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Electionland 2020: North Carolina Mail Voting, In-Person Voting Starts, Naked Ballots and More

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ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

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In North Carolina, Black Voters’ Mail-In Ballots Much More Likely to Be Rejected Than Those From Any Other Race

Black voters were more than twice as likely to have mail-in ballots rejected than those submitted by the state’s white voters in 2018, and rejection rates for 2020 show a similar pattern, according to a new analysis by ProPublica and WRAL News. Read the story.

Foreign Hackers Cripple Texas County’s Email System, Raising Election Security Concerns

The malware attack, which sent fake email replies to voters and businesses, spotlights an overlooked vulnerability in counties that don’t follow best practices for computer security. Read the story.

Before Limiting Ballot Drop Boxes to One Per County, Top Ohio Election Officials Secretly Consulted Promoter of Debunked Voting Fraud Fears

After Black union workers petitioned the state for more secure ballot drop boxes, top election officials called Hans von Spakovsky, a leading purveyor of discredited voting fraud claims, and then put a strict limit on the boxes instead. Read the story.

In-person Voting Begins

  • Early in-person voting began last Friday, with polls opening in Virginia, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wyoming. (New York Times)

  • Some Virginia voters waited in long, socially-distanced lines to cast an early ballot, and there were signs of high turnout in the other three states. (CNN)

  • A group of Trump supporters disrupted early voting with a demonstration in front of a polling site in Virginia, which officials said made some voters and staff feel intimidated. (The New York Times)
  • More than half of U.S. voters say they will vote before Election Day, and 39% plan to vote by mail, according to a new poll from the Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (Marketwatch)

2020 Election Challenges

  • Two major challenges to this year’s election: getting enough poll workers and making sure people fill out their mail-in ballots correctly, researcher Charles Stewart III says. (Science)
  • FBI Director Christopher Wray told a House panel last week that disinformation and foreign meddling risk undermining public confidence in U.S. elections. (NPR)
  • Former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats calls on Congress to create a high-level bipartisan commission to monitor the 2020 election and reassure the public. (The New York Times)
  • With litigation and legislation still ongoing, local election officials are struggling to keep up with the changing rules — and a flood of mail-in ballots — ahead of Election Day. (NPR)
  • A bill filed in Massachusetts would keep state police, sheriffs and deputies away from polling places unless they have special permission. (WBUR)
  • One Florida election official says his office is getting creative about in-person voting, including buying Q-tips from Dollar Tree for voters to use on iPads to avoid the cost of pens and styluses. (NPR)
  • Former 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg has raised $16 million to pay the outstanding fines for nearly 32,000 registered Florida voters who have felony convictions. Rep. Matt Gaetz said Bloomberg could be violating Florida law, and the state attorney general sent a letter to law enforcement agencies asking them to investigate potential violations of election law. (Washington Post, WTSP)

Keeping Voters Informed

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Friday that makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally mislead voters about voting by mail. (KCAL)
  • Some voters who already requested a mail-in ballot were confused by a letter from the Illinois secretary of state about applying for a ballot. (Chicago Sun-Times, CBS Chicago)
  • An Oklahoma nonprofit dedicated to voter education sent a letter encouraging voters to register, confusing some voters who are already on the rolls. (Tulsa World)
  • Iowa’s voter registration form has not been updated to reflect an executive order last month that restored voting rights to thousands of felons who have completed their sentences. (Des Moines Register)
  • Florida sent postcards to 2.24 million residents who are not registered to vote, but with less than three weeks to go before registration closes, critics say it’s too little, too late. (Tallahassee Democrat)
  • Canvassers for civic engagement group Mi Familia Vota have also become lifelines for Arizona families hard-hit by the pandemic, passing along resources for help with rent and food while conducting door-to-door outreach. (Los Angeles Times)

