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Texas’ Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called vote-by-mail a ‘scam,’ saying it’s ‘laughable’ that people under 65 would be scared to vote in person

Tori Holland

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Texas' Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called vote-by-mail a 'scam,' saying it's 'laughable' that people under 65 would be scared to vote in person
Staff of the Franklin County Board of Elections take measures to sanitize voting stations and provisional ballot envelop stations in Ohio on April 28, 2020.

Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

  • Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick lashed out against attempts to expand vote-by-mail in the state amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, arguing people under 65 have no reason to be afraid to vote in person.

  • Patrick claimed Democrats would use the opportunity “greatest scam ever” to commit voter fraud and the expansion would lead to the destruction of the US.  

  • Democrats and voting rights advocates have supported expanding voting by mail before November, as health experts warn of a potential second wave in the fall and winter.

  • A federal judge this week ruled Texas must allow anyone to vote by mail, though an appeals court temporarily blocked the ruling.

  • President Donald Trump has also rejected measures to increase voting by mail, threatening to withhold federal funds from states that had expanded their vote-by-mail programs. 

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Friday lashed out at efforts to expand voting-by-mail in the state, calling them a “scam” by Democrats to steal the November election. 

“There is no reason — capital N, capital O — no reason that anyone under 65 should be able to say I am afraid to go vote,” Patrick said in an interview with Fox News

.

“Have they been to a grocery store? Have they been to Walmart? Have they been to Lowe’s? Have they been to Home Depot? Have they been anywhere? Have they been afraid to go out of their house? This is a scam by the Democrats to steal the election,” he continued.

Any Texas resident over the age of 65 or with a disability is currently eligible to vote by mail, according to the Texas Tribune. States around the country have attempted to adopt more widespread vote-by-mail policies

before the November election so people can cast ballots without having to risk in-person interactions amid the ongoing pandemic.

Patrick claimed that an expansion of voting by mail would lead to the destruction of the country.

“There will be Democrat activists going out there to find people and say, ‘Hey, by the way, you got your ballot. Pay you 10 bucks. Can I handle it for you? This will destroy America if we allow it to happen,” he said.

As Business Insider previously reported, a federal judge on Tuesday ruled Texas must allow all voters to cast absentee ballots without an excuse in its upcoming elections, through an appeals court on Wednesday put that ruling on hold.

As The Texas Tribune noted, doctors and nurses who signed on to a brief to the state Supreme Court argued that in-person voting in created a “heightened danger” for transmission of the novel coronavirus. 

“This idea that we want to give you a disability claim because I am afraid to go vote — if you are under 65 — is laughable,” Patrick said Friday. “You have more chance of being in a serious auto accident if you are under 65 on the way to vote than you do from catching the virus and dying from it on the way to voting. This is the greatest scam ever.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began relaxing his stay-at-home order on May 1, despite a continued increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. As of Friday, at least 53,449 Texas have been infected by the novel coronavirus and at least 1,480 have died, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.  

Democrats and voting rights advocacy groups like the ACLU have for months pushed for an expansion of vote-by-mail before. Health experts have simultaneously warned of a potentially more serious second-wave of COVID-19 that could impact the US in the fall and winter. 

President Trump has opposed the measure over claims that an expansion of voting by mail would increase voter fraud. Earlier this week, he threatened to withhold federal funds from states that had expanded their vote-by-mail programs. As Business Insider’s Grace Panetta noted, the move could backfire as there is little evidence that expanded voting by mail or an increase in voter turnout would benefit Democrats over Republicans.

Read the original article on Business Insider

After being a professional journalist for 5 years and understanding the ups and downs of health care sector all over the world, Tori shifted her focus to the digital world. Today, she works as a contributor for News Brig with a knack for covering general and health news in the best possible format.

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General News

Pace University coach accidentally smashes player’s face with bat

Evan Lewis

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Pace University coach accidentally smashes player's face with bat

The Pace University baseball coach accidentally cracked two bones in a player’s face with a bat after the team lost a doubleheader — and didn’t call for an ambulance to take the bloodied teen to a hospital, witnesses told The Post.

Veteran manager Hank Manning, 51, was ranting during a locker-room huddle March 8 after the team lost a twin bill to rival New York Institute of Technology when he swung a bat, hitting a freshman sitting close behind him.

“He was quite angry. He was cursing, red in the face, raising his voice,” a player said.

It was “nothing out of the ordinary” until Manning wielded a flat-bat, which is cut in half lengthwise down the barrel with sharp edges and used for practice.

“He was going to throw it into a wall, but held onto it for too long. It looked like he was taking a swing. Maybe he tried to stop himself.”

Before the coach could slow the momentum, the wooden bat struck the player, student-athletes said.

Pace University baseball coach Hank Manning
Hank Manning[/caption]
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“It looked like he had a hole in his face,” one said of the injured player, who seemed to be shock.

