Donald Trump. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

President Trump offered his own solution to prevent Russia meddling in the 2018 midterm elections saying, "it's called paper." He suggested a "paper backup system" for voting when asked about how to combat Russia's meddling at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of Sweden.

The reality: Trump isn't wrong that many states have a paper trail of votes — but not every state has a paper trail of votes right now. That means they are unable to verify with a 100% guarantee that the result of an election is exactly how voters cast their ballots. 5 states lack a paper trail in their voting systems and use solely electronic voting machines.

Why it matters: Once states have a paper trail of votes, it is possible to conduct a post-election audit to determine if electronic machines are accurately counting cast ballots. Without a paper trail, this is impossible to do.

  • To be clear: A paper ballot would not necessarily prevent meddling from taking place, it would however, provide an opportunity to determine if votes were not accurately being counted. It's about verification, not prevention necessarily.

The big picture: Russia is already in the process of potentially meddling in the U.S. elections this year, according to intelligence officials. Trump said Tuesday he was not worried about Russia trying to meddle "because we’ll counteract whatever they do. We’ll counteract it very strongly.”

  • Trump added that he thinks the Russians had no impact on the vote. The intelligence community has not assessed whether the meddling impacted the outcome of the election.

Go deeper: The state-by-state breakdown on efforts to update election systems

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NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

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