Richard Vogel / AP

More than 8,000 drivers have been fired from ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft after failing Massachusetts' new state background check, per the Boston Globe.

The state dug through the criminal and driving records of roughly 71,000 drivers who had passed preliminary reviews, and found that hundreds of drivers had serious crimes on their record, including violent or sexual offenses, while others had been found guilty of drunken driving or reckless driving. The state deemed those who failed unfit to continue as drivers for the companies, and pulled them off the road.

The defense: Uber and Lyft have both pointed out that they are limited by state law to checking just the last seven years of an applicant's history. And while Lyft said only "a small percentage of our drivers failed," Uber argued that the unlimited reach of the government's background checks is unfair to drivers who are trying to move on from their past.

Why this matters: The findings led MA to pull thousands of drivers off the road. Their crackdown could pave the way for other states to issue similar background checks, and raise the standards on who can work for ride-hailing companies.

Go deeper

7 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.