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American Voter: Taylor Patterson



US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden are battling for the presidency in a sharply divided United States.

Trump has been focusing on “law and order”, Biden has been trying to strike a conciliatory note. The Black Lives Matter movement, and whether Trump will release his taxes are among the many issues Americans will consider when choosing their president.

As the hotly contested election approaches, Al Jazeera has been speaking to voters across the US asking nine questions to understand who they are supporting and why.

Taylor Patterson

[Courtesy of Taylor Patterson]

Age: 26

Occupation: Executive Director of Native Voters Alliance Nevada

Residence: Clark County, Nevada 

Voted in 2016 for: Hillary Clinton

Will Vote in 2020 for: Joe Biden

Top Election Issues: Healthcare and Tribal Issues 

Will you vote? Why or why not?

“Yes, I will be voting in this upcoming election. I think it’s extremely important to really emphasise the tribal issues that are happening. I mean, it’s across the board with Native Americans, both in tribal spaces on reservations, and then people like me that are in urban spaces.

“Without the federal government, we can’t get the resources that we’re entitled to, and that’s really the issue with Native people. In particular, we interface with the federal government in a way that normal everyday Americans do not. Because of those treaties that we are entitled to and have been signed, all of our stuff comes from the federal government. So it’s really about getting Natives and people to understand that this isn’t just about the presidential election, and this one issue, and Donald Trump is bad— it goes very far and [it is] very encompassing beyond that.”

What is your number one issue?

“I think it’s sort of a split decision. I’m really big on healthcare – I became disabled at 19 years old, so healthcare is essential for me, and I’ve really interacted with the healthcare system in a way that most 26-year-olds haven’t. I have fought with my insurance companies, I’ve been to tertiary centres, I went to Mayo Clinic, so I know how much things cost. And I know how important healthcare is. Even something as simple as covering pre-existing conditions – that’s extremely important for me – because I wouldn’t be able to have healthcare if they don’t cover pre-existing conditions. And it was a really big decision for me too, in getting married – I have been with my husband for 10 years, and we couldn’t get married before now because I would be kicked off of my parent’s insurance. So stuff like that is extremely important.

“And then, on the other hand, I work for a Native organisation, I am a Native, and tribal issues are really important to me. My tribe is from Central California, but the issues that are affecting my tribe in California are affecting the tribes here in Nevada. The federal government, as it is right now, is just not interacting with tribal governments the way that previous administrations have. I was speaking to a tribal leader from Walker River, and she said, you know, we used to get invited to the White House at least once a year to come and just tell our issues, and even if it was a little bit shallow, they still were interested in having us around. But with the Trump administration, that just hasn’t happened. And we see that Natives are the first to get their resources taken away, whether that’s a natural resource, whether that’s money coming in from the government – it’s always us that gets the short end of the stick.

“So those are the two issues that are biggest to me. It’s kind of a split decision, but I think in this particular scenario, there’s not a lot of nuance to it. It’s not like, ‘Wow, the Trump administration is really good on healthcare, but really bad on Native issues’, or vice versa. It’s a pretty straightforward decision on who’s better in [this] case.”

Who will you be voting for?

“I’ll be voting for the Biden-Harris ticket.”

Is there a main reason you chose your candidate?

“I picked Biden because he has at least tried to do healthcare policy, he’s at least tried to work with Native American governments. The Biden campaign has so far at least released a Native American – what they call ‘Indian Country’ plan, and that’s encouraging to me. They’re hiring folks from Indian countries to help formulate that policy. They’re trying to give back to those communities and trying to really see what we need. And I appreciate that. And I think there’s still a lot of space for growth.

“Is Joe Biden as far left as I would like? No, but I think there’s room for growth. And I think we, as progressives, need to swallow our pride and vote, but then push him as far left as we possibly can. It’s a difficult decision for sure – I went back and forth on that. I’ll say this – I haven’t talked to one Native that has been Biden from the start. But we’re used to having to make the compromise, having to just kind of [say], ‘you know what, this isn’t exactly what we want, but that’s fine’.