Vote by Mail News

  • As of Sept. 24, more than 65.3 million voters had requested absentee ballots across 31 states and the District of Columbia. (New York Times)
  • Forty-six states now allow voters to track their mail-in ballots. (NBC News)
  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered election officials to throw out any “naked ballots” that are mailed back without the inner secrecy envelope provided to voters. Philadelphia’s city commission chair warned that the ruling could invalidate thousands of ballots and lead to “significant postelection legal controversy, the likes of which we have not seen since Florida in 2000.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Election officials in North Carolina are rejecting Black voters’ absentee ballots at nearly three times the rate of white voters. (Charlotte Observer, Five Thirty Eight)
  • North Carolina’s board of elections has agreed to let voters fix basic errors on mail-in ballots instead of filling out new ones, as part of a tentative settlement with a group that represents retirees. (Raleigh News and Observer)
  • Some states have changed the rules about ballot mistakes or ballot design to try to prevent mail-in ballots from being thrown out. (The New York Times)
  • A Michigan prosecutor will not pursue charges against a homeowner who placed a toilet and a sign that read “place mail-in ballots here” on their front lawn. (Lansing State Journal, The Hill)
  • Ohio politicians are urging the state’s top elections officer to abide by a court order and allow more dropboxes for absentee ballots across the state, instead of just one per county. (Mahoning Matters)
  • Some Mississippi voters are unsure how to cast their ballots as a lawsuit over the state’s in-person voting requirements works its way through the courts. (NBC News)
  • Wisconsin will not allow election “deputies” to visit nursing homes and assist residents with mail-in voting this year, citing concerns about the spread of COVID-19. (WFJW)
  • Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has come out against plans to allow some hospital patients and nursing home residents to cast their ballots via video conference. (Arizona Republic)
  • The cast of the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” reunited for a virtual workshop to teach Wisconsin voters how to absentee vote as part of a fundraiser on behalf of the state’s Democratic Party. (NPR)
  • The Postal Service says groups can leave voter registration forms and absentee ballot request paperwork in post offices. That comes a month after the Texas League of Women Voters said volunteers around Houston had been blocked from doing so. (Houston Public Media, KUT)

The Trump Administration and Voting

  • At a rally Saturday, President Donald Trump said: “We’re going to have a victory on November 3rd the likes of which you’ve never seen. Now, we’re counting on the federal court system to make it so that we can actually have an evening where we know who wins. Not where the votes are going to be counted a week later or two weeks later.” (Politico)
  • Though Trump has frequently lambasted mail-in voting, on Monday he encouraged Michigan voters to take advantage of absentee voting. (Detroit News)
  • On Wednesday, Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if Biden wins the election. (The Washington Post)
  • The Trump campaign has filed at least 11 cases on mail-in voting in addition to half a dozen lawsuits filed with the Republican National Committee. (BuzzFeed News)
  • The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights spent months researching threats to voting rights, but the recommendations it compiled won’t be published after conservative members voted against releasing them. (USA Today)

The Latest Lawsuits


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What Makes a Good Online Casino?

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A quick search for an online casino will reveal hundreds of results. However, these casinos are not created equally. Some are better than others in many ways. That’s why you cannot settle for the first option that catches your eye. You need to do thorough research to ensure you settle for a casino that will give you a better experience – and some good money in the process.

So, what makes a good online casino?

The truth is that there are many reputable casinos online – and new ones keep popping up with each passing day. But the few bad ones spoil the name for the others. These casinos scam people. They are eager to make deposits but not keen to give players their money back, pay their affiliates, or even stick to their terms and conditions. These casinos – scam or rogue casinos – are exactly the types you want to avoid.

Unfortunately, most of these rogue casinos disguise as good ones. You might have a hard time telling them apart, especially if you are just getting started. To help you make an informed decision, here are some qualities that make a good online casino.

It does not feature in the blacklist

One of the easiest ways to tell a good casino from the bad ones is by looking at different online casino blacklists. Different reputable platforms always release yearly blacklists to protect casino players from gambling scams online. They put bad casinos on a list for everyone to see and ensure no one signs up to any of those casinos in the future. Since these sites differ, chances are you won’t find the same casinos on every blacklist. But the fact that a casino makes the list means they have one or more of these problems:

  • Change terms
  • Predatory terms
  • Slow pay
  • Unfair games
  • Nonpayment
  • Marketing spam
  • Licensing and regulation

Choice of games

As a player, you’ll appreciate the choice of picking whichever game pleases you. That’s why you need a casino that offers more games. Browse around to find the casino games that the provider offers to see if it’s a good fit.

It’s fair, secure, and serious

As you may have noticed from above, many casinos end up on the blacklist for many reasons, including unfairness and security issues. Good online casinos use random number generator that determines the chances of winning. On top of that, they work with third parties to check the fairness of games. What’s more, these casinos display various certificates on their platforms, giving you further assurance that things are conducted fairly.

Has good customer service

You can tell a good casino by how their customer support team treats you when you send a request or inquire about something. They will be willing and happy to serve you. they will also have adequate knowledge to address your concerns and be available 24/7.

Accept your payment methods

A good casino accepts a wide range of payment options, ranging from online payment options to instant bank transfers and even credit card solutions. This allows you to use your preferred payment method and not feel locked out. Stay away from sites that provide limited payment options. Some of them fail to get approved by payment platforms, which by itself is a red flag.

