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SpO2 monitoring, refined performance and new colors make the Series 6 the best Apple Watch yet

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Since its debut way back in 2015, each iteration of the Apple Watch has come with newer and, well, better features. The Series 3 was the first with cellular, Series 4 increased the display and Series 5 gave us an always-on display.

For the Apple Watch Series 6, though, Apple didn’t stop at just one bill-topping enhancement, but tried to push things even further with a host of new features. There’s the faster Apple-made S6 chip inside, an always-on altimeter that always calculates your elevation and the ability to monitor blood oxygen levels. And some new colors.

We tested the Apple Watch Series 6 for nine days. After more than a few sweaty workouts, many blood oxygen readings, full battery cycles and using it in a variety of situations we think that, while this isn’t the biggest update ever to the Apple Watch (and anyone with a Series 5 would struggle to see noticeable performance changes), the Series 6 keeps the Apple Watch ticking forward.

New colors, but sticking with a familiar design

PHOTO: Jacob Krol/CNN

In terms of design, Apple is ticking that ol’ “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” box.

Though it’s the design we’ve pretty much come to expect, it still feels pretty fresh for 2020. There are a few new paint jobs for Series 6 as well. In the aluminum finishes, the Series 6 now comes in blue and (PRODUCT)RED in addition to silver, space gray or gold. The stainless steel options come in an updated polished gold or graphite finish. The latter, paired with the matching Milanese loop (a stunning magnetic stainless steel watch band), makes for an epic watch.

Like many, we were pretty jazzed about the new Solo Loop bands, but in testing we noticed a big thing: sizing can be wonky. Apple recommends you measure by printing out a sizing guide (you can also get one in store), but we measured in at size five. Truth be told, that band was a little loose, and while we might just have a small wrist, our best guess is that you might want to size one down to ensure a snug fit. Whether it was silicone or woven Solo Loop, we ended up feeling better with a size 4. We’ll continue to test the band sizes and will report back.

No matter the color or type of band attached, your Apple Watch still has a Digital Crown, a microphone, and an action button on the right hand side. That Digital Crown still has the red circle and features haptic feedback. The left houses speakers. In our case, the 44mm screen is stretched to the edges and the bezels are pretty much the same size as a standard watch. The entirety of the Series 6 is rated WR50 and is swim proof. More precisely, it’s water-resistant up to 50-meters and if you do wear it swimming or in the shower (we won’t judge), just remember to eject the water with the handy software tool. Essentially it plays tones to push the water out from the speakers.

At just 10.7-millimeters thick and only 36.4 grams (for the aluminum 44mm Series 6), there’s something to be said at the engineering marvel that’s taking place here. Apple packs a lot into the Apple Watch and it doesn’t weigh you down like some other watches. We’ve worn a pretty sizable non-smart Nixon in the past and it weighs more.

Over on the rear side, you’ll see an updated sensor array, the electrical hardware that powers heart rate, ECG (electrocardiogram) and blood oxygen monitoring on Series 6. And when holding the Series 6 and Series 5 next to each other with the face down, you can see the sensor is a new piece of hardware. There’s an electrical heart rate sensor for ECG and an optical heart rate sensor in its second generation. This is also where the Series 6 gets a leg up over the Apple Watch SE. But, most importantly, there are eight sapphire crystal windows with LED clusters and photodiodes that are used for measurements, namely blood oxygen.

The sensor tech in this core wrist-facing portion alone is big. The Series 6 still features an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, always-on altimeter and GPS. On the rear side are two tabs that you press in to swap the different bands in or out. The excellent news is that all previous Apple Watch bands work on Series 6. And if you are upgrading from a Series 0, 1, 2 or 3, the 38mm bands work with 40mm and 42mm work with 44mm. A continued surprise from Apple, allowing consumers to reuse some pieces from older Watch models, but definitely a welcome perk.

Blood Oxygen joins the well-being party

PHOTO: Jacob Krol/CNN

As we wrote in our first impressions of the Series 6 and teased above, blood oxygen monitoring is the big feature of this Apple Watch. As Apple has done since the inception of the Watch, well-being and activity tracking have been a core feature. They’ve just added to it and will continue to do so. From heart rate to electrocardiograms on your wrist and now the ability to take a blood oxygen reading.

And a blood oxygen reading is essentially presenting you with the oxygen saturation. It’s an important metric that can indicate how much oxygen is flowing through our body. And on the Series 6, Apple added the ability to perform what a pulse oximeter does.