“I’m slightly concerned about Harris’s record on Indian country in California. But I know that it’s been such a big issue that’s been brought to her attention that she’s at least pushed back on it and been like, ‘okay, moving forward, I’m not going to do those things. That was an issue within California. I understand now.’ So I’m encouraged. But I think we need to push them a lot farther left than they are right now.”

Are you happy with the state of the country?

“No, I’m incredibly unhappy with the state of the country. I’m not going to say that this is the worst thing that’s ever happened to Native people, this is the worst thing to ever happen to disabled people because it’s not in any sense of American history. But we’re certainly not where we should be for a developed country, for a very wealthy country. Our people are struggling – there’s still people in North Dakota that live on reservations that don’t have heat. There’s still people in the Navajo Nation that don’t have running water. And that hasn’t changed in 44 administrations, and I’m really hoping that moving forward, we can really start to make some meaty change in Indian country.

“And I think now we’re getting a lot more attention, and I do think that that’s pushing our narrative forward. It’s been a really good political cycle for Native people. We have gotten a lot more attention than I’ve ever seen in any other cycle before – you have candidates coming to reservation[s]. The Bidens have been really good about coming to the Navajo Nation, they come to different reservations, they really try to interact with that tribal government, because what people don’t realize is [that] it is a government to government relationship. And it’s very precarious the way the two have to interact with each other. So, I’m encouraged.”

What would you like to see change?

“I would like to see more infrastructure investment in Indian country. We need economic investment, we need healthcare investment. If I wanted to go to an Indian hospital for Indian health services, I would have to go to Phoenix – that’s the closest place. And those are things that are in our treaty obligations, the federal government is supposed to supply us with those things. And so [there] just needs to be more infrastructure investment all around,  [in] Nevada we do okay, but there are a lot of parts of the country that are so rural, they’re not getting invested in via anything, really – it’s very much a forgotten nation of people.

“Indians are a thing of the past – very much ‘cowboy in Indian movies’ and headdresses. Most of the curriculum in the United States doesn’t even teach Native American history past 1900. But we are still a surviving people! And that history is very rich, and needs to be taught. So we need is sort of an overhaul of our systems and an overhaul of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

“We need change and [in] a very systematic way. Even the people that do work for these organizations and do work for these parts [of] the administration don’t necessarily care about us and what our issues are. And that’s why we see land grabs, we see things like the Dakota Access Pipeline or Mauna Kea in Hawaii. If there’s something to go wrong, it’s always on Native land. It’s a big change that needs to occur, for sure. We’re trying to undo – [what’s] 400 years of colonisation? – that’s going to take a little while to undo. And I don’t expect one vote to change that. But it’s a very good start.”

Do you think the election will change anything?

“Casting a vote is so important. But it’s the very first step – casting a vote is the bare minimum of what you can do as a citizen and what you can do as a responsible person in this country, and as an ally, and as a just general good person.

“I think there needs to be a balance struck – yes, this is so very important, and it will change things in some regard – but don’t think that your life is going to be 1,000 percent better with a new administration, because a lot of the issues that we’re having now with the Trump administration are systemic things. Those are not things that are a Trump problem. Did Trump exploit the system? Yes. But that system was already in place. The system to abuse people of colour, to take away Native land, to put children in cages – that was already there and was already happening. I’m extremely happy that it’s been exposed under this administration, and I think now white people are understanding what it’s like to be a person of colour in this country. And I think that’s fabulous.

“But there’s no person of colour, there’s no Native that was like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know things were so bad until Trump got elected.’ We knew. So will it change things? Yes. It’ll allow us to start getting back to normal, it’ll allow us not to be the laughingstock of the world, which is great. But people need to go further than that. It’s beyond that, at this point, you need to be participating in society in a way that civil rights activists were and women’s rights activists were – you need to do more now.”

What is your biggest concern for the US?

“Right now coronavirus is the biggest issue that we’re facing. And I can’t believe that people are just so okay with other people dying. And I don’t know if it’s that they maybe don’t believe that they’re dying, or they just don’t see the severity of it, but the way people are so nonchalant at this point – and I understand it’s been a long time under lockdown – but this is still happening. And it’s still very much happening in Indian country. And that’s a disturbing piece that people don’t care about.

