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Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images

Organizers say more than 500,000 Hong Kong residents have voted in primary elections held by pro-democracy opposition groups on Saturday and Sunday, despite fears of a government crackdown under Beijing's draconian new national security law, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The primaries, which aren't part of the city's official political process, are intended to whittle down the field of pro-democracy candidates in order to avoid splitting the vote against pro-China ruling politicians in September's legislative elections.

  • One government official said the vote may violate the national security law's ban on secession, subversion and collusion, leading to fears that candidates could be disqualified from the general election.
  • But the larger-than-expected turnout suggests that support for the pro-democracy movement, which has drawn hundreds of thousands of protesters and led to a sweeping victory in district council elections last year, remains strong.

What they're saying: "One day more for our last free election, our new target will be 500,000, which amounts to 30% of votes in pro-democracy camp and 10% of the total registered voter in #Hongkong," tweeted activist Joshua Wong.

  • "With 500,000 HKers casting their ballots amid #Beijing’s threats and sweeping #nationalsecuritylaw, our determination would send a strong message to the world: #Hongkongers will not surrender. No matter how repressive the regime goes against us, we will not bow to tyranny."

Go deeper: What to know about Hong Kong's new security law

Go deeper

50% of Americans expect to know who won within a day or two of Election Day

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

82% of voters from both parties say it is at least somewhat important to know who won the presidential election within a day or two of Election Day, yet only half expressed confidence that this will happen, according to a Pew Research Center study.

Why it matters: The 2020 election is expected to set records for the number of mail-in ballots cast due to the pandemic. Depending on the margins in key swing states, it's possible that the winner of the election will not be known until mail-in ballots are counted.

Updated 45 mins ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Chargés d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and non-essential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten embassy's ability to assist Americans.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).