Parties, prayer after Biden wins presidency

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest updates on the 2020 presidential campaign (all times EST):

12:30 p.m.

Across the country, there were parties and prayer after Democrat Joe Biden won the presidency.

In New York City, spontaneous block parties broke out Saturday. People ran out of their buildings, banging on pots. They danced and high-fived with strangers amid honking horns.

People streamed into Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House, waving sings and taking cellphone pictures.

In Lansing, Michigan, Donald Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter demonstrators filled the Capitol steps.

The lyrics to “Amazing Grace” began to echo through the crowd, and the Trump supporters put their hands on a counterprotester and prayed.

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12:13 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won Nevada, adding to his Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump.

Biden clinched Nevada on Saturday afternoon, shortly after he won the presidency by taking Pennsylvania.

Trump had made a strong play in Nevada, holding several rallies there in the final stretch of the campaign. Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly won Nevada in 2016, and Republicans saw an opening to expand their electoral map.

The pandemic has pummeled Nevada’s tourism-dependent economy, especially, hampering Trump’s ability to make inroads in the state.

Nevada is also home to a large Hispanic population, a voting bloc that typically leans Democratic.

The last Republican presidential candidate to win Nevada was George W. Bush in 2004.

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12:10 p.m.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris says she and President-elect Joe Biden have a lot of work to do.

Harris made the comments in a tweet Saturday, shortly after Biden clinched the presidency by winning Pennsylvania.

She says, “This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”

The California senator makes history with her election as vice president. She is the first woman, the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the office.

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Noon

President-elect Joe Biden says it’s time for America to “unite” and to “heal.”

Biden said in a statement Saturday, “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.”

“We are the United States of America,” he wrote. “And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”

Biden made no mention of his opponent, President Donald Trump, who has not conceded the race.

Biden clinched the White House with a victory in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born. He will be the 46th president of the United States.

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11:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is not conceding to President-elect Joe Biden, promising unspecified legal challenges seeking to overturn the outcome of the race for the White House.

Trump said in a statement that “our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”

Trump was at his Virginia golf course when the presidential race was called for Biden on Saturday. Biden clinched his victory with a win in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born.

In recent weeks, Trump has alleged — without evidence — widespread fraud and misconduct in the election.

His comments have drawn bipartisan rebuke from election officials and lawmakers as dangerous attempts to undermine public confidence in the vote.

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11:40 a.m.

People cheered and pumped their fists along the Wilmington, Delaware, waterfront as the news that the presidential race had been called for the state’s former senator arrived on their cellphones.

The waterfront is just steps from the outdoor stage that Democrat Joe Biden erected on Election Day to celebrate victory.

On the water late Saturday morning, two men on a kayak yelled to a couple paddling by in the opposite direction, “Joe won! They called it!” as people on the shore whooped and hollered.

Biden’s campaign had not yet scheduled a victory celebration, but he was expected to take the stage for a drive-in rally after dark.

During a speech late Friday night, Biden said he would be declared the winner very soon, adding, “I hope to be talking to you tomorrow.

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11:25 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won Pennsylvania, surpassing the 270 electoral vote threshold to take the White House and become the 46th president of the United States.

Biden also carried Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan on his path to the presidency, flipping states that President Donald Trump won in 2016.

Pennsylvania was a must-win state for Trump.

The 77-year-old Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and sought to contrast his working-class roots with the affluent Trump’s by casting the race as “Scranton versus Park Avenue.”

Biden’s victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots.

Trump is the first incumbent president to lose reelection since Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992.

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10:45 a.m.

States are still counting votes in the presidential election, Democrat Joe Biden is on the verge of victory and President Donald Trump is at his Virginia golf club for the first time since the end of September.

Trump left the White House on Saturday morning and had on golf shoes, a windbreaker and a white hat.

The White House isn’t immediately responding to questions about the president’s possible golfing partners.

There were a few people with Biden flag banners outside the club entrance when Trump arrived.

Trump also has spent the morning tweeting about his unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud and illegal voting. Twitter hid four of the president’s tweets behind a warning label that they may contain disputed or misleading statements about the election.

2:08 a.m.

Joe Biden’s transition team isn’t waiting for a verdict in the presidential race before getting to work.

As officials continue to count ballots in several undecided states, longtime Biden aide Ted Kaufman is leading efforts to ensure the former vice president can begin building out a government in anticipation of a victory.

Kaufman is a former senator from Delaware who was appointed to fill the seat vacated when Biden was elected vice president. He also worked on Barack Obama’s transition team in 2008, and helped write legislation formalizing the presidential transition process.

Biden first asked Kaufman to start work on a just-in-case transition in April, shortly after the former vice president locked up the presidential nomination at the conclusion of a once-crowded Democratic primary. Now, each day after the election that goes by without a declared winner is one day fewer to formally begin preparing to take over the White House.

The transition can be a frenzied process even under normal circumstances.

In the meantime, an odd political limbo has taken told. The Biden team is moving forward but can’t tackle all that needs to be accomplished; President Donald Trump continues to claim without evidence that the election is being stolen from him.

It’s at least somewhat reminiscent of the 2000 presidential race and that year’s post-election legal fight over the recount in Florida. After more than a month, the dispute between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore was decided by the Supreme Court — truncating the transition period to just 39 days before the January 2001 inauguration.

Clay Johnson, who headed Bush’s transition team, said Biden’s advisers “can’t wait to be sure that the president-elect really is the president-elect. They have to hurry up and move forward.”

Johnson said that in June of 1999 — about 17 months before Election Day 2000 — Bush approached him about heading the possible transition, having seen his father go through the process 11 years earlier. Prior to Election Day, Bush had already settled on Andy Card to serve as chief of staff for both the transition and at the White House.

Johnson thought they were ahead of schedule. But then came the recount.

After an initial 10 days or so, Bush’s running mate, Dick Cheney, told Johnson to begin raising money and making staffing decisions, declaring that the race “is going to be resolved one way or the other.”

The Bush team was unable to conduct FBI background checks on potential Cabinet members and other appointees with no official winner declared. Instead, it used a former White House general counsel from the Reagan administration to conduct interviews designed to screen for potential problems that might have turned up in background checks.

“You have to assume you are it and not be presumptuous but they better be working hard as if they are it,” Johnson said of Biden’s team. “And they should have started doing that last Tuesday night.”

Biden’s campaign has refused to comment on the transition process. His closest advisers say the top priority will be announcing a White House chief of staff, then assembling the pieces needed to tackle the coronavirus.

A president gets 4,000 appointees, and more than 1,200 of them must be confirmed by the Senate. That could be a challenge for Biden since the Senate may well remain controlled by the Republicans.

The transition process formally starts once the General Service Administration determines the winner based on all available facts. That’s vague enough guidance that Trump could pressure the agency’s director to stall.

It’s also unclear if the president would meet personally Biden. President Barack Obama met with Trump less than a week after the election, but there was no dispute about him having topped Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College.

Whenever the process starts, Biden will have to cope with the coronavirus, which has killed more than 230,000 Americans. Biden has promised to use his transition period to meet with the governors of every state and ask them to impose a nationwide mask-wearing mandate. He says he plans to go around any holdouts to secure such rules from county and local officials.

Another key decision will be how Biden decides to deploy his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris. His campaign has indicated that Biden will establish a White House-level coronavirus task force like Trump did, but it’s not clear if he will tap Harris to run it. Vice President Mike Pence heads the current panel.

As his team awaits the results of the ballot counting, Biden is huddling in his Wilmington home with top advisers and family. Harris has stuck close too, occupying a Delaware hotel with her family since Election Night and joining Biden as he gave remarks in recent days.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a former Biden presidential primary rival, said he expects Harris to be “a real partner” to Biden and hopes to see her “managing major issues of importance.”

___

11:33 p.m.

Joe Biden’s transition team isn’t waiting for a verdict in the presidential race before getting to work.

As officials continue to count ballots in several undecided states, longtime Biden aide Ted Kaufman is leading efforts to ensure the former vice president can begin building out a government in anticipation of a victory.

“While we’re waiting for the final results, I want people to know we are not waiting to get the work done,” Biden said in a speech late Friday night, appearing with his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, at the convention center not far from his home in Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden noted that he and Harris had met virtually Thursday with public health and economic experts as they begin working to combat the coronavirus pandemic, saying it is becoming “significantly more worrisome all across the country.”

Kaufman is a former senator from Delaware who was appointed to fill the seat vacated when Biden was elected vice president. He also worked on Barack Obama’s transition team in 2008, and helped write legislation formalizing the presidential transition process.

Biden first asked Kaufman to start work on a just-in-case transition in April, shortly after the former vice president locked up the presidential nomination at the conclusion of a once-crowded Democratic primary. Now, each day after the election that goes by without a declared winner is one fewer to formally begin preparing to take over the White House.

The transition can be a frenzied process even under normal circumstances.