“I saw a lot this summer about tribal governments deciding to close their recreation centres, or their land, or their roads, and middle America was extremely angry about that. How could you? ‘I want to go out and camp, I want to go out and do this … you can’t just do that.’ Well, yes, we can. We’re our own governments and we decided that our people are more important than you going out camping. I’m very sorry, but that’s what it is.

“I think just the lack of urgency in the coronavirus response has been very upsetting. It’s been very upsetting [to see] the lack of infrastructure given to Natives. I mean for humanitarian organisations to have to respond to the Navajo Nation’s coronavirus outbreak is absurd. Our government has the resources to do that – and they have the obligation to do that for our people – but decided that other things were more important or ‘that organization’ will do it and that’ll do it. That’s absurd!”

Is there anything we haven’t asked about the election that you want to share?

“I want to really emphasise the part about voting being the first step. Yes, casting a vote for people of colour is revolutionary in one regard, because people don’t expect Natives or Latinx or the Black community to show up. But when we do, we’re a swing vote in a big, big way. And so yes, voting is so important. But I just don’t want that hype to stop after November 3, and after we move forward and whatever the transition of power is going to be, I want the heat to stay up.

“I want people to continue that activism. I want more for Black lives and Native lives and all of the things that are happening in this country. It’s not going to stop if you vote, and it’s just very frustrating for me to see white middle-class people put so much hype on just voting. I see a lot of ‘performance activism’ in there – ‘I voted’ stickers, their ‘vote’ shirts. That it’s such a thing right now to vote, vote, vote … that’s the biggest thing you can do. But it’s your civic duty, that’s what you’re supposed to do! Don’t feel like you’re the greatest person in the world for doing the bare minimum – show up, and then show up again after November 3.”


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All the products we found to be the best during our testing this year



(CNN) —  

Throughout the year, CNN Underscored is constantly testing products — be it coffee makers or headphones — to find the absolute best in each respective category.

Our testing process is rigorous, consisting of hours of research (consulting experts, reading editorial reviews and perusing user ratings) to find the top products in each category. Once we settle on a testing pool, we spend weeks — if not months — testing and retesting each product multiple times in real-world settings. All this in an effort to settle on the absolute best products.

So, as we enter peak gifting season, if you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift, we know you’ll find something on this list that they (or you!) will absolutely love.


Best burr coffee grinder: Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Grinder With Digital Timer Display ($249; amazon.com or walmart.com)

Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Grinder
Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Grinder

Beginner baristas and coffee connoisseurs alike will be pleased with the Baratza Virtuoso+, a conical burr grinder with 40 settings for grind size, from super fine (espresso) to super coarse (French press). The best coffee grinder we tested, this sleek look and simple, intuitive controls, including a digital timer, allow for a consistent grind every time — as well as optimal convenience.

Read more from our testing of coffee grinders here.

Best drip coffee maker: Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker ($79.95; amazon.com)

Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker
Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker

During our testing of drip coffee makers, we found the Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker made a consistently delicious, hot cup of coffee, brewed efficiently and cleanly, from sleek, relatively compact hardware that is turnkey to operate, and all for a reasonable price.

Read more from our testing of drip coffee makers here.

Best single-serve coffee maker: Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus ($165; originally $179.95; amazon.com)

Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus
Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus

Among all single-serve coffee makers we tested, the Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus, which uses pods that deliver both espresso and “regular” coffee, could simply not be beat for its convenience. Intuitive and a snap to use right out of the box, it looks sleek on the counter, contains a detached 60-ounce water reservoir so you don’t have to refill it with each use and delivers perfectly hot, delicious coffee with a simple tap of a lever and press of a button.

Read more from our testing of single-serve coffee makers here.

Best coffee subscription: Blue Bottle (starting at $11 per shipment; bluebottlecoffee.com)

Blue Bottle coffee subscription
Blue Bottle coffee subscription

Blue Bottle’s coffee subscription won us over with its balance of variety, customizability and, most importantly, taste. We sampled both the single-origin and blend assortments and loved the flavor of nearly every single cup we made. The flavors are complex and bold but unmistakably delicious. Beyond its coffee, Blue Bottle’s subscription is simple and easy to use, with tons of options to tailor to your caffeine needs.

