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Judge Orders Tennessee to Provide its 4.1 million Registered Voters With Mail-in Voting

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A Davidson County judge on Thursday ruled that the state of Tennessee must provide its 4.1 million registered voters with a mail-in voting option, in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

State attorneys had argued this was infeasible, despite the fact that most states offer less restrictive and more expansive use of absentee ballots. In her order, Lyle wrote “the evidence does not support” the state’s claim that it is “impossible” to provide expanded access to voting by mail.

“In this time of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and its contagion in gatherings of people, almost all states – both Republican and Democrat – are providing their citizens the health protection of a voting by mail option,” Lyle wrote. “This includes southern states such as Alabama, South Carolina and Arkansas, and Tennessee‘s neighboring state of Kentucky and nearby West Virginia. The governors, state officials and legislators in those states have spearheaded efforts to expand access to voting by mail to protect the health of their citizens during the pandemic.”

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Elections

Meta to reinstate Trump’s Facebook, Instagram ‘in coming weeks’

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Meta’s president of Global Affairs Nick Clegg announced former President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be reinstated “in coming weeks” after a more than two-year suspension.

“Our determination is that the risk [to public safety] has sufficiently receded,” Meta Clegg said in a blog post. “As such, we will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks. However, we are doing so with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”

Twitter restored Trump’s account in November following its takeover by billionaire Elon Musk, but the former president has not yet resumed tweeting. Therefore it is unclear if he will use any of his former social media platforms, or instead remain on his own social media platform, Truth Social.

Clegg said “We just do not want — if he is to return to our services — for him to do what he did on January 6, which is to use our services to delegitimize the 2024 election, much as he sought to discredit the 2020 election.”

New “guardrails” include new policies around restricting accounts by public figures during civil unrest. Under those policies, Meta can decide to restrict the account of a public figure that violates its community standards for a time ranging from one month to two years.

“If he now posts further violating content, that content will be removed, of course, and he could be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation,” Clegg said.

Posts will also be able to be limited on distribution without removing them or temporarily restricting access to its advertising tools. “Oblique references to QAnon content, for instance … is the kind of material that — even if it’s done obliquely, and doesn’t violate our community standards — we would seek to restrict the distribution of the content and/or restrict his ability to advertise,” added Clegg.

 

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