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US and World News

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    Multiple reports say a band of FBI agents hostile to Hillary Clinton are behind the damaging leaks hitting her campaign, according to NBC News.

    A current agent told the Guardian that "the FBI is Trumpland," and Reuters and the Washington Post named the New York office as a locus of hostility or frustration. FBI spokespeople did not comment or had no information when asked for comment by the reporters.

    Adding to the speculation about the leaks being politically motivated, Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News before Comey's announcement that Trump had "a surprise or two that you're going to hear about in the next few days. I mean, I'm talking about some pretty big surprises," according to the Daily Beast.

    But on Fox News Friday, days before the general election, Rudy Giuliani was asked if he had any prior knowledge of the announcement. "I'm not part of it at all," he replied.

    Photo Credit: AP, File

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  • 11/04/16--12:52: Trump to Campaign in NH

  • Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visited New Hampshire Friday, saying he's confident that he'll carry the state on Election Day.

    "This is where it all began, New Hampshire - first victory," he said in a speech at the Atkinson Country Club. "In four days we are going to win the state of New Hampshire, and we are going to win back the White House... We're on the cusp of historic change."

    Just a few weeks ago, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had a big lead in New Hampshire. But three new polls released Thursday now show the two candidates in a virtual dead heat.

    Clinton will be in New Hampshire on Sunday, and President Barack Obama will attend a rally for Clinton at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Monday.

    Trump and running mate Mike Pence will also be in the critical swing state on Monday night for a rally at Southern New Hampshire University.

    Trump mostly stuck to his usual talking points on Friday, hitting Clinton over the FBI's investigation of her emails, saying Obamacare needs to be recalled immediately and promising that, if elected, he will build "a great wall" to keep out illegal immigrants.

    "How can Hillary manage this country when she can't even manage her emails?" Trump asked. "What a mess!

    "Wait till you see what they find" in the latest round of emails," he added. "It won't be pretty."

    Trump also said he would suspend the Syrian refugee program, "and we will keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country. We have no choice."

    He also claimed a new jobs report shows the U.S. economy is in bad shape. 

    His rally came hours after the government reported that employers added 161,000 jobs to the workforce in October. The report also showed that workers received their best pay raises in seven years.

    Trump called the numbers "an absolute disaster," and said: "nobody believes the numbers they're reporting anyway."

    He also spoke specifically to his New Hampshire audience, saying he'll work to end the state's opioid problem and to protect the environment, including the White Mountains and Great Bay.

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    A Playboy playmate was charged Friday after allegedly secretly photographing a nude woman in a fitness club locker room and posting the image to social media.

    Dani Mathers was charged with one count of invasion of privacy, the city attorney's office announced Friday. If convicted, the 29-year-old faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

    Arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 28.

    Prosecutors allege Mathers secretly snapped a photo of the nude 70-year-old woman in July while she was showering at an LA Fitness center. The photo later appeared on Mather's Snapchat account and included comments about the woman's appearance, prosecutors said.

    Mathers, 29, can be seen looking at the camera and covering her mouth in the photo.

    The police investigation began after a report of "illegal distribution" of the image. LA Fitness also reported the post to police.

    "Body shaming is humiliating, with often painful, long-term consequences," Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement. "It mocks and stigmatizes its victims, tearing down self-respect and perpetuating the harmful idea that our unique physical appearances should be compared to air-brushed notions of 'perfect.'

    "What really matters is our character and humanity. While body-shaming, in itself, is not a crime, there are circumstances in which invading one's privacy to accomplish it can be. And we shouldn't tolerate that."

    The 2015 Playmate of the Year apologized for taking the photo and posting it online. She called her actions "absolutely wrong" and said she meant to forward to select friends instead of all of her followers. 

    "That was absolutely wrong and not what I meant to do," Mathers said. "I know that body-shaming is wrong. That is not the type of person I am."

    The post received swift backlash on social media. Mathers soon deleted her Snapchat and Twitter accounts. 

    LA Fitness issued a statement, saying her "behavior is appalling." The company said it terminated Mathers' membership.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images for Playboy
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    2015 Playmate of the Year Dani Mathers speaks onstage during Playboy s 2015 Playmate of the Year Ceremony at the Playboy Mansion on May 14, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.2015 Playmate of the Year Dani Mathers speaks onstage during Playboy s 2015 Playmate of the Year Ceremony at the Playboy Mansion on May 14, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

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  • 11/04/16--12:09: Cubs World Series Parade

  • Chicago Cubs fans know how to party.

    According to early estimates, five million people gathered in Grant Park, flocked to Wrigley Field and lined up along Michigan Avenue for what arguably is one of the biggest sports celebrations Chicago has seen.

    And the team couldn't be prouder.

    "The one thing that’s been proven true over time, in baseball and in life, is that human beings can accomplish more for others and for the group than they can for themselves," Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein told the Grant Park crowd.

    The celebration started at 7:15 a.m. as city officials dyed the Chicago River Cubbie blue. After that, busses left Wrigley Field after 10 a.m. with the parade beginning at 11 a.m. in downtown Chicago.

    The parade route culminated with a rally in Grant Park's Lower Hutchinson Field.

    Fans began gathering at 2 a.m. outside Grant Park to get the best seat in the house to hear from Joe Maddon, Tom Ricketts, Anthony Rizzo, David Ross and the rest of the Cubs.

