Michigan

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson unveiled new restrictions on Friday that curb where people can carry firearms in the state on Election Day.

Her office said guns will be prohibited at polling places, clerk's offices and places where absentee ballots will be tallied. She is ordering individuals openly carrying guns in public not to come within of 100 feet of buildings containing polling places.

An eighth man is now charged with supporting an act of terrorism in the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation home. Attorney General Dana Nessel's office says Brian Higgins, 51, was arrested in Wisconsin Thursday. He allegedly brought night-vision goggles to aid surveillance of Whitmer's home.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Tina Barton knew counting mail ballots would become a problem.

More than $1 billion has now been spent on TV ads for the 2020 presidential election in just 13 states, an NPR analysis of the latest ad spending data from the tracking firm Advertising Analytics finds.

Most of that money has been spent by Democrat Joe Biden's campaign and groups supporting him. Biden and allies have spent more than $600 million, while President Trump's campaign and groups supporting him have spent a little over $400 million.

In mid-April, thousands of citizens gridlocked the Michigan state Capitol for miles, unleashing a cacophony of noisemakers and car horns for nearly seven hours protesting Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order. "Operation Gridlock" was dotted with red "Make America Great Again" hats and yellow "Live Free or Die" flags. President Trump cheered the protesters on, tweeting "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!"

COVID-19 is still spreading across the United States, but you would barely know it by how people are planning to vote this year.

As the pandemic took hold in the spring, voting experts predicted a national shift toward mail or absentee voting. Some experts predicted as many as 70% of all votes cast could be by mail, as was the case in Wisconsin's April primary.

A version of this story was first published by APM Reports and Wisconsin Watch

Based on its own performance measures — and the loss of hundreds of Wisconsin ballots on their way to voters this summer — the U.S. Postal Service has its work cut out for it before Election Day.

It's a busy time for the tomato-producing farms in eastern Tennessee. Farms have staffed up with hundreds of workers, most of whom are Latino. Some live locally. Others are migrant workers who travel from farm to farm, chasing the summer growing seasons. Still others come from Mexico or Central America on temporary agricultural visas to work at certain farms.

But, this year, the season is taking place under a cloud of coronavirus worries that, for these agricultural workers, hit close to home.

A county official in Michigan is defending his use of the N-word — by repeatedly saying the slur, and insisting that it does not imply he is a racist.

Leelanau County Road Commissioner Tom Eckerle has been facing calls to resign since Tuesday, when he reportedly used one of the most taboo words in U.S. society to explain why he would not be wearing a face mask.

"Well, this whole thing is because of them n****** down in Detroit," Eckerle said, according to the Leelanau Enterprise.

The NAACP has become the latest organization to sue the Education Department over the distribution of more than $13 billion in federal aid intended for K-12 schools.

Pages