👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ Polls opened across the country today with control of Congress at stake in the first national election since the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Republicans are favored to regain control of the House, where all 435 House seats are up for grabs. Control of the Senate, which is currently split 50-50, will likely be decided a handful of races in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Hampshire, and North Carolina despite 35 seats up for election this cycle. As of Tuesday afternoon, nearly 45 million ballots had been cast nationwide. While the earliest polls close at 6 p.m. Eastern today, we probably won’t know all the results of the midterm elections for days – or weeks – after voting concludes. (Washington Post / Associated Press / CNN / New York Times)
Key races to watch once polls close on election night. A guide to some of the competitive races in which polls close early.
10 races that will shape abortion access. These results could affect reproductive rights for millions of Americans.
538 Final Election Update: Republicans are favored in the House. The Senate is more competitive.
2/ Voting rights advocates monitoring polling sites across the country reported no major concerns with ballots, long lines, or voter intimidation so far. One early issue, however, occurred in Maricopa County – Arizona’s most populous county – where about 1 in 5 polling locations were experiencing a technical problem with their ballot tabulator machines in the first hours of voting. Despite election officials resolving the issue and assuring voters that their ballots would still be counted, Arizona Republicans nevertheless seized on the glitch and claimed it was evidence of widespread voter fraud. (Associated Press / Washington Post / CNN / NPR / NBC News / Bloomberg / New York Times)
3/ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to allow Justice Department election monitors to go inside polling locations, saying the government’s involvement would be “counterproductive” and “potentially undermine confidence in the election.” Brad McVay, the chief counsel for the Florida Department of State, said the federal officials were not included on a list of people allowed inside polling places under Florida law. On Monday, the Justice Department announced that it would send monitors to 64 jurisdictions nationwide. Federal monitors, however, need local permission to observe activity inside election sites. (Washington Post / CNN)
4/ The effects of climate change are already “far-reaching and worsening” throughout every region of the U.S., according to a draft of the National Climate Assessment. The U.S. has warmed 68% faster than Earth as a whole over the past 50 years, the report finds, noting “the things Americans value most are at risk.” While the U.S. cut greenhouse gas emissions by 12% from 2007- 2019, emissions need to drop by over 6% every year to meet the Biden administration’s climate goal of net-zero by 2050. (Washington Post / New York Times / Axios / CNBC)
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