In the meantime, an odd political limbo has taken told. The Biden can’t tackle all that needs to be accomplished while President Donald Trump continues to claim without evidence that the election is being stolen from him.

It’s at least somewhat reminiscent of the 2000 presidential race and that year’s post-election legal fight over the recount in Florida. After more than a month, the dispute between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore was decided by the Supreme Court — truncating the transition period to just 39 days before the January 2001 inauguration.

Clay Johnson, who headed Bush’s transition team, said Biden’s advisers “can’t wait to be sure that the president-elect really is the president-elect. They have to hurry up and move forward.”

Johnson said that in June of 1999 — about 17 months before Election Day 2000 — Bush approached him about heading the possible transition, having seen his father go through the process 11 years earlier. Prior to Election Day, Bush had already settled on Andy Card to serve as chief of staff for both the transition and at the White House.

Johnson thought they were ahead of schedule. But then came the recount.

After an initial 10 days or so, Bush’s running mate, Dick Cheney, told Johnson to begin raising money and making staffing decisions, declaring that the race “is going to be resolved one way or the other.”

The Bush team was unable to conduct FBI background checks on potential Cabinet members and other appointees with no official winner declared. Instead, it used a former White House general counsel from the Reagan administration to conduct interviews designed to screen for potential problems that might have turned up in background checks.

“You have to assume you are it and not be presumptuous but they better be working hard as if they are it,” Johnson said of Biden’s team. “And they should have started doing that last Tuesday night.”

Biden’s campaign has refused to comment on the transition process. His closest advisers say the top priority will be announcing a White House chief of staff, then assembling the pieces needed to tackle the coronavirus.

A president gets 4,000 appointees, and more than 1,200 of them must be confirmed by the Senate. That could be a challenge for Biden since the Senate may well remain controlled by the Republicans.

The transition process formally starts once the General Service Administration determines the winner based on all available facts. That’s vague enough guidance that Trump could pressure the agency’s director to stall.

It’s also unclear if the president would meet personally Biden. President Barack Obama met with Trump less than a week after the election, but there was no dispute about him having topped Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College.

Whenever the process starts, Biden will have to cope with the coronavirus, which has killed more than 230,000 Americans. Biden has promised to use his transition period to meet with the governors of every state and ask them to impose a nationwide mask-wearing mandate. He says he plans to go around any holdouts to secure such rules from county and local officials.

Another key decision will be how Biden decides to deploy his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris. His campaign has indicated that Biden will establish a White House-level coronavirus task force like Trump did, but it’s not clear if he will tap Harris to run it. Vice President Mike Pence heads the current panel.

As his team awaits the results of the ballot counting, Biden is huddling in his Wilmington home with top advisers and family. Harris has stuck close too, occupying a Delaware hotel with her family since Election Night and joining Biden as he gave remarks in recent days.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a former Biden presidential primary rival, said he expects Harris to be “a real partner” to Biden and hopes to see her “managing major issues of importance.”

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11:05 p.m.

Joe Biden says he is already preparing to assume the presidency even though he has not been declared the winner in his race against President Donald Trump.

“I want people to know we’re not waiting to get the work done,” he said late Friday in remarks to the nation.

Biden said he and his running mate, Kamala Harris, have held briefings on the coronavirus and the economy this week as the U.S. records record daily cases.

He noted nearly 240,000 people have died from the pandemic and said he wants those families to know they aren’t alone.

He also addressed the millions of Americans who remain out of work and are struggling to pay rent or buy food.

“We don’t have any more time to waste on partisan warfare,” he said.

The Associated Press has not yet declared a winner in the race between Biden and Trump because neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to carry the White House.

_

8:05 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump is growing in battleground Pennsylvania.

By Friday evening, the Democrat held a lead of over 19,500 votes out of more than 6.5 million ballots cast. That’s an edge of about 0.29%. State law dictates that a recount must be held if the margin between the two candidates is less than 0.5%.

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the state.

The Pennsylvania secretary of state’s website said Friday that there were 102,541 more mail ballots that needed to be counted, including many from Allegheny County, a Democratic area that is home to Pittsburgh, and the Democratic stronghold of Philadelphia County.

Additionally, there are potentially tens of thousands of provisional ballots that remain to be tabulated, though an exact number remained unclear. Those ballots will be counted after officials verify their eligibility to be included.

Pennsylvania is among a handful of battleground states that Trump and Biden are narrowly contesting as they seek the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

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6:40 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada has grown slightly, putting the former vice president ahead by 22,657 votes in the battleground state.

The results Friday afternoon were mail-in ballots from Democrat-heavy Clark County, which include Las Vegas and three-quarters of Nevada’s population.

Biden had 632,558 votes, and Trump had 609,901. Vote counting in the state — and several other battlegrounds — is continuing.

The fresh batch of results was among 63,000 mail ballots that Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria said Friday morning that his workers were starting to process. He expected the bulk would be processed by Sunday.

Gloria has said an additional 60,000 provisional ballots will be processed later.

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6:05 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is adding to his lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia.

As of early Friday evening, Biden had overtaken Trump by 4,235 votes in the battleground state, which Trump must win to have a shot at reelection.

The Democrat first surpassed Trump in the state vote count on Friday morning as votes continue to be counted.

The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call.

Trump’s lead dwindled after Election Day when state officials began processing mail-in ballots, a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor after Trump spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

If there is less than a 0.5 percentage point difference between Biden’s and Trump’s vote totals, state law dictates that a recount must be held. Biden currently holds a lead of about 0.08 percentage points.

A Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992.

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5:25 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris is expected to deliver remarks Friday alongside Joe Biden.

Biden has scheduled a prime-time address on the presidential contest as votes continue to be counted in several battleground states. Biden is on the cusp of victory as he opened narrow leads over President Donald Trump in Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Harris has appeared alongside Biden during his remarks in recent days but has not made any public comments herself on the state of the race. A campaign official confirmed she will speak Friday night before Biden does.

The California senator has been at a hotel in Wilmington, Delaware, with her family since Tuesday night.

The Associated Press has not yet declared a winner in Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Alaska.

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3:30 p.m.

Top Republican officials in Georgia say they are confident the secretary of state will ensure that ballots are properly counted.

The statement Friday from GOP Gov. Brian Kemp and others came a day after President Donald Trump alleged without any details or evidence that election officials are trying to “steal the election” from him.

Trump said Thursday that the “election apparatus in Georgia is run by Democrats,” even though the top election official is a Republican whom he endorsed.

Democrat Joe Biden was leading Trump in Georgia by about 1,500 votes midday Friday. The Associated Press has not called the race for either candidate yet.

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3:10 p.m.

The federal agency that oversees U.S. election security is pushing back at unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud without mentioning that President Donald Trump is making unfounded allegations about the vote count.

A new statement from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency notes that local election offices have detection measures that “make it highly difficult to commit fraud through counterfeit ballots.”

CISA, a component of the Department of Homeland Security, published the statement Friday on a section of its website devoted to dispelling rumors. It said it was countering a rumor about the role of DHS and CISA in the printing of ballots and auditing of results. Neither agency has a role in printing or auditing ballots. CISA principally helps local and state election departments protect themselves against cyberattacks.

CISA also put out a statement noting that the systems and processes used to tabulate votes and certify results “are protected by various safeguards that help ensure the accuracy of election results.”

The agency has been urging the public for weeks to be patient during the counting of results, which was slower this year in large part because of COVID-19 and the large number of mail-in ballots. It has made no comment on Trump saying without evidence that the ballot-counting process is unfair and corrupt.

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2:50 p.m.

Pennsylvania Republicans are turning to the U.S. Supreme Court to ask for an order that mail ballots arriving after Election Day in the battleground state be segregated. The state’s top elections official already had ordered those ballots be kept apart.

The emergency request Friday came as Democrat Joe Biden inched ahead of President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania.

The plea is part of an ongoing Republican appeal to the Supreme Court to try to keep ballots received in the mail after Election Day from being counted. The state’s top court granted a three-day extension, and the Supreme Court refused to block it.

But Democratic Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told local officials to keep the ballots separate because the high court hasn’t ultimately decided whether to step in.

Republicans presented no evidence that counties are not adhering to Boockvar’s orders, but said, “It is unclear whether all county boards are following them in the post-election chaos.”

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the state.

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2 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has increased his lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada to 20,137 votes.

Results released Friday from Democrat-heavy Clark County, which includes Las Vegas and three-quarters of Nevada’s population, along with two rural counties, put Biden at 627,104 votes and Trump at 606,967.

Biden’s lead nearly doubled from Thursday, when he was leading Trump by about 11,000 votes.

The Associated Press has not called the presidential race. Votes are still being counted in several battleground states.

Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria says his county has an additional 63,000 mail ballots to be processed over the next few days and 60,000 provisional ballots to be processed later.

Gloria said Clark County would release more results Friday afternoon but he said he did not know exactly how many ballots could be included in that release.

