2020 Election

One week to go before Election Day 2020 and the votes continue to pour in by the millions. Behind every ballot cast is a voter wielding the pen and filling in the bubbles for who they want to see in office.

On this episode of the Politics Podcast, we hear from a handful of voters across the battleground state of North Carolina about what’s on their minds. Host Jeff Tiberii also talks with WUNC politics reporter Rusty Jacobs about Granville County and why it's a region to keep a close eye on this election.
 


A line of people wearing face masks stands on a wide concrete sidewalk. The line stretches from the left corner of the frame all the way back and around to the right corner.
Eden, Janine and Jim//Flickr//CC

Tensions between parties are high as Election Day approaches. President Donald Trump has wavered on his commitment to a peaceful transition, leaving some to wonder: is election-related violence a threat this year?

A group of women in red shirts holding blue letters, all together the letters spell out 'moms'
North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Money is flowing freely into politics, despite the global recession. Top donors, like Michael Bloomberg and Charles Koch, are targeting competitive elections. North Carolina is ripe with opportunity for either party. From the record-breaking U.S. Senate race down to the suburban state House districts, the deluge of ads is doing more than just affecting voters. 

GAGE SKIDMORE/FLICKR; CAROLINE AMENABAR/NPR

President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are holding a final debate Thursday in Nashville, with Kristen Welker of NBC News moderating. 

A young woman wearing a gray sweatshirt takes a photo of herself holding an 'I Voted' sticker.
Allie Folger, courtesy of Kamaya Truitt

Youth reporter Ellie Stevens hears a lot about what adults want out of the election. But the high school senior felt that she didn’t know what her peers wanted from the candidates running this year. 

Grant Holub-Moorman

While North Carolinians requested nearly 1.4 million absentee ballots, fewer than half of those have been returned and accepted. Government and watchdog experts continue to express public confidence that mail-in votes are safe and will be counted if filled out properly. 

Updated at 11:27 p.m. ET

In a unique political split screen, President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden appeared in competing town halls at the same time on Thursday night.

Among their notable answers, Trump declined to denounce the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, while Biden said he would offer a more concrete answer on "court packing" before Election Day.

An aircraft carrier in open ocean pictured from the top from left
US Navy

Voting by mail is nothing new for military service members. Deployed worldwide at any of the nearly 800 foreign bases, military personnel are offered some exceptions during the elections. Some vote by fax from a battleship, and many sent their ballots weeks ago, after receiving them earlier than most voters, at least 45 days before the election. 

Vice President Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris are debating in Salt Lake City. Their only face-off of the 2020 campaign comes with a wave of uncertainty with President Trump undergoing treatment for COVID-19. Follow live updates and fact-checks on the debate.

A photo of a sign saying 'Vote' with an arrow on a pole.
hjl // Flickr

While going to the ballot box on Election Day is an important ritual for many voters, the coronavirus pandemic has introduced a change in routine. As of Tuesday, Sept. 28, the North Carolina State Board of Elections has received more than a million absentee ballot requests. At this time in 2016, the Board of Elections had received just over 100,000. While some voters hope to stay healthy by avoiding the polls, mail-in voting still presents some anxiety and uncertainty, especially for historically disenfranchised voters like African Americans and Latinos.

Facebook and Twitter said on Thursday they had removed several hundred fake accounts linked to Russian military intelligence and other Kremlin-backed actors involved in previous efforts to interfere in U.S. politics, including the 2016 presidential election.

Patrick Semansky / AP Photo

Updated at 6:55 p.m.

More than three-and-a-half years into his presidency and 40 days from an election, President Donald Trump on Thursday launched what aides termed a “vision” for health care heavy on unfulfilled aspirations.

Updated at 9:23 p.m. ET

President Trump resumed questioning the integrity of this year's election on Thursday after the White House sought to walk back his earlier comments suggesting he might not accept the results if he were to lose.

The back-and-forth started on Wednesday evening at a press conference.

North Carolina has 13 congressional districts, though only one race is likely to be particularly close this fall. After a judicial panel determined the old map illegally favored Republicans and the boundaries were redrawn last year, the 8th District is now a competitive outlier.