Read more from our testing of coffee subscriptions here.

Best cold brewer coffee maker: Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffeepot ($25; amazon.com)

Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffeepot
Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffeepot

This sleek, sophisticated and streamlined carafe produces 1 liter (about 4 1/4 cups) of rich, robust brew in just eight hours. It was among the simplest to assemble, it executed an exemplary brew in about the shortest time span, and it looked snazzy doing it. Plus, it rang up as the second-most affordable of our inventory.

Read more from our testing of cold brew makers here.

Kitchen essentials

Best nonstick pan: T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan With Lid ($39.97; amazon.com)

T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan With Lid
T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan With Lid

If you’re a minimalist and prefer to have just a single pan in your kitchen, you’d be set with the T-fal E76597. This pan’s depth gives it multipurpose functionality: It cooks standard frying-pan foods like eggs and meats, and its 2 1/2-inch sides are tall enough to prepare recipes you’d usually reserve for pots, like rices and stews. It’s a high-quality and affordable pan that outperformed some of the more expensive ones in our testing field.

Read more from our testing of nonstick pans here.

Best blender: Breville Super Q ($499.95; breville.com)

Breville Super Q
Breville Super Q

With 1,800 watts of motor power, the Breville Super Q features a slew of preset buttons, comes in multiple colors, includes key accessories and is touted for being quieter than other models. At $500, it does carry a steep price tag, but for those who can’t imagine a smoothie-less morning, what breaks down to about $1.30 a day over a year seems like a bargain.

Read more from our testing of blenders here.

Best knife set: Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set ($119.74; amazon.com)

Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set
Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set

The Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set sets you up to easily take on almost any cutting job and is a heck of a steal at just $119.97. Not only did the core knives included (chef’s, paring, utility and serrated) perform admirably, but the set included a bevy of extras, including a full set of steak knives. We were blown away by their solid construction and reliable execution for such an incredible value. The knives stayed sharp through our multitude of tests, and we were big fans of the cushion-grip handles that kept them from slipping, as well as the classic look of the chestnut-stained wood block. If you’re looking for a complete knife set you’ll be proud of at a price that won’t put a dent in your savings account, this is the clear winner.

Read more from our testing of knife sets here.


Best true wireless earbuds: AirPods Pro ($199, originally $249; amazon.com)

Apple AirPods Pro
Apple AirPods Pro

Apple’s AirPods Pro hit all the marks. They deliver a wide soundstage, thanks to on-the-fly equalizing tech that produces playback that seemingly brings you inside the studio with the artist. They have the best noise-canceling ability of all the earbuds we tested, which, aside from stiff-arming distractions, creates a truly immersive experience. To sum it up, you’re getting a comfortable design, a wide soundstage, easy connectivity and long battery life.

Read more from our testing of true wireless earbuds here.

Best noise-canceling headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4 ($278, originally $349.99; amazon.com)

Sony WH-1000XM4
Sony WH-1000XM4

Not only do the WH-1000XM4s boast class-leading sound, but phenomenal noise-canceling ability. So much so that they ousted our former top overall pick, the Beats Solo Pros, in terms of ANC quality, as the over-ear XM4s better seal the ear from outside noise. Whether it was a noise from a dryer, loud neighbors down the hall or high-pitched sirens, the XM4s proved impenetrable. This is a feat that other headphones, notably the Solo Pros, could not compete with — which is to be expected considering their $348 price tag.

Read more from our testing of noise-canceling headphones here.

Best on-ear headphones: Beats Solo 3 ($119.95, originally $199.95; amazon.com)

Beats Solo 3
Beats Solo 3

The Beats Solo 3s are a phenomenal pair of on-ear headphones. Their sound quality was among the top of those we tested, pumping out particularly clear vocals and instrumentals alike. We enjoyed the control scheme too, taking the form of buttons in a circular configuration that blend seamlessly into the left ear cup design. They are also light, comfortable and are no slouch in the looks department — more than you’d expect given their reasonable $199.95 price tag.

Read more from our testing of on-ear headphones here.