The state has said it will provide an update later Friday on how many ballots are yet to be counted statewide. On Thursday, they reported that number at 190,150.

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1:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he “will never give up fighting for you and our nation” as he is on the cusp of losing his bid for reelection.

Trump is spending Friday at the White House tweeting, watching results come in and continuing to cast unfounded doubt over the integrity of the election.

He says in a statement released by his campaign: “We believe the American people deserve to have full transparency into all vote counting and election certification.” And he adds that, “This is no longer about any single election. This is about the integrity of our entire election process.”

There is no evidence that any votes cast illegally are being counted or that the process is unfair and corrupt. Indeed, the ballot-counting process across the country largely has been running smoothly, if slowly, because of the increase in mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Trump is nonetheless threatening continued legal action, saying: “We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government.”

Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden, has opened up narrow leads over Trump in the critical battlegrounds of Georgia and Pennsylvania.

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12:40 p.m.

Joe Biden’s campaign says he will give a speech during prime time Friday.

The Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign announced that he would be making an address but did not say where or what he plans to say.

Biden is on the cusp of winning the presidency as he opens up narrow leads over President Donald Trump in several critical backgrounds.

The Associated Press has not called the presidential race. Votes are still being counted in states including Pennsylvania and Georgia.

He has urged the public to be patient as vote counting continues. He was spending Friday at home in Wilmington, Delaware.

A stage set up since election night for a victory party outside the city’s convention center remained intact and has been secured for days by security personnel using high fencing and car barriers.

Biden campaign staffers who arrived in Wilmington for a victory party earlier in the week have been told to hold onto their hotel rooms until early next week.

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11:50 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

By Friday morning, Biden overtook Trump in the number of ballots counted in the state, which Trump must win to have a shot at reelection. Biden leads by about 9,000 votes. The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call. Votes in the state are still being counted.

Trump’s lead dwindled after Election Day when state officials began processing mail-in ballots, a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor. Trump spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

If there is less than a half percentage point difference between Biden’s and Trump’s vote totals, state law dictates that a recount must be held.

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8:50 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is now leading President Donald Trump in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

By Friday morning, Biden overtook Trump in the number of ballots counted in the state, which Trump must win to have a shot at reelection. Biden now holds a nearly 6,000-vote advantage.

The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call. Votes in the state are still being counted.

Trump’s lead dwindled after Election Day when state officials began processing mail-in ballots, a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor after Trump spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

If there is less than a half percentage point difference between Biden’s and Trump’s vote totals, state law dictates that a recount must be held.

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4:40 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is now leading President Donald Trump in the battleground state of Georgia.

By Friday morning, Biden overtook Trump in the number of ballots counted in the battleground, a must-win state for Trump that has long been a Republican stronghold. Biden now has a 917-vote advantage.

The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call. Thousands of ballots are still left to be counted — many in counties where the former vice president was in the lead.

An AP analysis showed that Biden’s vote margins grew as counties processed mail ballots cast in his favor.

There is a potential that the race could go to a recount. Under Georgia law, if the margin between Biden and Trump is under half a percentage point of difference, a recount can be requested.

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7:55 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden says, “No one is going to take our democracy away from us.” His comment came after President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims that Democrats were trying to “steal” the presidential election from him.

In a Thursday evening tweet, Biden says, “America has come too far, fought too many battles, and endured too much to let that happen.”

The nation is waiting to learn whether Biden or Trump will collect the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the presidency. Biden’s victories in Michigan and Wisconsin have put him in a commanding position, but Trump has showed no sign of giving up.

Speaking earlier Thursday from the White House, Trump did not back up his claim about Democrats with any details or evidence. State and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud.

The ballot-counting process across the country has been running smoothly, and the count is ongoing in several battleground states.

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7:10 p.m.

A federal judge has denied a bid by President Donald Trump’s campaign to stop the vote count in Philadelphia over observer access, urging the two sides to instead forge an agreement.

U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond suggested each party be allowed 60 observers inside a hall at a downtown convention center where the final ballots are being tallied. As the hearing unfolded Thursday evening, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden were locked in a tight battle for the 20 electoral votes in Pennsylvania.

Diamond, an appointee of President George W. Bush, chastened the lawyers as both sides bickered about who was following the rules and reminded them they are officers of the court.

“Really, can’t we be responsible adults here and reach an agreement?” the exasperated judge asked. “The whole thing could (soon) be moot.”

Republicans went to court Thursday afternoon to complain that election officials in the Democratic-led city were ignoring a state court order they’d won earlier in the day to give them a closer view of ballot processing.

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7:05 p.m.

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the presidential race, with a number of battleground states still too early to call.

But President Donald Trump is renewing his unfounded claims that Democrats are trying to “steal” the election from him. He did not back up his claim with any details or evidence. State and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud.

Trump spoke from the White House briefing room on Thursday, unleashing harsh criticism of pre-election polling that showed him trailing Democrat Joe Biden and claiming without evidence that the ballot-counting process is unfair and corrupt. He also renewed his criticism of widespread use of mail-in balloting in the pandemic.

The ballot-counting process across the country has been running smoothly, and the count is ongoing in several battleground states.

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6:15 p.m.

A legal effort in Nevada by President Donald Trump’s campaign and state Republicans to try to stop the count of mail ballots in Las Vegas is over.

A document submitted in an appeal pending before the state Supreme Court says the campaign, state GOP, Democrats and attorneys for the state have reached a settlement requiring Clark County election officials to supply “additional observation access” at a ballot processing facility in Las Vegas.

The state high court declined on Election Day to stop the count based on an appeal of a state judge’s decision not to stop processing mail ballots in Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County — a Democratic stronghold in an otherwise red GOP state.

In an order released Monday, Judge James Wilson Jr. in Carson City said he found neither the state nor Clark County had done anything to give one vote preference over another.

Nevada Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to suppress voting in the state’s most diverse area.

Trump campaign representatives said Thursday that they intended to file another complaint in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas to try to stop the counting of what state campaign co-chair Adam Laxalt called “improper votes.” That lawsuit was not immediately filed.

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6 p.m.

President Donald Trump is set to make his first public appearance since the early morning hours after Election Day.

The White House says Trump will deliver remarks at 6:30 p.m. Thursday from the press briefing room. It was unclear if he would take questions.

Trump last appeared in public early Wednesday, when he falsely declared victory over Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential race. Trump has also publicly called for vote counting to stop by citing baseless allegations of fraud and misconduct.

The presidential race has not yet been called because neither Trump nor Biden has yet collected the requisite 270 Electoral College votes.

Biden’s victories in Michigan and Wisconsin have put him in a commanding position to win the presidency, but Trump has showed no sign of giving up.

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5:50 p.m.

The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee have asked an Arizona judge to let them join a lawsuit that alleges vote tabulation equipment in metro Phoenix was unable to record a voter’s ballot because she completed it with a county-issued Sharpie pen.

They argued that anecdotal accounts of potential tabulation errors resulting from Sharpies demands further review and that they should be allowed to participate in the lawsuit because it will likely affect their interests in the tabulation of votes.

The lawsuit seeks a court order for all Maricopa County voters whose ballots were rejected as a result of using a Sharpie to be given a chance to fix their ballots. It also asks for such voters to be able to be present while election officials count their ballots.

The Arizona Democratic Party earlier asked to join the lawsuit, arguing that Democratic voters could be disenfranchised if the woman who filed the lawsuit was able to challenge a voter’s intent in making ballot choices without knowing the applicable standards.

A judge is holding a hearing Thursday in Phoenix in the lawsuit by Phoenix-area voter Laurie Aguilera, who also alleged ink from the marker bled through the back side of her ballot and that poll workers refused her request for a new ballot.

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4:30 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden says he feels “very good” about the outcome of the presidential election and is telling his supporters to “stay calm” as votes continue to be counted.

Biden delivered brief remarks Thursday at a theater in downtown Wilmington, Delaware. He says, “It is the will of the voters — no one, not anyone else — who chooses the president of the United States of America.”

President Donald Trump’s campaign has pursued legal efforts to halt the vote counting in some states and is seeking a recount in Wisconsin.

Biden says that “the process is working” and “we’ll know very soon” the outcome of the election. Biden and his top campaign officials have expressed confidence about the vote but have been careful to emphasize the need for every ballot to be counted.

Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, stood next to him as he spoke.

The Associated Press has not called the presidential race yet because neither Biden nor Trump has secured the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory. Several key states remain too early to call — Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada.

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3:35 p.m.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered the U.S. Postal Service to perform twice daily sweeps of processing centers in states with extended ballot receipt deadlines to check for mail-in votes and to expedite them for delivery.

Thursday’s order will remain in place until the end of states’ windows for accepting ballots.

According to court records, a similar order by the same judge earlier this week found just 13 ballots in a search of 27 processing hubs in several battleground areas.

Elections officials in key battleground states are continuing presidential vote counting. Democrat Joe Biden is urging patience, while President Donald Trump is pursing his legal options.

