Photo: Andreas Gora/Pool/Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Stephen Biegun, the current U.S. special representative for North Korea, as deputy secretary of state with a 90-3 vote, AP reports.

Why it matters: The confirmation ensures a line of succession for the head of the State Department should Mike Pompeo resign to run for Kansas' open Senate seat in 2020, as many have speculated he will. Pompeo has repeatedly denied that he will run.

  • Biegun will fill a vacancy that opened earlier this month when the Senate confirmed then-deputy John Sullivan as the ambassador to Russia.
  • Three Democratic senators, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, voted against the nomination.

Go deeper: Pompeo speaks at Kansas State amid speculation of Senate run

Go deeper

The Biden blowout scenario

Joe Biden speaks at an outdoor Black Economic Summit in Charlotte yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Joe Biden or President Trump could win the election narrowly — but only one in a popular and electoral vote blowout. 

Why it matters: A Biden blowout would mean a Democratic Senate, a bigger Democratic House and a huge political and policy shift nationwide.

2 hours ago - Technology

Justice's moves ring Big Tech with regulatory threats

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Department of Justice proposed legislation to curb liability protections for tech platforms and moved a step closer toward an antitrust lawsuit against Google Wednesday.

The big picture: As President Trump faces re-election, lawmakers and regulators are hurriedly wrapping up investigations and circling Big Tech with regulatory threats.

Democrats' mail voting pivot

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Democrats spent the early months of the coronavirus pandemic urging their base to vote absentee. But as threats of U.S. Postal Service delays, Team Trump litigation and higher ballot rejection rates become clearer, many are pivoting to promote more in-person voting as well.

Why it matters: Democrats are exponentially more likely to vote by mail than Republicans this year — and if enough mail-in ballots are lost, rejected on a technicality or undercounted, it could change the outcome of the presidential election or other key races.

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