ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The Des Moines Register's Tom Beaumont reminds us of how absentee voters made the difference for Gore in Iowa in 2000 and reports on all the efforts to get absentees there this year. LINK

The Detroit Free Press' Labor Day lead headline: "U.S. workers take a hit as pay stalls, costs rise: Job quality looms large as November vote nears" LINK

The Detroit Free Press also explores the elusive Michigan undecided voter. LINK

The Albuquerque Journal continues its series looking at issues in the presidential race affecting the West. Today's installment explores the Bush and Kerry positions on drilling to expand domestic oil production. LINK

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sunday: "There are, it seems, battleground states — and then there are battleground states." Looking at one of those latter battleground states, the paper looks at Michigan AFL-CIO leader Mark Gaffney's attempts to fire up the base. LINK

From the outside:

John Podesta and David Sirota offer up a Labor Day Los Angeles Times op-ed questioning the president's commitment to the middle class. LINK

The politics of Hurricane Frances:

The Washington Post 's Michael Grunwald and Manuel Roig-Franzia wrap the landfall of Hurricane Frances in Florida this weekend, as the weakening storm battered the recovering state, tearing the roofs off thousands of homes and leaving millions without power. President Bush declared a disaster in 18 counties, and an estimated 6,000 workers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are expected to be stationed in the area by this week. LINK

Martin Merzer, Cara Buckley, Daniel Chang, and Wanda DeMarzo of the Miami Herald report that things are beginning to return to normal in South Florida. LINK

The Orlando Sentinel's Wes Smith and Pamela Johnson look at the wide swath of damage across the state wrought by Hurricane Frances, the status of emergency workers and services, and Hurricane Ivan in the distance. LINK

Gov. Jeb Bush issued an order on Sunday allowing the state to ration gasoline, but officials say they don't plan to take that step immediately. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:

On Sunday, the Washington Post 's Jo Becker and Dan Keating took a must-read look at the outmoded voting machines still in use throughout the country, including punch-card ballots in Ohio and Missouri, which is enough to send shivers up any spine when looking ahead to 58 days from now. All of the provisions of the Help America Vote Act have not been put in place yet, and many of the key overhauls won't happen until after Nov. 2. LINK

The politics of same-sex marriage:

Cheryl Wetzstein of the Washington Times gives a status check of the legal battles regarding gay marriage amendments. In Louisiana: over. Michigan: possibly over. And in three others there is still a fight to put it on the ballot. LINK

The politics of national security:

The Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva, yesterday's White House print pooler, looks at Kerry's call for an investigation into Sen. Bob Graham's claim that the Bush Administration "blocked an inquiry into allegations that Saudi Arabian government agents aided two of the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." LINK

"Graham's book, alleging 'an attempted cover-up by the Bush administration,' maintains that mention of the ties between Saudi agents and the Al Qaeda hijackers are contained in 27 pages of the congressional investigation's report kept secret by the White House."

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