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Pistols, Pickup Trucks And Trump Flags: How Voter Intimidation Invaded Polling Sites

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

While the 2020 election went more smoothly than most had dared to hope, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan election protection group, nonetheless received a steady drumbeat of complaints to its hotline about voter intimidation and harassment during early voting and on Election Day.

The reports described threats, overly aggressive electioneering, racist language and more. They came from states across the country, including those where the outcome was decided by relatively small numbers of votes.

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How Trump Won Florida With False Advertising And Fake News

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

In Florida, where President Donald Trump gained crucial support among Latino voters, his campaign ran a YouTube ad in Spanish making the explosive — and false — claim that Venezuela's ruling clique was backing Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

YouTube showed the ad more than 100,000 times in Florida in the eight days leading up to the election, even after The Associated Press published a fact-check debunking the Trump campaign's claim. Actually, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro expressed opposition to both presidential candidates.

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Thousands Of Poorly Protected Postal Workers Sick With Covid-19

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

For months, one postal worker had been doing all she could to protect herself from COVID-19. She wore a mask long before it was required at her plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. She avoided the lunch room, where she saw little social distancing, and ate in her car.

The stakes felt especially high. Her husband, a postal worker in the same facility, was at high risk because his immune system is compromised by a condition unrelated to the coronavirus. And the 20-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service knew that her job, operating a machine that sorts mail by ZIP code, would be vital to processing the flood of mail-in ballots expected this fall.

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Can Our Depleted Postal Service Handle A National Election By Mail?

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

Two weeks after the polls closed in this year's Ohio primary, two U.S. Postal Service employees showed up in the office of Diane Noonan, the director of elections in Butler County. The workers carried a tray of 317 unopened ballots that had been sitting in a Postal Service warehouse since the day before the election.

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How Panic Buying Strains Vital Food Banks

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

For Carlos Rodriguez, CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, the spike in demand has been as dramatic as the arrival of the coronavirus. In a normal year, Rodriguez's organization provides food for some 50 million meals through a network of 1,000 pantries, food kitchens and other affiliates. But the pandemic meant that some of his bigger food pantries saw 50 percent more traffic almost overnight. And people who had previously donated food were now, for the first time in their lives, asking for help feeding their families.

The disaster-like level of need is only one problem. Panic shopping by consumers has left grocery stores with little left over to donate, Rodriguez said, leaving the Community FoodBank without its most reliable supply of provisions. To keep feeding its clients, he said, his organization has been forced to vie with national grocery chains to buy basic items, paying 15 percent more than only a month or so ago.

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