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Good morning, Portland! You probably know by now that Amy Coney Barrett, a woman who would very much like to speak to the manager, has been confirmed and sworn-in to the Supreme Court. In an attempt to stay ahead of the curve of where our country is inevitably headed, I'm excited to announce that the Mercury is now an authoritarian Christian blog! We've endorsed write-in candidate Jesus Christ in the Portland mayoral race, and after today, all "Good Morning, News" posts will be about the real Good News: The fact that God is here to save all you Portland homosexuals and wayward women from your own free will!
Okay, here are the headlines.
• In all seriousness, Comey Barrett's confirmation creates a 6-3 conservative majority on the Court, and spells bad news for a lot of rights that both progressives and middle-of-the-road folks hold dear. That includes the Affordable Care Act, abortion rights, and LGBTQ+ rights, among others.
Tuesday, Oct. 27 (TODAY) is the last day to safely mail your ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election. After today, you must return your ballot to an Official Ballot Drop Site to ensure it is received by @MultCoElections on time. Drop sites here: https://t.co/OgQqJrYbmM pic.twitter.com/CrDxHKf57E
— Multnomah County, OR (@multco) October 27, 2020
• PSSST: If you still haven't voted yet, you might find our endorsements helpful!
• County deputies arrested a newly retired Portland police officer Thursday, after a grand jury accused the ex-cop of hitting a person with an unmarked police van on June 15. The incident took place just two months before the officer, Scott Groshong, left the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), at the height of Portland's protests against police brutality. On Monday, Groshong pleaded not guilty to all nine felony and misdemeanor charges. Our Alex Zielinski has more details about Groshong's problematic past.
• Muslim and Jewish Portlanders are bracing themselves for the results of next week's election—and some feel driven to be more politically involved than ever before. “I think that people have had no choice but to become politicized,” Olivia Katbi Smith, who serves on the board of the Oregon chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told the Mercury. “I think that people have to pay attention to politics now in a way that maybe they didn’t feel like they needed to before—which has been a good thing and a bad thing.”
• In anticipation of tense protests related to the outcome of next week's election, Mayor Ted Wheeler plans to soon announce a policing strategy for next week. Few details have been released so far, but federally deputized troops, help from the Oregon State Police, and the potential use of tear gas are all possibilities.
• Oregon's Commission on Historic Cemeteries voted unanimously last week to no longer allow the presence of Confederate flags in the state's historic cemeteries, calling the flag a symbol of "systemic racism, fear, and oppression."
• In states that could decide the election—including Florida, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and North Carolina—over 30 million people have already voted early in this election. That number is equal to about half of the votes cast in total in those states in the 2016 election. Many states that will likely vote for Biden, including Oregon, are also seeing record early turnout—though Trump-leaning states aren't seeing as much early voter turnout. While high voter turnout is thought to typically benefit Democrats, that's not necessarily the case this year.
• The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Wisconsin is allowed to disregard all mail-in ballots that arrive after Election Day. The ruling also took aim at state courts' power to decide state voting laws—potentially upending over a century of voting rights laws passed by individual states.
• Philadelphia saw massive protests yesterday after police fatally shot a 27-year-old Black man. One police officer was run over by a truck during the demonstrations.
• In case you missed it last week:
This election season, some local political ads are intentionally going for the weird factor. Others are just old-fashioned attack ads. Here's our roundup of the more remarkable ones—and who's funding them. https://t.co/QXXCbPsmXd
— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) October 23, 2020