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Iowa Democrat loses race by 7 votes — but officials refuse to count 29 absentee ballots from left-leaning county

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Democratic state House candidate Kayla Koether lost her race by just seven votes. But according to freelance writer Kavin Senapathy there are still 29 outstanding absentee ballots that officials are refusing to count.

“About 29 absentee ballots from left-leaning Winneshiek County weren’t counted. One of those was Liam’s, and he says his ballot was mailed ahead of deadline,” tweeted Senapathy. While the ballots may have been mailed by the date, some post offices didn’t postmark the ballots, so there was no verification of when the ballot was received.

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“Here’s where it gets disturbing. According to @52101news (Decorah Iowa News) Winneshiek County Auditor says the 29 ballots without a postmark will NOT be included in the vote totals because of specific rules about how mailing dates may be verified,” Senapathy went on. “Meanwhile, as Liam explained to me, in neighboring, right-leaning Fayette County, ballots that weren’t postmarked were “accidentally” counted. This is against policy, but the claim is that it’s too late to do anything about it. This is some rank BS.”

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The Courier reported that residents packed the county courthouse demanding action, but auditor Ben Steines said that they have no control over the rules or recount as those laws are state regulated.

“We wouldn’t be in this mess (if the county had the barcode system). I think this falls at your feet. You are responsible for this. People are disenfranchised because of this situation,” resident Cerrisa Snethen told Steines.

“It used to be all mail was postmarked. Today that’s not the case. It has been a fact of life knowing we cannot count certain ballots simply because they’re missing a postmark,” said Ken Kline, Iowa deputy commissioner of elections.

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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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