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Twin Cities continue to see huge early voting numbers

Plus: rising coronavirus cases in battleground states worry election officials; report finds former U officials were aware of abuse allegations against former assistant hockey coach; ND legislative candidate to remain on ballot after dying of COVID; and more.

The Star Tribune’s Miguel Otárola writes: “With more than two weeks before Election Day, the votes accepted in Minnesota already far surpass the total number of absentee ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election. In Hennepin County, more than a third of registered voters have already voted, either by mail or at an early voting center.”

For the Associated Press, Scott Bauer writes: “Rising coronavirus cases in key presidential battleground states a little more than two weeks before Election Day are the latest worry for election officials and voters fearing chaos or exposure to the virus at polling places despite months of planning. The prospect of poll workers backing out at the last minute because they are infected, quarantined or scared of getting sick has local election officials in Midwest states such as Iowa and Wisconsin opening more early voting locations, recruiting backup workers and encouraging voters to plan for long lines and other inconveniences.”

Ryan Faircloth writes in the Star Tribune: “Former members of the University of Minnesota athletics department were aware of sexual abuse allegations involving a former assistant men’s hockey coach in 1984-1985 but failed to act, a law firm hired to investigate the matter has concluded. The U hired law firm Perkins Coie in February to investigate allegations that former coach Thomas ‘Chico’ Adrahtas sexually abused multiple members of the hockey team between June 1984 and June 1985. The allegations were first reported by The Athletic in February. …The Star Tribune could not reach Adrahtas for comment Friday. In an interview with The Athletic in February, he denied ever sexually abusing anyone.”

The Pioneer Press’ Bill Salisbury writes: “A debate scheduled between U.S. Rep. Angie Craig and her Republican challenger Tyler Kistner on TPT’s ‘Almanac’ show Friday was postponed for one week — by the arrival of a baby. Kistner’s wife, Marie, gave birth to a boy on Wednesday, a campaign spokesman said, and the candidate is taking a few days off the campaign trail in the south suburban 2nd Congressional District to be with his family. The couple also have a 3-year-old daughter, Elodie.”

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For the Duluth News Tribune, Jimmy Lovrien reports: “An administrative law judge said opponents of Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 oil pipeline did not prove construction of the project would harm northern Minnesota wetlands and streams. In a non-binding recommendation issued Friday, Judge James LaFave said the coalition of environmental and tribal groups failed to meet the burden of proof in a contested-case hearing on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s water permits over the summer and urged the MPCA commissioner to make the same finding when considering the 340-mile pipeline’s 401 certification, a permit awarded by a state’s regulators if the project’s impact on water falls within the state’s standard.”

In the Star Tribune, John Reinan writes: “As COVID-19 cases surge in North Dakota, the disease has claimed a candidate for state Legislature touted as a ‘Trump Republican.’ But he’ll still be on the ballot. David Andahl, 55, of Bismarck, died of the disease Oct. 5. His name will still be on the ballot as a Republican in the November election for a seat in the state House of Representatives in the Eighth District, according to a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office. Andahl, a rancher and land developer, won a heated primary earlier this year against state Rep. Jeff Delzer, a powerful committee chairman.”