Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Anna Salvatore, Tia Sewell
Tuesday, November 3, 2020, 11:23 AM

Nearly 100 million Americans voted prior to the opening of polls for Election Day today, according to the New York Times. The 2020 election is on track to set new voter turnout records in the U.S., as many states have already surpassed their turnout totals from the last presidential election in 2016.

Social media companies have spent the lead-up to the election preparing for waves of misinformation on electoral results tonight, reports the Washington Post. The Post compiled the contingency plans of Twitter, YouTube, Google, Facebook and other online sharing platforms to show how each company plans to handle any election-related confusion that arises.

A terrorist attack in Vienna’s main nightlife district last night killed at least five people, including an assailant, and injured 22, writes the Washington Post. Austrian police have now arrested fourteen suspects, reports Reuters. The alleged shooter killed by police, an Austrian-born son of Macedonian immigrants, was sent to prison in April 2019 for attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State and was released in December 2019.

Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force, asked administration officials in an internal report to take “much more aggressive action” as the country experiences an increasingly deadly phase of the virus. The Washington Post writes that Birx’s report contradicts President Trump several times, as she warns against holding large campaign rallies and disagrees with him that we are “rounding the turn.” She predicted that in the coming week, the U.S. will see more than 100,000 new cases a day.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told news anchors that the U.S. military would have no role in the presidential election during an off-the-record call on Saturday, reports Axios. The call, which included other top U.S. generals and network anchors, follows public speculation about military involvement in the event of a disputed election.

According to the Wall Street Journal, major tech companies are working to make artificial intelligence less biased against women and minorities. As AI has become pervasive in fields ranging from healthcare to finance, researchers notice that AI systems are less accurate at identifying dark-skinned people and more likely to peg them as credit risks or criminals. Open-source tools from Alphabet Microsoft seek to identify these biases and re-train AI.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Lindsay P. Cohn and Steve Vladeck explained that Congress has not authorized the president to deploy the military during elections.

Stephen Bates revealed newly unearthed writings by Reinhold Neibuhr about the media’s role in shaping democracy.

Anna Salvatore interviewed Arzu Geybulla, an Azerbaijani journalist, about the ongoing conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Benjamin Wittes expressed concern about what President Trump will attempt if he becomes a lame-duck president.

Quinta Jurecic explored whether the Mueller investigation failed.

Jeremy K. Davis addressed when international law allows an enemy to attack the U.S. in a neutral defense partner’s territory.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of The Lawfare Podcast featuring a conversation with Benjamin Wittes, Daniel Byman and Colin P. Clarke about potential violence at polling places.

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