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Are Tomorrow's Midterm Safe from Hacking? Big Names Enlisted for Final Midterms Push; Millennial's Running for Office in Both Parties; Iowa Grandmother Claims Half Of $688 Million Prize. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired November 5, 2018 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: There is zero proof that the claims of Georgia Secretary of State, that the state's election has been hacked, but after the 2016 Presidential election, with widespread claims of Russian misinformation campaigns, it begs the question, you know, when we all head to the polls tomorrow, will our votes be safe? CNN's senior international correspondent Alex Marquardt has been looking into this for us, because it's something I really -- I think people want to know the answer to. We talk so much about 2016 and Russia, is my vote going to count?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And of course, when we ask that question, the immediate assumptions, the immediate fears are hacking into the system. But the fact is that election officials, state and federal, are looking at a number of different concerns. And when you compare 2018 versus 2016, they say that the amount of malign or malicious activity, cyber activity they're seeing now pales in comparison to 2016.


MARQUARDT: There are attempts to break into different aspects of the voting system every single day, but they liken it to a burglar that's tiptoeing around a house, rapping on windows, knocking on doors --

BALDWIN: Just as long as they're just knocking and not coming in.

MARQUARDT: Right, so far, no indications of a major breach but they have their antenna up, they're ready for a wide range of different scenarios. So, hacking, because it's first and foremost. When you look at the voting infrastructure, there are a lot of ripe targets. You could hack into the voting machines, the registration rolls, the sites that we at CNN and the states use to report those voting results. They could also hack into non-voting critical infrastructures. So, hacking into a power grid, with taking down street lights, taking down phone lines, but really, Brooke, one of the major things that a lot of election officials are afraid of are disinformation campaigns, on social media, on Twitter, on Facebook. If malign actors, whether it's foreign or domestic, are putting things out to suppress the vote, giving wrong information to voters, who will, you know, for example, telling them that voting has been extended to midnight when it actually closes at 7:00.

BALDWIN: Don't believe everything you read.

[15:35:00] MARQUARDT: And what if a vote does go wrong and there's a recount or it's contested. The one thing that election officials look to are a paper trail. And so much of our voting system is based on computers that there's always the possibility for something to go wrong. And there are 13 different states that either entirely or partially do not have any sort of paper trail. But when you talk to the officials, they're not going to say, this is going to go off without a hitch. Something will happen. It's a question of how big it is, how much it will get amplified by social media. But the very biggest, their main concern is that they don't want there to be an erosion of American voter trust in the electoral system. That's the big fear.

BALDWIN: It's a key question and I know you're all over the voter irregularities. Hopefully you won't be busy tomorrow night, Alex Marquardt for our special election night coverage. Thank you so much for answering that question for me. I really appreciate it.

Coming up next, we'll take you to California and Arizona, were the ground game is critically important in these midterm elections, we have details on the big name candidates are bringing in to get across that finish line.

Plus, one of the Powerball Jackpot winners coming forward with an emotional speech about what she will do with the money, including how she momentarily lost the ticket.


BALDWIN: The final campaign push has reached a fever pitch in both California and Arizona. Volunteers there are Working a last-minute ground game that includes blitzing thousands of voters and bringing in some heavy political hitters. Here's CNN's national correspondent, Kyung Lah.


KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Only hours left in the battle for southern California's 45th district.

KATIE PORTER (D), CALIFORNIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Are you ready for a representative who fights for you?!

LAH: Democratic challenger Katie Porter is rallying her troops.

PORTER: Senator Kamala Harris!

LAH: With some senatorial star power in a U.S. House race too close to call.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: We need our strongest soldiers on the field.

LAH: With just one last weekend, volunteers are grabbing clipboards, pounding the pavement, hitting Houses, like Democratic volunteer, Jennifer Coe and her 7-year-old son, Quincy. Do you feel like this last push by you is going to make a difference?

JENNIFER COE, DEMOCRATIC VOLUNTEER: I'm going to do what I can. I don't want to have any regrets. I don't want to see the election go the other way and see the other candidate win and think that I could have done a little bit of something this weekend, to make that different.

LAH: Republican Congresswoman Mimi Walters is not just on defense, but offense, to save her job and keep this district red.

REP. MIMI WALTERS (R), CALIFORNIA: Thank you. Tell all your friends, thanks a lot.

Is it a fast and furious fight to try to convince those last holdouts?

LAH: You have to work really hard for every single vote. Every vote counts. So, what we're doing, we're making contact with every single voter and making sure that those people who support me turn out to the polls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I volunteer at the congressional leadership fund and we're just calling voters.

LAH: Republican volunteers arrive early.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The number of people we're looking at here is pretty surprising, given that it's 10:00 a.m. on a --

LAH: Ten o'clock r10:00 a.m. on a Saturday and there are young people up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a lot of enthusiasm and we've seen that across this country and that's what leading to these 30 million voter contacts in this election cycle.

LAH: In this last weekend, get out the vote means get to the people, especially in toss-up races. Arizona Senate candidate, Martha McSally --

REP. MARTHA MCSALLY (R), ARIZONA: Get your carbo and protein load here.

LAH: Is serving her closing message with pancakes. She's locked in a tight race with Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, one of the states in the battle for the control of the Senate.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a very important election.

LAH: Both parties are sending out their heavy hitters, crisscrossing the country. The President hit Georgia for Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp.

BARAK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: There have got to be consequences when people don't tell the truth.

LAH: In Indiana, former President Obama campaigned with Democrat Joe Donnelly. A marathon midterm season, finishing with one final sprint.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: There's so many races that are too close to call. What is it going to take to push it over the finish line?

LAH: It's going to take people getting out to vote. This election cycle, what I'm experiencing is that people realize that they actually have to vote if they want to influence the outcome.