    "I love you guys," Kyle Schwarber told the crowd. "We're World Champs. Let's do it again next year!"

    Rizzo and Ross were both teary-eyed as they talked to fans, and all the Cubs joined in a sing-along of "Go Cubs, Go" with the massive crowd.

    Perhaps one of the most stunning moments is when Maddon walked onto the stage and holding the trophy, at a time that symbolizes the enire season: 108.

    "Thank you for being so patient," Maddon said.

    Photo Credit: AP

    Chicago Cubs fans celebrate before a rally in Grant Park honoring the World Series baseball champions, Nov. 4, 2016, in Chicago.Chicago Cubs fans celebrate before a rally in Grant Park honoring the World Series baseball champions, Nov. 4, 2016, in Chicago.

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    An 18-year-old Jacksonville man is behind bars and charged with killing his 69-year-old grandmother – over a can of beer.

    Dylan Broughan got into an altercation with the elderly woman, Joyce Courson, after she reportedly hid his beer while Broughan was in the shower on Oct. 10, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

    A witness said he heard an argument and several bangs, followed by Courson screaming for help. She told police her grandson shoved her to the ground and repeatedly punched and kicked her before fleeing the scene.

    Courson was taken to the hospital, where she died eight days later. Broughan was arrested and initially charged with aggravated battery before having the charges upgraded following the woman's death.

    Dylan BroughanDylan Broughan

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    Multiple people were stabbed at Rutgers' campus in New Brunswick, the college said.

    The school tweeted out an alert shortly before 3 p.m. Friday saying there had been a stabbing at the business school on the campus and urging students and faculty to avoid the area and take shelter. 

    Just before 3:30 p.m. the school tweeted again to say "Actor in custody. Area is safe. Police investigation ongoing."

    A lockdown on campus was lifted a short time later. No additional information was immediately available.

    There are more than 40,000 students enrolled at the New Brunswick campus, the largest of the state university's three locations. 

    Photo Credit: @Plebianth0ughts/Twitter

    Lockdown at Rutgers University Friday, Nov. 4Lockdown at Rutgers University Friday, Nov. 4

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  • 11/04/16--12:58: 2 Officers Shot: NYPD

  • Two police officers have been shot in the Van Nest section of the Bronx, the NYPD says.

    A police source says they were both sergeants and that ones was shot in the head and the other was shot in the leg.

    They were taken to Jacobi Hospital. Their conditions were not immediately known.

    NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald says the gunman was also shot. 

    The circumstances behind the shooting were unclear.

    Chopper 4 over the scene near Noble Avenue shows a heavy police presence, and it appears investigators were focusing on a crashed vehicle on the sidewalk.

    Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Chopper 4 over the scene of a police-involved shooting in the Bronx Friday.Chopper 4 over the scene of a police-involved shooting in the Bronx Friday.

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    There’s a reason why Donald Trump’s stumping in New Hampshire Monday while Hillary Clinton holds a family affair in Philadelphia. Their many visits to Florida, North Carolina and Ohio are no coincidence, either.

    Battleground states are going to determine who wins the 2016 election. As the voting returns come in on Tuesday, here are states to watch. 

    Arizona | Electoral College votes: 11
    How it’s looking:
    Arizona is fairly new to the swing-state club. The state hasn’t gone for a Democrat since 1996, and that was an anomaly. But because of its large immigrant and Latino populations, Clinton’s chances are looking better than usual; she’s galvanized more support from the Hispanic population than Obama, and it shows. As college-educated young people move to the south, the voter demography is getting more liberal, and NBC News' battleground map has the state in the tossup category. Still, it will be an upset if Clinton wins Arizona, according to elections forecasts by FiveThirtyEight and The New York Times.

    Counties to watch:
    Maricopa is the fourth most populous county in the United States. It’s gone Republican since 1948.

    Colorado | Electoral College votes: 9
    How it’s looking:
    The NBC News battleground map has Colorado leaning Democrat, bolstered by the suburban and Latino vote. The New York Times and FiveThirtyEight each predict a win for Clinton by several points. 

    Counties to watch:
    While Jefferson County went with Obama in 2008 and 2012, it also gave Bush victories in 2000 and 2004. Arapahoe County, a traditionally Republican area, is turning purple following an influx of immigrants.

    Florida | Electoral College votes: 29
    How it’s looking:
    “Florida, of course, is pretty much the premier big state that’s a swing state,” said Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida professor who specializes in Sunshine State politics. 

    Tied with New York for the third most electoral college votes in the union, Florida is a prized battleground during the general election. A Republican hasn’t won the state since 1992, and, on paper, MacManus says Hillary should nab the victory. But, she continued, “This is hardly an on-paper election.” 

    NBC News' battleground map has Florida listed as a "tossup." FiveThirtyEight shows the candidates essentially tied, while The New York Times' forecast gives Clinton a bit of an edge.  

    “The last three elections, including the 2012 presidential, the victor has only won Florida by 1 percent or so,” MacManus said. “When you have 1-percent elections, it makes micro-targeting very important and essential, because if you ignore one group and they feel that, you could lose.”

    Trump finds support among Floridians who still feel as if they’re suffering from a bad economy and who are concerned for their family’s safety in relation to perceived terror threats. Meanwhile, Clinton is trying to mobilize the Latino and millennial demographics. The Cuban community in Florida has a reputation for conservatism, but as the younger generations reach voting age, they’re showing a more liberal tendency.

