Miles Parks | WGLT

Miles Parks

What does the arrest of Julian Assange mean for the role that WikiLeaks might play in future election interference targeting the United States?

National security officials say they're confident that foreign activity will continue through 2020, but no one knows how familiar it may look, how much it may evolve — or whether a WikiLeaks without Assange could play a similar role.

The answer, cyber-observers say, is probably yes ... but.

Updated at 10:03 a.m. ET

The release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report may provide Americans with the best playbook yet on how to defend democracy in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.

Most people in America want the Electoral College gone, and they want to select a president based on who gets the most votes nationally, polls say.

Democratic presidential candidates are weighing in too.

"Every vote matters," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in Mississippi on Monday. "And the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College."

That line garnered one of her largest roars of applause for the evening.

Gregg says that change would radicalize politics.

High-ranking Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling for a counterintelligence investigation into a woman who has peddled access to President Trump and who founded the massage parlor where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is accused of soliciting sex.

Updated at 5:16 p.m. ET

In an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives called Thursday for special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to be made public when it is completed.

The vote is not legally binding, but it represents the growing pressure from both sides of the aisle on the Justice Department to disclose as much of the report as possible.

The House passed an extensive bill Friday that would overhaul the way Americans vote and take aim at the money currently flowing through the U.S. political system.

Updated at 5:16 p.m. ET

After months of insisting that he knew of no illegal activity being done on behalf of his campaign, Republican Mark Harris, who leads the race for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, called Thursday for the State Board of Elections to hold a new election.

Shortly afterward, the bipartisan state board voted unanimously to redo the only congressional race left from the 2018 midterm elections that remains undecided.

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Updated at 9:34 p.m. ET

On day three of a hearing meant to get to the bottom of an absentee ballot scheme in the as-yet-undecided U.S. House race in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, Republican Mark Harris' son testified that he warned his father about the political operative at the investigation's center.

All eyes now are on Harris, who is expected to testify first thing Thursday morning about what he knew was going on in the eastern part of the 9th District, and when he knew it.

Updated at 7:12 p.m. ET

Three months after the midterm elections, North Carolina officials began publicly laying out their evidence for the first time that the outcome in the state's 9th Congressional District may have been tainted by election fraud.

In her response to President Trump's State of the Union address, Stacey Abrams went through some of the top issues for the Democratic Party.

Health care. Climate change. Gun safety.

Then she brought up a topic Democrats are planning to spend a lot of time on over the next two years: voting.

The president begged for unity before unleashing a speech that focused squarely on his most controversial policy. A traditional show of support from the speaker of the House turned into a sarcastic instant meme.

Such is politics in 2019.

The most important political issues of the past year will be on display Tuesday night, not only in what President Trump says in his State of the Union address but in who will be in the audience.

Furloughed federal workers, Border Patrol agents, immigrants, school shooting survivors and the first inmate to benefit from a new criminal justice law will be among those to gather in the chamber of the U.S. House.

In the predawn hours of Jan. 25, more than a dozen FBI agents raided Roger Stone's home in South Florida and took into custody one of President Trump's closest longtime confidants.

CNN showed the agents moving up the driveway with weapons and flashlights in footage that critics have said is shocking.

But was it unusual?

The short answer: No. Law enforcement agencies often conduct early-morning arrests or raids with large numbers of officers and tactical equipment.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Two portraits of William Barr emerged during the second day of his confirmation hearing to lead the Justice Department as President Trump's choice as attorney general.

One was of a brilliant and moral man who oversaw the resolution of a hostage crisis at a federal prison without any casualties and another was of an early 1990s attorney general who held views on race and policing that now seem antiquated and unacceptable to many in law enforcement.

Updated at 5:17 p.m. ET

President Trump's choice to lead the Justice Department, William Barr, took questions from lawmakers Tuesday, with the central one being whether Barr will work to impede the Russia investigation.

Barr, who previously served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first day of his confirmation hearing.

Today, Mark Harris is at the center of an election that just won't end in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

The outcome remains up in the air pending an investigation into allegations of election fraud by an operative hired by the Harris campaign.

It's the only remaining uncalled election of the 2018 midterms, but it's just the latest bump in a half decade of setbacks as Harris has had his eyes set on joining Congress.

Leading up to Nov. 6, 2018, anyone with a stake in American democracy was holding their breath.

After a Russian effort leading up to 2016 to sow chaos and polarization, and to degrade confidence in American institutions, what sort of widespread cyberattack awaited the voting system in the first national election since?

None, it seems.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Inside his barber shop in Bladenboro, N.C., Rodney Baxley is giving Bobby Simmons a haircut.

The two men are talking about what everyone in this part of the state has been talking about for the better part of the past month: McCrae Dowless, and the operation he was running to get out the vote for Republican Mark Harris in the congressional race in North Carolina's 9th District.

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When it comes to election fraud, the "voting twice by dressing up with a different hat" tactic that President Trump talks about almost never happens.

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Updated at 5:44 p.m. ET

The head of North Carolina's Republican Party says he would "not oppose" a new election in the state's 9th Congressional District if allegations of fraud by a GOP operative prove true.

"If they can say with a strong degree of certainty that the outcome of the race was changed or there is a substantial likelihood that it could have been, the law requires that there be a new election, and we would not oppose," said Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, in an interview with NPR.

Election fraud has been a much discussed, seldom seen phenomenon in U.S. elections over the past several decades. But new details emerging from government and media investigations into the vote-counting in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District paint a picture of a tight race where potentially illegal voter fraud could have skewed the outcome.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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When Ohio State elections law professor Daniel Tokaji tells colleagues from other parts of the world about how the United States picks election officials, he says they're stunned.

"And not in the good way," says Tokaji.

That's because in a large portion of the U.S., elections are supervised by an official who is openly aligned with a political party. It's a system of election administration that's routinely come under scrutiny over the past two decades, and did again in this year's midterms especially in Georgia, Florida and Kansas.

Updated at 3:21 p.m. ET

After two recounts, a deluge of lawsuits and loaded political rhetoric, the 12-day election marathon in Florida is finally drawing to a close.

Election workers in Florida have been counting remaining ballots by hand in the close U.S. Senate and state agriculture commissioner contests, as a number of lawsuits are still outstanding in the final 48 hours before official election results are due to the state.

If a federal judge declines to extend the state's deadline, county canvassing boards need to turn in their official results following machine and manual recounts by noon on Sunday.

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