Sen. Kamala Harris speaks in Charlotte, encouraging early voting

Updated: Oct. 21, 2020 at 11:16 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Senator Kamala Harris was in North Carolina Wednesday urging residents to vote early.

Harris is participating in two voter mobilization events. The first event was held in Asheville at 11:50 a.m., while the Charlotte event started at 6:45 p.m.

Watch the Charlotte event below:

WATCH LIVE | KAMALA HARRIS IN CLT: Senator Kamala Harris visits Charlotte to encourage early voting in North Carolina.

Posted by WBTV News on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

“I do believe the outcome of this race will, in very many ways, be decided by you …North Carolina. It will be,” Harris said Wednesday, 13 days ahead of the election.

“The choices and the decisions you are making will impact people around the country," Harris said. "What you are doing to vote, and vote early, is going to impact people you may never meet and may never know your name, but whose life will forever be changed because of what you are doing.”

President Donald Trump will also be campaigning in North Carolina Wednesday.

Harris planned to visit the two North Carolina cities last week but her plans were scrapped Thursday after two people connected to the Biden campaign tested positive for COVID-19.

Instead, Harris held a virtual event last Thursday with Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, Congresswoman Alma Adams, and leaders across the state to celebrate the first day of in-person early voting. A press release says Sen. Harris would “emphasize the ease of voting early in North Carolina and fire up voters less than three weeks away from the November election.”


WATCH LIVE: Kamala Harris holds a virtual event with Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and Congresswoman Alma Adams to celebrate the first day of in-person early voting in North Carolina.

Posted by WBTV News on Thursday, October 15, 2020

A statement from Biden for President Campaign Manager Jen O’Malley Dillon last week said Sen. Harris' communications director, Liz Allen, and a non-staff flight crew tested positive for the virus. “Senator Harris was not in close contact, as defined by the CDC, with either of these individuals during the two days prior to their positive tests," a letter from the campaign reads.

Out of an abundance of caution, the campaign canceled Harris’s travel through Sunday, October 18.

Dillon says Harris will keep an “aggressive” schedule of virtual campaign activities to reach voters across the country.

“Neither of these people have had contact with Vice President Biden, Senator Harris or any other staffers since testing positive or in the 48 hours prior to their positive test results,” the letter from Dillon stated. The individuals who tested positive for the virus were on a flight with Harris on October 8.

According to the Dillon, the individuals and Harris all wore N95 masks, and Harris was not within 6 feet of the individuals for more than 15 minutes. Tests taken before and after the flight were negative, according to the letter.

“Late last night, I learned a non-staff flight crew member & a member of my team tested positive for COVID. I wasn’t in close contact—as defined by the CDC—with either during the 2 days prior to their positive tests,” Harris tweeted last Thursday.

“Senator Harris has taken 2 PCR tests since October 8th, and the tests all have been negative, most recently on Wednesday, October 14th. All other members of our staff on the flight have also taken routine tests since October 8th (two to three PCRs each); all of these tests have also been negative,” Dillon states.

According to the campaign, Harris planned to deliver remarks at an early vote launch mobilization event in Asheville at 11:30 a.m.

She then planned to head to Charlotte to participate in a campaign hub grand opening at 2:40 p.m. before participating in a voter mobilization event “to encourage North Carolinians to make their plan to vote early” at 6:35 p.m.

Harris shared a video message to N.C. voters about making a plan to vote early.

“We have been waiting for this moment for nearly four years: the chance to vote for a new president and a brighter future for our country. And you have a few easy and convenient ways to vote early and make sure your voice is heard. So let’s make a plan,” Harris says in the video. “First, vote-by-mail is already underway...You can also vote early in-person, starting October 15th. Either way, you’ll be one of the first voters to move our country forward.”

In late September, Harris participated in a “Sister to Sister meets Shop Talk” roundtable in Raleigh where she heard from Black North Carolinians and highlighted the importance of voting and making a change.

Her visit came the day before the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio.

Harris’ husband Douglas Emhoff will be in North Carolina Tuesday.

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