    Even if Florida’s retirees are being replaced by millennials, that doesn’t mean they’ll make it to the voting booths.

    “The younger voters really aren’t that keen on the two-party system,” MacManus said. “Who knows whether they’re going to vote or not.” 

    Counties to watch:
    Hillsborough County, with its seat in Tampa, has correctly chosen the president in every election since 1960, except in 1992. Barack Obama won 53 percent to Mitt Romney’s 46 percent in 2012.

    Orange County in the Orlando area tended red until recent years, and Polk and Pasco are also contentious. Volusia, which used to be a Democratic stronghold, has shown some Republican tendencies lately. 

    Georgia | Electoral college votes: 16
    How it’s looking:
    Trump is predicted to win by several points, and NBC News says Georgia's leaning GOP. But it’s significant that the state's in contention, and signals a demographic shift. Forty-three percent of the electorate is now college educated, and like North Carolina, liberal white voters have officially made Georgia a battleground.

    Counties to watch:
    Gwinnett County typically goes Republican, but the wealthy suburb northeast of Atlanta may not go Trump's way, NBC News reported. Clayton is an African American nucleus, and Clinton needs high turnout there to even have the potential of a victory in Georgia.

    Iowa | Electoral college votes: 6
    How it’s looking:
    Iowa has gone blue in six out of the last seven elections. So why do The New York Times and FiveThirtyEight have it going red and NBC News leaning GOP this year?

    According to Dennis Goldford, professor of political science at Drake University in Des Moines, there are three reasons. One is that “the Clintons never really established themselves here in Iowa.” Another is that, while some Republicans have distanced themselves from this presidential election, Iowa’s state leadership has been openly supportive of the Trump-Pence ticket. The last is the appeal of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” mantra for rural Iowa.

    “In some ways this election is a growing fight between the expanding, prospering urban segment of America and the declining rural segment,” Goldford said. 

    The Hawkeye State also has a large white, working-class population, especially among the 45-and-up demographic.

    “You have an older electorate in Iowa, and they’re less likely to have a college education, which means they would be more likely to incline toward Donald Trump,” Goldford said. 

    As a manufacturing state, Iowa was hard hit by the great recession.

    “If the country as a whole got a cold, manufacturing caught pneumonia,” Goldford said. That could mean Trump is getting support from his perceived economic prowess and vow to bolster the American manufacturing industry. 

    Counties to watch:
    Polk, Linn, Cedar, Scott, and Black Hawk are more urban counties. “To win statewide, a Democrat needs to roll up big majorities,” Goldford said. In 2012, Obama won both Scott and Polk counties by 56 percent.

    Michigan | Electoral College votes: 16
    How it’s looking:
    Republicans like to call Michigan a battleground state because it can sometimes go red during off years, but a Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won the state since 1988. NBC News reports that Michigan is leaning Democratic and, according to FiveThirtyEight's forecast, Clinton has a big advantage. 

    “There really hasn’t been a point in this campaign where she’s been trailing,” said Susan J. Demas, publisher and editor at Inside Michigan Politics.

    While the Flint water crisis factored heavily in the Democratic primary, it “has really gotten buried on the priority list for both candidates” since July, Demas said.

    Counties to watch:
    Kalamazoo County tends to be a bellwether. Macomb County is fertile ground for Trump, while Clinton seems to be making headway in Oakland and western Michigan. According to Demas, if Clinton wins Oakland — a wealthy Republican county — by double digits, she will “send shockwaves” through the state.

    Nevada | Electoral College votes: 6
    How it’s looking:
    “We’re a bellwether,” said David F. Damore, professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Every time since ’76, we’ve gone with the winner.”

    In Nevada, neither party has a stronghold. The Democratic organization is almost entirely devoted to longtime Sen. Harry Reid, Damore said, while the Republican base is weak. The state is also 20 percent immigrant and has the smallest native-born population in the United States. Most citizens originate from other states. NBC News' battleground map shows Nevada leaning Democratic. FiveThirtyEight and The New York Times have Clinton and Trump neck-and-neck, with a slightly higher chance of a Clinton victory.

    “We have demography that provides both parties with a likelihood of winning,” Damore said.

    Working-class whites make up the conservative support in Nevada. “That’s kind of who the Republican party is here,” Damore said. Trump has played the media well, but he’s done “nothing in terms of ground game at all,” according to Damore.

    Meanwhile, Clinton is targeting white suburban women alongside U.S. Rep. Dina Titus.

    Counties to watch:
    More than 70 perent of the state's population lives in Clark County. “It’s the most concentrated population in a state of this size,” Damore said. Democrats will try to build a firewall around the urban area, which includes Las Vegas. However, Clark historically undervotes, while Nevada’s rural Republican communities tend to comprise more of the vote than their percentage of the population. If things seem tight, Washoe, with its county seat in Reno, is where to look. The county has a slightly higher Republican registration, but it went for Barack Obama in 2012 and could go either way this year.

    New Hampshire | Electoral College votes: 4
    How it’s looking:
    With only four electoral college votes, New Hampshire is seemingly inconsequential. But there’s a reason why candidates have spent so much time and money there: if Al Gore had won the state, he would have been president in 2000. During tight elections, New Hampshire can determine who takes it all.

    NBC News has it in the tossups, where it belongs, according to Neil Levesque, executive director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. 