Several key states are too early to call — Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada.

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2:25 p.m.

Joe Biden is getting virtual briefings on the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout from panels of experts, sticking to a routine he’s had since March, even as the outcome of the presidential race remains in doubt.

The former vice president traveled Thursday afternoon to a theater in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, where his campaign has set up a makeshift studio. He and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, often sit facing large screens while experts participate by video conference.

Biden has held similar public health and economic briefings about once a week since March while criticizing President Donald Trump’s administration for the federal government’s response to a pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 Americans.

Journalists traveling with Biden were not allowed inside the briefing but saw him as he entered the theater. He did not take questions.

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2 p.m.

The Arizona Democratic Party has asked a court to let it participate in a lawsuit that alleges vote tabulation equipment in metro Phoenix was unable to record a voter’s ballot because she completed it with a county-issued Sharpie pen.

A judge is holding a hearing Thursday in Phoenix in the lawsuit by voter Laurie Aguilera, who also alleged that ink from the marker bled through the back side of her ballot and that poll workers refused her request for a new ballot.

Aguilera is seeking a court order for all Maricopa County voters whose ballots were rejected as a result of using a Sharpie to be given a chance to fix their ballots. She also is asking for such voters to be able to be present while election officials count their ballots.

The Democrats say the lawsuit is based on the unconfirmed account of one voter and her request to monitor ballot processing could throw the processing of ballots in Arizona’s largest county in disarray.

In a court filing, the party says Democratic voters could be disenfranchised if Aguilera and others were able to challenge a voter’s intent in making ballot choices without knowing the applicable standards.

Arizona election officials have said voting with a Sharpie would have no impact on the votes being recorded by a tabulation machine.

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1:55 p.m.

As the nation awaits results from Nevada, Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria says it could take until Saturday or Sunday before the state’s largest county finishes tallying mail-in ballots that have been returned.

Gloria said Thursday at a press conference: “Our goal here in Clark County is not to count fast. We want to make sure that we’re being accurate.”

Gloria says Clark County has at least 63,262 ballots left to count, including 34,743 returned in drop boxes on Election Day and 4,208 returned via the U.S. Postal Service. But as mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day continue to trickle in, Gloria said he had no way of knowing the total number of outstanding ballots.

He says, “That’s a number that I can’t give you. I can’t predict to you what’s going to come through the U.S. mail.”

Gloria says the fact that Nevada’s six electoral votes could push Democrat Joe Biden beyond the 270 electoral vote threshold needed to win the presidency reaffirmed the need to not rush the count.

He said the last day to count ballots is Nov. 12.

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1:30 p.m.

A Michigan judge has dismissed a lawsuit by President Donald Trump’s campaign in a dispute over whether Republican challengers had access to the handling of absentee ballots.

Judge Cynthia Stephens noted that the lawsuit was filed late Wednesday afternoon, just hours before the last ballots were counted. She also said the defendant, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, was the wrong person to sue because she doesn’t control the logistics of local ballot counting, even if she is the state’s chief election officer.

The Associated Press called the Michigan presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden on Wednesday evening. Trump won the state in 2016.

The lawsuit claimed Benson, a Democrat, was allowing absentee ballots to be counted without teams of bipartisan observers as well as challengers. She was accused of undermining the “constitutional right of all Michigan voters … to participate in fair and lawful elections.”

Benson, through state attorneys, denied the allegations. Much of the dispute centered on the TCF Center in Detroit where pro-Trump protesters gathered while absentee ballots were being counted.

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1:11: p.m.

While 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, it’s possible that could happen as early as Thursday.

However, the state’s largely county still has some 65,000 votes to count.

Election officials in Clark County, roughly 75% of the state’s population, said they expect to report 50,000 additional votes on Friday morning. After that, Clark County election officials say they have roughly 13,000 ballots left to count.

It’s possible more votes could be received in the days to follow. The last day votes can be reported to the state is November 12.

Earlier in the day, the state released some new results, some of which were from Clark County, that show Biden holding a slim lead of 11,500 votes with 88% of the estimated vote reported.

According to Electoral College totals from the Associated Press, a win in Nevada allows the former vice president to hit the 270 threshold and win the race.

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11:45 a.m.

A judge in Georgia has dismissed a lawsuit by the state Republican Party and President Donald Trump’s campaign that asked him to ensure a coastal county was following state laws on processing absentee ballots.

Chatham County Superior Court Judge James Bass did not provide an explanation for his decision Thursday at the close of a roughly one-hour hearing. The county includes the heavily Democratic city of Savannah.

The suit had raised concerns about 53 absentee ballots that poll observers said were not part of an original batch of ballots. County elections officials testified that all 53 ballots had been received on time.

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11:40 a.m.

Joe Biden’s campaign is expressing optimism at the ultimate result of the election but warning supporters to “stay patient and stay calm” as vote counting continues.

Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said Thursday on a briefing call with reporters that “the story of today is going to be a very positive story” for their campaign, but cautioned that as the counting continues, “we need to allow it to get done and get done well.”

She says the campaign expects their lead to fluctuate in some states as more votes come in.

O’Malley Dillon also charged that legal challenges by President Donald Trump’s campaign to halt vote counting in some states and seek a recount in Wisconsin are a “flailing strategy” that are an “attempt to distract and delay” from the results of the election.

The Associated Press is not calling the presidential race yet because neither candidate has secured the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory. Several key states were too early to call — Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada.

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10:38 a.m.

Arizona state officials say there are about 450,000 ballots still to be counted in the Western battleground.

The AP says it is monitoring that vote count as it comes in. The AP has called the presidential race in Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden.

AP executive editor Sally Buzbee says: “The Associated Press continues to watch and analyze vote count results from Arizona. We will follow the facts in all cases.”

Biden holds a 2.35 percentage point lead over Trump in Arizona, an advantage of about 68,000 votes.

The vast majority of the ballots yet to be counted are from Maricopa County, the most populous area of the state.

___

9:40 a.m.

With Joe Biden edging closer to unseating him from the White House, President Donald Trump says he wants to put a halt to vote counting.

The extraordinary statement by an incumbent president to voice support for ceasing the count of legally cast votes came in a Thursday morning tweet, saying only: “STOP THE COUNT!”

Elections are run by individual state, county and local governments. Trump’s public comments have no impact on the tallying of votes across the country.

So far, the vote count across the country has been conducted efficiently and without evidence of any misconduct, despite Trump’s public complaints.

Trump’s comments come as his campaign has filed legal action in several states to try to stop vote counting, claiming a lack of transparency. Still, Trump’s campaign has held out hope that continued counting in Arizona could overcome a Biden lead in the state.

___

7:50 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden was pushing closer to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to carry the White House, securing victories in the “blue wall” battlegrounds of Wisconsin and Michigan and narrowing President Donald Trump’s path.

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.

Two days after Election Day, neither candidate had amassed the votes needed to win the White House. But Biden’s victories in the Great Lakes states left him at 264, meaning he was one battleground state away — any would do — from becoming president-elect.

Trump, with 214 electoral votes, faced a much higher hurdle. To reach 270, he needed 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.

For four years, Democrats have been haunted by the crumbling of the blue wall, the trio of Great Lakes states — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — that their candidates had been able to count on every four years. But Trump’s populist appeal struck a chord with white working-class voters and he captured all three in 2016 by a combined total of just 77,000 votes.

The candidates waged a fierce fight for the states this year, with Biden’s everyman political persona resonating in blue-collar towns while his campaign also pushed to increase turnout among Black voters in cities like Detroit and Milwaukee.

It was unclear when a national winner would be determined after a long, bitter campaign dominated by the coronavirus and its effects on Americans and the national economy. But even as Biden’s prospects improved, the U.S. on Wednesday set another record for daily confirmed coronavirus cases as several states posted all-time highs. The pandemic has killed more than 233,000 people in the United States.

Trump spent much of Wednesday in the White House residence, huddling with advisers and fuming at media coverage showing his Democratic rival picking up battlegrounds. Trump used his Twitter feed to falsely claim victory in several key states and amplify unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about Democratic gains as absentee and early votes were tabulated.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said the president would formally request a Wisconsin recount, citing “irregularities” in several counties. And the campaign said it was filing suit in Michigan and Pennsylvania to halt ballot counting on grounds that it wasn’t given proper access to observe. Still more legal action was launched in Georgia.

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.

In other closely watched races, Trump picked up Florida, the largest of the swing states, and held onto Texas and Ohio while Biden kept New Hampshire and Minnesota.

Beyond the presidency, Democrats had hoped the election would allow the party to reclaim the Senate and pad its majority in the House. But while the voting scrambled seats in the House and Senate, it ultimately left Congress much like it began — deeply divided.

The candidates spent months pressing dramatically different visions for the nation’s future, including on racial justice, and voters responded in huge numbers, with more than 100 million people casting votes ahead of Election Day.

