Reality check: McConnell falsely blames Democrats for N.C. electoral fraud

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argued Tuesday on the Senate floor that Democrats are responsible for the absentee ballot fraud that benefited Republican candidate Mark Harris in a disputed congressional district race last year, because they haven’t supported measures such as voter ID laws.

Reality check: McConnell is incorrect when he states that measures like voter IDs would have prevented the absentee ballot fraud scandal in North Carolina. In fact, the workers Harris hired violated North Carolina election law by collecting absentee ballots from voters, forging signatures, opening unsealed ballots and filling out down-ballot races in favor of Republicans.

  • McConnell also conflated voter fraud with election fraud. The former happens when a voter casts a vote illegally. Election fraud, like what occurred in North Carolina, is when a legitimate voter's ballot has been manipulated.

The big picture: Democrats have fought back against restrictive voting laws pushed by Republicans, who claim that the measures will help curb what they're calling widespread voter fraud. But Democrats and election experts, citing numerous studies, argue that rampant voter fraud does not exist and the measures will disenfranchise minority voters.

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⚖️ Live updates: Opening arguments begin in Trump impeachment trial

The second day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump will see a full day of opening arguments from Democratic House impeachment managers.

What to watch for: Democrats now have 24 hours — spread out over three days — to take their time to lay out their case against the president's alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It'll also allow them to highlight gaps that could be filled out by additional witnesses and documents from the administration.

This post will be updated with new developments as the trial continues.

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020 - Politics

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America's homelessness crisis isn't going away

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If the opioid epidemic was the top issue plaguing American cities in the last five years, the most urgent problem of the next five is homelessness, a group of American mayors told reporters in D.C. this week.

Why it matters: Homelessness in the U.S. was on the decline after 2010, but it started to increase again in 2016 — and without moves to address the affordable housing crisis driving the issue, we can expect it to keep getting worse, experts say.

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