    “It’s neither red nor blue,” said Levesque. “It’s a tossup. And when we do have a definitive race, it’s usually not that definitive.” 

    Clinton has a higher chance of winning the state than Trump. On Monday, President Obama will play surrogate for Clinton in New Hampshire, while Trump will make a personal appearance.

    Counties to watch:
    Londonderry and Hillsborough tend to be bellwethers. Hillsborough is typically a close call. In 2012, Obama won the county by a 2-point margin.

    Ohio | Electoral College votes: 18
    How it’s looking:
    Despite the cast of “The West Wing” campaigning for Clinton in Ohio, Trump has a higher chance of winning here in the FiveThirtyEight and The New York Times forecasts. NBC News, however, has it marked as a tossup. 

    Counties to watch:
    Stark County might split down the middle. In 2012, 49 percent of the vote went to each major candidate. Also look to Hamilton County. The Cincinnati area was a GOP stronghold that broke for Obama in the last two cycles, so Clinton will need to do well there, according to NBC News.  

    Pennsylvania | Electoral College votes: 20
    How it’s looking:
    After the Republican National Convention, Trump’s campaign said it would focus on four battleground states: Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    “We’re the most Democratic of the four targeted states,” said G. Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College.

    Clinton had a “nice lead” in Pennsylvania, said Madonna, until the FBI probe went live two weeks ago. NBC's battleground map has the state leaning Democrat but FiveThirtyEight shows the margin tightening. Recently, Trump’s gained popularity in the suburbs, while Clinton’s target demographics are less than mobilized, Madonna said.  

    Democrats in Pennsylvania have focused efforts on the African American population, 50 percent of which comes from Philadelphia. When Obama was a candidate, 92 to 94 percent of the black vote went to the Democrats, but without his name on the ticket, party leaders are afraid that black voters won’t turn out.

    Millennials also make up 18 to 19 percent of Pennsylvania’s voters, but they’re the least politically engaged age group. Clinton surrogates have been campaigning at universities around the state because “they’re aware of the lack of enthusiasm,” Madonna said. 

    “Trump’s voters are more enthusiastic in our state,” he added.

    Counties to watch:
    Forty percent of votes in Pennsylvania come from six counties: Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, Delaware, Philadelphia and Allegheny. The first four are suburbs of Philadelphia populated by primarily middle class, college educated whites. “Many of them will vote either party depending on the cycle, depending on the candidates, depending on the issues,” Madonna said. In 2009, Obama won Bucks by 1 percent; Romney claimed Chester by the same margin.

    Utah | Electoral College votes: 6
    How it’s looking:
    “Utah and Arizona are clearly new battlegrounds, ones that we don’t usually include in that list,” said Larry Sabato, editor-in-chief of the Crystal Ball website, which is run by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. 

    Utah tends to vote Republican. In 2012, all six electoral college votes went to Romney. But because of the state’s Mormon faction, this election cycle is proving a different beast.

    “Utah I would call a special case,” said Will Jordan, elections editor at YouGov. “The Mormon population were very reluctant to support Trump in the primary, and that’s followed through to the general election.”

    Clinton has a single digit possibility of winning Utah’s electoral college votes, according to FiveThirtyEight's forecast, but Trump is finding unlikely competition from independent candidate Evan McMullin, a conservative Mormon.

    NBC News has it as a tossup.

    Counties to watch:
    Summit County is the only one that went blue in 2008. Romney swept Utah in 2012.

    Virginia | Electoral College votes: 13
    How it’s looking:
    “Virginia’s one of the less competitive battlegrounds this year,” Sabato said of the state that NBC News reports "Leans Democrat."

    According to FiveThirtyEight’s state predictions, Clinton has a comfortable advantage. Some of her popularity in Old Dominion can be attributed to her running mate, Tim Kaine, who is one of Virginia’s incumbent senators and served as governor from 2006 to 2010. 

    Counties to watch:

    While northern Virginia is traditionally more liberal than the rest of the state, Prince William County, the second most populous in Virginia, may sway Republican because of its suburban base. Virginia Beach could also prove dicey for Democrats. 

    Wisconsin | Electoral College votes: 10 
    How it’s looking:
    Despite a working class electorate, FiveThirtyEight and The New York Times forecast a Clinton victory, and NBC News has Wisconsin leaning Democratic.

    Counties to watch:
    Waukesha County, a suburb west of Milwaukee, is very white, and very Republican. As a liberal base, Dane County should help Clinton along, but careful: third party candidates could eat into her lead, according to NBC News. 

    Photo Credit: Getty/NBC Universal

    Democrat Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican Donald Trump.Democrat Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican Donald Trump.

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    Most Americans will cast their votes without any problems on Election Day, but some may be challenged on their voting eligibility, experience or witness voter intimidation, or have trouble finding the right polling place. 

    There have been reports of several voting issues across the U.S. during early voting: A Texas judge ordered local election officials in San Antonio to stop incorrectly telling voters that photo ID is required to cast a ballot; an Iowa woman was charged with voter fraud after she allegedly voted for Donald Trump a second time; and civil rights advocates in North Carolina said voters were illegally dropped from registration lists after their eligibility was challenged.

    The nation’s largest nonpartisan coalition of more than 100 organizations, led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, has been fielding voters’ complaints from across the country since the primaries. The coalition will ramp up its efforts on Election Day, bringing 4,500 legal volunteers and 2,500 grassroots volunteers to help answer questions from voters calling into their Election Protection hotline. 

