President Trump’s claim that a recent Supreme Court decision would “induce violence” is labeled “misleading” by Twitter. Joe Biden closes the campaign in Pennsylvania, talking about “a big win tomorrow.” A federal judge rejected a Republican effort to throw out 127,000 ballots in Texas.
Here’s what you need to know:
A record early vote, last-minute lawsuits and sheets of plywood mark the end of a campaign transformed by the pandemic.
Joe Biden wraps up his campaign in western Pennsylvania: ‘The power to change this country is in your hands.’
‘Vote like our lives depend on it because they do,’ Kamala Harris says in Philadelphia.
A federal judge denies a bid to throw out more than 127,000 votes in Texas. The Republicans who sued have already appealed.
Twitter and Facebook will warn users about election posts that prematurely declare victory.
The Trump campaign weighs in on Joni Ernst’s tight Senate race in Iowa.
Despite a surge in absentee ballots, fewer than expected are being rejected, election officials say.
Some votes from New Hampshire — 26 of them — are already in.
If the final sprint to Election Day appeared superficially familiar, with President Trump and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. making their closing arguments to swing state voters, there were plenty of reminders Monday that the 2020 campaign has been anything but normal.
There were the staggering early vote totals, with a record 97.6 million people already casting their ballots by mail or in person — a tectonic shift away from one-day voting that has been the staple of the American electoral system — and predictions that the total turnout would break the record set in 2016, when nearly 139 million people voted.
There was the legal wrangling that has been a feature of this campaign even before Election Day, with a federal judge in Texas on Monday rejecting Republican efforts to invalidate more than 127,000 votes that were cast at drive-through locations in a Democratic stronghold.
There was the plywood going up in Washington and other cities around the country, amid fears that the passions being stirred up by the campaign could lead to unrest or even violence, and with some states readying members of the National Guard, including Massachusetts, where Gov. Charlie Baker ordered 1,000 members of the National Guard to be on standby in case of turmoil following the election.
And there were efforts to set expectations, as the Biden campaign and social media giants like Facebook and Twitter reminded voters that the results of the election may not be known on Tuesday, given the tens of millions of mailed-in ballots that must be counted and the number of key states that do not expect to have full counts on the first day.
President Trump ended the campaign by dwelling on his grievances against his political opponents, the news media and even sports stars as he blitzed from rally to rally and state to state. At a stop in Avoca, Pa., Mr. Trump criticized a recent Supreme Court decision allowing Pennsylvania to accept absentee ballots for several days after Election Day, suggesting cryptically that it could be “physically dangerous,” an apparent prediction of post-election violence.
Later, on Twitter, he complained without evidence that the decision would lead to “rampant and unchecked cheating” and told reporters in Wisconsin, “I hope the Supreme Court has the wisdom to change it.”
Mr. Biden, appearing in the battlegrounds of Ohio and Pennsylvania, had a more disciplined closing message.
“Tomorrow we have an opportunity to put an end to a presidency that’s divided this nation,” he said at a drive-in rally at an airport hangar in Cleveland. “Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has failed to protect this nation. And tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that’s fanned the flames of hate all across this country.”
The coronavirus pandemic, which has left millions unemployed and millions more confined to working or taking classes from their homes, was never far from the surface. Mr. Biden continued to hold what in normal times would sound like an oxymoron — socially distanced rallies — while Mr. Trump continued to flout the advice of federal health experts by holding large events where many attendees packed in close together without wearing masks.
The president held five rallies in four states on Monday, and at each rolled out a familiar list of grievances as well as his familiar rosy predictions of victory. At the same time, his supporters — and those who prefer Mr. Biden — were casting their votes.
In Des Moines, 18-year-old Mikayla Simpson stood in line to cast her first vote for president wearing earbuds and a tan Trump 2020 baseball cap. A student at Drake University, she said she was unfazed by the long wait. “I’d stand here all day if I had to,” she said.
In Monroe, Pa., Millie Cooper, 63, a retired health care administrator, dropped off her mail-in ballot and was zipping up her coat against the wind. “I pray Biden wins,” she said. “We need stability, and we don’t have it.”
