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Delaware’s Democratic attorney general is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a judge’s ruling declaring a new vote-by-mail law unconstitutional. The justices heard arguments Thursday in a lawsuit challenging both the vote-by-mail law and a new law allowing same-day registration. A Chancery Court judge last month upheld the same-day registration law. But he said the vote-by-mail law violates restrictions on absentee voting that are spelled out in Delaware’s constitution. Attorney General Kathleen Jennings is appealing the decision striking down the vote-by-mail law. Republican attorneys representing voters, a state House candidate, and a Department of Elections employee are appealing the ruling upholding same-day registration.

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The Republican candidate for Kansas governor is pivoting from education to crime as a focus in the final weeks of the campaign. GOP challenger and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is portraying Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly as anti-police because she created a commission on policing and racial justice in response to the state’s protests following the death of George Floyd in 2020. Schmidt launched a new television ad Thursday suggesting the commission pushed what the ad called “anti-policing laws” and said Kelly called police racist by referencing systemic racism at the outset. Kelly has said her support for police is shown by increases in state spending on law enforcement.

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Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker is remaining defiant after reports alleging he encouraged and paid for a woman's 2009 abortion — and later fathered a child with her. Digging in on his denials of reporting by The Daily Beast, Walker, a football icon turned celebrity politician, blamed the stories Thursday on Democrats and their “desperation.” The Daily Beast has reported that a woman Walker was dating had an abortion that he encouraged and paid for. After Walker's vehement denials, she spoke to the news outlet again identifying herself as the mother of one of Walker's children. As a Senate candidate, Walker has backed a national ban on abortion without any exceptions.

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A program that incentivizes West Virginia families to pull their children out of K-12 public schools by offering them state-funded scholarships can resume. The state Supreme Court issued an order on Thursday reversing a lower court’s ruling. The Hope Scholarship Program was scheduled to commence this school year and is one of the most far-reaching school choice programs in the country. It was blocked by a Charleston-area judge in July after she ruled that the program violates the state’s constitutional mandate to provide “a thorough and efficient system of free schools.” The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals justices did not provide their reasoning for their decision but said a more detailed opinion would follow.

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Idaho's top wildlife official says the state's wolf population appears to be holding steady despite recent changes by lawmakers that allow expanded methods and seasons for killing wolves. Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director Ed Schriever told lawmakers on the Natural Resources Interim Committee on Thursday that human-caused and natural wolf mortality looks similar to three previous years. The agency says the population fluctuates from more than 1,600 in the spring when pups are born to about 800 in late winter. He says the midpoint is about 1,250 wolves. The agency won't have a solid estimate until January when it finishes analyzing millions of photos taken by remote cameras.

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Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse is the sole finalist to become president of the University of Florida, the school says, and the Republican senator has indicated he will take the job. That means he would resign in coming weeks. The school said Thursday in a statement that its presidential search committee had unanimously recommended Sasse, a decision that will have to be be voted on by the school’s board of trustees and then confirmed by its board of governors. The school said he will visit the campus next week to meet with students and others.

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Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse is the sole finalist to become president of the University of Florida, the school says, and the Republican senator has indicated he will take the job. That means he would resign in coming weeks. The school said Thursday in a statement that its presidential search committee had unanimously recommended Sasse, a decision that will have to be be voted on by the school’s board of trustees and then confirmed by its board of governors. The school said he will visit the campus next week to meet with students and others.

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President Joe Biden says a $20 billion investment by IBM in New York’s Hudson River Valley will help give the United States a technological edge against China. He hailed the company's expansion during an appearance Thursday in Poughkeepsie, New York, with two House Democrats in competitive races in next month’s critical elections. The president cites IBM’s commitment as part of a larger manufacturing boom, spurred by this summer’s passage of a $280 billion measure intended to boost the semiconductor industry and scientific research. He says that legislation was needed for national and economic security and that “the Chinese Communist Party actively lobbied against” it.