    They can be reached at 866-OUR-VOTE (English only), 888-VE-Y-VOTA (English/Spanish) and 888-API-VOTE (English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog).

    “We’re bracing for a higher volume of calls on Elections Day and remain vigilant,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director at the Lawyers’ Committee. “We want to ensure that voters are able to cast their ballot free from discrimination and harassment.”

    Here’s what you should know before heading to the polls:

    Am I ready to vote?:
    Among the most frequently asked questions from people calling the Election Protection hotline over the years are: Am I registered? Where do I vote? What do I need to bring with me? 

    Voting laws vary from state to state and before casting a ballot voters should verify that they are registered to vote at their current address, find out where their polling place is and ensure they have the proper form of identification required by state law — if ID is even required. People who moved recently and did not change their address for voting purposes may face additional obstacles in getting to the right voting place or will have to cast a provisional ballot, instead. Contact your local board of elections to ensure you’re registered to vote and check out this vote prep plan. 

    Still confused? Call the hotline. 

    “We’re on the phones, but we’re also sitting in front of the computer and we can help people in real time by finding their voter information,” said Adam Laughton, an associate at Seyfarth Shaw law firm who will serve as a call center captain in Houston, Texas.

    He added that local election board websites often get overwhelmed on Election Day, so calling the hotline can be the quickest way to access voter registration information. Election Protection volunteers can also be found at many polling places and there are lawn signs in front of polling sites advertising the hotline.

    Voter ID Laws: 
    Voter ID laws vary from state to state and a recent national survey found that Americans are confused about voter ID laws. According to the survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, some voters live in states that do not require identification to vote but think it is needed. Others live in states that require IDs but mistakenly believe they do not need one to vote, the survey found.

    Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have no identification requirement, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-two states “request” identification but provide conditions that permit voters without it to cast a ballot without requirements to confirm identity. That means voters can cast a provisional ballot or sign an affidavit of identity in order to vote. Ten remaining states have “strict” identification requirements. Check your state's requirements before heading to the polls as there have been changes to some states’ voter ID laws.

    In the summer of 2013 the Supreme Court eliminated a vital provision of the Voting Rights Act, triggering more than a dozen state legislatures to pass restrictive voter ID laws. Federal courts across the U.S. have overturned, challenged or blocked some of those laws. 

    One such example is the Texas voter identification law. A federal appeals court loosened ID rules in July, allowing voters to present alternative documentation such as a voter registration certificate or a utility bill and sign a document affirming a reasonable difficulty in obtaining a photo ID. Despite the ruling, voting rights groups say not all polling locations are relaying that message.

    Laughton said incorrect printed instructions about the voter ID law were posted in polling places in San Antonio and the hotline has been fielding calls from confused voters and poll workers across the state.

    "Poll workers just don’t have the grasp on the final points of the law and how it’s changed or the workaround the court put in place," he said. 

    Voters Being Challenged:
    A voter’s eligibility can be questioned before they complete and cast a ballot by voter challengers at polling sites, according to the Lawyers’ Committee. The voting challengers might be appointed by political parties or other organizations, depending on state law. These voter challenges “are often fraught with discriminatory practices and can intimidate qualified voters from voting,” the Lawyers’ Committee said.

    “Generally speaking, your identity your citizenship, whether you’ve already voted, those are all reasons someone can properly challenge a voter,” said Adam Humann, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis law firm in New York which is running one of the Election Protection call centers. “Things like race, ethnicity, gender — those are not proper basis to challenge a voter.”

    Each state has a different procedure for how to overcome a challenge. The Lawyers’ Committee recommends that if someone is challenged at a polling site they should contact the hotline so an attorney could walk them through the process.

    “The first thing is to remain calm and recognize that in every state there’s a legitimate basis for people to challenge voters and that’s done to protect the integrity of the system,” Humann said. “There should be election officials on site who can assist if there are voter challenge issues and here’s a lot of resources if you’re worried that people are making improper challenges or acting improperly.”

    Voter Intimidation:
    There’s a history of voter intimidation in past U.S. elections and this year may not be any different. According to Clarke, voters have been calling the Election Protection hotline with complaints that they felt intimidated when showing up to vote early. In Texas, Laughton said, there have been instances of unofficial poll workers and campaign volunteers telling voters at a polling places to go to a non-existent polling site. 

    “We encourage people to call our hotline even if it doesn’t personally affect them but they see something wrong at the polling place, if it’s intimidating signs, presence, or poll workers acting inappropriately,” Laughton said. He added that volunteers can contact a county attorney’s office which may direct deputies to go to a polling place if there’s a disruptive situation.

    The Lawyer’s Committee suggests the following steps when met with voter intimidation: “First, do not engage. Second, continue inside and make sure you vote. Then notify a poll worker or official. Third, call the Election Protection hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683). From there, concerned voters can pass along info and local polling officials will be notified and take the proper next steps.”

    In addition to answering the hotlines, the coalition has representatives on the ground at polling places in 28 states. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission, which supports state and county election officials, will be monitoring for voter fraud and disruptive election behavior.

    Provisional Ballots:
    If a voter is not able to cast a regular ballot because their name is not appearing on the registration list at the polling place, the voter does not have a required form of voter identification, or an election official challenges the voter’s eligibility, they should cast a provisional ballot.