Trump, in an extraordinary move from the White House, issued premature claims of victory and said he would take the election to the Supreme Court to stop the counting.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discounted the president’s quick claim of victory, saying it would take a while for states to conduct their vote counts. The Kentucky Republican said that “claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”

Vote tabulations routinely continue beyond Election Day, and states largely set the rules for when the count has to end. In presidential elections, a key point is the date in December when presidential electors meet. That’s set by federal law.

Dozens of Trump supporters chanting “Stop the count!” descended on a ballot-tallying center in Detroit, while thousands of anti-Trump protesters demanding a complete vote count took to the streets in cities across the U.S.

Protests — sometimes about the election, sometimes about racial inequality — took place Wednesday in at least a half-dozen cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and San Diego.

Several states allow mailed-in votes to be accepted after Election Day as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday. That includes Pennsylvania, where ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 can be accepted if they arrive up to three days later.

Trump appeared to suggest that those ballots should not be counted and that he would fight for that outcome at the high court. But legal experts were dubious of Trump’s declaration. Trump has appointed three of the high court’s nine justices including, most recently Amy Coney Barrett.

The Trump campaign on Wednesday pushed Republican donors to dig deeper into their pockets to help finance legal challenges. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, during a donor call, spoke plainly: “The fight’s not over. We’re in it.”

12:14 a.m.

Joe Biden won the battleground prizes of Michigan and Wisconsin on Wednesday, reclaiming a key part of the “blue wall” that slipped away from Democrats four years ago and dramatically narrowing President Donald Trump’s pathway to reelection.

A full day after Election Day, neither candidate had cleared the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. But Biden’s victories in the Great Lakes states left him at 264, meaning he was one battleground state away from crossing the threshold and becoming president-elect.

Biden, who has received more than 71 million votes, the most in history, was joined by his running mate Kamala Harris at an afternoon news conference and said he now expected to win the presidency, though he 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 Trump, who on Wednesday falsely proclaimed that he had won the election, even though millions of votes remained uncounted and the race was far from over.

The Associated Press called Wisconsin for Biden after election officials in the state said all outstanding ballots had been counted, save for a few hundred in one township and an expected small number of provisional votes.

Trump’s campaign requested a recount, though statewide recounts in Wisconsin have historically changed the vote tally by only a few hundred votes. Biden led by 0.624 percentage point out of nearly 3.3 million ballots counted.

Since 2016, Democrats had been haunted by the crumbling of the blue wall, the trio of Great Lakes states — Pennsylvania is the third — that their candidates had been able to count on every four years. But Trump’s populist appeal struck a chord with white working-class voters and he captured all three in 2016 by a total margin of just 77,000 votes.

Both candidates this year fiercely fought for the states, with Biden’s everyman political persona resonating in blue-collar towns while his campaign also pushed to increase turnout among Black voters in cities like Detroit and Milwaukee.

Pennsylvania remained too early to call Wednesday night.

It was unclear when or how quickly a national winner could be determined after a long, bitter campaign dominated by the coronavirus and its effects on Americans and the national economy. But Biden’s possible pathways to the White House were expanding rapidly.

After the victories in Wisconsin and Michigan, he was just six Electoral College votes away from the presidency. A win in any undecided state except for Alaska — but including Nevada, with its six votes — would be enough to end Trump’s tenure in the White House.

Trump spent much of Wednesday in the White House residence, huddling with advisers and fuming at media coverage showing his Democratic rival picking up key battlegrounds. Trump falsely claimed victory in several key states and amplified unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about Democratic gains as absentee and early votes were tabulated.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said the president would formally request a Wisconsin recount, citing “irregularities” in several counties. And the campaign said it was filing suit in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia to demand better access for campaign observers to locations where ballots are being processed and counted, and to raise absentee ballot concerns.

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 the existing Supreme Court litigation over counting mail-in ballots there. Yet, the campaign also argued that it was the outstanding votes in Arizona that could reverse the outcome there, showcasing an inherent inconsistency with their arguments.

In other closely watched races, Trump picked up Florida, the largest of the swing states, and held onto Texas and Ohio while Biden kept New Hampshire and Minnesota and flipped Arizona, a state that had reliably voted Republican in recent elections.

The unsettled nature of the presidential race was reflective of a somewhat disappointing night for Democrats, who had hoped to deliver a thorough repudiation of Trump’s four years in office while also reclaiming the Senate to have a firm grasp on all of Washington. But the GOP held onto several Senate seats that had been considered vulnerable, including in Iowa, Texas, Maine and Kansas. Democrats lost House seats but were expected to retain control there.

The high-stakes election was held against the backdrop of a historic pandemic that has killed more than 232,000 Americans and wiped away millions of jobs. The U.S. on Wednesday set another record for daily confirmed coronavirus cases as several states posted all-time highs.

The candidates spent months pressing dramatically different visions for the nation’s future, including on racial justice, and voters responded in huge numbers, with more than 100 million people casting votes ahead of Election Day.

Trump, in an extraordinary move from the White House, issued premature claims of victory — which he continued on Twitter Wednesday — and said he would take the election to the Supreme Court to stop the counting. It was unclear exactly what legal action he could try to pursue.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discounted the president’s quick claim of victory, saying it would take a while for states to conduct their vote counts. The Kentucky Republican said Wednesday that “claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”

Vote tabulations routinely continue beyond Election Day, and states largely set the rules for when the count has to end. In presidential elections, a key point is the date in December when presidential electors met. That’s set by federal law.

Dozens of Trump supporters chanting “Stop the count!” descended on a ballot-tallying center in Detroit, while thousands of anti-Trump protesters demanding a complete vote count took to the streets in cities across the U.S.

Protests — sometimes about the election, sometimes about racial inequality — took place Wednesday in at least a half-dozen cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and San Diego.

Several states allow mailed-in votes to be accepted as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday. That includes Pennsylvania, where ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 can be accepted if they arrive up to three days later.

Trump appeared to suggest those ballots should not be counted, and that he would fight for that outcome at the high court. But legal experts were dubious of Trump’s declaration. Trump has appointed three of the high court’s nine justices — including, most recently, Amy Coney Barrett.

The Trump campaign on Wednesday pushed Republican donors to dig deeper into their pockets to help finance legal challenges. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, during a donor call, spoke plainly: “The fight’s not over. We’re in it.”

The momentum from early voting carried into Election Day, as an energized electorate produced long lines at polling sites throughout the country. Turnout was higher than in 2016 in numerous counties, including all of Florida, nearly every county in North Carolina and more than 100 counties in both Georgia and Texas. That tally seemed sure to increase as more counties reported their turnout figures.

Voters braved worries of the coronavirus, threats of polling place intimidation and expectations of long lines caused by changes to voting systems, but appeared undeterred as turnout appeared it would easily surpass the 139 million ballots cast four years ago.

5:58 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has carried Michigan and its 16 electoral votes, further dismantling Donald Trump’s Rust Belt wall of support that helped deliver him the presidency four years ago.

The flip from red back to blue was a huge blow to Trump, whose victories in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in 2016 sent him to the White House. Biden also carried Wisconsin, though Pennsylvania hasn’t been called yet.

Biden’s victory in Michigan pushes him to 264 Electoral College votes, six short of the 270 needed to win the White House. Trump is at 214 electoral votes. Nevada, which has six electoral votes, is among the states Democrat Hillary Clinton won in 2016 that hasn’t yet been called.

5:20 p.m.

The top elections official in Nevada’s most populous county says more results will be released Thursday morning that include mail-in ballots received on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that he did not yet know how many ballots had been received but uncounted in the Las Vegas area.

Early results showed Democrat Joe Biden with a slim lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada, but it was too early to declare a winner in the race Wednesday with a large number of ballots yet to be counted.

The Nevada secretary of state’s office initially said a new batch of results would be released Thursday morning. But Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Wayne Thorley said in a text message that the state would likely release some additional results Wednesday afternoon but that he did not know how many would be included.

Gloria said he would be holding daily 10 a.m. news conferences until all ballots were counted, including provisional ballots that were cast by voters taking advantage of same-day registration, electronic ballots sent to overseas voters or ballots for disabled voters.

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5:15 p.m.

The Associated Press has not yet declared winners of the presidential contests in Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina or Michigan. CBS News and other outlets have called Michigan for Joe Biden.

President Donald Trump, however, has prematurely declared that he has carried the states.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that he has “claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead.”

“Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact,” he says, “there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!”

Trump has been trying for months to undermine public confidence in the election if he does not win.

Trump’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, currently has 248 electoral votes, while Trump has 214. It takes 270 to win the presidency.

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4:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign has accused a Michigan election official of failing to ensure that challengers and bipartisan observers watch the processing of absentee ballots.

The Republican campaign filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to stop the count, which was mostly centered in Detroit, until Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson allows more inspectors. There was no immediate response from a Court of Claims judge.

The Associated Press has not yet called Michigan, but CBS News and other outlets have.

