Amy Klobuchar

Paper Is Big Again, at Least for Elections. These States Don’t Have It
Headed into the midterms, 14 states have a paper trail problem

Voters fill out their paper ballots in D.C. in 2008. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just days before a pivotal midterm congressional election, dozens of jurisdictions around the country go to polls without a paper backup for electronic voting systems. The shortfall comes despite nearly two years of warnings from cybersecurity experts that in the absence of a paper backup system, voters’ intentions cannot be verified in case of a cyberattack that alters election databases.

Fourteen states will conduct the midterm elections where voters will register their choices in an electronic form but will not leave behind any paper trail that could be used to audit and verify the outcome.

America Is at a Midterm Crossroads. Let Us Count the Ways
November results will move us left — or much further right

The direction of the nation’s most contentious and consequential issues hinges on what voters decide Nov. 6. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Next week’s elections will not only determine the balance of power on Capitol Hill but also will seal the fate of the Trump administration’s legislative agenda for the next two years and set the landscape of the 2020 presidential campaigns.

The direction of the nation’s most contentious and consequential issues — health care, immigration, taxes, climate change, trade, gun control, ethics and campaign finance overhauls and oversight of the administration — hinges on what voters decide Nov. 6.

Midterm Elections Hold Ultimate Verdict on Kavanaugh
McConnell asserts confirmation process driving up Republican enthusiasm

The final verdict on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh may be delivered in the midterm elections. (POOL PHOTO/SAUL LOEB/AFP)

Even before Saturday’s Senate vote made Brett Kavanaugh a Supreme Court justice, senators from both parties said voters soon would deliver the final verdict on President Donald Trump’s divisive appointment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in an interview with Roll Call a month ahead of Election Day, said the contentious debate about the confirmation process was driving up base enthusiasm for the 2018 midterm elections.

Final Kavanaugh Vote Comes With a Whimper, Not a Bang
Somber mood pervades Senate as Supreme Court nominee is confirmed

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., holds a press conference in the Capitol after the vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the end, for as long, drawn out and acrid as the fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination was, the actual confirmation vote itself was brief, to the point and relatively somber.

Senators, seated to take their votes in the chamber during the rare Saturday session, rose at the calls of their names, saying “yes” and “no.” When Vice President Mike Pence announced the 50-48 vote and that Kavanaugh had been confirmed, he did so flatly, with none of the flourish or emotion that usually comes with such hard-fought victories. 

Kavanaugh Confirmation Solidifies Supreme Court Tilt to the Right
Bitterly divided chamber votes in rare Saturday session to end long fight

The Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on a rare Saturday session and amid a Capitol awash in protests. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday might close one of the Senate’s most bitter and divisive chapters, but the resulting discord is bound to reverberate for years at the high court, in the halls of Congress and at the ballot box.

The 50-48 vote gives President Donald Trump his second Supreme Court appointment in as many years and solidifies the court’s conservative tilt for decades. The confirmation battle at first raged over the court’s ideological balance, then turned to questions of temperament, truthfulness and how the Senate handled allegations of sexual misconduct in the “Me Too” era.

From Soft Certainty to Roaring Indignation, Kavanaugh Hearing Was Study in Contrasts
“This is not a good process, but it’s all we got,” Sen. Jeff Flake says

Rachel Mitchell, counsel for Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, questions Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday as, from left, Sens. Michael D. Crapo, R-Idaho, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Ben Sasse, R-Neb., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Mike Lee, R-Utah., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, listen during the hearing on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/POOL)

Senators got two irreconcilable accounts Thursday about whether Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually attacked a girl when he was in high school, setting up a pitched partisan showdown about whether that allegation and others that have surfaced this week are enough to derail his confirmation.

First, Christine Blasey Ford, in a soft but certain tone, told the Senate Judiciary Committee she is “100 percent” certain it was Kavanaugh who pinned her to a bed and covered her mouth as he sexually attacked her at a high school gathering decades ago.

6 Takeaways from Kavanaugh’s Combative Testimony
‘I liked beer. I still like beer,’ defiant nominee tells Judiciary Committee

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. He often jousted with Democratic members. (POOL PHOTO/SAUL LOEB/AFP)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was backed into a corner by the Thursday testimony of one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford. He sat in the same chair about an hour after she vacated it with one mission: To fight back, just like the man who nominated him, President Donald Trump.

Kavanaugh wasted no time in an opening statement he said he wrote himself on Wednesday, ripping into Democratic Senate Judiciary Committee members in a way perhaps no high court nominee ever has. His gloves-off approach could change the judicial confirmation process forever.

Under Questioning, Ford Recalls Kavanaugh ‘Having Fun at My Expense’
Accuser says she struggled academically, still has claustrophobia

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in by chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, focusing on allegations of sexual assault by Kavanaugh against Christine Blasey Ford in the early 1980s. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/POOL)

Christine Blasey Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee she experienced anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-like symptoms after what she says was a sexual assault carried out by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“I struggled academically,” she told ranking member Dianne Feinstein, adding she also had problems having relationships with males when she arrived at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to begin her undergraduate studies.

Russians Targeting Senate, Staff Personal Emails, Sen. Ron Wyden Warns
And the Senate sergeant-at-arms can do nothing to stop the cyber attacks — for now

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told colleagues that Russian hackers have been targeting senators’ and aides’ personal accounts and devices. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Ron Wyden implored his colleagues to enact legislation that would allow the Senate sergeant-at-arms to provide cyber protections to senators and staffers for their personal devices and accounts.

The Oregon Democrat warned Senate leaders that the state-backed Russian group responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 election, “Fancy Bear,” has also tried infiltrating the personal communications networks of senators and their staffers, including Wyden’s own aides.

Photos From the Road: Minnesota Loves a Parade
Roll Call visits the Gopher State, home to several key races this cycle

Dan Feehan, the Democratic nominee in Minnesota’s 1st District, greets guests at the Multicultural Fiesta in St. James, Minn., on Saturday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Minnesota is ground zero for the 2018 midterms. With four competitive House races, two Senate elections and a gubernatorial contest, there’s been no shortage of campaigning across the Gopher State. 

Roll Call is in the state all week, capturing the candidates and talking to voters, so keep following along for more coverage.