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Candidates dash to swing states as millions of Americans cast their ballots

It has been a long day on the campaign trail, with appearance after appearance for President Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden and their running mates. The candidates are in an all-out sprint to the finish line of Election Day next Tuesday. But record numbers of American voters have already cast their ballots, uneasy about the pandemic and electoral legal challenges. Yamiche Alcindor reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    This has been a long day on the campaign trail, with rally after rally for President Trump, former Vice President Biden and their running mates.

    They are now in an all-out drive to the finish line next Tuesday.

    White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor begins our coverage.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    One week to go, and in the run-up to election night, both candidates are crisscrossing the swing states.

    Today, Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden campaigned in Georgia. It's a bid to flip a state which hasn't voted blue in a presidential race since 1992.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden:

    We will act on the first day of my presidency to get COVID under control. We will act to pass an economic plan that will finally reward work, not wealth, in this country. We will act to pass my health care plan to provide affordable, accessible health care.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    While his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, visited Nevada.

  • Former President Barack Obama:

    Hello, Orlando!

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    And former President Barack Obama, while campaigning in Florida, said the Trump administration is incompetent and pointed to its lack of response to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Former President Barack Obama:

    His chief of staff on a news program says: We're not going to control the pandemic.

    He just said this. Yes, he did. And, yes, we noticed you're not going to control the pandemic. Listen, winter is coming. They're waving the white flag of surrender.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Meanwhile, President Trump made a sweep around the Midwest, hitting Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nebraska. He won all of them in 2016, but is struggling to repeat that in 2020, according to polls.

    He accused the media of focusing too much on the virus.

  • President Donald Trump:

    COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID. Well, we have a spike in cases.

    You ever notice, they don't use the word death? They use the word cases.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Vice President Mike Pence continued to campaign throughout North and South Carolina. That comes despite the recent COVID outbreak among at least five of his aides.

  • Vice President Mike Pence:

    We're going to make this state and nation stronger than before. We're going to make North Carolina and America more prosperous than ever before. We're going to make North Carolina and America more united than ever before.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Democrats on Capitol Hill are fuming over last night's confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.:

    In contradiction to its stated principles, this Republican majority confirmed a lifetime appointment on the eve of an election, a justice who will alter the lives and the freedoms of the American people while they stood in line to vote.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    But Republicans celebrated their conservative nominee's confirmation. They dismissed Democratic outrage as unfair.

  • Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.:

    It's a national crisis when a Republican president makes a nominee for the Supreme Court. Catastrophe looms right around the corner. The country will be fundamentally changed forever.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    The High Court is also at the center of another election-related dispute. Last night, justices ruled 5-3 that Wisconsin may not accept ballots that arrive after polls close on Election Day. That's a rejection of an appeal by the Democratic Party.

    It came as President Trump continued his attacks on election integrity. He tweeted a false claim, saying — quote — "Big problems and discrepancies with mail-in ballots all over the USA. Must have final total on November 3."

    Twitter put a warning label on the tweet for misinformation. In fact, official results have never been completely counted and certified by election night. And changes to voting rules amid the pandemic mean results may take longer to calculate.

    In Texas, where voters are already lining up at polling locations at record numbers, some voters feel early in-person voting is safest.

  • Daniel Brunmhoelzl:

    I certainly feel better just doing it in person. The mail-in ballots, I have heard stories nationally, and so I just felt better doing it in person.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Democratic Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia of Texas says that sense of insecurity about the vote is not just from the pandemic, but also from Republican-led lawsuits in her state and other states like Wisconsin to limit the vote.

  • Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas:

    There's just been an incredible amount of effort being put this election cycle to put fear in people's minds. It just seems like they are doing more and more to create obstacles, to create barriers, to intimidate voters from voting.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Seven days until Election Day, with an electorate getting a historic jump-start, but a little jumpy about how it will all turn out.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Yamiche Alcindor.

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