Obama to hit campaign trail for Biden: US election live news

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Simply 2020

The former president, a valuable asset for the Democratic party, will hold his first in-person event of the campaign.

Former President Barack Obama will take to the campaign trail on Wednesday for the first time in the race in support of his former vice president, Joe Biden. Sinclair Broadcasting, a conservative media company, will air a pre-taped town hall with Donald Trump, who campaigns in North Carolina on Wednesday. Threatening emails declaring “vote for Trump or else” have reportedly been sent to voters in Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Alaska. Trump’s campaign said he would participate in the debate, despite protesting against the topics and new rules muting mics. More than 37.9 million US voters have already cast ballots, according to the United States Elections Project tracker.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the United States elections. This is Joseph Stepansky.

Wednesday, October 21: 10:30 ET – Threatening emails reported in closely watched states

Threatening emails which reportedly warned “you will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you” have been sent to voters in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida and Alaska, according to the Washington Post.

Authorities in two of those state, Florida and Alaska, were investigating the emails, according to the newspaper. The emails claimed to be from the far-right Proud Boys group and appeared to target Democrats while claiming to be “in possession of all your information”.

The chairman of the Proud Boys denied involvement to the Washington Post.

South Florida man receives threatening email as early voting begins in Floridahttps://t.co/bwI0AWXtsB

— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) October 21, 2020

10:00 ET – Trump Sinclair Broadcasting town hall to air Wednesday

Trump on Wednesday will be featured in a town hall hosted by Sinclair Broadcasting company, a local news conglomerate that has been accused of enforcing conservative and pro-Trump content on its local news stations.

In 2018, local news anchors were made to read a script that borrowed blatantly Trumpian language in deriding “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country”.

Sinclair said it had also extended a standing invitation to Biden to take part in a town hall, according to The Hill news site.

Wednesday’s 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT)  event will be hosted by Eric Bolling, a former Fox News host who has been accused of spreading misinformation on the coronavirus pandemic and has focused heavily on an unsubstantiated New York Post report on emails allegedly taken from Joe Biden’s son’s computer.

How America's largest local TV owner turned its news anchors into soldiers in Trump's war on the media: https://t.co/iLVtKRQycL pic.twitter.com/dMdSGellH3

— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 31, 2018

09:30 ET – Barack Obama to hold first in-person campaign event for Biden

Former President Barack Obama is returning to Philadelphia on Wednesday for his first in-person 2020 campaign event for Biden.

Obama, known as one of the Democratic Party’s strongest orators, delivered Hillary Clinton’s closing argument in the same city in 2016. With the coronavirus pandemic upending campaigning, Obama will be speaking to a much smaller crowd at a drive-in rally, where supporters will listen to him over the radio inside their cars.

Democrats say Obama is the one person who knows Biden best, both as his former partner in the White House and personally. The former president remains one of the party’s greatest assets in the final stretch of the campaign.

“Especially in Philadelphia, he is the ultimate draw and still a great standard-bearer for Democrats,” former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter told Reuters news agency.

Read more about the crucial battleground Pennsylvania here.

One of the most inspiring things about this year has been seeing so many young people organizing, marching, and fighting for change. And to change the game on any of the issues we care about, we've got to vote for @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. pic.twitter.com/vfHnP4XPxK

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 21, 2020

09:00 ET – Court upholds North Carolina voters’ mail ballots can be counted if post marked by election day

A federal appeals court has ruled that election officials can count a mail-in ballot if it is postmarked by election day, even if it arrives after November 3.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday denied a Republican challenge to the North Carolina Board of Elections rule that said ballots post-marked by election day would be counted if they arrived by November 12.

With an unprecedented number of US citizens voting by mail as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, voting access advocates have raised concerns over state laws that require ballots to be delivered to election officials by election day.

ICYMI: Late last night the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a big win for NC voters, protecting our ballots. Now it’s up to us to cast them. #vote https://t.co/XsClIcSKTO

— Josh Stein (@JoshStein_) October 21, 2020

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Read all the updates from Tuesday, (October 20) here.

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