Record 23 million early votes in US elections | NOW

In the United States, more than 23 million Americans have voted early in the presidential election so far. Never before have so many Americans cast their votes with several weeks to go until election day proper.

During the previous elections, in 2016, a total of 136 million ballots were filled in. A few weeks before the start of those elections, “only” six million Americans had voted early.

Experts suspect that the COVID-19 outbreak is the cause of the surge in early voters. They would look for alternative voting methods so that they do not have to sit in long lines during election day on November 3. However, the huge turnout of early voters is already leading to long queues.

A record number of early voters have already been registered in several states, such as in the important swing state of Ohio. There, 2.3 million Americans have already applied for a ballot. They can then return it filled out by post or hand it in at a local election office.

So far, Democrats in particular would have already cast their vote, according to an election report. It should be noted that it says little about the final election results, because Republicans can vote in large numbers during election day.

In the national polls, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is about 10 percentage points ahead of incumbent President Donald Trump. The latter has repeatedly labeled postal voting as risky: he believes that the method is easy to fraud, but has not provided any evidence for this claim.


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Op1 comes with nighttime specials on US elections | NOW

On 1 broadcasts the three major election debates between US presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden directly in special night broadcasts, the broadcasters behind the program announced Friday night.

Prior to the debates, the special broadcasts provide a preview with guests. Experts present their first reactions and analyzes immediately after the debates.

Jeroen Pauw and Sophie Hilbrand will present the first broadcast in the night of Tuesday 29 to Wednesday 30 September. The second nightly broadcast of On 1 can be seen in the night from Thursday 15 to Friday 16 October and is presented by Jort Kelder and Welmoed Sijtsma. Pauw and Tijs van den Brink will close the series in the night from Thursday 22 to Friday 23 October.

On 1presenter and American expert Charles Groenhuijsen is present at all broadcasts. Former Secretary of State Bert Koenders, America correspondent Laila Frank and experts Koen Petersen and Raymond Mens will also be on display.

The regular broadcasts of the current affairs program are broadcast from Monday to Friday at the usual time. The special broadcasts of On 1 start at 2.30 am and last until 5.15 am.


Facebook blocks new political ads week before US elections | NOW

Facebook will block new political ads a week before the US presidential election later this year. CEO Mark Zuckerberg writes in one message that he hopes that the elections will be fairer through this measure. Until now, Facebook has refused to block political ads, where other platforms like Twitter have.

In his message, Zuckerberg writes that these are uncertain times and that disinformation does not help. By not allowing new political advertisements on Facebook one week before the elections, false information can no longer be spread. All advertisements that are still shown have been checked by Facebook and fact checkers.

This means that users of Facebook will still see advertisements in the week before the elections, but that they have been checked by Facebook and no longer contain false information. This means that the measures of Facebook go less far than those of other social media.

In addition to this measure, Zuckerberg announces a number of other actions. For example, fake news messages stating that you can get COVID-19 if you vote are removed immediately. In addition, posts questioning the legitimacy of the election are tagged after the election, to alert people that the post may contain fake news.

Facebook will also monitor whether a candidate and campaign teams claim victory before all votes are in. These messages will then be tagged with a link to the official results.

Presidential elections in the United States will take place on November 3, 2020.