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elections

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The theme of election fraud ran through this weekend's CPAC convention. We talk about how "The Big Lie" is becoming a way for Republican leaders to rationalize the voter suppression measures making their way through state legislatures.

We had trouble mustering enthusiasm to wrap up our final episode of this second season of Pardon Me. Last week's roller coaster of a trial culminated in 43 senators choosing to acquit on a weak and deceptive defense -- despite a factual and painstaking accounting of how bad the breach was, how bad it might have been, and how Donald Trump incited it.

Donald Trump's legal team delivered their defense of the former president Friday. They followed a tightly argued and visceral presentation delivered by House managers that, some say, has made it easy for Republican senators to convict Trump. They likely won't.

We wondered if our show, recorded in part on Thursday, would omit important events that occurred thereafter. Given that many Republican senators have already decided to acquit, why would the defense feel the need to address the 144 constitutional lawyers who debunked their First Amendment argument, the 150 constitutional lawyers who say the impeachment of Trump is constitutional, or the people of this country?

We knew the ending before it even began.

Official Ballot Boxes outside West Hartford Town Hall.
Ali Oshinskie / Connecticut Public Radio

More than a third of Connecticut votes cast in the November 2020 election were by absentee ballot.  Will ballot drop boxes and mail-in options become permanent? Today, we talk with Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill about the future of voting in Connecticut.

And later: President Biden has been in office for less than a month. But he’s already setting records with his use of executive orders. We hear from a law professor about what this use of executive power means for the country.

We took a chance that House Democrats were going to send the Article of Impeachment to the Senate this week. We were wrong. Instead, the House will transmit its Article of Impeachment charging former President Trump with "incitement of insurrection" to the Senate on Monday.

Why should the House wait any longer when more than a dozen Republican senators are trying to dismiss the impeachment trial before it begins, based on the disputed claim that it's unconstitutional to try an ex-president. And House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is already walking back his prior claim that Trump incited the riot at the Capitol.

The House will transmit its Article of Impeachment charging former President Trump with "incitement of insurrection" to the Senate on Monday.

David Maiolo / Creative Commons

Inauguration Day is here. This hour, Connecticut’s 3rd District Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro joins us to talk about what this Inauguration Day is looking like, and how it has looked in years past. 

Updated at 12:22 p.m. ET

Joe Biden addressed the nation for the first time as its 46th president on Wednesday. Biden spoke at a scaled-down event before a divided nation still reeling from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and from the coronavirus pandemic that has now killed more than 400,000 Americans.

But his remarks were ones of hope.

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As our show starts today, the U.S. Congress will begin the process of officially tallying the Electoral College votes in the 2020 elections for president and vice president.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received 306 votes, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence received 232 votes, and this should be a pretty pro forma exercise.

Should be. Instead, scores of congressional Republicans are expected to object to the certified votes from a number of swing states. The president thinks the vice president has the power to pick and choose which votes to count. The vice president reportedly disagrees. In any case, the objections are expected to gum up the works -- probably for hours.

Updated at 2:05 a.m. ET

Democrat Raphael Warnock has edged out Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a closely watched runoff election.

"Tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible," he told supporters in a virtual speech.

The Associated Press has also called the race for Warnock, who appeared to have beaten his opponent by just a few tens of thousands of votes.

Updated at 2:06 a.m. ET Wednesday

Democrats are hopeful about possibly taking total control of Washington after the Associated Press projected that the party had picked up one of two Georgia Senate seats early Wednesday morning.

The Senate runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday were set to decide which party will hold the majority in the upper chamber, with Democrats already winning the presidency and holding a slim House majority.

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Blogtrepreneur / Creative Commons

It could be months or years before the US government knows the full extent of last week's sophisticated cyberattack that targeted private tech and security companies and federal agencies like the Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration.

President Trump dismissed the significance of the attack, tweeting that "everything was under control." He refused to criticize Russia for the attack, claimed without evidence that it could be China, and contradicted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's acknowledgement of Russian involvement. Yet, the President continues to fight the election results and has considered declaring martial law to overturn the election.  

