PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 25, 2020 


Feeding the hungry on Thanksgiving and beyond; and is that Turkey really from a family farm? (Note to Broadcasters: the newscast has been granted a holiday for Thanksgiving, but we shall return first thing Friday.)


2020Talks - November 24, 2020 


Formal transition to Biden presidency begins; key Biden Cabinet nominations to be announced today. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

Advocates Cheer Ruling Allowing ‘Virtual Voting’ in Nov. 3 Election

A court ruling will allow Arizonans who are isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic to vote via a video conference in the upcoming election to avoid exposure to the virus. (Lightfield Studios/Adobe Stock)
A court ruling will allow Arizonans who are isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic to vote via a video conference in the upcoming election to avoid exposure to the virus. (Lightfield Studios/Adobe Stock)
October 8, 2020

PHOENIX -- A court ruling has opened the opportunity for Arizonans who are isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic to use a video call to vote in the November elections.

The decision will allow persons in hospitals or nursing homes who are unable to cast their vote in person to videoconference with their county's special elections board, which will assist them by marking their choices, then certifying and submitting their ballot.

Dana Kennedy, state director for AARP Arizona, has been a staunch advocate for nursing home residents' rights during the pandemic.

She said she doesn't see why anyone would consider it a problem.

"We were actually a little surprised when, all of a sudden, this became the political fight," Kennedy remarked. "Everybody was willing to embrace technology when families couldn't visit their loved ones in facilities. So why is it that we wouldn't want to embrace technology to basically help people vote?"

Attorney General Mark Brnovich sued after Gov. Doug Ducey sent a letter opposing "virtual voting," claiming it is not allowed under Arizona law.

But a state Superior Court judge disagreed, ruling federal law requires "reasonable accommodations" for voters with disabilities.

Normally, a bipartisan "special elections board" team would visit an isolated voter in person and assist them with filling out their ballot. But the Centers for Disease Control's pandemic guidelines suggest vulnerable elderly persons avoid outside contact.

Kennedy contends that makes video assistance more important than ever.

"We need to make it as easy as possible for the residents in long-term care facilities to be able to exercise their right to vote," Kennedy stressed. "Many of them have chronic conditions, and this may be their very last election. And we need to make sure that if they want to vote, that they're able to vote."

Only 44 people voted by video in Arizona's primary elections this year, but a record turnout is expected in November.

Requests for "virtual voting" must be made by Oct. 23. For information, contact your local county recorder's office or the Arizona Secretary of State elections division.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Disclosure: AARP Arizona contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Consumer Issues, Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