This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

The first presidential debate went off the rails and the second debate was replaced by dueling town hall events after President Donald Trump, who tested positive for COVID-19, pulled out because he wanted to debate in person, not virtually. The final debate between Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is slated for Thursday, Oct. 22, at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) at Belmont University in Nashville. The two candidates will appear on the same stage in person and socially distanced from each other and the moderator.

After constant interruptions plagued the first debate — mostly Trump speaking over Biden — a new rule has been implemented for the final debate. Each candidate’s mic will be muted during the other’s initial 2-minute response to each debate topic. During open discussion afterward, however, both mics will be live.

Otherwise the format will be similar to the first debate. The debate will run for 90 minutes with no commercial breaks. Kristen Welker, NBC News’ White House correspondent, will act as moderator. Welker has announced six topics ahead of Thursday’s debate: 

  • Fighting COVID-19
  • American families
  • Race in America
  • Climate change
  • National security
  • Leadership

How can I watch the debate on TV or online?

The debate will be shown live on every major network and cable news channel, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and C-SPAN. You’ll also be able to stream the debate live on YouTube via CBS News and other services like C-SPAN. (Editors’ note: CBS News is owned by ViacomCBS, which also publishes CNET.) The debate will also be streamed via Twitter’s US Election hub in the Explore tab.

If you don’t have a cable or satellite TV subscription, you can watch the debate with a live-TV streaming service. All of the services listed below carry the major networks and cable news channels. If you want to watch the debate on a particular local network, you can check if each service carries it in your area with the links below.

If you live in an area with good reception, you can watch the debate on ABC, CBS, Fox or NBC for free on over-the-air broadcast channels just by attaching an affordable (under $30) indoor antenna to nearly any TV.

It’s mentioned above, but to reiterate here: If you have a broadband connection, you can watch the full debate live on YouTube and many news sites. We’re linking here to the coverage from our sister site CBSN. (You can also watch at CBSNews.com, and in the CBSN app on various smart TV and mobile app platforms.)

Sling TV’s $30-a-month Blue plan includes NBC and Fox but none of its plans include ABC or CBS. The Blue plan also includes popular cable news channels such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Enter your address here to see which local channels are available where you live.

Read our Sling TV review.

Hulu with Live TV costs $55 a month and includes the four major networks — ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — along with popular cable news channels including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Click the “View channels in your area” link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code.

Read our Hulu with Live TV review.

AT&T Now’s basic $55-a-month Plus package includes the four major networks — ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — along with popular cable news channels including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live.

Read our AT&T TV Now review.

FuboTV costs $60 a month and includes the four major networks — ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — along with popular cable news channels including Fox News and MSNBC but not CNN. Click here to see which local channels you get.

Read our FuboTV review.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes the four major networks — ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — along with popular cable news channels including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.

Read our YouTube TV review.

What else should I know about the 2020 election?

Beyond what’s sure to be an extraordinary debate, the election on Tuesday, Nov. 3 will be marked by disinformation from numerous sources both before and after Election Day. Here are the facts.

Voting by mail: There has been no evidence of coordinated vote-by-mail fraud, with fewer than 150 criminal convictions for the crime over the last 20 years. The president has voted by mail through his home state of Florida, and Republican politicians and Trump’s family members, including Donald Trump Jr., have recorded public service announcements encouraging Republicans to vote by mail.

Different states have different methods of verification, from requiring a signature to having a witness present. Here’s how to find vote-by-mail information for your state.

And no, you can’t vote by text in US federal or state elections.

Read moreHow to commit mail-in voting fraud (it’s nearly impossible)

Absentee ballot: “Absentee ballot” is now being used interchangeably with the term “vote by mail” now that at least 35 states have changed their policies to make it easier for anyone to apply in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Previously, many states only allowed you to get an absentee ballot if you were deployed with the US armed forces, would be out of town on Election Day or were ill.

Election results: Americans are used to getting results on election day, but this year could be different. Widespread use of mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus may mean a final count will take several days or even weeks as officials process the backlog of votes.

QAnon: QAnon is a conspiracy theory that falsely claims that Trump is secretly fighting Democratic elites who run a Satanic child sex-trafficking ring. Trump supporters and Congressional candidates have professed to be believers, despite a lack of any evidence. Earlier this month, 17 Republican congressmen voted against a bipartisan resolution condemning QAnon. 

More 2020 election information

source: cnet.com

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