Live updates: What we know as presidential vote counts move into Thursday

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(NEXSTAR) – Two days after Election Day we still do not have a clear answer as to who will be the next president of the United States.

Election officials face immense pressure in Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania to complete vote tallies and provide unofficial results that will help project whether Joe Biden will unseat Republican incumbent Donald Trump in the White House.

6:09 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is pushing closer to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to carry the White House. Biden’s victories in the Great Lakes states leave him at 264, meaning he is one battleground state away — any will do — from becoming president-elect.

With just a handful of states still up for grabs, Trump tried to press his case in court in some key swing states. It was unclear if any of his campaign’s legal maneuvering over balloting would succeed in shifting the race in his favor.

Trump, with 214 electoral votes, faces a much higher hurdle. To reach 270, he needs to claim all four remaining battlegrounds: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada.

With millions of votes yet to be tabulated, Biden already had received more than 71 million votes, the most in history. At an afternoon news conference Wednesday, the former vice president said he expected to win the presidency but stopped short of outright declaring victory.

“I will govern as an American president,” Biden said. ”There will be no red states and blue states when we win. Just the United States of America.”

It was a stark contrast to the approach of Trump, who early Wednesday morning falsely claimed that he had won the election.

Trump’s campaign engaged in a flurry of legal activity to try to improve the Republican president’s chances and cast doubt on the election results, requesting a recount in Wisconsin and filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Statewide recounts in Wisconsin have historically changed the vote tally by only a few hundred votes; Biden led by more than 20,000 ballots out of nearly 3.3 million counted.

At the same time, hundreds of thousands of votes were still to be counted in Pennsylvania, and Trump’s campaign said it was moving to intervene in existing Supreme Court litigation over counting mail-in ballots there. The campaign also argued that outstanding votes still could flip the outcome in Arizona, which went for Biden, showcasing an inconsistency in its arguments over prolonged tabulation.

3:30 a.m.

Dozens of angry supporters of President Donald Trump converged on vote-counting centers in Detroit and Phoenix as the returns went against him Wednesday in the two key states, while thousands of anti-Trump protesters demanding a complete tally of the ballots in the still-undecided election took to the streets in cities across the U.S.

“Stop the count!” the Trump supporters chanted in Detroit. ““Stop the steal!” they said in Phoenix.

The protests came as the president insisted without evidence that there were major problems with the voting and the ballot counting, especially with mail-in votes, and as Republicans filed suit in various states over the election.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputies stand at the door of the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office as President Donald Trump supporters rally outside, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Wearing Trump gear, the Phoenix protesters filled much of the parking lot at the Maricopa County election center, and members of the crowd chanted, “Fox News sucks!” in anger over the network declaring Joe Biden the winner in Arizona.

Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican and staunch Trump supporter, joined the crowd, declaring: “We’re not going to let this election be stolen. Period.”

However, observers from both major political parties were inside the election center as ballots were processed and counted, and the procedure was live-streamed online at all times.

Several sheriff’s deputies blocked the entrance to the building. And the vote-counting went on into the night, Maricopa County Elections Department spokeswoman Megan Gilbertson said.

Two top county officials — one a Democrat, the other a Republican — issued a statement expressing concern about how misinformation had spread about the integrity of the election process.

“Everyone should want all the votes to be counted, whether they were mailed or cast in person,” said the statement signed by Clint Hickman, the GOP chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and Democratic Supervisor Steve Gallardo. “An accurate vote takes time. … This is evidence of democracy, not fraud.”

3:05 a.m.

The latest Decision Desk numbers in Arizona have Biden at 50.49% (1,469,341 votes) to Trump’s 48.14% (1,400,951 votes). CNN reporting that election officials will not have further updates for several hours.

3:02 a.m.

Thinking about the possibility of a recount? Here’s how that would work in six key battleground states:

2:07 a.m.

Trump-supporting protesters in Arizona – some of them armed – created a distraction outside the vote count in Maricopa County, where President Trump is hoping to eliminate a vote lead held by Joe Biden.

The protests came as the president insisted without evidence that there were major problems with the voting and the ballot counting, especially with mail-in votes, and as Republicans filed suit in various states over the election.

Wearing Trump gear, the Phoenix protesters filled much of the parking lot at the Maricopa County election center, and members of the crowd chanted, “Fox News sucks!” in anger over the network declaring Joe Biden the winner in Arizona.

Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican and staunch Trump supporter, joined the crowd, declaring: “We’re not going to let this election be stolen. Period.”

However, observers from both major political parties were inside the election center as ballots were processed and counted, and the procedure was live-streamed online at all times.

12:27 a.m.

A winner has not been declared in Georgia’s presidential contest, and former Vice President Joe Biden has continued to eat into President Trump’s lead through much of the day as ballots are tabulated in the counties surrounding Atlanta.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Wednesday evening as of 10:40 p.m. ET that there are approximately 90,735 outstanding ballots.

“Officials in numerous counties are continuing to count ballots, with strong security protocols in place to protect the integrity of our election,” said Raffensperger. “We have long anticipated – and said publicly – that counting would most likely take place into Wednesday night and perhaps Thursday morning. We’re on pace to accomplish that responsibly, ensuring that the voice of every eligible voter is heard. It’s important to act quickly, but it’s more important to get it right.”