    After a voter has cast a provisional ballot, election officials determine whether or not to count the provisional ballot by verifying the voter’s eligibility. Depending on the state, a voter might have to take additional steps to verify eligibility in order for the provisional ballot to count.

    According to the Lawyers’ Committee, many poll workers are improperly trained to handle provisional ballots, and may fail to inform voters’ of their right to it. They can also mistakenly misinform an eligible voter entitled to cast a regular ballot that the voter must instead cast provisional ballot.

    “A provisional ballot is the last resort,” said Laughton. “They will be counted several days after the election.”

    There are no clear and uniform standards for counting provisional ballots, according to the Lawyers’ Committee and many states do not count provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct, while others do. Provisional ballots can also be rejected if the voter is not registered to vote, the voter did not complete or sign the provisional ballot or the voter did not provide sufficient identification.

    Problems With Voting Machines:
    There are various types of new and old voting machines being used across the U.S. and if you see a machines malfunctioning, alert a poll worker or call the Election Protection hotline.

    “Anyone using an electronic voting machine, kind of like an ATM, make sure it has registered your vote for the candidate you intended to vote for before you press that last button to submit your vote,” said Marjorie Lindblom, a retired partner at Kirkland & Ellis and the former national co-chair of the Lawyers' Committee. “Just always check to make sure your vote is going to count correctly.”

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump raised suspicions in late October about the voting machines in Texas despite producing no evidence of an actual problem.

    "A lot of call-ins about vote flipping at the voting booths in Texas. People are not happy. BIG lines. What is going on?" Trump said in a tweet.

    But Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos, a Republican, said that there was no evidence of vote-flipping, a term that's used to describe a correctable technical glitch on older electronic voting machines.

    Loughton said if a voter notices a lot of machines down, the line getting long, and poll workers not acting to resolve it, report the problem to the Election Protection hotline. Long lines can mean there’s a high turnout or that a county has done a poor job planning and didn’t get enough machines and poll workers, he said. 

    Another issue that's come up in early voting this year are voter selfies. Nineteen states prohibit posting photos of ballots and voting laws for ballot selfies are unclear in a dozen states, according to reports. 

    Photo Credit: AP
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    In this file photo, a voter passes a ballot box as she arrives at the Hamilton County Board of Elections for early voting on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, in Cincinnati. Most Americans will cast their votes without any problems on Election Day, but some may be challenged on their voting eligibility, experience or witness voter intimidation, or have trouble finding the right polling place.In this file photo, a voter passes a ballot box as she arrives at the Hamilton County Board of Elections for early voting on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, in Cincinnati. Most Americans will cast their votes without any problems on Election Day, but some may be challenged on their voting eligibility, experience or witness voter intimidation, or have trouble finding the right polling place.

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    Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu is drawing criticism for a remark he made about Hillary Clinton while warming up a New Hampshire crowd for Donald Trump on Friday.

    "Do you think Bill was referring to Hillary when he said, 'I did not have sex with that woman?" Sununu said, a reference to Bill Clinton's 1998 denial that he engaged in sexual relations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

    The line drew laughs from many of those at the Atkinson Country Club, and came on the heels of another joke about how men always leave the toilet seat up. He then chuckled and said, "Bob Smith made me do it," a reference to the former U.S. Senator who preceded him at the podium. Smith had just spent several minutes doing a Bill Clinton impersonation.

    Sununu, 77, served as governor from 1983 to 1989, and as chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1991. His son John E. Sununu served as a U.S. Senator from 2003 to 2009, and his other son, Chris Sununu, is currently running for New Hampshire governor.

    Less than an hour after Trump's event concluded, Chris Sununu's opponent in the governor's race issued a statement saying he should apologize for his father's "crude and anti-women jokes about Hillary Clinton's sex life."

    "This is beneath the office of Governor of New Hampshire, and Chris Sununu should put common decency ahead of his own political interests by condemning these comments and tell Governor Sununu to apologize immediately," said Matt Trojan, communications director for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern.

    The New Hampshire Democratic Party has also called on Chris Sununu to disavow his father's comments.

    Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu warmed up the crowd before Donald Trump's rally in Atkinson, New Hampshire on Friday.Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu warmed up the crowd before Donald Trump's rally in Atkinson, New Hampshire on Friday.

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    American University sophomore Bex Warner wanted to vote but almost missed the chance. The 19-year-old college student in Washington, D.C., was registered back home in Illinois but nearly forgot to request an absentee ballot in time.

    The voting reminder tool VotePlz and Facebook posts from friends prevented the student from standing out this crucial election.

    "I probably wouldn't have voted if I hadn't seen reminders," Warner said.

    More organizations, companies and candidates than ever seem to be sending voting reminder text messages, and data suggests they increase voter turnout.


    Text message voting reminders increased turnout by 3 percent, D.C. political consultant Dr. Aaron Strauss found in a nationwide study of 2006 election results. He specializes in experiments that measure the impact of voter outreach techniques. 

    "The idea is that this can take the probability of voting from 50 percent to 53 percent," Strauss said.

    With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump locked in a tight race, a 3 percent boost in voter turnout would be huge. In the 2012 national election, under 54 percent of the voting-age population cast a ballot, according to the Pew Research Center.

    Research conducted on a California election in 2009 also suggested that voter turnout increased by 3 percent after residents received a text message the day before the election reminding them to vote.