“He was bleeding pretty badly,” another said, describing a two- to three-inch gash below the player’s left eye.

“A centimeter higher and he’d probably be blind,” the teammate said. “He’s lucky to have his sight.”

Upsetting players further, Manning simply blurted, “F–k” after the mishap, and walked into his office.

He popped his head out 20 minutes later, with the team and two assistant coaches still present, and said, “That shows my intensity,” a player said. He then returned to his office and closed the door.

But Manning and the assistant coaches, Pete Raimondi and Tim Bausher, didn’t call 911 or summon an ambulance.

Instead, Raimondi cleaned blood from the player and asked a teammate to drive the injured player to the hospital in the teammate’s car.

The Post is withholding the injured athlete’s name.

The father of a fellow player, Vincent Scotto, was so outraged by the coach’s alleged conduct he filed a complaint with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, asking for an independent investigation of Manning and Pace’s handling of the incident.

“I entrusted my son with him and what he did was reckless,” said Scotto, a former NYPD officer. “This was an egregious act that victimized every student-athlete in that locker room. It was not properly investigated, and students are afraid to speak out because of potential retribution.”

Pace spokeswoman Marie Boster said a university probe by its own security officer found no wrongdoing.

“I’m very concerned that an episode that was deemed to be an accident by all parties is going to turn into a blemish on a coach and a sports program that doesn’t deserve it,” she said.

“The appropriate policies and procedures had been followed,” Boster said, but she would not explain the Pace protocol, if any, for calling an ambulance for an injured athlete. She also refused to say who the coach contacted after the accident or when.

The Pace security office did not interview any students besides the injured player, teammates believe. “We felt (the incident) was being covered up,” one said.

The next day the team held practice without the injured player. Manning “acted as if nothing had happened,” a teammate said.

Manning apologized to some players. “He said his emotions got the best of him and it was unacceptable,” one recalled.

The injured athlete has told friends he plans to transfer from Pace — and will need plastic surgery for a facial scar.

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Dozens in Hong Kong protest U.S. police violence

Evan Lewis

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Dozens in Hong Kong protest U.S. police violence

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Dozens of people gathered in front of the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong on Sunday to protest the death of American George Floyd, who died when a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck.

The protesters, mainly international students and members of Hong Kong’s League of Social Democrats, a political advocacy group for human rights, stood in pouring rain holding photos of Floyd and signs that read “Black Lives Matter”, a movement against racial injustice that has gone global in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic since Floyd’s death on May 25.

“It’s important get our message across to others around the world to remind them that even though we are far away, we are with them 100% in spirit – black lives matter,” 28-year-old Quinland Anderson, who is British, said while holding a “BLM” banner.

Floyd died after a white officer detaining him knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as other officers stood nearby.

The protest in Hong Kong came after thousands of people took to the streets in European and Asian cities on Saturday, demonstrating in support of U.S. protests against police brutality. Tens of thousands of people marched from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House in Washington D.C. later in the day.

Police reminded protesters of Hong Kong’s limit of eight people per gathering, a rule put in place as the city seeks to contain the coronavirus.

The protesters left peacefully after reading a speech to the consul general condemning police brutality and racism.

Reporting by Joyce Zhou; writing by Kane Wu. Editing by Gerry Doyle

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Philadelphia newspaper editor resigns over ‘Buildings Matter’ headline

Evan Lewis

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Philadelphia newspaper editor resigns over ‘Buildings Matter’ headline

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s top editor is resigning after an uproar over a headline lamenting damage to businesses amid turbulent protests denouncing police brutality against people of color, the paper announced Saturday.

The newspaper said Stan Wischnowski, 58, was stepping down as senior vice president and executive editor.

The Inquirer had apologized for a “horribly wrong” decision to use the headline, “Buildings Matter, Too,” on a column Tuesday about looting and vandalism on the margins of protests of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis at the hands of a white police officer.

The backlash came as The New York Times was widely criticized for publishing an opinion piece by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton advocating the use of federal troops to quell the protests.

About 30 members of the Inquirer’s 210-member editorial staff called in sick earlier this week, and black staff members angrily condemned the headline. It appeared over an article by architecture cr itic Inga Saffron, who worried that buildings damaged in violence over the past week could “leave a gaping hole in the heart of Philadelphia.”

The Inquirer drew fresh scorn after it replaced that headline online with one that read, “Black Lives Matter. Do Buildings?” Eventually, the newspaper settled on “Damaging buildings disproportionately hurt the people protesters are trying to uplift.”

The Inquirer published an apology from senior editors. Publisher and CEO Lisa Hughes said in a memo to staff that the headline was “offensive and inappropriate” and said the newspaper needed a more diverse workforce.

Wischnowski had worked at the Inquirer for 20 years and was editor when the paper won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for an in-depth investigation into violence within Philadelphia schools.

He will formally leave the newspaper June 12. Hughes did not immediately name a successor.

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