Best matte lipstick: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick ($11, originally $22; amazon.com or $22; nordstrom.com and stilacosmetics.com)

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

The Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick has thousands of 5-star ratings across the internet, and it’s easy to see why. True to its name, this product clings to your lips for hours upon hours, burritos and messy breakfast sandwiches be damned. It’s also surprisingly moisturizing for such a superior stay-put formula, a combo that’s rare to come by.

Read more from our testing of matte lipsticks here.

Best everyday liquid liner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($22; stilacosmetics.com or macys.com)

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is a longtime customer favorite — hence its nearly 7,500 5-star reviews on Sephora — and for good reason. We found it requires little to no effort to create a precise wing, the liner has superior staying power and it didn’t irritate those of us with sensitive skin after full days of wear. As an added bonus, it’s available in a whopping 12 shades.

Read more from our testing of liquid eyeliners here.

Work-from-home essentials

Best office chair: Steelcase Series 1 (starting at $381.60; amazon.com or $415, wayfair.com)

Steelcase Series 1
Steelcase Series 1

The Steelcase Series 1 scored among the highest overall, standing out as one of the most customizable, high-quality, comfortable office chairs on the market. At $415, the Steelcase Series 1 beat out most of its pricier competitors across testing categories, scoring less than a single point lower than our highest-rated chair, the $1,036 Steelcase Leap, easily making it the best bang for the buck and a clear winner for our best office chair overall.

Read more from our testing of office chairs here.

Best ergonomic keyboard: Logitech Ergo K860 ($129.99; logitech.com)

Logitech Ergo K860
Logitech Ergo K860

We found the Logitech Ergo K860 to be a phenomenally comfortable keyboard. Its build, featuring a split keyboard (meaning there’s a triangular gap down the middle) coupled with a wave-like curvature across the body, allows both your shoulders and hands to rest in a more natural position that eases the tension that can often accompany hours spent in front of a regular keyboard. Add the cozy palm rest along the bottom edge and you’ll find yourself sitting pretty comfortably.

Read more from our testing of ergonomic keyboards here.

Best ergonomic mouse: Logitech MX Master 3 ($99.99; logitech.com)

Logitech MX Master 3
Logitech MX Master 3

The Logitech MX Master 3 is an unequivocally comfortable mouse. It’s shaped to perfection, with special attention to the fingers that do the clicking. Using it felt like our fingers were lounging — with a sculpted ergonomic groove for nearly every finger.

Read more from our testing of ergonomic mice here.

Best ring light: Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light ($25.99; amazon.com)

Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light
Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light

The Emart 10-Inch Standing Ring Light comes with a tripod that’s fully adjustable — from 19 inches to 50 inches — making it a great option whether you’re setting it atop your desk for video calls or need some overhead lighting so no weird shadows creep into your photos. Its three light modes (warm, cool and a nice mix of the two), along with 11 brightness levels (among the most settings on any of the lights we tested), ensure you’re always framed in the right light. And at a relatively cheap $35.40, this light combines usability and affordability better than any of the other options we tested.

Read more from our testing of ring lights here.


Best linen sheets: Parachute Linen Sheet Set (starting at $149; parachute.com)

Parachute Linen Sheets
Parachute Linen Sheets

Well made, luxurious to the touch and with the most versatile shopping options (six sizes, nine colors and the ability to order individual sheets), the linen sheets from Parachute were, by a narrow margin, our favorite set. From the satisfying unboxing to a sumptuous sleep, with a la carte availability, Parachute set the gold standard in linen luxury.

Read more from our testing of linen sheets here.

Best shower head: Kohler Forte Shower Head (starting at $74.44; amazon.com)

Kohler Forte Shower Head
Kohler Forte Shower Head

Hands down, the Kohler Forte Shower Head provides the best overall shower experience, offering three distinct settings. Backstory: Lots of shower heads out there feature myriad “settings” that, when tested, are pretty much indecipherable. The Forte’s three sprays, however, are each incredibly different and equally successful. There’s the drenching, full-coverage rain shower, the pulsating massage and the “silk spray” setting that is basically a super-dense mist. The Forte manages to achieve all of this while using only 1.75 gallons per minute (GPM), making it a great option for those looking to conserve water.