    Facebook reminders to register to vote also had an impact, data suggests. The Center for Election Innovation & Research found that online voter registration activity increased by as much as sixteen-fold as Facebook reminded users that deadlines were approaching.


    People who receive repeated reminders to vote and think through when they will do so boost their chances of following through, Rock the Vote civic technology director Jen Tolentino said.

    "When you make a plan, you're a lot more likely to vote," she said.


    Voting reminder text messages help eliminate "process issues" that occur when people want to vote but don't know how or where, Brandon Naylor said. He's a spokesman for Democracy Works, a nonprofit that sends TurboVote reminders.

    "Those are problems we can eliminate through technology," he said.

    Here are four voting reminder systems you can sign up for:

    Rock the Vote: The nonpartisan nonprofit sends voting reminder text messages and emails to more than 5 million users. Rock the Vote is helping users make specific plans for when and where they will vote. Users can use the Rock the Vote systems to email themselves their plans.

    To signs up, visit

    TurboVote: TurboVote reminders sent by text message and email are telling users when and where they can vote, when early voting begins and ends, and more. The reminders being sent to more than 556,000 users by text message and more than 601,000 by email are designed to take the guesswork out of voting, Naylor said.

    To sign up, visit

    VotePlz: This service tells users when and where they can vote on Election Day, how they can vote early and what rights they have at polling locations. VotePlz also helps users think through how they will get to the polls, showing how long each mode of transportation will take.

    To sign up, visit

    Purple: The text message service Purple sends users voting reminders and interactive election updates. The messages are designed to "feel conversational and fun, while also remaining accurate and non-partisan," the Nieman Journalism Lab reported earlier this year.

    To sign up, visit

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    WEST COLUMBIA, SC - FEBRUARY 20: Tim Nicholson casts a vote in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary at American Legion Post 79 on February 20, 2016 in West Columbia, South Carolina. Today's vote is traditionally known as the WEST COLUMBIA, SC - FEBRUARY 20: Tim Nicholson casts a vote in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary at American Legion Post 79 on February 20, 2016 in West Columbia, South Carolina. Today's vote is traditionally known as the "First in the South" primary. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

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    A massive flood swallowed a parking lot of a large strip mall in the East Falls section of Philadelphia on Friday, with numerous vehicles under water.

    A 48-inch water main erupted shortly before 5 p.m. in the lot outside a ShopRite at Roberts Avenue and Fox Street, according to the fire department.

    It is the third major flood at that same location since 2014. The water main there also broke in June 2015 and January 2014, according to previous reports. Just take a look at this story NBC10's Randy Gyllenhaal reported in June 2015:

    Sandy Brown, whose husband Jeff owns the ShopRite as well as several others in the Philadelphia region, told NBC10 that the flood last year caused 6 inches of water damage inside the store. During that flood, more than seven million gallons spilled out. The shopping center is built on the site of the former Tastykake factory and is a few blocks away from the Philadelphia Water Department's Queen Lane Reservoir.

    Brown said this flood may not be as bad as last time, but that water was still inside the store.

    "It's very frustrating the water department has not been able to fix this and it keeps happening," Brown said.

    The water gushed at such a fast pace that the intersection and much of nearby Roberts Avenue was under water.

    Dozens of vehicles were trapped in the deep water. Firefighters could be seen rescuing shoppers.

    A water department spokesman said last year that there are four 48-inch mains in this location.

    Philadelphia is home to the oldest water infrastructure in the country, with some cast iron pipes dating back to the 1800s, although the average pipe is 67 years old, according to an NBC10 investigation in 2015.

    Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug explained at the time that the city has some "very specific local conditions" that make it difficult to know ahead of time which pipes are about to burst.

    The water department does have "listening" crews that go out with giant stethoscope-type tools and literally listen to more than 1,000 miles of underground pipes. They use a point system and the pipes with the highest scores -- determined by factors such as age, location and proximity to electricity -- are set to be replaced by 2020.

    But there's no public list to know where the most vulnerable pipes are located. The city told NBC10's Mitch Blacher last year they didn't want to hand over the information because it might compromise home values in some neighborhoods.

    Photo Credit: NBC10

    Firefighters rescued a few shoppers at a parking lot in East Falls after a massive water main broke and flooded the area.Firefighters rescued a few shoppers at a parking lot in East Falls after a massive water main broke and flooded the area.

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    Cincinnati police released surveillance video of an assault inside a school bus full of elementary students on their way to St. Joseph Catholic School. Kiesha Shannon, 28, is accused of blocking the school bus with her car, prying the door open and attacking her 5-year-old daughter's bus driver, Deamber Martin, on October 18.

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    In the final days of their Presidential campaigns, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump have been offering voters their road maps for their first 100 days as president.

    Clinton spent the last week urging supporters to get out and vote to ensure that she can follow through on her promises to make college more affordable and create more jobs.

    The Democratic candidate has been spending a lot of time in Florida, a swing state that is a must-win for Trump.

    The GOP candidate has focused on laying out his “contract with the American voter,” and on the Clinton email server issue. Trump has said, in speeches focused on his first 100 days, that he would repeal Obamacare and sue the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

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    U.S. military hackers have penetrated Russia's electric grid, telecommunications networks and the Kremlin's command systems, making them vulnerable to attack by secret American cyber weapons should the U.S. deem it necessary, according to a senior intelligence official and top-secret documents reviewed by NBC News.

