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Kamala Harris, Symone Sanders reject calls to cancel future debates: ‘Joe Biden is going to show up’

Joseph R. Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris, and his campaign senior adviser have rejected calls from a slew of media personalities to cancel future presidential debates after Tuesday night’s explosive first face-off against President Trump. CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Mrs. Harris, “Very simple question, after what went down this evening, do you think…

Kamala Harris, Symone Sanders reject calls to cancel future debates: ‘Joe Biden is going to show up’

Joseph R. Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris, and his campaign senior adviser have rejected calls from a slew of media personalities to cancel future presidential debates after Tuesday night’s explosive first face-off against President Trump.

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Mrs. Harris, “Very simple question, after what went down this evening, do you think Joe Biden should participate in a second or third debate?”

The California senator responded, “Joe Biden’s never going to refuse to talk to the American people and have any opportunity that he can to speak directly to American families and speak about the issues, speak the truth, and address the facts of where we are now, but also address the hopes and dreams of the American family and where we could be, and Joe’s got a plan for dealing with those hopes and aspirations as well.”

“I do believe the American people benefited from a clear contrast from what they’ve got right now, but also what they can get,” she added.

Biden campaign senior adviser Symone Sanders echoed that sentiment, saying the Democratic nominee’s ability to look into the camera and speak directly to the American people is too valuable to give up.

During an interview with MSNBC’s Brian Williams, Ms. Sanders was asked to describe the scene backstage after the debate, which is being described as nothing short of a debacle.

Mr. Williams asked, “Did no one on the payroll say, ‘I don’t know why we’re gonna do this again. All the norms were blown up tonight. Why bother with rules or moderators or time limits? Why are we doing any more of these?’ No one expressed that view?”

“Brian,” Ms. Sanders answered, “when Vice President Biden came off the debate stage tonight, we went back and then told him he did an excellent job. He broke through, speaking directly to the American people. And all Donald Trump did was sow chaos, and he lied.”

“Look, we’re going to come back and do this again in Miami,” she continued. “When you are running to be president of the United States and when you’re running to represent the people, you have to be accountable to them. And Joe Biden is going to show up, and he’s going to answer the people’s questions in Miami. He’s going to take questions from voters across the state of Florida about the most pressing issues facing them. Now, Donald Trump, we all know what he’s going to do. I hope he’s not going to belittle and berate voters in Florida, but you know what? You never know, Brian. But Joe Biden will be there to show you exactly what you can get post-November 3rd if folks go to the polls and elect him as the next president of the United States.”

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Harris County wins challenge on citizenship checks on new voters

A Texas court rejected a conservative group’s demand that Harris County automatically reject, or at least investigate, voter registration forms submitted by people who say they aren’t U.S. citizens, delivering a win to the county registrar Wednesday. The Public Interest Legal Foundation said it uncovered dozens of examples of people who had not only been…

Harris County wins challenge on citizenship checks on new voters

A Texas court rejected a conservative group’s demand that Harris County automatically reject, or at least investigate, voter registration forms submitted by people who say they aren’t U.S. citizens, delivering a win to the county registrar Wednesday.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation said it uncovered dozens of examples of people who had not only been added to the voter rolls but even cast ballots — only to later be stricken from the rolls because they had not actually been citizens at the time.

PILF had asked the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston to issue an order demanding the registrar do more to weed out those instances. The court dismissed the request.

“This was the correct outcome,” said Registrar Ann Harris Bennett.

She had downplayed the PILF investigation, with her office saying the instances found were “mistakenly accepted almost a decade ago” and were “promptly” caught and corrected.

Logan Churchwell, a PILF staffer who compiled the data for the lawsuit, said they are assessing their legal options, but said their investigation stands on its own.

“The facts are still clear: Harris County has proven to register foreign nationals to vote despite their admitting at the time to be foreign nationals,” he said. “We must not lose sight of the fact that Harris County, by all appearances, has set these immigrants up to fail despite their honesty about their lacking eligibility.”

PILF’s investigation looked at voters the county itself had once registered, then later kicked of its rolls because it realized they weren’t citizens.

In at about 50 cases, PILF found, the people had actually told officials they weren’t citizens, checking “NO” next to that question on the registration form. In five other cases PILF found, they left that field blank. They were registered anyway.

PILF said they were usually taken off the rolls after they responded to some subsequent government communication, such as a jury summons, by asserting they weren’t in fact citizens.

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Harris

Kamala Harris asserts role in Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala D. Harris said Monday that she will “definitely” be involved in the upcoming confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court. “I am definitely going to be involved in the hearings and performing my role and responsibility on the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Ms.…

Kamala Harris asserts role in Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala D. Harris said Monday that she will “definitely” be involved in the upcoming confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court.

“I am definitely going to be involved in the hearings and performing my role and responsibility on the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Ms. Harris said while campaigning in North Carolina.

The committee’s hearings are scheduled to start on Oct. 12, which would sideline Ms. Harris from the campaign trail during a crucial stretch but would give her a high-profile platform to be a part of the must-watch event.