On this episode of the Politics Podcast, host Jeff Tiberii talks with Chris Cronin, political science professor at Methodist University, about the impact voters in Fayetteville could have on the outcome in the 8th District race. And we hear from Patricia Timmons-Goodson, the Democratic nominee challenging Republican incumbent Rep. Richard Hudson.
 


Seal of the North Carolina Judicial Branch
The North Carolina Judicial Branch

Races for executive and legislative positions in North Carolina are in full swing — but what about the third branch of government? There are 190 judicial seats up for election this year, most notably three seats on the North Carolina Supreme Court. 

Ronnie Chatterji, smiling
NC Department of Transportation

Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji is a first-time political candidate, running as a Democrat for the position of North Carolina Treasurer. He knows it is a challenge, facing off against an incumbent. And he knows a win would be unprecedented: If elected, he would become the first Indian American elected to statewide office in North Carolina. 

A screenshot from an ad by Everytown for Gun Safety.
Everytown for Gun Safety / YouTube

Gun regulation advocates hope to flip the U.S. Senate this November. But they want to influence local elections in North Carolina, too.

To win, they're targeting suburban women with a new campaign.

Incumbent Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham faced off last night in the first of three televised debates. This race is one of the most closely watched in the country as it is considered a true toss up. 

The North Carolina Council of State is one of two collective bodies that make up the state’s executive branch. It consists of 10 elected positions, including the governor, lieutenant governor and offices overseeing labor, agriculture, the treasury, insurance, education and more. Do you know what each of the 10 positions does or how the Council of State differs from the North Carolina Cabinet? 

WUNC has all the coverage you need this election season. Check out our 2020 Voter Guide for information on absentee ballots and more. And be sure to check out our Races To Watch stories for everything you need to know about candidates in statewide and legislative elections. Subscribe to WUNC's Politics Podcast, and follow reporters Rusty Jacobs and Jeff Tiberii on Twitter.

The North Carolina General Assembly recently enacted legislation to ease absentee-by-mail voting this year and to make polls safer for in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

A photo split between a torso-up shot of candidate Madison Cawthorn and candidate Moe Davis, both holding microphones
Cory Vaillancourt

Republican Madison Cawthorn and Democrat Moe Davis are in a close race for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District seat, which represents most of western North Carolina. The two faced off in a two-day forum this weekend addressing issues ranging from police reform to the numerous unsolved cases of missing and murdered indigenous women. 

The front of the North Carolina Legislature building with an American flag and a North Carolina flag out front with two trees on either side
Jayron32

The North Carolina legislature passed the Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0 Thursday, which allocates the nearly $1 billion left of federal CARES Act money. 

Grant Baldwin / Flickr / CC

Last night marked the close of the most unusual political conventions in American history. Both the Republican and Democratic national conventions looked radically different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. For the Democrats, roll call was a virtual parade of state and territory landmarks, including Rhode Island’s trademark calamari. 

Follow live updates and analysis of Day 1 of the Republican National Convention, where the party is set to formally nominate President Trump as its presidential nominee.

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Workers at the Durham County Board of Elections process absentee ballot requests while maintaining safety during the coronavirus pandemic in Durham, N.C. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.
File, Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Few people, if anyone, track voting data in North Carolina more closely than Michael Bitzer. The Catawba College political scientist posts near daily upates on his Old North State Politics blog, crunching the latest numbers from elections officials across the state. And Bitzer's steady stream of tweets make something very clear: 2020 is shaping up to be very different from previous presidential election years.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden taking a selfie with supporters during a campaign rally in Durham's historically-black Hillside High School on Sunday, October 27, 2019.
Peyton Sickles / For WUNC

Joe Biden is formally accepting the Democratic Party's nomination for president on Thursday. NPR reporters are providing live analysis of his remarks.

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Follow live updates and analysis of the Democratic National Convention. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is speaking Thursday night.

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Mecklenburg County Elections Director Michael Dickerson demonstrates a new touch-screen voting unit.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Touch-screen ballot-marking machines will remain in use in North Carolina this fall, a judge ruled in a case in which voters questioned the equipment's accuracy and health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Follow live updates and analysis of the Democratic National Convention. Wednesday's speakers include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Barack Obama.

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Follow live updates and analysis of the Democratic National Convention. Tuesday's speakers include New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former President Bill Clinton.

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