counted.
A Message from the Stop The HIT Coalition
- What is responsible for shredding billions of dollars more than Banksy?
- That’s right, the 2020 Health Insurance Tax (HIT).
- It will add more than $16 billion to the cost of insurance for middle-class families in 2020.
- Absent immediate Senate action, the 2020 HIT will begin driving up the cost of care for hardworking Alabamians in 2020.
- Senator Doug Jones can help address skyrocketing healthcare costs by co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation (S. 3063) to suspend the Health Insurance Tax in 2020.
- Ask Senator Jones to stop the HIT on Alabama small businesses and hardworking families.
- I get asked a lot how I think people should vote on the four constitutional amendments on the Alabama ballot today.
- I’m not going to tell you how to vote. However, I will tell you that if you’d like to read about what the amendments do in plain English, you probably can’t do better than the Fair Ballot Commission’s Voter Guide.
- Of course, the most controversial amendments are 1 & 2, regarding the display of the Ten Commandments and the sanctity of life, respectively.
- Abortion politics is always heated and almost always zero-sum.
- Lots of money has come in from out-of-state abortion rights activists to defeat this ballot measure. A recent op-ed from Sarah Levin claims the measure is “anti-family” and would be problematic for pregnant women.
- Co-chairwomen of the Alliance for a Pro-Life Alabama, PSC President Twinkle Cavanaugh, ALGOP Chairman Terry Lathan, and former State Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, are pushing back against that argument in an op-ed of their own this morning.
4. POTUS declares disaster area for Wiregrass.
- President Donald Trump has responded to Gov.Kay Ivey’s request to declare parts of Alabama as a major disaster zone and offers financial assistance after Hurricane Michael severely hurt parts of Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Mobile counties.
- The president is now offering assistance through The Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance Program that reimburses local governments, state agencies, eligible private non-profit organizations, and electric co-operatives for certain expenses that have occurred because of Hurricane Michael.
- Gov. Ivey, Sen. Richard Shelby and Rep. Martha Roby are all really pleased about the president’s move, to say nothing of local officials.
- Soon, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency Recovery Division will be explaining procedures for requesting assistance at a series of applicant briefings. Look for those announcements in the coming days.
- Read more from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.
5. News Briefs.
- A federal appeals court is considering whether a lower court judge was wrong to rule that Alabama’s execution protocol should be unsealed at the request of news outlets.
- U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre ruled in May that the public has “a common law right of access” to a redacted version of the state’s lethal injection protocol and related court records. The state appealed, and a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Monday heard arguments in the appeal.
- Media outlets have asked the court to unseal records in a lawsuit brought by death row inmate Doyle Lee Hamm.
- Prison officials in February halted Hamm’s scheduled execution at the last minute when the lethal injection team was unable to connect an intravenous line to his veins.
- Read more HERE.
- Officials with the Tennessee Valley Authority announced an agreement to build solar panel projects that will supply Facebook’s North Alabama facility with electricity.
- First Solar in Colbert County, Alabama and NextEra Energy Resources in Lincoln County, Tennessee, will produce 377 megawatts between them to supply Facebook’s data center in Huntsville.
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