Asked if she planned to meet with Judge Barrett, Ms. Harris said: “I’m sure that’s going to happen, we’ll see how it works out … I haven’t made a plan one way or another.”

At least two judiciary committee Democrats – Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii – have indicated that they don’t plan to meet personally with Judge Barrett before the hearings.

Ms. Harris said she wanted to focus on what’s “within our power” in the next five weeks when asked if Democrats could slow down the nomination or retaliate if Joseph R. Biden defeats Mr. Trump in the presidential election.

“What’s in our power is to elect Joe Biden president of the United States,” she said.

Earlier in the day, Ms. Harris said she didn’t plan to let the “infection” that Mr. Trump has spread throughout the country make its way to the Supreme Court.

The senator from California was credited with tough questioning during the battle over Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation, though Democrats failed to ultimately block Justice Kavanaugh from getting confirmed in 2018.

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Harris County, Texas, approving noncitizens’ voter registrations, lawsuit claims

Texas’ largest county has been approving voter registrations even when people say they’re not citizens, according to a lawsuit announced Monday that found some of those people managed to cast ballots, too. The Public Interest Legal Foundation says it uncovered dozens of examples of people who registered in Harris County over the last two decades,…

Harris County, Texas, approving noncitizens’ voter registrations, lawsuit claims

Texas’ largest county has been approving voter registrations even when people say they’re not citizens, according to a lawsuit announced Monday that found some of those people managed to cast ballots, too.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation says it uncovered dozens of examples of people who registered in Harris County over the last two decades, either admitted they weren’t citizens or left the box blank, yet were registered anyway. They were removed from the rolls after they later stated, again, that they weren’t, in fact, citizens.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation says there are others it didn’t catch, including new applicants.

It asked a state appeals court in Houston to order Harris County to deny any applicants who don’t affirmatively check the “YES” box asserting citizenship, or at least to investigate each case before approval.

“Individuals claiming to be foreign nationals should not be registered in Harris County,” said PILF President J. Christian Adams. “These failures harm citizens, but they also put those immigrants into serious jeopardy with federal officials.”

The lawsuit includes registration forms showing the citizenship box checked “NO” and includes voter registration records showing that those people were still signed up. In each case, they were later expunged because officials decided they weren’t in fact citizens.

PILF says that usually occurs when an individual responds to a jury summons by saying he or she isn’t a citizen or file a subsequent voter application.

Neither the Harris County voter registrar nor the county attorney’s office responded to requests for comment.

PILF’s lawsuit is the latest by an ally of the president to challenge election behavior in the months leading up to the Nov. 3 elections.

On Saturday the Trump campaign, Republican National Committee and GOP officials in North Carolina sued that state over new lenient vote-by-mail rules written by the Board of Elections. The Trump team has now filed lawsuits against state or county officials in at least six states.

Trump lawyers accused the North Carolina board of reaching a “backroom deal” to allow voters who cast deficient ballots, such as lacking the right signatures, to “cure” them by signing an affidavit rather than casting a new ballot correctly. The rules also allow ballot harvesting, or collecting of absentee ballots by unrelated people.

Mr. Trump’s lawsuit says the state legislature considered and rejected all of those ideas when it wrote new election laws earlier this year, yet state officials have now embraced them.

“North Carolina law specifically prohibits the practices now promoted by the Board of Elections,” the Trump team said in its lawsuit.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers asked for a temporary restraining order.

North Carolina Attorney General Joshua H. Stein, in a response Monday, called the claims “factually and legally baseless.”

He also accused the Trump team of court-shopping by bringing the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He said cases involving other challenges to the state’s election procedures are being heard in the Middle District, but those rulings haven’t been to the Trump team’s liking.

North Carolina marks at least the fifth state Mr. Trump and his team have sued over voting rules. The others are Montana, New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania. The Trump team also sued some Iowa counties.

Republicans won challenges in Iowa, but had their lawsuit in Nevada tossed by a federal judge who said the claims were too “speculative” at this point.

Most of the challenges are over procedures for mail-in ballots, which Mr. Trump says open the door to more fraud than in-person voting.

That’s particularly true for states rushing to adopt all-mail systems, where every registered voter will be mailed a ballot. Most states use an absentee system in which those planning to vote by mail must request a ballot — and in some cases, to have a valid reason not to vote in person.

The noncitizen registration marks another form of potential fraud.

The Washington Times reported this month on six people who admitted in court cases that they weren’t citizens and cast illegal ballots in 2016, yet whose names remain on voter rolls in North Carolina.

In Texas, the PILF records span 55 cases dating to 1996. Six of them showed votes cast by people later deemed noncitizens.

Some of them may later have earned citizenship.

One 2012 registration form showed the applicant checked the “NO” box for citizenship, then wrote in later that they were a legal resident but “not yet” a citizen. That person is listed as having voted in 2012, then being canceled two years later for not being a citizen.

In each case the situation came to light because Harris County officials registered someone and then later expunged them, citing citizenship reasons.

PILF had to sue Harris County to get the records, winning a settlement that requires county officials to provide seven years of documents. PILF says it still doesn’t have all the ones it’s entitled to.

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