A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in the Nubl neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, on Sunday. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Polls closed in Syria's elections Sunday night, which saw voting take place in former rebel strongholds for the first time since the civil war that displaced millions began in 2011, per DW.

The big picture: The elections were delayed twice because of the coronavirus pandemic. They took place amid an economic crisis and as new U.S. sanctions took effect. With no opposition involvement, the polls were denounced as a "farce," Reuters notes. Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's forces control about 70% of the country, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reported a bomb exploded in the rebel-held north on election night, wounding 10 people.

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Businesses give employees paid time off to work polls on Election Day

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An overwhelming number of companies this year are giving employees paid time off to work the polls on Election Day.

Why it matters: The push from corporate America comes amid a shortage of poll workers, with many older people who would typically do the job planning to stay home because of COVID-19.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.