In today's front pages, much is happening in regional and national news as the country deals with the pandemic and prepares for the upcoming election. The campaign trail blazes on, Supreme Court confirmation hearings continue, early voting begins, and various states confront homelessness and changes in local leadership. As always, our selections are curated from Newseum.
Several states are seeing breakthrough records since early voting began last week. In Springfield, Ohio, over twenty three thousand absentee ballots were requested in Clark County as of Friday, surpassing the total number of requests received in the last election. Nearly two thousand ballots were cast as of Monday in Champaign County, compared to the less than seven hundred total ballots cast around this time last election, according to Springfield News-Sun. Local officials and clerks anticipate more record breaking voter participation in the coming weeks, hiring extra poll staff, and finding larger venues with safer precautions- such as Turner Studio Theater at the Clark State Performing Arts Center downtown-to support and encourage voting while maintaining social distancing.
District of Columbia's The Washington Post provides live updates on the third day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Democrats' witnesses called today are expected to highlight Barrett's potential impact on abortion access, voting rights and the Affordable Care Act, including family physician Farhan Bhatti, executive director and president Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Stacy Staggs of Little Lobbyists, an advocacy group for children with preexisting medical conditions and disabilities. On Tuesday Barrett offered rather neutral responses in regards to her political and personal intentions if placed on the court, affirming she will "take cases as they come", however many are concerned after Barrett's statement that she does not consider the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling a fundamental 'super precedent' decision.
Long Beach, California's Press Telegram announces the most recent development in Project Roomkey, a collaborative effort between the state, county, and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to provide temporary housing and other relief during the pandemic. The Los Angeles County board of Supervisors voted to purchase a local Holiday Inn, renovating its one hundred thirty five rooms into available housing units under California's Homekey Program. The hotel's revamping will comply with requirements under the American Disabilities Act as well as provide access to mental health services, food security, first aid, and other support. Mayor Robert Garcia declared the city's plans to further the program purchase more motels, in hopes of tackling two crises at once.
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz of Anchorage, Alaska, announced his resignation on Tuesday after admitting to "unacceptable personal conduct" with a local television news anchor. Anchorage Daily News describes growing controversy in the state regarding the mayor's handling of the virus after enforcing stricter limitations. The resignation is in response to anti-Semitic death threats sent from news anchor Maria Athens, with whom Berkowitz later admitted to having a "consensual, inappropriate messaging relationship".
Sioux City Journal of Sioux City, Iowa details Trump's visit to Iowa today and local officials' concerns over public health. It is the state's first campaign rally during this election despite its significant swing state status, with Trump closely trailing Biden in recent polls. Trump's rally sparks criticism as new COVID-19 cases in Iowa are currently the sixth highest per capita in the country, with Polk County, the location where the rally is scheduled, holds the most cases in the state. “The last thing we need is any person who may still be contagious with the virus holding a potential super-spreader event here in Iowa", stated Iowa Democratic party chairman Mark Smith. Meanwhile, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds and former Republican Governor Terry Branstad expressed their support and confirmed their plans to attend the gathering.