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Two federal judges ruled on Wednesday in favor of plans in Montana and Alabama for mail-in and absentee voting in November's elections.

Driving the news: In Montana, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen, ruled in favor of the mail-in voting expansion plans of Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to safeguard against COVID-19. In response to claims by the Trump Campaign and the Republican National Committee of widespread voter fraud, he wrote, "The evidence suggests ... this allegation, specifically in Montana, is a fiction."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • In Alabama, U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon issued an injunction stopping the state's plans to impose absentee voting requirements that could put voters at risk of contracting the coronavirus, including notarized signatures.
  • The judges in both of Wednesday's cases were appointed by former President Obama.

The big picture: President Trump has repeatedly railed against voting by mail and made baseless claims that it's prone to widespread fraud.

  • "Polls show voters in Montana are leaning for Trump, while the Republican president has a large lead in Alabama," AP notes.
  • U.S. Senate elections are being held in both states this November, including what's expected to be a close race between Bullock and incumbent Sen. Steve Daines (R).

What they're saying: Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) said in a statement he would appeal the ruling.

  • The Trump administration and RNC did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper: Kevin McCarthy warns Trump's war on mail could screw GOP

Go deeper

Jan 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump's powers backfire

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

President Trump’s caught-on-tape effort to bully the Georgia secretary of state shows that the powers Trump used to cajole his way to the top of business — and into the presidency — are now failing him in his White House final days.

Why it matters: “The clock is ticking," a longtime friend and Trump adviser told me. "The only thing that has made it sound more desperate is he knows that come Wednesday, it’s game over. The closer he gets to [Congress accepting the Electoral College vote], the more desperate he's getting.”

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.

Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Cuomo asks for “independent” investigator into sexual harassment claims

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Feb. 24. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

A top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he would authorize and "voluntarily cooperate" with an independent investigation run by New York's attorney general into claims he sexually harassed several women.

The state of play: The statement comes after a day of competing statements from Cuomo and AG Letitcia James over who would oversee an independent investigation into the governor.

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