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Kentucky’s sweeping abortion ban is being challenged by three Jewish women who say it violates their religious rights under the state constitution. The legal challenge was filed Thursday in state court in Louisville. The lawsuit says the state’s Republican-dominated legislature “imposed sectarian theology” by prohibiting nearly all abortions. It says that “under Jewish law, a fetus does not become a human being or child until birth.” The suit bears similarities to legal challenges to abortion bans in at least two other states. Kentucky’s Republican attorney general, Daniel Cameron, is signaling he will fight the lawsuit.

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Republican Blake Masters has a much-needed chance Thursday night to reset his Arizona Senate race against Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in the campaign’s only televised debate. Kelly is coming in from a position of strength. He has a small lead in polling and a commanding advantage in fundraising, and that's allowed him and allied groups to bombard voters with ads portraying Masters as an extremist. For Masters, the debate is a chance to counter that narrative and go on the offensive against Kelly. Masters has struggled to redefine his image after the Republican primary for the more moderate swing voters he’ll need to win in November.

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The second man to plead guilty in a kidnapping plot against Michigan’s governor has been sentenced to four years in prison. Kaleb Franks was rewarded for testifying for prosecutors at two trials. But his prison term was longer than the sentence given to Ty Garbin, who quickly cooperated and pleaded guilty much earlier. Franks was sentenced Thursday. He was among six anti-government extremists who were charged with conspiracy in federal court. Investigators said the group’s goal was to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and incite a U.S. civil war, known as the “boogaloo,” before the 2020 presidential election. Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr., were convicted in August. Two other men were acquitted in April.

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Uvalde school officials have abruptly fired a former Texas state trooper who was on scene of the Robb Elementary School massacre in May and then hired by the school district. The firing Thursday came after CNN first reported that Crimson Elizondo had been hired by the Uvalde school district following one of the deadliest classroom shootings in U.S. history. In a statement, the school district said it apologized for “the pain that this revelation has caused.” Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde, said Elizondo’s hiring “slapped this community in the face.”

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President Joe Biden is pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana under federal law, as his administration takes a dramatic step toward decriminalizing the drug and addressing charging practices that disproportionately impact people of color. He is also calling on governors to issue similar pardons for those convicted of state marijuana offenses, which reflect the vast majority of marijuana possession cases. Biden says the move reflects his position that “no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana.” He says his action will ease the consequences for “people who have prior Federal convictions for marijuana possession, who may be denied employment, housing, or educational opportunities as a result.”

Planned Parenthood’s political arm has announced a $5 million investment in North Carolina’s battleground races. Democrats are fighting to preserve the governor’s veto power in one of the last abortion access points for the Southeast. Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned Parenthood Action PAC North Carolina are targeting 14 legislative swing districts with ads, mailings, phone banks and canvassing. The investment announced Thursday is part of an existing $50 million national campaign to protect reproductive rights in nine target states. GOP State Senate leader Phil Berger said Democrats’ accusations that Republicans would fully ban abortion in North Carolina if they obtain veto-proof majorities are misguided.

Republican nominee for governor Paul LePage said during a debate that his Democratic rival got a political boost from COVID-19, thanks to federal pandemic aid. LePage said Gov. Janet Mills was “very, very fortunate that COVID came.” He said Mills was able to build up the surplus and give most of it to Mainers because of the federal spending. His remark Thursday drew a surprised look from Mills. The state Democratic Party called it "an insult to Maine people, especially to the thousands” who lost a loved one. LePage served as governor from 2010 to 2018.

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Russian authorities have brought treason charges against an opposition activist who was jailed for allegedly spreading “false information” about Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. A defense lawyer told Russian state news agency Tass on Thursday that the charges against Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr. stem from speeches he gave in several western countries that criticized the Kremlin’s rule. The lawyer says Kara-Murza denies committing treason. If convicted, the prominent activist faces a possible prison sentence of up to 20 years. Kara-Murza was jailed in April on a charge of spreading “false information” about the Russian military. In March, he gave a speech to the Arizona House of Representatives in which he denounced Russia’s military action in Ukraine.

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In his campaign for a crucial U.S. Senate seat, Democrat John Fetterman takes credit for transforming Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor’s office into a "bully pulpit" to advance progressive causes. Records from his time in office offer a different portrait. They show Fetterman typically kept a light work schedule and was often absent from state business. That's according to an Associated Press review of his daily calendars and attendance records. The review found he had nothing listed on his schedule during nearly one-third of his workdays in the $179,000-a-year job. Fetterman says he's shown he can have an impact "beyond the prescribed power of a given office.”