In Fulton County, home to Atlanta and Georgia’s most populous county, election officials brought in a fresh shift of workers Wednesday night. Rick Barron, the county elections supervisor, said teams would work past midnight to finish the count.

12:04 a.m.

KOIN reports that two groups of protesters converged in downtown Portland Wednesday evening, with one group going to the city’s Waterfront Park and the other blocking the Morrison Bridge before smashing windows in a central shopping area.

That brought a swift response from law enforcement, and the National Guard was activated around 7 p.m. A riot was declared around the same time.

At least nine people had been arrested in downtown Portland by 8 p.m., according to Unified Command. Deputies said protesters were throwing objects including at least one Molotov cocktail and glass bottles at law enforcement officials.

Authorities said they seized commercial-grade fireworks, hammers and spray paint, and one person was arrested in possession of a rifle.

11:03 p.m.

From Ford Model T cars that popped off the assembly line in just 90 minutes to 60-second service for burgers, the United States has long had a major hand in making the world a frenetic and impatient place, primed and hungry for instant gratification.

So the world’s realization Wednesday that the U.S. election winner might not be known for days or longer was jarring for a planet weaned on American speediness.

Election 2020 South Korea
A man watches a TV screen showing the images of U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden during a news program of the U.S. presidential election, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The guessing game of trying to figure out whether — and how — President Donald Trump or challenger Joe Biden would end up in the White House quickly turned global.

Government leaders scrambled to digest the delay and ordinary people swapped views, hopes and fears on feeds and phones. Some scratched their heads — not for the first time — over the U.S. presidency being decided not by the overall votes by by whoever wins 270 votes in the Electoral College.

Gloating was heard from parts of the world that have been on the receiving end of U.S. criticism about their elections and governance. Underscoring how the drama captured global audiences, television graphics in Japan used fireballs to denote some of the battleground states crucial to the outcome.

10:02 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign filed lawsuits Wednesday in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, laying the groundwork for contesting battleground states as he slipped behind Democrat Joe Biden in the hunt for the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.

The new filings, joining existing Republican legal challenges in Pennsylvania and Nevada, demand better access for campaign observers to locations where ballots are being processed and counted, and raise absentee ballot concerns, the campaign said. However, at one Michigan location in question The Associated Press observed poll watchers from both sides monitoring on Wednesday.

The AP called Michigan for Democrat Joe Biden on Wednesday. Nevada, Pennsylvania and Georgia are undecided.

9:51 p.m.

Through the night we will be providing running updates from the remaining sates and the campaigns below (all times Eastern):

Dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump chanting “Stop the count!” descended on a vote-tallying center in Detroit as Americans on both sides of the political divide vented their anger and frustration over the undecided presidential contest at a handful of protests across the country.

People wanting to be election challengers yell as they look through the windows of the central counting board as police were helping to keep additional challengers from entering due to overcrowding, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The Detroit protests started shortly before The Associated Press said that former Vice President Joe Biden had won the Michigan presidential race.

Video shot by local journalists showed dozens of people gathered outside the TCF Center in Detroit and inside the lobby, with policemen lined up to keep them from going into the counting area.  

Earlier, the Republican campaign filed suit to stop the count until Michigan’s secretary of state, a Democrat, allowed in more inspectors.

9:48 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said earlier Wednesday that he wouldn’t declare victory, but felt confident that he would emerge the winner once the votes were counted.

9:35 p.m.

Democrat Gary Peters has held onto his Senate seat in Michigan. He has defeated Republican challenger John James, a Black business executive and former combat veteran.

The 61-year-old Peters continued Democrats’ dominance of Senate elections in the presidential battleground state. Republicans, who have won just one Senate seat in Michigan since the 1970s, spent heavily to try to unseat Peters in one of their few pickup opportunities.

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., is seen during a drive-in event where he greeted supporters and volunteers, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Pontiac, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Peters is a low-key former congressman, state lawmaker, lottery commissioner and investment adviser who served in the Navy Reserve. He ran by emphasizing his bipartisan work and by criticizing James’ support for President Donald Trump.

9:15 p.m.

It’s not yet clear when Nevada vote count totals will be high enough to award the state’s six electoral votes to President Trump or Joe Biden, but we do know that no additional results will be released Wednesday.

The Nevada Deputy Secretary of State for Elections admitted he made a mistake when he said there would be a result update Wednesday, blaming a lack of sleep.

Elections officials went back and forth through the day, creating conflicting reports about when we would get further clarity about which candidate was likely to claim the state’s six electoral votes.

But then Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said Wednesday afternoon he did not have any numbers to release on ballot counting until Thursday because he wanted to provide accurate information. Gloria said his office will begin providing daily vote count briefings on Thursday.

9:10

President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Georgia Republican Party have filed a lawsuit against the Chatham County Board of Elections asking a judge to order the county to secure and account for ballots received after 7 p.m. on Election Day.

State party chair David Shafer said in a statement Wednesday night that they planned to sue in a dozen counties.

The lawsuit alleges that a Republican observer watched a poll worker take unprocessed absentee ballots from a back room and mix them into processed absentee ballots waiting to be tabulated.

In Georgia, ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day in order to count. Chatham County contains Savannah and leans Democratic.


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