Now, after an election year in which Mr. Trump repeatedly and falsely disparaged mail voting as rife with fraud, state Republicans are arguing that mail-in voting needs more restrictions.

There is no new evidence supporting that assertion. But one thing did change in 2020: the increase in Black voters who availed themselves of absentee balloting, helping Democrats to dominate the mail-in ballot results during the presidential election.

“It’s just really a sad day,” Mr. Small, from the Greater Gaines church, said.

“It’s a very challenging time for all of us, just for the inalienable right to vote that we fought so hard for, and right now, they’re trying to turn back the clock to try to make sure it’s difficult,” he said.

Pastor Clarke of St. Philip Monumental said the Republican effort to impose more restrictions could backfire, energizing an already active electorate.

“Donald Trump woke us up,” he said. “There are more people in the congregation that are more aware and alert and have a heightened awareness to politics. So while we know that and we believe that his intentions were ill, we can honestly say that he has woken us up. That we will never be the same.”

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Democrats Want a Stronger Edge in the Senate. Ohio Could Be Crucial.

And few states, in the Midwest or beyond, have the symbolic resonance of Ohio, which for decades served as a political bellwether and swing-state proving ground. Now, however, even the most optimistic Ohio Democrats acknowledge that they reside in a Republican-leaning state and must take lessons on how to compete from their ideological counterparts in other precincts of red-state America.

“We should look at how Democrats won in Montana and Kansas,” said Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, who is planning a run for governor next year. “That’s a new place for us to look because we’ve always been a battleground, but national messages don’t fit right into Ohio.”

One of the most consequential questions for Ohio Democrats is out of their hands: What direction will Republicans take in the Biden era? “Where they land is going to be a big deal,” Ms. Whaley said.

Had Mr. Portman run for re-election, this would have been a far less weighty question in Ohio. He and Gov. Mike DeWine, another establishment-aligned and well-known incumbent, would have campaigned on their own political brands, never confronting Mr. Trump but also never embracing him, either.

Now, though, the open Senate seat is thrusting the loyalty-obsessed former president to the forefront of his party’s nascent primary, as the announced candidates compete to see who can hug Mr. Trump tightest.

Josh Mandel, a former state treasurer who twice ran against Mr. Brown before withdrawing from the 2018 race and disappearing from public view, has resurfaced as an ardent MAGA man. In interviews and tweets since entering the race to succeed Mr. Portman, he has claimed that Mr. Trump’s second impeachment prompted him to run — never mind his previous two bids — and vowed to advance Mr. Trump’s “America First Agenda.”

Perhaps more striking, though, is the maneuvering by Jane Timken, a wealthy executive who was elevated to the chair of the Ohio Republican Party in 2017 in part because Mr. Trump took the extraordinary step as president-elect to make calls to party activists on her behalf.

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What It’s Like to Lose Someone to Covid-19?

“Mom’s love for me
was unconditional.

There’s nothing she
wouldn’t do for me.

And there was nothing I
wouldn’t do for her.

I bought this
house for my mom.

I was tired of her moving
around every two years.

We were living together
here about a year

and a few months.

She would tell me sometimes,

‘Can you keep
your music down today,

I got to
take a test?’”

“Graduating class to the
Morgan State University.”

“She received her degree
in speech communication

on May 16, 2020.

Of course it was virtual, so
we did it in the living room.

We did a whole photo shoot
and we put all this stuff up

on the wall.

And she just
had a ball.

That was

one of the most happiest
days I’ve ever seen that lady.

She had reached
a lifelong goal that

she had been
talking about.

Just always said,

‘I’m going to get a degree.

It’s going to be
the last thing I do.

I’m going to get a degree.’

And it was.

It was.

I thought my mom would
die of old age, such

a faithful woman.

I just knew she would
be on this earth

until she was old and gray.

On my mom’s death certificate it

says Covid.

So any time I hear that,
I automatically go to her,

and I’m thinking about her.

It’s just, it’s a trigger.

The heaviness of grief
is very unpredictable.

It comes out of nowhere.

There are a lot of
reminders — just coming

home, being in here, this
room that I’m in was hers.

The first few months,

I didn’t really touch
anything up here.

I couldn’t — it was rough,
smelling her scent,

just being in her dwelling.

Just walking in this
house even now, sometimes …

… I hate it.

I hate that I bought this house.”

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Amanda Gorman Says Security Guard Confronted Her, Saying She Looked ‘Suspicious’

Amanda Gorman, who became a national sensation when she delivered a stirring poem at President Biden’s inauguration in January, said on Friday that a security guard had followed her home and told her she looked suspicious.

“A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight,” Ms. Gorman wrote on Twitter. “He demanded if I lived there because ‘you look suspicious.’ I showed my keys & buzzed myself into my building. He left, no apology. This is the reality of black girls: One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat.”

Ms. Gorman said in another tweet: “In a sense, he was right. I AM A THREAT: a threat to injustice, to inequality, to ignorance. Anyone who speaks the truth and walks with hope is an obvious and fatal danger to the powers that be.”

Ms. Gorman, 22, who is from Los Angeles, did not immediately respond to a message sent through her website on Friday night. She is the youngest inaugural poet ever in the United States and was named the United States’ first youth poet laureate in 2017, when she was a student at Harvard.

“The Hill We Climb” in front of the sunlit Capitol, just days after a violent mob of Trump supporters had laid siege to the building as Congress met to certify the results of the presidential election.

In the poem, Ms. Gorman spoke of “striving to forge a union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.” She described her background as a “skinny Black girl, descended from slaves and raised by a single mother,” who can dream of being president one day, “only to find herself reciting for one.”

After the inauguration, IMG Models, which represents supermodels including Alek Wek, Paloma Elsesser and Joan Smalls, announced that it would represent Ms. Gorman for fashion and beauty endorsements.

And “Good Morning America” broke the news that Ms. Gorman would perform at the Super Bowl preshow, which she did in February.

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