David Valdez / Creative Commons

The Trump presidency has exposed many vulnerabilities in the laws and norms that govern presidential behavior. His brazen disrespect demands action to protect against a future president who might build on Trump's playbook. 

Updated at 2:38 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden stressed a return to multilateralism Tuesday as he introduced key national security and foreign policy appointees and nominees for his incoming White House Cabinet, moving forward with the traditional transition process even though President Trump still hasn't formally admitted defeat.

Updated at 5:16 p.m. ET

President Trump says an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's promising new COVID-19 vaccine will come "extremely soon," delivering his first public remarks since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election last Saturday.

"Right away, millions of doses will soon be going out the door" after final approval arrives, Trump said, giving an update on his administration's efforts to accelerate coronavirus vaccine development and distribution.

SIMSBURY, CT - NOVEMBER 03, 2020: A line to exit the poles at Latimer Lane School on November 03, 2020 in Simsbury, Connecticut.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

As votes are still being counted in critical swing states, Americans are holding their breath waiting to see who will be elected President.

There’s no doubt the 2020 election is determining the political future of this country.

But it’s also a major test of our democracy.

This hour, we talk with New York Times columnist Amanda Taub and political scientist Dr. Bilal Sekou.

We talk about what this election reveals about our system of government. We explore the consequences of our electoral college system and more.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Election Day is finally here. Connecticut Public Radio will bring you election coverage all day, and all night as Americans wait for results.

Coming up, Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill joins us to answer our questions and yours about voting at the polls today, including where to submit your absentee ballot.

"I voted" sticker at a polling place
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut is a safe blue state in national elections, yet in 2016, a significant number of residents supported Donald Trump.  And some of them plan to vote for him again.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

This fall, Logan Dancey, an associate professor at Wesleyan University, asked his students to work with three other schools to comb the websites of candidates for state Senate in Georgia, Minnesota and Connecticut. 

He was curious about how candidates featured issues like voting on their websites. 

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

The Trump Administration continues to downplay the pandemic, Vice-President Mike Pence campaigns even as staff members in his inner circle test positive for SARS-CoV-2, and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," that the Administration is no longer going to control the pandemic.

Live: Trump-Biden Final Presidential Debate

Oct 22, 2020

President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have their final debate Thursday night in Nashville.

Follow NPR's live coverage, including updates and fact checks.

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In 2016, polls in key states underestimated the chances of a Donald Trump victory. This hour, how have pollsters changed the way they measure public opinion? Can we still rely on election polling? 

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Every day, Where We Live, we say we want to hear from you. This hour, we really, really do. Next month's election is expected to break voter turnout records with a high number of absentee ballots.

Coming up, residents across the state join us to talk about what’s motivating them to cast their ballot.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Connecticut’s secretary of the state is serving notice to anyone planning to hassle voters at the polls in the upcoming general election.

Residents register to vote and fill out the Census at Hartford Public Library's Park Street branch during an outdoor outreach event.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Pablo Liriano is an 85-year-old urban gardener who is voting for the first time in November’s election. After waiting more than a decade, he got his citizenship in 2018, and he then registered to vote at Hartford's Park Street Library in the heart of the city’s Latino community. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Krystal Webb recently visited a “State of Connecticut Official Ballot Drop Box” outside Bloomfield Town Hall. Webb is voting absentee for the first time this year.

New York Public Library

Do you know how to make an Election Cake? What about the history of the Connecticut Witch Hunters

This hour, state historian Walt Woodward joins us to talk about his new book Creating Connecticut: Critical Moments That Shaped a Great State and answer all your questions about the Nutmeg state, starting with why do we call Connecticut the Nutmeg State? 

Vice President Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris are in Salt Lake City for their only debate of the 2020 campaign. The face-off comes at a time of turmoil for the current administration, with President Trump continuing treatment for the coronavirus.

Follow live updates and fact checks throughout the night.

Whoisjohngalt / Wikimedia Commons

After the first presidential debate last week, Americans have a lot of questions about absentee ballots and how to make sure their vote is counted. 

This hour, Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill joins us to answer our questions and yours.

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