Trump’s allies chanted, “Stop the count!” inside TCF Center, where ballots were being handled. The Detroit elections department was expected to finish counting absentee ballots by Wednesday evening.

Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel says, “Michigan’s elections have been conducted transparently, with access provided for both political parties and the public, and using a robust system of checks and balances to ensure that all ballots are counted fairly and accurately.”

More than 3 million absentee ballots were cast in Michigan in the first major election since a new law made them available to any voter. But local election clerks couldn’t start counting them until after polls closed Tuesday.

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4:42 p.m.


CBS News projects Joe Biden to win Michigan and its 16 electoral votes, inching closer to the 270 needed to capture the White house and deny President Trump a second term.

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2:16 p.m.

Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump in battleground Wisconsin, securing the state’s 10 electoral votes and reclaiming a key part of the blue wall that slipped away from Democrats four years ago.

The Associated Press called Wisconsin for Biden after election officials in the state said all outstanding ballots had been counted, save for a few hundred in one township and an expected small number of provisional ballots.

Trump’s campaign has requested a recount. Statewide recounts in Wisconsin have historically changed the vote tally by only a few hundred votes; Biden leads by .624 percentage points out of nearly 3.3 million ballots counted.

The victory for Biden bumps him up to 248 electoral votes, while Trump has 214. It takes 270 to win the presidency.

In 2016, Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes, a breakthrough that along with wins in Michigan and Pennsylvania helped hand him his first term in the White House. Democrats were determined to reclaim Wisconsin, a state that before Trump hadn’t gone for a Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

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2:02 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign says it has filed a lawsuit trying to halt the vote count in battleground Michigan.

The latest counts gives Trump’s Democratic challenger Joe Biden a small lead, but the race is still too early to call.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien says in a statement Wednesday that the campaign “has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law.”

He says a suit was filed Wednesday in the Michigan Court of Claims “to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted.”

Michigan is a critical battleground state that helped deliver Trump the presidency four years ago, along with Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Neither Wisconsin or Pennsylvania has been called yet.

___

1:30 p.m.

Joe Biden will address the election results Wednesday afternoon, even as it remains too early for The Associated Press to call the presidential race.

The Democratic presidential candidate will issue a televised address in Wilmington, Delaware. He’s been watching the returns come in with family from his home there.

Biden’s campaign manager expressed confidence in an eventual win for Democrats during a call with reporters earlier Wednesday, pointing to their projections of the outcome in Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

But the AP is not calling the presidential race yet because neither candidate has secured the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory. The AP called Arizona for Biden, but several key states remain too early to call: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Nevada.

As it stands, Biden has 238 electoral votes, while Trump has 214.

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1:24 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won one of Maine’s four electoral votes, just as he did in 2016.

Trump carried the state’s 2nd Congressional District, the more rural and conservative of Maine’s congressional districts.

While Democrat Joe Biden easily carried the state itself, Maine is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes.

Biden won the 1st Congressional District and the statewide tally, good for three electoral votes. Trump’s victory in the 2nd Congressional District means he wins one electoral vote.

Maine split its electoral votes four years ago, awarding three to Democrat Hillary Clinton and one to Trump.

2016 marked the first time in state history that Maine divided its electoral votes.

In the race to the 270 electoral votes needed to win, Biden has 238 while Trump has 214.

___

12:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien says the president plans to “immediately” request a recount in the battleground state of Wisconsin, where the race remains close.

In Wisconsin, if a race is within 1 percentage point, the trailing candidate can force a recount.

Stepien says in a statement Wednesday: “The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”

The fate of the United States presidency is hanging in the balance, with Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, battling for three familiar battleground states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House.

In the race to the 270 electoral votes needed to win, Biden has 238 while Trump has 213.

___

12:10 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is discounting President Donald Trump’s early claim that he’d already won the election, saying it’s going to take a while for states to conduct their vote counts.

The Kentucky Republican and Trump ally said Wednesday that “claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”

McConnell also says he is untroubled by Trump’s vows to contest the vote count in key states, telling reporters in Louisville that “you should not be shocked that both sides are going to have lawyers there.”

He added that “the courts will decide disputes. That’s the way we do it in this country.”

Early Wednesday, Trump said, “We will win this, and as far as I’m concerned we already have won it.”

But the outcome is still unclear in key states Trump would need if he is to win against Democrat Joe Biden.

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5:38 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The fate of the United States presidency hung in the balance Wednesday morning, as President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden battled for three familiar battleground states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House.

A late burst of votes in Wisconsin from Milwaukee gave Biden a small lead, but it was too early to call the race. Hundreds of thousands of votes were also outstanding in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The two candidates, who have proposed dramatically different visions for the nation, split territory across the U.S. after polls closed Tuesday night. With neither candidate securing the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House, Biden urged patience and vowed that every vote would be counted.

But Trump, in an extraordinary move from the White House, called for outstanding ballots not to be counted.

By early Wednesday, neither candidate had the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win. Trump made premature claims of victories in several key states and said he would take the election to the Supreme Court to stop the counting. It was unclear exactly what legal action he might try to pursue.

Vote tabulations routinely continue beyond Election Day, and states largely set the rules for when the count has to end. In presidential elections, a key point is the date in December when presidential electors met. That’s set by federal law.

Several states allow mailed-in votes to be accepted after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday. That includes Pennsylvania, where ballots postmarked by Nov 3 can be accepted if they arrive up to three days after the election.

Trump suggested those ballots shouldn’t be counted. But Biden, briefly appearing in front of supporters in Delaware, urged patience, saying the election “ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”

“It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won this election,” Biden said. “That’s the decision of the American people.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf tweeted that his state had over 1 million ballots to be counted and that he “promised Pennsylvanians that we would count every vote and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Legal experts were dubious of Trump’s declaration.

“I do not see a way that he could go directly to the Supreme Court to stop the counting of votes. There could be fights in specific states, and some of those could end up at the Supreme Court. But this is not the way things work,” said Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California-Irvine.

Trump has appointed three of the high court’s nine justices including, most recently, Amy Coney Barrett.

Democrats typically outperform Republicans in mail voting, while the GOP looks to make up ground in Election Day turnout. That means the early margins between the candidates could be influenced by which type of votes — early or Election Day — were being reported by the states.

Throughout the campaign, Trump cast doubt about the integrity of the election and repeatedly suggested that mail-in ballots should not be counted. Both campaigns had teams of lawyers at the ready to move into battleground states if there were legal challenges.

The tight overall contest reflected a deeply polarized nation struggling to respond to the worst health crisis in more than a century, with millions of lost jobs, and a reckoning on racial injustice.

Trump kept several states, including Texas, Iowa and Ohio, where Biden had made a strong play in the final stages of the campaign. But Biden also picked off states where Trump sought to compete, including New Hampshire and Minnesota. But Florida was the biggest, fiercely contested battleground on the map, with both campaigns battling over the 29 Electoral College votes that went to Trump.

Wisconsin, which Trump narrowly won in 2016, was another prized state. The president seems certain to request a recount. State law allows for the apparent losing candidate to pay for a recount if the margin of defeat is less than 1%,

The president adopted Florida as his new home state, wooed its Latino community, particularly Cuban-Americans, and held rallies there incessantly. For his part, Biden deployed his top surrogate — President Barack Obama — there twice in the campaign’s closing days and benefitted from a $100 million pledge in the state from Michael Bloomberg.

Control of the Senate was at stake, too: Democrats needed to net three seats if Biden captured the White House to gain control of all of Washington for the first time in a decade. But Republicans maintained several seats that were considered vulnerable, including in Iowa, Texas and Kansas. The House was expected to remain under Democratic control.

The pandemic — and Trump’s handling of it — was the inescapable focus for 2020.

For Trump, the election stood as a judgment on his four years in office, a term in which he bent Washington to his will, challenged faith in its institutions and changed how America was viewed across the globe. Rarely trying to unite a country divided along lines of race and class, he has often acted as an insurgent against the government he led while undermining the nation’s scientists, bureaucracy and media.

The momentum from early voting carried into Election Day, as an energized electorate produced long lines at polling sites throughout the country. Turnout was higher than in 2016 in numerous counties, including all of Florida, nearly every county in North Carolina and more than 100 counties in both Georgia and Texas. That tally seemed sure to increase as more counties reported their turnout figures.

Voters braved worries of the coronavirus, threats of polling place intimidation and expectations of long lines caused by changes to voting systems, but appeared undeterred as turnout appeared it would easily surpass the 139 million ballots cast four years ago.

No major problems arose on Tuesday, outside the typical glitches of a presidential election: Some polling places opened late, robocalls provided false information to voters in Iowa and Michigan, and machines or software malfunctioned in some counties in the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Texas.

The cybersecurity agency at the Department of Homeland Security said there were no outward signs by midday of any malicious activity.

With the coronavirus now surging anew, voters ranked the pandemic and the economy as top concerns in the race between Trump and Biden, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate.