With the array of four infrared LEDs and the four photodiodes on the back of the Apple Watch, it broadcasts light through your wrist (passing the skin) and onto blood vessels that run through the arm. The photodiodes capture the reflection or the color of the light reflected back to the sensor. Algorithms and the sensor itself measure the amount of oxygen in your blood and deliver the result. The brighter the color, the more saturated. It takes just 15 seconds to take a measurement on-demand, the Apple Watch can also take them throughout the day and even overnight. As with all other data, it’s all housed on your connected iPhone in the Health app.

Now that we know how the Apple Watch can take these measurements, let’s talk about how it performs. We’ve been wearing the Apple Watch Series 6 for over a week and along the way have also been testing a ChoiceMMed Pulse Oximeter on our finger. As we wrote in our first impressions piece, the Apple Watch Series 6 was consistently within a digit (either above or below) of what the Pulse Oximeter was finding.

We’re not using those readings to make any medical diagnosis (which both Apple strongly warns not to do). Same as with the Heart Rate sensor or when taking an ECG, the Apple Watch gives you insights into your body and health, but it doesn’t aim to diagnose.

When taking a blood oxygen reading on the Apple Watch Series 6, you’ll want to keep your hand and arm still. We tried taking one while riding a Peloton and the Watch delivered an “unsuccessful measurement” screen. And when those arise, the Series 6 tries to troubleshoot by sharing recommended ways to get a proper result.

In our week of testing, we only had three or four notable unsuccessful measurements, and most of the time it was due to our arm not being flat or it moving. For the most part, it’s been easy enough to use and the 15-second measurement time is spot on. We’ve found that after about day three, it got closer to delivering the same core measurements as the PulseOX sensor.

You can still take heart rate readings with just the tap of an app, the Series 6 can also take these in the background and even alert you if your heart rises for a period with no activity detected. The big Apple Watch feature that premiered on the Series 4 is here as well: the ability to take an ECG. It still takes 30 seconds to measure and requires a finger to be resting on the Digital Crown.

The Apple Watch Series 6 can also track sleep in a very Apple fashion. Essentially, Sleep Tracking aims to help you meet your goals and to track how long you were asleep. For us, it makes attaining seven hours of sleep a night a bit easier. It focuses on the positives and working to attain your goals. It uses sensors to monitor movement overnight, along with heart rate and blood oxygen readings, so the bigger battery here helps a lot.

Also packed into watchOS 7 was handwashing tracking. Essentially, the watch can detect via motion and sounds that you are washing your hands and present a 20-second countdown. Via location tracking, it will remind you to wash your hands once you return home as well.

Small differences in performance

PHOTO: Jacob Krol/CNN

With the Series 6, there are clear improvements over the Series 3 and Series 4, with slimmer ones in terms of pure speed over the Series 5 or even the SE.

The biggest improvement over all previous models, including the Series 5, would be the speed of Apps launching — especially the third party ones. The App Store on your wrist opens a lot sooner and it feels a little bit more seamless as a whole. You can easily browse and opt to download an app when at times in the past we were met with some slowdowns. Siri is a lot more responsive and usable here as well. You can see your request processing quicker and appearing on-screen, plus she’s a lot swifter in delivering the correct response. You can even use Siri for translations right on your wrist.

With over a week of testing, we still find ourselves charging the device at least once a day. We’re used to getting about a day and a half of use from the Series 5, but sleep tracking makes this a little more complicated. We’re still able to get a full day of use out of Series 6 and it does meet the 18 hours expectation that Apple promises. The other good news is the Apple Watch charges faster. You can go from 0% to 80% in an hour and 0% to 100% in just an hour and a half.

And would it be a new Apple Watch without some new watch faces? We’re digging the Count Up display for it’s classic watch vibes and the ability to customize it with four complications in each corner. There’s also a Memoji watch face, in which we have well ourselves on our wrist. There’s also a quite nice Typography face which lets you have some fun different fonts.

Bottom Line

PHOTO: Jacob Krol/CNN

Simply put, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the best Apple Watch yet. It doesn’t deliver a radical redesign, but we’re getting closer and closer to perfection. Health and wellbeing get even better with blood oxygen monitoring. The overall performance is quicker and more efficient thanks to the S6 processor inside.

We see the Series 6 as a no brainer upgrade for those with anything before a Series 5 – that means if you have a Series 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 we’d recommend the upgrade. You’ll get a better experience all around and have many more features. Have a Series 5? Well, you’ll need to decide if the new health features are that important to you. It won’t be the biggest performance boost, though, and battery life is pretty much the same.

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

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(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.

Coffee

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.

Audio

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.

Beauty

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.

Home

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.

Video

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.

Travel

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

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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.
Twitter

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.
Facebook

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

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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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