Read more from our testing of shower heads here.

Best humidifier: TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier (starting at $49.99; amazon.com)

TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier
TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier

The TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier ramped up the humidity in a room in about an hour, which was quicker than most of the options we tested. More importantly, though, it sustained those humidity levels over the longest period of time — 24 hours, to be exact. The levels were easy to check with the built-in reader (and we cross-checked that reading with an external reader to confirm accuracy). We also loved how easy this humidifier was to clean, and the nighttime mode for the LED reader eliminated any bright lights in the bedroom.

Read more from our testing of humidifiers here.


Best TV: TCL 6-Series (starting at $579.99; bestbuy.com)

TCL 6-Series
TCL 6-Series

With models starting at $599.99 for a 55-inch, the TCL 6-Series might give you reverse sticker shock considering everything you get for that relatively small price tag. But can a 4K smart TV with so many specification standards really deliver a good picture for $500? The short answer: a resounding yes. The TCL 6-Series produces a vibrant picture with flexible customization options and handles both HDR and Dolby Vision, optimization standards that improve the content you’re watching by adding depth to details and expanding the color spectrum.

Read more from our testing of TVs here.

Best streaming device: Roku Ultra ($99.99; amazon.com)

Roku Ultra
Roku Ultra

Roku recently updated its Ultra streaming box and the 2020 version is faster, thanks to a new quad-core processor. The newest Ultra retains all of the features we loved and enjoyed about the 2019 model, like almost zero lag time between waking it up and streaming content, leading to a hiccup-free streaming experience. On top of that, the Roku Ultra can upscale content to deliver the best picture possible on your TV — even on older-model TVs that don’t offer the latest and greatest picture quality — and supports everything from HD to 4K.

Read more from our testing of streaming devices here.


Best carry-on luggage: Away Carry-On ($225; away.com)

Away Carry-On
Away Carry-On

The Away Carry-On scored high marks across all our tests and has the best combination of features for the average traveler. Compared with higher-end brands like Rimowa, which retail for hundreds more, you’re getting the same durable materials, an excellent internal compression system and eye-catching style. Add in smart charging capabilities and a lifetime warranty, and this was the bag to beat.

Read more from our testing of carry-on luggage here.

Best portable charger: Anker PowerCore 13000 (starting at $31.99; amazon.com)

Anker PowerCore 13000
Anker PowerCore 13000

The Anker PowerCore 13000 shone most was in terms of charging capacity. It boasts 13,000 mAh (maH is a measure of how much power a device puts out over time), which is enough to fully charge an iPhone 11 two and a half times. Plus, it has two fast-charging USB Type-A ports so you can juice a pair of devices simultaneously. While not at the peak in terms of charging capacity, at just $31.99, it’s a serious bargain for so many mAhs.

Read more from our testing of portable chargers here.


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Trump’s misleading tweet about changing your vote, briefly explained



Open Sourced logo

Searches for changing one’s vote did not trend following the recent presidential debate, and just a few states appear to have processes for changing an early vote. But that didn’t stop President Trump from wrongly saying otherwise on Tuesday.

In early morning posts, the president falsely claimed on Twitter and Facebook that many people had Googled “Can I change my vote?” after the second presidential debate and said those searching wanted to change their vote over to him. Trump also wrongly claimed that most states have a mechanism for changing one’s vote. Actually, just a few states appear to have the ability, and it’s rarely used.

Twitter did not attach a label to Trump’s recent tweet.

Trump’s claim about what was trending on Google after the debate doesn’t hold up. Searches for changing one’s vote were not among Google’s top trending searches for the day of the debate (October 22) or the day after. Searches for “Can I change my vote?” did increase slightly around the time of the debate, but there is no way to know whether the bump was related to the debate or whether the people searching were doing so in support of Trump.

It was only after Trump’s posts that searches about changing your vote spiked significantly. It’s worth noting that people were also searching for “Can I change my vote?” during a similar period before the 2016 presidential election.

Google declined to comment on the accuracy of Trump’s post.