Voters were especially likely to call the public health crisis the nation’s most important issue, with the economy following close behind. Fewer named health care, racism, law enforcement, immigration or climate change

The survey found that Trump’s leadership loomed large in voters’ decision-making. Nearly two-thirds of voters said their vote was about Trump — either for him or against him.

___

4 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden’s campaign says it will fight any efforts by President Donald Trump’s campaign to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent ballots from being tabulated.

In a statement sent before 4 a.m. Wednesday, Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon called Trump’s statement that he will “be going to the U.S. Supreme Court” and that he wants “all voting to stop” “outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect.”

O’Malley Dillon says the Biden campaign has “legal teams standing by ready to deploy to resist that effort.” And she says, “They will prevail.”

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the presidential race. There are still hundreds of thousands of votes left to be counted, and the outcome hinges on a handful of uncalled battleground states.

___

3:59 a.m.

President Donald Trump carried Florida, the nation’s most prized battleground state, and then he and Democrat Joe Biden focused early Wednesday on the three Northern industrial states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House.

Four years after Trump became the first Republican in a generation to capture that trio of states, they were again positioned to influence the outcome of the presidential election. At the same time, Biden won Arizona, another key battleground, which expanded his possible pathways to victory.

However, the somewhat-normal back-and-forth jockeying for the states was overshadowed by Trump’s extraordinary early-morning declaration from the White House calling for outstanding ballots not to be counted.

By early Wednesday, neither candidate had the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win. Trump made premature claims of victories in several key states and said he would take the election to the Supreme Court to stop the counting. It was unclear exactly what legal action he might try to pursue.

Vote tabulations routinely continue beyond Election Day, and states largely set the rules for when the count has to end. In presidential elections, a key point is the date in December when presidential electors met. That’s set by federal law.

Several states allow mailed-in votes to be accepted after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday. That includes Pennsylvania, where ballots postmarked by Nov 3 can be accepted if they arrive up to three days after the election.

Trump suggested those ballots shouldn’t be counted. But Biden, briefly appearing in front of supporters in Delaware, urged patience, saying the election “ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”

“It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won this election,” Biden said. “That’s the decision of the American people.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf tweeted that his state had over 1 million ballots to be counted and that he “promised Pennsylvanians that we would count every vote and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Legal experts were dubious of Trump’s declaration.

“I do not see a way that he could go directly to the Supreme Court to stop the counting of votes. There could be fights in specific states, and some of those could end up at the Supreme Court. But this is not the way things work,” said Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California-Irvine.

Trump has appointed three of the high court’s nine justices including, most recently, Amy Coney Barrett.

Democrats typically outperform Republicans in mail voting, while the GOP looks to make up ground in Election Day turnout. That means the early margins between the candidates could be influenced by which type of votes — early or Election Day — were being reported by the states.

Throughout the campaign, Trump cast doubt about the integrity of the election and repeatedly suggested that mail-in ballots should not be counted. Both campaigns had teams of lawyers at the ready to move into battleground states if there were legal challenges.

The tight overall contest reflected a deeply polarized nation struggling to respond to the worst health crisis in more than a century, with millions of lost jobs, and a reckoning on racial injustice.

Trump kept several states, including Texas, Iowa and Ohio, where Biden had made a strong play in the final stages of the campaign. But Biden also picked off states where Trump sought to compete, including New Hampshire and Minnesota. But Florida was the biggest, fiercely contested battleground on the map, with both campaigns battling over the 29 Electoral College votes that went to Trump.

The president adopted Florida as his new home state, wooed its Latino community, particularly Cuban-Americans, and held rallies there incessantly. For his part, Biden deployed his top surrogate — President Barack Obama — there twice in the campaign’s closing days and benefitted from a $100 million pledge in the state from Michael Bloomberg.

Control of the Senate was at stake, too: Democrats needed to net three seats if Biden captured the White House to gain control of all of Washington for the first time in a decade. But Republicans maintained several seats that were considered vulnerable, including in Iowa, Texas and Kansas. The House was expected to remain under Democratic control.

The pandemic — and Trump’s handling of it — was the inescapable focus for 2020.

For Trump, the election stood as a judgment on his four years in office, a term in which he bent Washington to his will, challenged faith in its institutions and changed how America was viewed across the globe. Rarely trying to unite a country divided along lines of race and class, he has often acted as an insurgent against the government he led while undermining the nation’s scientists, bureaucracy and media.

The momentum from early voting carried into Election Day, as an energized electorate produced long lines at polling sites throughout the country. Turnout was higher than in 2016 in numerous counties, including all of Florida, nearly every county in North Carolina and more than 100 counties in both Georgia and Texas. That tally seemed sure to increase as more counties reported their turnout figures.

Voters braved worries of the coronavirus, threats of polling place intimidation and expectations of long lines caused by changes to voting systems, but appeared undeterred as turnout appeared it would easily surpass the 139 million ballots cast four years ago.

No major problems arose on Tuesday, outside the typical glitches of a presidential election: Some polling places opened late, robocalls provided false information to voters in Iowa and Michigan, and machines or software malfunctioned in some counties in the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Texas.

The cybersecurity agency at the Department of Homeland Security said there were no outward signs by midday of any malicious activity.

With the coronavirus now surging anew, voters ranked the pandemic and the economy as top concerns in the race between Trump and Biden, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate.

Voters were especially likely to call the public health crisis the nation’s most important issue, with the economy following close behind. Fewer named health care, racism, law enforcement, immigration or climate change

The survey found that Trump’s leadership loomed large in voters’ decision-making. Nearly two-thirds of voters said their vote was about Trump — either for him or against him.

___

3:06 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won at least three of Maine’s four electoral votes in his bid to unseat President Donald Trump.

Biden won the statewide tally and the 1st Congressional District, good for three electoral votes. Trump, meanwhile, hoped to claim one electoral vote in a win in the 2nd Congressional District. The 2nd Congressional District hasn’t yet been called.

Maine split its electoral votes four years ago, awarding three to Democrat Hillary Clinton and one to Trump, who won the more rural and conservative of Maine’s congressional districts.

It marked the first time in state history that Maine divided its electoral votes.

Maine is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes. The other is Nebraska.

In the race to the 270 electoral votes needed to win, Biden has 238 while Trump has 213.

___

2:52 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won Arizona and its 11 electoral votes, flipping a critical battleground state that Donald Trump won four years ago and that could help determine which candidate wins the presidency.

The victory by Biden was a huge blow to Trump’s chances for reelection. Arizona has backed a Democratic presidential candidate only once in the last 72 years.

Biden’s campaign had focused on Arizona as part of its expanded battleground map through the Sun Belt, citing demographic changes, new residents and realignment away from Republicans among key suburban voters.

Arizona is among the more than half a dozen states that will help determine which candidate gets the 270 electoral votes to capture the White House.

Biden’s massive advantage in campaign cash allowed him to put Trump on defense across the country and work to build an unstoppable lead in the Electoral College.

___

2:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump is vowing to ask the Supreme Court to weigh in on the inconclusive election. The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the presidential race.

Trump appeared before supporters at the White House early Wednesday morning and cried foul over the election results, calling the process “a major fraud on our nation.” But there’s no evidence of foul play in the cliffhanger.

The night ended with hundreds of thousands of votes still to be counted, and the outcome still unclear in key states he needs if he is to win against Democrat Joe Biden.

Nevertheless, he has cast the night as a disenfranchisement of his voters. He said: “We will win this and as far as I’m concerned we already have won it.”

Trump says: “We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court — we want all voting to stop.” In fact, there is no more voting — just counting.

___

1:55 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won at least one of Maine’s four electoral votes in his bid to unseat President Donald Trump.

Biden won the state’s 1st Congressional District, good for one electoral vote.

Maine’s statewide vote, which is worth two electoral votes, and the state’s 2nd Congressional District haven’t yet been called.

Maine split its electoral votes four years ago, awarding three to Democrat Hillary Clinton and one to Trump. Trump won the 2nd Congressional District, the more rural and conservative of Maine’s congressional districts.

It marked the first time in state history that Maine divided its electoral votes.

Maine is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes. The other is Nebraska.

___

1:27 a.m.

President Donald Trump has won four of Nebraska’s five electoral votes, while Democrat Joe Biden has won one electoral vote from the state.

The 1st Congressional District was called for Trump early Wednesday. He also won the 3rd Congressional District earlier, as well as the statewide vote. Trump gets one electoral vote for each congressional district, plus two electoral votes for winning the statewide vote.

Biden’s win in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes Omaha, is a flip from 2016, when Trump narrowly won it against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

While Trump easily carried the state itself, Nebraska is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes.

In 2016, Trump won all five of Nebraska’s electoral votes.

___

1:22 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Omaha. That flips a district that Donald Trump won in 2016.

Nebraska, one of two states that divides its electoral votes, has five total electoral votes up for grabs. On Tuesday, Trump won the statewide vote, which is good for two electoral votes. He also won the 3rd Congressional District, which nets him a third vote.

