Tuesday News: Trust but verify


NC BOARD OF ELECTIONS IS LEANING TOWARDS "READABLE PAPER BALLOTS": Anderson, Black and Carmon want to add new language to the state’s rules specifying that any voting machines used in North Carolina “shall produce human-readable marks on a paper ballot.” That’s in response to concerns raised by members of the public, including at a Sunday night meeting, that some of the machines in question would only produce a barcode printout — which most people wouldn’t be able to read to make sure that the touchscreen machine had correctly recorded their vote. Lynn Bernstein, a Wake County resident who has advocated for paper ballots, said after the meeting that she agrees with the vote to delay the decision. “It allows North Carolina to have the most secure elections in the United States,” she said. But Cordle, the board chairman, told the board he is worried about what the delay means for local officials scrambling to make arrangements for 2020. “I think the counties are going to be running into a real problem,” he said.

MURPHY GUN SHOP PUTS UP RACIST BILLBOARD ATTACKING THE SQUAD: A new billboard in North Carolina shows four minority congresswomen smiling down on the small town of Murphy, their faces at odds with the apocalyptic phrase slapped above them: The 4 Horsemen Cometh. The billboard funded by a local gun shop then shows a red line striking out the last word, editing the phrase to instead say "The 4 Horsemen are Idiots." The Charlotte Observer reports the billboard by Cherokee Guns targets the same congresswomen who President Donald Trump recently told to return to the "crime infested places from which they came." Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib are all U.S. citizens, and only one emigrated from another country. The sign is signed "the Deplorables," and has sparked sharp reactions online, both supportive and appalled.

2ND DEM DEBATE WILL HAVE DIFFERENT RULES, HOPEFULLY MORE NUANCE?: NN pledges not to ask questions that require a show of hands by the politicians or that confine all the contenders to a one-word “yes” or “no” answer. NBC News moderator Chuck Todd tried both of these last month for the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates’ first debate. “Invariably a question can be open for interpretation,” said Sam Feist, CNN’s Washington bureau chief. “Trying to simplify a question into a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer can be confusing and may not always be fair.” Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper will moderate the two-hour debates, which begin at 8 p.m. ET both nights. With tougher rules governing participation in the third debate in September, it will be the last time so many candidates — 20 of them — will have the debate spotlight. Feist said CNN has long resisted “show of hands” questions, so that promise is not related to Todd’s experience. One tack that CNN has been trying for its town halls, but may be new to a larger debate audience, is to print moderators’ questions on the bottom of the screen so viewers can see if the candidates are ducking. “When a candidate is asked a question, sometimes the candidate chooses to answer a different question,” Feist said.

MARK MEADOWS GIVES NON-DEFENSE OF ELIJAH CUMMINGS AFTER TRUMP ATTACKS: Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said Monday that he believes neither President Trump nor Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) is racist, seeking to de-escalate tensions after the president called Cummings’s district a “rat and rodent infested mess” and said “no human being would want to live there.” “I am friends with both men, President Trump and Chairman Cummings,” Meadows said in a statement. “I know both men well. Neither man is a racist. Period. Both love America.” Cummings is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which has played a leading role in investigating Trump and his administration. Meadows is a member of the committee and is also chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. In his statement Monday, Meadows suggested that Cummings’s committee should halt its investigations of Trump, echoing the president’s argument that the Maryland Democrat should instead focus on his district. “I think if we put aside partisanship with investigations we can find bipartisan solutions blah blah blah"

AUTOMAKERS CHOOSE LOW EMISSIONS BEHIND TRUMP'S BACK: Four of the world’s largest automakers have struck a deal with California to reduce automobile emissions, siding with the state in its fight with President Trump over one of his most consequential regulatory rollbacks. In coming weeks, the Trump administration is expected to all but eliminate an Obama-era regulation designed to reduce vehicle emissions that contribute to global warming. California and 13 other states have vowed to keep enforcing the stricter rules, potentially splitting the United States auto market in two. With car companies facing the prospect of having to build two separate lineups of vehicles, they opened secretive talks with California regulators in which the automakers — Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen of America, Honda and BMW — won rules that are slightly less restrictive than the Obama standards and that they can apply to vehicles sold nationwide. On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said he was “very confident” that more automakers would join the deal in coming days, and one auto executive familiar with the negotiations agreed that was likely.