Has a bonus offer

It’s easy to assume bonus offers and other incentives, especially if you are new to the game. However, you should work with a casino that provides a consistent bonus offer and not just a good welcome offer. You’ll need these bonuses even as an existing client. Moreover, the site should provide promotions without deposit, reload offers, and many free spins. Don’t feel limited. Many casino sites offer these bonuses, and if the one in question doesn’t, you might as well keep looking.

Free games and easy registration

As a newbie, the last thing you want is to sign up with a casino that doesn’t provide free games. You need to practice without having to deposit money or fear that you’ll lose money. Free games allow you to practice and be good before playing real money. Additionally, the casino should have a simple registration and easy account opening process. If it’s too complicated, then maybe it’s not the right casino for you.

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How Las Vegas became the world’s casino capital

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These days, it’s impossible to think of Las Vegas without the image of the lights on the strip and glamorous casinos coming to mind. But the Vegas we know of 2020 wasn’t always that way; and it took a long, long time to get its reputation for being the world’s casino capital. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and get to the root of how Las Vegas became the city that never sleeps.

A historical journey

It’s hard to believe these days, but the Las Vegas region was once an abundant marshland stock full of rich vegetation. That is, until the marsh receded, and the waters disappeared, transforming the landscape into a desert, with the trapped water underground sprouting life and forming an oasis.

It was during the 19th century that the explorer Antonio Armijo from Mexico foraged the way from New Mexico to California on the first commercial caravan. It was a member of the group, Rafael Rivera who rode west to find water and venture through the desert, setting his eyes upon Las Vegas Springs. Las Vegas was therefore named ‘the meadows’ after the grasses found growing there.

Years went on and both Mormon and Mexican settlers began to filter through. In 1890 it was decided by railroad developers that Las Vegas would serve as a spot along the San Pedro, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles railroad route as well as connecting to major cities along the Pacific Coast. From there on, Vegas boomed with stores, boarding houses and saloons popping up around the area. This was the beginning of the Las Vegas as we know it — with railroad workers and ranchers enjoying the gambling and drinking through illegal speakeasies and bootleg casinos operating despite the ban on gambling in Nevada in 1910.

In 1931 gambling once again became legal in the state, with new casinos and showgirl venues opening up along Fremont Street to entertain the thousands of workers who flocked the city during the construction of the Hoover Dam. The first hotel, El Rancho Vegas, opened up in 1941 along Highway 91. Its success inspired others to open up their own hotels along the highway which would one day become the strip. Tourists began to flock to the city over the next few decades to enjoy the casino scene and see incredible artists like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra perform.

The birth of the mega resort

It was in 1966 the businessman Howard Hughes purchased the Desert Inn hotel; this was followed by over a dozen more hotel purchases, pushing out the mobster-owned hotels that had previously dominated Las Vegas. The concept of the mega hotel came about in 1989 when Steve Wynn opened the Mirage as the first hotel resort in the city. By 1994, Las Vegas was the home of more than 86,000 hotel and motel rooms with 13 of the 20 largest mega resort hotels in the world. It was during this era that the Strip became populated with more hotels and casinos, with developments inspired by the iconic cities and countries of the globe including Egypt, Paris, New York and Rome.

Las Vegas in the 21st century

The Las Vegas of today is well and truly established as a home for entertainment and casinos — which remain the biggest source of income for the city. However, there’s no doubt that Vegas faces more competition than ever before from the virtual world, with more people than ever before opting to play at an online casino, rather than play in the old fashioned way, but Vegas will always have the advantage. For many, it’s a once in a lifetime trip that an online casino can’t replicate, but do the online equivalents help to increase interest in Vegas?

The bright lights of Vegas is attracting billions of dollars in investment as many try and get a slice of the revenue that the sector has to offer. During 2019 over 42.52 million people came to visit Las Vegas from all around the world. Domestically, it was shown to be the second most popular destination for U.S. traveller’s dream spots after New York.

These days, Las Vegas continues to thrive and be a source of entertainment for millions of visitors from around the world looking to experience what the city has to offer. With new generations becoming interested in casino games — and some incredible musical residencies continuing to be announced — Las Vegas surely will continue to be one best places to go for a unforgettable dream destination for many.

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Land-Based Casinos

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What can people find at some of the biggest land-based casinos in Canada? From Niagara Falls to Toronto, there is something for everyone at casinos in Canada, including table games, slots, roulette, blackjack, and other games. There are also many poker and blackjack tournaments held throughout the year and it is easy to find jackpots or slots with free spins at the casinos. Many casinos also have hotels, bars, and numerous restaurants which are perfect for players seeking some comfort. A relaxing casino experience for all ages can be found in many different places in Canada. Choose one from below.