BALDWIN: Kyung Lah reporting. Kyung, thank you. And from the ground game to star power, celebrities from Pharrell to Alicia Keys showing up on the campaign trail. We'll talk about whether they actually have any real sway. And hear why Rihanna and Axl Rose actually have a beef with the President.

But first time for a "Mighty Millennials" it highlights the new generation of political candidates. In Georgia, one state House race has people running in both parties. Republican Megan Hanson beat the incumbent by one point in 2016 in a district that went for Hillary Clinton by 14 points. The 34-year old attorney is known for introducing the so-called brunch bill that is on ballots across Georgia tomorrow. It would allow cities to decide what time they want to serve alcohol on Sundays. Hanson's Democratic opponent, Mathews Wilson is also a 34-year-old attorney. He is gay and says he has gotten involved in politics when pills were proposed in Georgia that would have impacted his ability to adopt children and avoid discrimination. Wilson was one of 81 candidates across the country endorsed by President Obama. We'll be right back.


[15:50:00] KELLY ROWLAND, SINGER: I couldn't talk, because I was slightly starstruck by Beto. So now I'm going to go back to everybody and say you must meet this man, because one, he's definitely here for change. He's definitely here to shift the trajectory for not just my son but for all of us.

BALDWIN: That was singer and former "Destiny's Child" member, Kelly Rowland, hitting the stage for Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke, trying to unseat the incumbent there, Republican Ted Cruz. And Rowland is part of this wave of stars, using status for mostly Democrats on the campaign trail. So, CNN politics reporter and editor at large, Chris Cillizza, is here with me with all of these celebrities, and do they really make a difference?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: So many. And honestly, Brooke, yes, celebrities are often involved in politics but more so now. I think Trump has really, particularly for Democrats. One of my favorite fictional characters, Ricky Bobby, cut something for Doug Jones, you remember him, the guy that beat Roy Moore. Let's look at that and then talk more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. DOUG JONES (D). ALABAMA: Hey, guys, it's Doug Jones. I'm here with my friend, Ricky Bobby, right here, telling everybody, get out to vote November 6th. Isn't that right, Ricky?

RICKY BOBBY--WILL FERRELL, ACTOR, COMIC: That's right, just remember. I piss excellence and I crap freedom. If you don't vote, first, you're last.

JONES: You're last. Vote, November 6.

FERRELL: November 6.

JONES: All right.

FERRELL: All right.


CILLIZZA: If you don't -- if you're not first, you're last. That's definitely a motto. OK. So, Will Ferrell has been very active. He was with Stacy Abrams in Georgia. You can see the shirt there. He's far from the only person, as we covered last week, Oprah for Stacy Abrams. There are a lot of celebrities in there for Stacy Abrams. I want to go to the broader list here, Brooke. Because it's a lot of people. So, let me -- OK. So here we go. Most of these, by the way, are for Democrats. We touched on Ferrell. John legend, same thing. Oprah. Amy Schumer actually very active in politics for a number of candidates, including Stacy Abrams, including Andrew Gillum. Don't forget this. No celebrity endorsement got more attention than Swift endorsing Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper for Congress.

Phil Bredesen, The former governor, former Nashville mayor, current Senate candidate against Marsha Blackburn. We shall see if it works. Remember, just because celebrities endorse you, you get a press bump, but no guarantee they deliver votes. We shall see. I will tell you, if Phil Bredesen wins, we will be debating the Taylor Swift factor. Back to you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: What about the Rihanna factor, we know that over the weekend at the Trump rally in Tennessee her song, "Don't Stop the Music" was blasting over the loud speakers but it sounds like she was none too pleased when she found out they were using her song.

CILLIZZA: Yes. This is a story as old as time. Politician, particularly Republican politician, uses a musician, who is usually pretty liberal who says you can't do it. Here is Rihanna in response to hearing that Trump was using it.

"Not for much longer, me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies. She could have gone with sad. And been on brand with Trump. Whatever. Thanks for the heads up, fella. But Rihanna, far from the only person. We have one more slide that shows -- OK.

These are all people who have told Trump not to play their music. I will point this guy out, not just because in the 1980s Guns N' Roses was the biggest band when I was growing up. But go to Axl Rose's Twitter feed. He has an extended explanation why he doesn't want Guns N' Roses music being used for Donald Trump. The most interesting thing about it is he uses n' rather than and. Guns N' Roses. Back to you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: "Sweet Child of Mine," "November Rain."

CILLIZZA: "Welcome to The Jungle." My 80s sound track. 90s sound track.

BALDWIN: Next, one of two winners of a massive Powerball Jackpot is coming forward and getting pretty emotional about her big win. Hear what she is doing with the money.


BALDWIN: Before I let you go, how about this one. A grandmother from a small town in Iowa just went public as one of two winners of the giant Powerball drawing. She is 51-year-old Lorin West. She opted for the $198 million lump sum. The single mom says she has worked full time on nights and weekends just to pay for school and to take care of her family and a little detail, currently drives a ford fiesta with 142,000 miles and wants a new car. She says she plans to share the money with her family and create a charity in honor of her grandson, who died prematurely after being born at 24 weeks.


LORIN WEST, POWERBALL JACKPOT WINNER: I know the responsibility that I have to do good with this money. Once you have won and you realize the responsibility and, you know, just the impact that you can make, all frivolity goes out the window. I started thinking more of who I'm going to help, and my stuff has been sort of an after thought to me.


BALDWIN: The day after the Powerball drawing, west says she actually couldn't find her ticket. Turns out she had left it on the floor of her sister's pickup truck. By the way, no one has claimed the other winning ticket purchased in New York. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me here today. Let's go now to "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper. It starts right now.