In Detroit, Gary Bennett, 67, said he, too, wanted to see a change in the White House. Unemployed, but getting by with odd jobs at restaurants and as a handyman, he said he was ready for life to return to normal. He is not a huge fan of Mr. Biden, he said, “but he’s got to be better than what we’re going through now.”
Amid the exasperation and unease, Audrey Haverstock, an administrative assistant at a Minnesota church, expressed a more uncommon emotion: excitement.
“I’m excited for the election tomorrow,” she said. On Tuesday, she planned to put on a mask and vote in person. “I’m not anxious about the election,” she said. “Being anxious doesn’t solve anything.”
Trump criticizes the Supreme Court, among others, on a grievance-filled final day on the trail.
President Trump used the first of his five rallies scheduled for Monday to air grievances about polls, the media and the investigation into Russian interference in the election.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Trump on Monday attacked the Supreme Court on several occasions during his final full day of campaigning before Election Day, accusing it of putting “our country in danger” with its Friday ruling, which would allow Pennsylvania to continue accepting absentee ballots after Election Day, at least for the time being.
In Kenosha, Wis., the fourth of five rallies across four states, Mr. Trump told a crowd, without basis, that the justices had made a “political” decision that would lead to cheating by his opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. His comments followed an angry tweet in which he charged — without providing any evidence — that the court’s decision would “allow rampant and unchecked cheating” and “induce violence in the streets.”
Twitter quickly flagged the president’s assertions as potentially false, saying that “some or all of the content shared in this tweet is disputed and might be misleading.”
The president’s remarks in Wisconsin echoed his comments earlier, in Avoca, Pa., where he had suggested cryptically that the Supreme Court decision could be “physically dangerous” without explaining what he meant.
Tom Wolf, the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, later responded to Mr. Trump on Twitter, vowing that “Pennsylvanians will not be intimidated” and telling the president: “You can watch us count every vote and have a fair election.”
Mr. Trump has for months falsely claimed that mail-in ballots are subject to rampant fraud despite overwhelming evidence that it is not true. In the last days of the campaign, Mr. Trump has focused intensely on Pennsylvania, where Republicans had legally challenged the state’s plan to accept absentee ballots for up to three days after Election Day.
On Friday, the Supreme Court denied a plea from Republicans in the state asking the court to fast-track a decision on whether election officials could continue receiving absentee ballots for three days after Nov. 3. The justices said the court could revisit the decision after the election.
Mr. Trump’s comments about the court came as he made his last pitch to voters. He also spent Monday airing grievances about polls, the news media, former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
At his first rally, speaking to a crowd in Fayetteville, N.C., Mr. Trump mentioned the coronavirus only in passing, to mock China, and to call on the governor of North Carolina to open the state. Instead, he began with a lengthy complaint about media-sponsored political polls. The crowd was mostly silent throughout. He finally wounded it down, saying, “I hope I haven’t bored you.”
Pivoting to a familiar litany of complaints, he then derided the two-year investigation into possible conspiracy between his campaign and Russian officials; suggested that everyone in the media, and among his detractors, is “corrupt”; and called his predecessor, Mr. Obama, and his opponent in 2016, Mrs. Clinton, “criminals.”
In Kenosha, Mr. Trump continued to add to his long list of complaints when he was forced to use a hand-held microphone after multiple attempts to fix the one on his lectern failed. “This is the worst microphone I’ve ever used in my life,” he said, clearly annoyed. He promised that because of the audio glitches, he would give everyone back “half of your admission price.
“But considering that you paid nothing,” he said, “I’m sorry.”
Mr. Trump ended the day the way he began it, with a large rally full of supporters and a speech filled with digressions and grievances in Grand Rapids, Mich., the site of his last rally in 2016.
At one point, he acknowledged his adult children who were traveling with him, all of whom have held events on their own across the country, and he said, “No matter what happens I’m very proud of you all.” After a beat, he added, “But if we don’t win I’ll never speak to you again.”
Later in the speech, Mr. Trump played a video of Mr. Biden’s verbal stumbles and appeared to contemplate what losing would look like.
“What a disaster. I can’t believe this is even happening,” Mr. Trump said, adding, “The concept of losing to this guy! Oh, you better get out there and vote tomorrow. I will be so angry, I’ll never come back to Michigan.”