Locally and nationally, three topics are dominating the headlines - the coronavirus pandemic, the new Supreme Court justice, and the upcoming presidential election. Today, we will focus on that third and the efforts to get out the vote, especially for voters who could be facing challenges.
To that voter turnout effort, Vice Presidential candidate and California Senator Kamala Harris visited Cleveland Saturday, and briefly stopped by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, where a very long line of voters waited in the chilly weather to cast their ballots.
Senator Harris told the surprised crowd that their votes, and their voices, and their power matter. "We take our power, we were born with our power... we will use our power, and around election time that means we will vote, and we will encourage everybody we know, to vote," said Harris.
That has been the message for the past several weeks from many sides, notably also coming from members of Senator Harris' sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. They and other Black women's social organizations have been spearheading "get out the vote" efforts across the country, including in Cleveland. Sisters of the historically Black sorority in both Cleveland and Akron held a virtual watch party a few weeks ago, as Senator Kamala Harris debated Vice President Mike Pence.
Just ahead, we will take a closer look at the role those groups serve in their communities amid newfound political clout. Senator Harris' ascension in the Democratic party is due in part to the staunch support of African American women who are more often being considered a key constituency.
Later in the program, we look at some of the challenges and access issues faced by voters as they seek to cast their ballots. For many voting is not as easy as filing out a ballot in the booth or at the dining room table.
What if you don't speak English? What if you are blind?
This Election Season, Ideastream reporters have been researching and answering questions submitted by voters as part of our Listen, Engage, Vote 2020 Election Coverage.
Today, we hear some reporting that has come from those questions from two of our ideastream colleagues -- Reporter Justin Glanville, and Multiple Media Producer Gabriel Kramer.
Our conversation took place last week, but was pre-empted by breaking news from NPR on Thursday regarding the Senate's procedures in voting to confirm Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.