Choosing a casino depends on your tastes and location within Canada. Do you want to experience the grandeur and splendour of nature while placing a bet? Then head to Niagara Falls. Do you want to see a show? Choose a casino with a show that will be perfect for you. If you are looking for pure relaxation, then check out some of the casinos with spas and world-class dining. Entertainment is also a large part of the casino experience in Canada. Musicians, bands, comedians, and other types of entertainment continue to be found at all of the biggest casinos.

Some Big Casinos Near Nature

Casino Niagara is located in one of the most beautiful places in Canada and the world. People from all around the globe come to experience the best of both worlds at Casino Niagara. Players have access to beauty and scenery while spending time at one of the biggest casinos in Canada. The casino has two floors with over 1200 slot machines, poker, and other table games. There are also many different restaurants and even a comedy club. The sports bar and casino was refurbished back in 2017, meaning that it has not lost any of its charm and shine.

ST Eugene Golf Resort: Casino of the Rockies is a golf and nature lovers’ paradise. The location could not be any more splendid. People can find the casino between the Rockies and Purcell Mountains. Furthermore, the casino has an interesting history after it was converted from an Indian Residential School. It was then opened in the early 2000s. St Eugene has table games, electronic roulette, baccarat, and blackjack. There is also a golf course, restaurant, bar, spa, and hotel that is highly rated in Canada. Overall games are limited so most people come for golfing and betting fun.

Caesars Windsor is famously located on the riverbank in Windsor, Ontario. Visitors from both Canada and the States frequent the casino and hotel. Players can see the Detroit and Michigan skyline from the area. There are two floors of slots, table games, and plenty of poker tables. Blackjack, baccarat, and roulette are also available at the casino. It has beautiful restaurants, a gym, bars, slots, and live sports. Check out the Titan 360™, a 10-foot tall slot machine with 5800 pounds of wins at the click of a button. It’s the largest slot machine in the world and great fun.

  • Enjoy the size of Casino de Montreal and Hard Rock Casino
  • Enjoy the big and beautiful Casino Niagara or ST Eugene Golf Resort
  • Enjoy High Culture at Elements Casino Brantford

River Rock Casino Resort – In Transit

Are you passing through Vancouver Airport and have a long transit? Hire a cab and spend some time enjoying slot machines at River Rock Casino Resort. There are slots galore and the different themes make it an enjoyable visit for all. There is even a Dungeons and Dragons slot for gamers. A fourteen-table game room can be found at the casino and international poker tournaments are held regularly. Other features include a VIP area, spa, live music, 24-hour food and drink, as well as other entertainment. Richmond is also worth a quick visit, especially for some delicious seafood.

Casino de Montreal – The Big Gun

Casino de Montreal is 526,488 square feet of casino excitement. The casino has around 20 thousand visitors each day and is one of the biggest casinos on the globe. If you are still unconvinced about the size of the place, then imagine five floors of slots and table games. 3,000 machines and 111 table games make the casino seem even more mammoth. Casino de Montreal games can be played in a smoke-free environment and many players comment on the user-friendly games and helpful staff. Complimentary drinks and top-rated gourmet food is all part of the experience at Casino de Montreal.

Hard Rock Casino – Another Big One

Hard Rock Casino is another large casino located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The casino is over 80,000 square feet, making it a big one in Canada. Hard Rock has gaming tables, slots, baccarat and a poker room. The casino includes 70 casino tables and 1,000 slots. Private rooms and high roller areas are also available. However, the Hard Rock name is known for excellent food and this is what people love about this casino. Many players comment on the quality of the food here. It even has a 1,000 seat theatre, making it great for dining and a show.

Elements Casino Brantford – Enjoy High Culture

Elements Casino Brantford is a historical gem for culture in Ontario. It is a charity casino that was established last century. It includes the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, which is a high society entertainment venue in Ontario. The centre is well known to performing arts enthusiasts in Ontario and Canada. Players come to see a show, enjoy some gourmet food and a game. The casino also has plenty of slots, table games, blackjack, baccarat, sic bo, three card poker, roulette, and other games. There is also a 14-table Texas Hold ‘Em poker room. Enjoy all the excitement.

River Cree Resort and Casino – Sports Lovers

River Cree Resort and Casino is a sport and gaming venue located in Edmonton that should not be overlooked. It has 39 tables of various money limits and over 1,000 slots. There are also a few different places to dine while enjoying a bet and other things to experience. There is a fitness centre, spa and a 200 room resort. However, the most interesting feature of this casino is the two hockey rinks, which are often used by the Edmonton Oilers for practice. It is possible to watch the team practice and go for a meal and some gaming fun.

For the ones who fancy playing online we recomend visiting canadiancasino.org!

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