Trump also claimed that these results indicate that most of the people who were searching for how to change their vote support him. But the Google Trends tool for the searches he mentioned does not provide that specific information.

Perhaps the most egregiously false claim in Trump’s recent posts is about “most states” having processes for changing your early vote. In fact, only a few states have such processes, and they can come with certain conditions. For instance, in Michigan, voters who vote absentee can ask for a new ballot by mail or in person until the day before the election.

The Center for Election Innovation’s David Becker told the Associated Press that changing one’s vote is “extremely rare.” Becker explained, “It’s hard enough to get people to vote once — it’s highly unlikely anybody will go through this process twice.”

Trump’s post on Facebook was accompanied by a link to Facebook’s Voting Information Center.

At the time of publication, Trump’s false claims had drawn about 84,000 and 187,000 “Likes” on Twitter and Facebook, respectively. Trump’s posts accelerated searches about changing your vote in places like the swing state of Florida, where changing one’s vote after casting it is not possible. Those numbers are a reminder of the president’s capacity to spread misinformation quickly.

On Facebook, the president’s post came with a label directing people to Facebook’s Voting Information Center, but no fact-checking label. Twitter had no annotation on the president’s post. Neither company responded to a request for comment.

That Trump is willing to spread misinformation to benefit himself and his campaign isn’t a surprise. He does that a lot. Still, just days before a presidential election in which millions have already voted, this latest episode demonstrates that the president has no qualms about using false claims about voting to cause confusion and sow doubt in the electoral process.

Open Sourced is made possible by Omidyar Network. All Open Sourced content is editorially independent and produced by our journalists.

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Nearly 6,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan so far this year



From January to September, 5,939 civilians – 2,117 people killed and 3,822 wounded – were casualties of the fighting, the UN says.

Nearly 6,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first nine months of the year as heavy fighting between government forces and Taliban fighters rages on despite efforts to find peace, the United Nations has said.

From January to September, there were 5,939 civilian casualties in the fighting – 2,117 people killed and 3,822 wounded, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a quarterly report on Tuesday.

“High levels of violence continue with a devastating impact on civilians, with Afghanistan remaining among the deadliest places in the world to be a civilian,” the report said.

Civilian casualties were 30 percent lower than in the same period last year but UNAMA said violence has failed to slow since the beginning of talks between government negotiators and the Taliban that began in Qatar’s capital, Doha, last month.

An injured girl receives treatment at a hospital after an attack in Khost province [Anwarullah/Reuters]

The Taliban was responsible for 45 percent of civilian casualties while government troops caused 23 percent, it said. United States-led international forces were responsible for two percent.

Most of the remainder occurred in crossfire, or were caused by ISIL (ISIS) or “undetermined” anti-government or pro-government elements, according to the report.

Ground fighting caused the most casualties followed by suicide and roadside bomb attacks, targeted killings by the Taliban and air raids by Afghan troops, the UN mission said.

Fighting has sharply increased in several parts of the country in recent weeks as government negotiators and the Taliban have failed to make progress in the peace talks.

At least 24 people , mostly teens, were killed in a suicide bomb attack at an education centre in Kabul [Mohammad Ismail/Reuters]

The Taliban has been fighting the Afghan government since it was toppled from power in a US-led invasion in 2001.

Washington blamed the then-Taliban rulers for harbouring al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden. Al-Qaeda was accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks.

Calls for urgent reduction of violence

Meanwhile, the US envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Tuesday that the level of violence in the country was still too high and the Kabul government and Taliban fighters must work harder towards forging a ceasefire at the Doha talks.

Khalilzad made the comments before heading to the Qatari capital to hold meetings with the two sides.

“I return to the region disappointed that despite commitments to lower violence, it has not happened. The window to achieve a political settlement will not stay open forever,” he said in a tweet.

There needs to be “an agreement on a reduction of violence leading to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire”, added Khalilzad.

A deal in February between the US and the Taliban paved the way for foreign forces to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counterterrorism guarantees from the Taliban, which agreed to sit with the Afghan government to negotiate a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing formula.

But progress at the intra-Afghan talks has been slow since their start in mid-September and diplomats and officials have warned that rising violence back home is sapping trust.


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