Elena Moore

Elena Moore is an editorial assistant for NPR's Washington Desk working as the researcher for the 2020 campaign. She previously worked at NBC News and is also a proud former Washington Desk intern. Moore is a graduate from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y.

A calico cat named Patches had belonged to Josie Gower, one of the 23 people killed in the mudslides that hit Santa Barbara, Calif., in January 2018. Patches was thought to have died too.

"We had kinda lost hope," Briana Haigh, Gower's daughter, told NPR. Her mom's several cats had slept in her garage, which was destroyed during the disaster.

Updated at 11:45 p.m. ET

Congress reconvened Wednesday night to certify President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, just hours after the U.S. Capitol was thrust into chaos by supporters of President Trump — an angry mob that breached the complex in an unprecedented violent act at the seat of America's federal government.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET Wednesday

Colorado health officials say they may have found a second case of a coronavirus variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom. Officials are currently conducting more genetic testing to determine if the variant is present.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced one confirmed case on Tuesday, marking the first time the variant has been officially documented in the United States.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

Michigan's 16 electoral college votes have successfully been cast for President-elect Joe Biden, overcoming safety concerns from individuals disputing the results of the 2020 election.

In the days of counting that followed election night, there was plenty of stress in the Biden and Harris families. And the whole world could follow along.

The eldest granddaughter of President-elect Joe Biden, Naomi Biden, joked to her 188,000 Twitter followers that she couldn't stop watching cable news and that she'd "kill to be one of those people who 'can't eat when they're stressed' right about now."

Updated on Feb. 25 at 1:45 p.m. ET

In the early weeks of President Biden's administration, his aides are beginning to put policy into action, while the U.S. Senate is taking up his nominees.

The top figures in an administration are made up of a combination of Cabinet and high-ranking nominees who require Senate confirmation, and key advisers tapped by the president, who don't require congressional approval.

President Barack Obama congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his win, urging unity and saying that Biden will "do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote."

The Associated Press called the race for Biden on Saturday morning.

"I encourage every American to give [Biden] a chance and lend him your support," Obama said, adding, "the election results at every level show that the country remains deeply and bitterly divided."

Supporters of President-elect Joe Biden are flocking Saturday to the streets in Washington D.C., to celebrate the news of the Democrat surpassing 270 electoral votes, according to The Associated Press and other news organizations. A large crowd is gathering in Lafayette Square and Black Lives Matter Plaza, areas right next to the White House.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told reporters that the state will conduct a recount given the razor-thin margin between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump.

"The focus for our office and for the county elections officials for now remains on making sure that every legal vote is counted and recorded accurately," Raffensperger said.

"As we are closing in on a final count, we can begin to look toward our next steps. With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia," he predicted.

Key priorities

Joe Biden

  • Make public colleges, historically Black colleges and universities, and minority-serving institutions tuition-free for families making less than $125,000.
  • Make two years of community college and training programs tuition-free.
  • Cancel $10,000 of every American's student debt and revise the current loan repayment system.
  • Establish universal prekindergarten.

Key priorities

Joe Biden

  • Combat climate change by pushing the United States on a path toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, with an intermediate goal of ridding the power sector of carbon pollution by 2035.
  • Invest $2 trillion over four years in green areas, including infrastructure, transportation and auto industries, housing and construction practices, nature conservation efforts and work in environmental justice.

Key Priorities: Economy

Joe Biden

  • Increase investments in American-made products and companies, pouring $400 billion into procurement and $300 billion into research and development, with the aim of creating 5 million new jobs.
  • Reverse Trump tax breaks to corporations and seek a higher minimum wage and expanded benefits for low- and middle-income workers.
  • Read details of Biden's plans below.

President Trump and close to a dozen key members of his circle, including senior White House and campaign staff and Republican senators, have announced positive coronavirus test results in the days before and after Trump tested positive.

Update at 10:40 p.m. ET: Sen. Ed Markey has topped Rep. Joe Kennedy, while Rep. Richard Neal beat Alex Morse. Read more about Markey's win here.


Massachusetts voters are to cast ballots Tuesday in one of the last state primaries of the year.

On the first day of the Republican convention in Charlotte, N.C., more than five months after the coronavirus began spreading across the country, President Trump characterized the White House's response as "the exact right thing."

But, following a blueprint he has used for months, he also shifted responsibility for the pandemic response to the states. He accused many governors of having been "ill-prepared" for the pandemic, while praising others for doing a "fine job."

An extraordinarily high number of ballots — more than 550,000 — have been rejected in this year's presidential primaries, according to a new analysis by NPR.

That's far more than the 318,728 ballots rejected in the 2016 general election and has raised alarms about what might happen in November when tens of millions of more voters are expected to cast their ballots by mail, many for the first time.

Updated Aug. 17 at 12:31 p.m. ET

The next phase of the presidential election started Monday with the launch of the Democratic National Convention. While the quadrennial event usually attracts tens of thousands of people to the host city, which this year is Milwaukee, Wis., the coronavirus has erased the possibility of a traditional series of events.

Challenger Jamaal Bowman has defeated longtime U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary for New York's 16th Congressional District, The Associated Press projects.

Mail-in voting, which tens of millions of Americans are expected to use this November, is fraught with potential problems. Hundreds of thousands of ballots go uncounted each year because people make mistakes, such as forgetting to sign the form or sending it in too late.

Former Vice President Joe Biden took direct aim at President Trump on Tuesday, saying that Trump, who once called himself a "wartime president" taking on the coronavirus pandemic, seems to have now "surrendered."

"Remember when he exhorted the nation to sacrifice together in the face of this ... 'invisible enemy'? What happened? Now it's almost July, and it seems like our wartime president has surrendered," Biden said in prepared remarks.

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