    American officials have long said publicly that Russia, China and other nations have probed and left hidden malware on parts of U.S critical infrastructure, "preparing the battlefield," in military parlance, for cyber attacks that could turn out the lights or turn off the internet across major cities.

    It's been widely assumed that the U.S. has done the same thing to its adversaries. The documents reviewed by NBC News — along with remarks by a senior U.S. intelligence official — confirm that, in the case of Russia.

    U.S. officials continue to express concern that Russia will use its cyber capabilities to try to disrupt next week's presidential election. U.S. intelligence officials do not expect Russia to attack critical infrastructure — which many believe would be an act of war — but they do anticipate so-called cyber mischief, including the possible release of fake documents and the proliferation of bogus social media accounts designed to spread misinformation. 

    Photo Credit: Fairfax Media via Getty Images

    Illustration/Getty ImagesIllustration/Getty Images

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  • 11/05/16--08:59: Grumpy Gumby Gets Political

  • A man clad in a Gumby costume vandalized a Massachusetts family's Donald Trump campaign sign and destroyed it on Halloween. "You could not write the story that had unfolded in this election," said Steven Salvucci, the property owner with a laugh.

    Photo Credit: NECN

    for grumpy gumby trump storyfor grumpy gumby trump story

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    In case of an election night Doomsday, preppers are running up sales of emergency survival food, NBC News reported.

    While sales for "long term food" typically see an increase around natural disasters and elections, "this is more intense than what we saw in 2012," said Keith Bansemer, VP of marketing for My Patriot Supply, a manufacturer and seller of survival food. During the previous election his company saw sales double. This time it's triple.

    "We have everyone we can on the phones," he said. "We are overwhelmed."

    Purchases at other long term food supply companies are up as well. Emergency preparedness online store TheEpicenter reports a 6 percent uptick in year over year sales.

    Another company, Legacy Foods, predicts they'll see a 1-2 week spike in sales after the election -- if Hillary Clinton wins, said owner Phil Cox.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    SAN RAFAEL, CA - MAY 20:  A worker arranges cans of Campbell's soup on a supermarket shelf on May 20, 2016 in San Rafael, California. Campbell Soup Co. narrowly beat analysts expectations with third quarter earnings of $185 million, or 59 cents a share, compared to $179 million, or 57 cents a share, one year ago. The company also increased outlook for the year with adjusted per-share earnings of $2.93 to $3 a share instead of its previous guidance for $2.88 to $2.96 per shaere. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)SAN RAFAEL, CA - MAY 20: A worker arranges cans of Campbell's soup on a supermarket shelf on May 20, 2016 in San Rafael, California. Campbell Soup Co. narrowly beat analysts expectations with third quarter earnings of $185 million, or 59 cents a share, compared to $179 million, or 57 cents a share, one year ago. The company also increased outlook for the year with adjusted per-share earnings of $2.93 to $3 a share instead of its previous guidance for $2.88 to $2.96 per shaere. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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    Donald Trump and Mike Pence will both be spending time in traditionally blue Minnesota during the closing days of the campaign, NBC News reported.

    Minnesota, which President Obama won by eight points in 2012, has not seen much action this campaign and is considered by NBC News as leaning Democrat. A Star Tribune Minnesota Poll released last week showed Clinton with an eight-point lead.

    "We're going up to Minnesota which, traditionally has not been Republican at all. And we're doing phenomenally. We just saw a poll," Trump announced during a rally in Florida on Saturday.

    The campaign stop would be Trump's first public appearance in the Gopher State during the general election. He finished a distant third behind Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz during the GOP primary.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Democrat Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican Donald Trump.Democrat Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican Donald Trump.

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    Two men participating in the Million Mask March in Washington, D.C., have been arrested for vandalizing federal property and the Trump International Hotel, police say.

    D.C. police officers found several buildings and sidewalks in the area had been vandalized with spray paint, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, and the Trump hotel at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, about 11:15 a.m. Saturday.

    A neon green "X" covered the FBI emblem, and the word "corrupt" and images of masks were spray-painted on sidewalks and a column at the FBI building. At the hotel, someone spray-painted the steps and the message, "We Suck," near the entrance. The front doors of the hotel also have scratch marks, according to the police.

    A Metropolitan Police Department cruiser was also damaged by demonstrators, police said.

    Eric Roberts, 27, of Florida, was arrested and charged with defacing government property and resisting arrest. Police said they confiscated several cans of spray paint and stencils from Roberts.

    Police also arrested Danny Hamilton, 35, of Louisiana, and charged him with destruction of D.C. government property and resisting arrest.

    It wasn't immediately clear if they had attorneys to represent them.

    Thousands were protesting capitalism in the Million Mask March in cities throughout the world, according to activist network Anonymous. Marchers are wearing maskes "to protest corruption, censorship, inequality and war," Anonymous said on Twitter.

    Video from one demonstrator shows D.C. police and protesters clashing:

    Photo Credit: Metropolitan Police Department
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    Demonstrators spray painted sidewalks and other areas at the FBI Headquarters (L) and the Trump International Hotel (R) in D.C. Saturday, police say.Demonstrators spray painted sidewalks and other areas at the FBI Headquarters (L) and the Trump International Hotel (R) in D.C. Saturday, police say.

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    Donald Trump was rushed off stage at a rally in Reno, Nevada, Saturday night.

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