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It's officially one week until Election Day, and early voters are turning out like never before. It's possible that 85 million people could vote before Nov. 3, an election expert said, with 150 million voting in total. That would mean an eligible voter turnout rate of more than 62%. It is worth noting, however, that the United States Postal Service is recommending voters utilizing mail-in ballots mail them in by Tuesday. Vote by mail deadlines vary by state, but the USPS is recommending voters allow one week between when they put their completed ballot in the mail, and the respective state's deadline for receiving it. In the context of an election, on-time delivery matters: Missed deadlines are a major reason mail-in ballots are rejected, studies have found.
Investigation: How USA TODAY is measuring swing state mail leading up to the election, and beyond
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Judge Amy Coney Barrett has a new title: Supreme Court Justice. After being confirmed by the Republican led-Senate in 52-48 vote and taking an oath during a ceremony at the White House late Monday, Barrett's approval officially solidifies a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court. Barrett is expected to take the judicial oath administered by Chief Justice John Roberts in a private ceremony Tuesday at the court to begin participating in proceedings right away. Once she takes the oath, Barrett will become the fifth woman ever to serve on the high court, succeeding the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Supreme Court will be in session starting Nov. 2 and will hear a case concerning the LGBTQ community and religious freedoms, along with a highly-anticipated case that could decide the future of the Affordable Care Act.
California prepared for another round of dangerous fire weather Tuesday even as crews fought a pair of fast-moving blazes in upscale sections of Orange County that critically injured two firefighters and left more than 100,000 under evacuation orders. Some of the fiercest winds of the fire season drove blazes up and down the state Sunday night and Monday before easing but they were expected to continue into Tuesday morning, although not to the earlier extremes, according to the National Weather Service. More than 500 firefighters turned out to battle the Silverado Fire that quickly blackened more than 7,200 acres near Irvine. As a precaution, 70,000 people were ordered to evacuate from their homes, Fire Capt. Greg Barta said. More than 8,600 wildfires have burned well over 6,400 square miles and destroyed about 9,200 buildings in California this year. There have been 31 deaths.
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