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Doug Jones with Joe Biden. Photo: Brynn Anderson / AP

Alabama incoming Democratic Senator Doug Jones will be escorted by Former Vice President Joe Biden to his swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday to take the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, WAAY TV reports.

Why it matters: Jones, a former federal prosecutor who notched an upset last month in the deep-red state, is breaking tradition. Typically, a new senator would choose their home-state colleague, but Jones didn't ask Sen. Richard Shelby, per WAAY TV.

The backdrop: Biden campaigned for the Democratic Senate candidate who was considered the underdog in the race against Republican Roy Moore. Moore, who repeatedly refused to concede, has faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls in the 1970s. Jones is the first Democratic Senator in a quarter-century in the deep-red state and will become the 49th Democratic member of the Senate. Republicans will have a thin 51-49 majority in the upper chamber.

Go deeper

Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
55 mins ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.

Court rules Minnesota absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. Election Day

An election judge drops a ballot in a ballot box at a drive through drop-off for absentee ballots in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

An appeals court on Thursday ruled that Minnesota absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.

Why it matters: The ruling, which comes just five days before the election, blocks the state's plan to count absentee ballots arriving late so long as they're postmarked by Nov. 3 and delivered within a week of the election. Now those ballots must be set aside and marked late.