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Arizona voters this November will decide whether to allow students regardless of their immigration status to obtain financial aid and cheaper in-state tuition at state universities and community colleges. At least 18 states and the District of Columbia already offer in-state tuition to qualifying students regardless of status. There has been little past voter support in Arizona for allowing students who entered the U.S. without authorization to get in-state tuition, which is about a third of the out-of-state rate. Arizona's state legislature referred Proposition 308 to the ballot. It would repeal parts of a 2006 initiative that voters approved to block in-state tuition to non citizens.

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A new report says a woman who claims Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker paid for her 2009 abortion is the mother of one of his children. The latest reporting undercuts Walker's claims that he didn't know who the woman was. The Daily Beast says that the woman was so well known to Walker that, according to her, they conceived another child together years after the abortion. She decided to continue on with the later pregnancy, though she noted that Walker again said it wasn't a convenient time. Walker has called the abortion allegation a “flat-out lie." The Daily Beast says the Walker campaign declined to comment on Wednesday's story.

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Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney says the Republican candidates for Arizona governor and secretary of state pose a huge risk for democracy because both say they will refuse to certify election results if they don’t like the results. Cheney is a prominent critic of former President Donald Trump and one of just 10 U.S. House Republicans who voted to impeach him after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. She made the comments Wednesday at an event organized by the McCain Institute at Arizona State University. Cheney also took shots at what she called a growing “Putin wing” of the Republican Party.

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The Colorado baker who won a partial Supreme Court victory after refusing on religious grounds to make a wedding cake for a gay couple a decade ago is challenging a separate ruling that he violated the state’s anti-discrimination law — this time over complaints he refused to make a birthday cake celebrating a gender transition. A lawyer for Jack Phillips on Wednesday urged Colorado’s appeals court to overturn last year’s ruling in a lawsuit brought by Autumn Scardina, a transgender woman. Phillips rejected her request in 2017 to make a birthday cake that had blue frosting on the outside and was pink inside to celebrate her gender transition.

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President Joe Biden has surveyed the devastation of hurricane-ravaged Florida, promising to marshal the power of the federal government to help rebuild. Biden comforted local residents alongside Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 foe. Biden praised DeSantis’ handling of the storm recovery as both men — who have battled over pandemic protocols and migration as the governor mulls a presidential bid — put aside politics for a few days. The state is struggling to recover from the wreckage of Hurricane Ian, which tore through southwestern Florida last week and left dozens dead.

The Democratic governor of New Mexico is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to assign more FBI agents to the state in response to violent crime. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Wednesday in a statement that she wants to replicate the success of a recent surge in FBI resources and agents in Buffalo, New York. The Sept. 15 letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland describes a recent spate of homicides in Albuquerque and says “additional federal agents are needed to alleviate the current strain on New Mexico’s law enforcement offices.” Lujan Grisham sent a similar request to FBI Director Christopher Wray in June.

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Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is facing criticism from Democrats after a newspaper reported that his political ad-maker recently received a six-figure contract to produce a state tourism video featuring the governor. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Richmond-based Poolhouse made what was ultimately the single, winning bid for the project on the first day solicitations went out and received a $268,600 contract. The video showcases Virginia tourism destinations and includes a welcome and some narration from the governor. State officials defended the project, while Democrats questioned the use of taxpayer dollars. A Youngkin spokesman said the governor was excited to participate in the project.

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Kansas’ Democratic governor is trying to regain control of a debate over education in her tough race for reelection. That race recently featured Republican attacks over transgender athletes and what’s taught in the classrooms instead of her preferred focus on increases in public school spending on her watch. In their final debate, Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly sought Wednesday to portray Republican challenger Derek Schmidt as a threat to adequate funding for public schools. Schmidt said he is committed to adequate funding but argued that Kansas should protect parents' rights. A GOP proposal vetoed by Kelly would have made it easier for parents to object to classroom materials or library books.

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