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Weekend Digest – October 25, 2020

Good afternoon!
Here’s your Daily News for Sunday, October 25.

1. Absentee voting hits record level in Alabama

  • Alabamians are voting by absentee ballot in record numbers this year after pandemic rules made it easier to do so, even lining up on Saturdays to cast votes.
  • And as early voting opportunities prove popular, some are asking the question why the state does not allow this every year.
  • As of this week, more than 145,000 absentee votes have already been cast either by mail or in-person voting, according to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill. He said that number is expected to rise.
  • The state’s previous record for absentee ballot voting was about 89,000. Merrill said there were about another 70,000 absentee ballots that have been requested but have not yet been mailed back.
  • “This is direct evidence that people want to vote early,” said Tuscaloosa Rep. Chris England, who is the chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party.
  • England said he believes the issue cuts across party lines, and that people of all political leanings appreciate the opportunity to vote outside of 12 hours on Election Day.
  • Read more about absentee voting from Kim Chandler HERE.


2. Trump aide says ‘we’re not going to control the pandemic’

  • The coronavirus has reached into the heart of the White House once more, less than a week before Election Day.
  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, pressed to explain why the pandemic cannot be reined in, said, “Because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.” He told CNN’s ”State of the Union” that the government was focused on getting effective therapeutics and vaccines to market.
  • Vice President Mike Pence, who tested negative on Sunday, according to his office, planned an afternoon rally in North Carolina, while the president was scheduled to be in New Hampshire and Maine. Democrat Joe Biden attended church in the morning and planned to participate in a virtual get-out-the-vote concert at night.
  • His running mate Kamala Harris spoke to a drive-in church service outside Detroit and was spending the day in Michigan. The California senator appeared to have the White House in mind when she praised first responders as “people who reject the notion that we cannot control this virus.”
  • Read more about the final week of campaigning HERE.



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Auburn University
At Auburn, we take our responsibility to heal, protect, discover and sustain seriously, and we recognize our actions have long-standing positive effects.
From serving under-represented populations through groundbreaking research and community outreach, to leading cyber security enforcement on a national level, to improving the physical environment our next generation will inherit, at Auburn, we are what we do.

3. Alabama economy expected to contract 3.4%, rebound possible

  • Pounded by the coronavirus pandemic, Alabama’s economy will contract 3.4% this year but could be on a normal trajectory toward recovery by the first half of 2021, according to a forecast by the University of Alabama.
  • The assessment by economists Samuel Addy and Ahmad Ijaz said the state’s future will rest in part on how government policymakers respond to COVID-19 and how well households weather the pandemic.
  • The state’s economy grew by 2.4% and 2.8% over the last two years but took a downturn once the virus flared up in March.
  • Read more about it HERE.


4. Voters could remove racist phrases from Alabama Constitution

  • Alabama voters once again have the chance to remove the racist language of Jim Crow from the state’s constitution, which was approved in 1901 to enshrine white supremacy as state law.
  • Courts have long since struck down legalized segregation, but past attempts to strip the offensive phrases have failed. Even though no organized opposition to the measure has emerged this time, some worry that conservative backlash to the Black Lives Matter movement could quash the proposal, which qualified for the ballot months before the nationwide demonstrations that occurred in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.
  • A measure on the Nov. 3 ballot would allow the state to recompile its 119-year-old constitution in a process supporters say would remove a lingering stain from the state’s era of racial segregation and the legalized oppression of Black people.
  • “What we are trying to do with this small measure is to bring the Alabama Constitution into the 21st century and be more reflective of who we are as a state now,” said Rep. Merika Coleman, one of the sponsors of the bipartisan legislation.
  • An amendment would clear the way for excising language from the constitution that bans mixed-race marriages, allows poll taxes, and mandates school segregation. It would also remove duplicate sections from the heavily amended document and put related items all in one section.
  • Read more about the amendment from Jay Reeves HERE.


5. US Navy: 2 onboard training plane killed in Alabama crash

  • A U.S. Navy training plane that took off from Florida crashed Friday in an Alabama residential neighborhood near the Gulf Coast, killing both people in the plane, authorities said.
  • Zach Harrell, a spokesperson for Commander, Naval Air Forces, said both people in the T-6B Texan II training plane died, but they weren’t immediately releasing their names. No injuries were reported on the ground.
  • Foley Fire Chief Joey Darby said responders encountered a “large volume of fire” with a home and several cars engulfed in flames. Firefighters were able to make “a quick stop on the fire,” the chief told local news outlets.
  • The crash occurred southeast of Mobile, near the city of Foley and the town of Magnolia Springs. Darby called the neighborhood a “heavily populated” residential area. No firefighters were injured, he added.
  • Read more about the crash HERE.


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Absentee voting hits record level in Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump aide says ‘we’re not going to control the pandemic’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama economy expected to contract 3.4%, rebound possible
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Voters could remove racist phrases from Alabama Constitution
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US Navy: 2 onboard training plane killed in Alabama crash
AL.COM – Alabama adds 2,360 COVID cases, some dating back to April.
AL.COM – Tropical Depression 28: Forecasters say path uncertain but Gulf Coast landfall likely as Tropical Storm Zeta.
AL.COM – Flora-Bama Mullet Toss returns amid coronavirus pandemic: ‘This is normal’.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Jeff Sessions’ hell on Earth.
AL.COM – Alabama high court rules teachers must pay local occupational taxes.
AL.COM – Alabama nursing homes must spend $50 million in coronavirus funding by the end of the year.
AL.COM – Absentee voting continues to surge in Alabama.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabama’s Bishop State awarded $1.3 million grant.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – University of Alabama team to build opioid prevention, recovery network in state.
DECATUR DAILY – Expert: Alabama Democrats face long shot in general election.
DECATUR DAILY – GE Appliances plant’s products in ‘great demand’ during pandemic.
DECATUR DAILY – Robotics park expanding again.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Colbert schools implement new COVID-19 protective measures.
OPELIKA AUBURN NEWS – Walker clarifies status of Hubbard request for resentencing.
OPELIKA AUBURN NEWS – Dothan City Schools planning trial “Virtual Day” for middle, high school students.
WASHINGTON POST – Initially spurned by his own party, mocked by his opponent, Joe Biden has emerged more popular as he closes in on a job he has wanted for decades.
WASHINGTON POST – Fearful calls flood election offices as Trump attacks mail-in voting, threatening participation in GOP strongholds.
WASHINGTON POST – Police brace for potential Election Day unrest in a year when ‘everything is uncertain’.
WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post: Trump’s America in 2024.
WASHINGTON POST – Contributors Theodore R. Johnson and Leah Wright Rigueur: Trump’s message to Black voters: Vote for me. (But really, don’t vote.)
WASHINGTON POST – Contributor Mary Trump: Psychiatrists know what’s wrong with my uncle. Let them tell voters.
NEW YORK TIMES – As Time Runs Short, Optimism Fades for a Pre-Election Stimulus Deal
NEW YORK TIMES – Contributors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt: End Minority Rule: Either we become a truly multiracial democracy or we cease to be a democracy at all.
NEW YORK TIMES – The New York Times: R.I.P., G.O.P.:
The Party of Lincoln had a good run. Then came Mr. Trump.
NEW YORK TIMES – Columnist Ross Douthat: The Last Temptation of NeverTrump: A voice in my head makes the case to re-elect the president.

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