ELECTION 2020-VOTER REGISTRATION
Deadline is Friday to vote in NC by mail, on Election Day
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A window is closing for North Carolina residents who’d like to vote on Election Day or by mail this fall. Friday is the voter registration deadline for people who want to cast their ballot on Nov. 3 or who want to use traditional absentee voting. The registration qualifies for this election if an application is turned in to a county elections office or postmarked Friday. People who are already Division of Motor Vehicles customers also can register online. People who miss the deadline can still simultaneously register to vote and cast a ballot at early in-person voting sites when they open next week.
AP-NC-VIRUS OUTBREAK-BANKRUPTCY FILINGS
Despite COVID-relief efforts, bankruptcy filings continue
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Bankruptcy filings in North Carolina have fallen about 30% during the coronavirus. pandemic. But The Charlotte Observer reports that more than 3,000 people still filed for bankruptcy from April through September. And that worries experts. They say the dip in filings is just a brief reprieve from an expected deluge once some of the COVID-relief efforts subside. The underlying issues that drive bankruptcies have gotten worse in the pandemic. And they could come into stark relief once the extra unemployment payments and eviction moratoriums subside. Health care is still unaffordable for many Americans. And low wage work often can’t cover expenses like car payments and school supplies.
BC-NC-SEWER SYSTEM-PORTABLE TOILETS
Residents use portable toilets as sewer system backs up
MOYOCK, N.C. (AP) — Residents of nearly 200 homes in an affluent eastern North Carolina neighborhood have been forced to use portable bathrooms after the sewer system backed up. The Virginia-Pilot reported Thursday that problems are occurring at the Eagle Creek subdivision in Moyock. Eagle Creek resident James Hutson told the newspaper that it’s an “insult” to live in a $300,000 home and have to use an outdoor portable bathroom. Currituck County said in a news release that repairs are underway, but the sewer system is privately owned. The system’s vacuum pumps are malfunctioning. And wastewater has backed up in at least 183 homes.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA-UNC CHAPEL HILL
UNC delays spring semester, cancels Spring Break
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says it will cancel spring break in 2021 and delay the start of the spring semester by about two weeks. UNC says it will instead determine how to give students five days off from classes over the course of the semester. Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Robert Blouin made the announcement by email to the university community. Classes begin in late January and end in early May, with Commencement scheduled for May 16. In-person undergraduate classes were halted in August, a week into the semester, after a series of COVID-19 outbreaks arose on campus.
N Carolina congressman tweets Harris picked for color, race
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina congressman tweeted that Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris was chosen “for her color and her race.” WITN reports 3rd District Republican Rep. Greg Murphy posted the tweet Wednesday, but has since deleted it. He told the television station that he meant to say color and gender. The tweet was posted after the vice presidential debate in which Vice President Mike Pence squared off with Harris, who is Black. Democrats said Murphy’s tweet was racist and demanded that he apologize. The conservative 3rd District covers much of the North Carolina coast, including the Outer Banks. He is being challenged by Black Democrat Daryl Farrow.
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-ELECTIONS BOARD
Cooper appoints new NC elections board pick after withdrawal
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has picked another Republican to join the State Board of Elections. The appointment comes a day after Cooper rescinded his original choice for a vacant seat designated for the GOP. Cooper on Thursday appointed Stacy “Four” Eggers to the fifth and final spot on the board. Cooper’s original choice for the board was James Carlton “Carr” McLamb Jr. But the governor’s general counsel wrote Wednesday to McLamb withdrawing the nomination. The letter didn’t describe the reason for the withdrawal. McLamb says the decision followed abuse allegations made against him, which he denied.
ELECTION 2020-VOTING INDECISION
Some worried Democrats have 2nd thoughts on voting by mail
Some Democrats are flinching at their commitment to voting by mail. That could create more chaos on Election Day because if voters request absentee ballots and try to vote in person, it can take extra time to record and count their vote. Election officials are already bracing for a challenging day because of transitioning to mail voting and having to keep poll workers and voters safe from the coronavirus. The hesitancy frustrates some Democrats who argue that the party’s voters are letting President Donald Trump get into their heads. Trump has been baselessly arguing against mail balloting since the pandemic started.
USDA SECRETARY-CAMPAIGN VIOLATION
USDA head cited for breaking law by backing Trump reelection
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal watchdog agency has concluded that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue violated federal law in advocating for the reelection of President Donald Trump during an August visit to North Carolina. The Office of Special Counsel called on him to reimburse the government for costs associated with his participation in the event. The Hatch Act prevents federal employees from engaging in political activities while they are on the job. The Trump White House has been dismissive of alleged violations of the act over the years by members of the administration. The USDA did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
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