Biden earns one electoral vote for winning Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District hasn’t yet been called.

In 2016, Trump narrowly won Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

___

1:06 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won Texas and its 38 electoral votes despite a furious, late push by Democrats to turn America’s biggest red state blue.

An avalanche of early votes fed Democrats’ high hopes of ending decades of losses in Texas, where polls showed Joe Biden running unusually close. But Trump carried Texas for a second straight year.

Trump won Texas by 9 percentage points in 2016 and all but took a win here for granted. He didn’t swing through Texas for campaign rallies or swamp television airwaves, and his conservative allies on the ground scoffed at Biden’s chances as a far reach.

Trump sought to make an issue out of Biden’s answer during their final presidential debate that Biden would “transition away from the oil industry” if elected president. Texas is among the swing states with voters who depend on the oil industry to make a living.

___

12:59 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won at least one of Maine’s four electoral votes in his bid to unseat President Donald Trump.

Biden won Maine’s 1st Congressional District, good for one electoral vote. The statewide vote, which is worth two electoral votes, and the 2nd Congressional District, which is worth one electoral vote, still have not been called.

Maine split its electoral votes four years ago, awarding three to Democrat Hillary Clinton and one to Trump, who won the more rural and conservative of Maine’s congressional districts.

It marked the first time in state history that Maine divided its electoral votes.

Maine is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes. The other is Nebraska.

___

12:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’s planning to make a statement early Wednesday morning as the race remains too close to call.

Neither Trump nor Democrat Joe Biden has reached the 270 Electoral College vote threshold.

Trump is insisting by tweet that “Votes cannot be cast after the Poles are closed!” even though, in multiple states, ballots can be counted if they arrive after after Election Day.

Many of the battleground states have yet to be called, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

Trump won Florida, Iowa and Ohio, while Biden carried New Hampshire and Minnesota. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

___

12:51 a.m.

Joe Biden is asking his supporters to “keep the faith” as the counting goes on in the drawn-out U.S. presidential election.

The Democratic presidential candidate emerged Wednesday after midnight to speak on the election results that have left the outcome in the balance. He spent the evening watching the returns come in from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, then drove downtown by motorcade to make his statement outside the Chase Center.

He told a gathering of supporters that his hopes for victory remain high despite the uncertainty and cautioned them that it could take a day or longer to know who won.

He told them: “Your patience is commendable.”

Hours after the polls have closed across America, however, the result is up in the air.

A number of key states still have hundreds of thousands of ballots outstanding, after a large influx of mail ballots have slowed down the count in states across the nation.

___

12:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won Florida and its 29 electoral votes, the biggest prize among the perennial battlegrounds and a state crucial to his reelection hopes.

A victory in Florida means reelection is within Trump’s grasp. A loss in the state would have made it nearly impossible for Trump to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to retain the White House.

Democrat Joe Biden’s campaign had hoped the devastating toll of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly among older adults, would put him in a strong position in a state popular with retirees.

Trump moved his official residence to his Palm Beach estate Mar-a-Lago from New York last year.

Trump narrowly beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016.

___

12:25 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden will speak shortly on the election results, as many of his key states remain too close to call.

The Biden campaign gathered the press pool that covers him in Wilmington, Delaware, for an early Wednesday morning statement but offered no further guidance.

Biden has spent the night watching the returns come in from his home, while reporters waited near the Chase Center in downtown Wilmington for potential remarks.

Biden began his day early Tuesday with a handful of campaign stops across the all-important state of Pennsylvania as voters went to the polls.

Hours after the polls have closed across America, however, the result of the presidential election remains unclear. A number of key states still have hundreds of thousands of ballots outstanding, after a large influx of mail ballots have slowed down the count in states across the nation.

___

12:21 a.m.

President Donald Trump has won Iowa and Montana.

The Republican nominee on Wednesday was awarded six electoral votes from Iowa and three electoral votes from Montana.

Trump won Iowa by more than 9 percentage points four years ago against Democrat Hillary Clinton, but his support eroded significantly over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the overall direction of the country.

Trump rallied in Iowa in the final stretch of the campaign, going so far as to announce he would be awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Iowa wrestling legend Dan Gable. In an appeal to the state’s farmers, he told them he was responsible for $28 billion in aid designed to help offset damage stemming from his trade war with China.

___

12:19 a.m.

President Donald Trump has won Ohio and its 18 electoral votes, holding on to a battleground state where the race against Democrat Joe Biden had tightened in recent months.

The Republican nominee comfortably carried the Midwestern state four years ago, but polls heading into the final weeks showed Biden well within range, forcing the president to spend more time in the state than anyone expected.

In 2016, Trump saw notable support from blue-collar manufacturing and mining communities disenchanted with his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, and buoyed by the Republican’s promise to bring back jobs to their hard-hit communities.

Biden saw the gap as overly daunting early on but seized an opening in the closing months amid Trump’s softening support among college-educated suburban women. The campaign responded with a summer ad blitz and string of in-person campaign appearances.

___

12:13 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has carried Minnesota, turning back a strong push by President Donald Trump and holding on to a state narrowly won by Democrat Hillary Clinton four years ago.

Biden was awarded the state’s 10 electoral votes on Tuesday.

Biden made up for his campaign getting a late start in Minnesota compared with Trump, who held several campaign rallies in the state this election cycle. The former vice president took advantage of anti-Trump sentiment and organizing efforts by the state’s Democrats, who stressed COVID-19 and health care issues.

Trump came within 1.5 percentage points of carrying Minnesota in 2016 and made winning the state this time a personal priority. Republicans invested time and money in building a field organization to boost GOP turnout, focusing on conservative rural Minnesota and suburban areas that were once mostly Republican but have become swing territory.

The last Republican presidential candidate to capture the state was Richard Nixon in 1972.

___

12:06 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won the state of Hawaii.

He was awarded its four electoral votes on Tuesday.

Hawaii is a reliably Democratic state and last went for a Republican presidential candidate in 1984, when it was won by Ronald Reagan.

___

Twitter hides election-related post from Trump

1:12 a.m.

Twitter is hiding an election-related post by President Donald Trump, warning that its content is disputed and could be misleading.

Trump stated without evidence early Wednesday that Democrats were trying to “steal” the election. He also falsely said votes cannot be cast after polls are closed.

States allow voters to cast ballots if they are in line when polls close. Some states also allow mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day but received later to be counted.

Trump’s tweet came after his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, delivered remarks as the race was too early to call in key battleground states.

Biden told his supporters to be patient while all the votes are counted.

Twitter says placing a warning on the tweet is in line with its “Civic Integrity Policy.” The tweet is still visible after clicking through the warning.

___

11:48 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden were locked in tight races in battleground states across the country Tuesday night as they concluded an epic campaign that will shape America’s response to the surging pandemic and foundational questions of economic fairness and racial justice.

Biden picked up the first battleground state of the night, New Hampshire, a small prize that Trump tried to steal from Democrats. But races were too early to call in the most fiercely contested and critical states on the map, including Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Biden won California, the nation’s biggest electoral haul, and other predictable victories including Colorado and Virginia, two former battlegrounds that have become Democratic strongholds. Trump’s wins included Kansas, North Dakota and other conservative bastions.

Americans made their choices as the nation faced a confluence of historic crises with each candidate declaring the other fundamentally unfit to navigate the challenges. Daily life has been upended by the coronavirus, which has killed more than 232,000 Americans and cost millions of jobs.

Millions of voters braved their worries about the virus — and some long lines — to turn out in person, joining 102 million fellow Americans who voted days or weeks earlier, a record number that represented 73% of the total vote in the 2016 presidential election.

Early results in several key battleground states were in flux as election officials processed a historically large number of mail-in votes. Democrats typically outperform Republicans in mail voting, while the GOP looks to make up ground in Election Day turnout. That means the early margins between the candidates could be influenced by which type of votes — early or Election Day — were being reported by the states.

Trump and Biden were locked in a tight race in Florida, and it was too early for The Associated Press to call the perennial battleground state. Florida has a history of close elections, including the state’s 2018 governor’s race, which went to a recount. The AP was waiting on more votes to be counted in south Florida, including Miami-Dade County, the largest county in the state.

Control of the Senate was at stake, too: Democrats needed to net three seats if Biden captured the White House to gain control of all of Washington for the first time in a decade. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky won reelection in an early victory for the Republicans, and GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump ally, fought off a fierce challenge to hang onto his seat.

The parties traded a pair of seats in other early results: Democratic former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper defeated incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner, and in Alabama Republican Tommy Tuberville knocked off Sen. Doug Jones. The House was expected to remain under Democratic control.

As the results began to come in, the nation braced for what was to come — and an outcome that might not be known for days.

A new anti-scaling fence was erected around the White House, and in downtowns from New York to Denver to Minneapolis, workers boarded up businesses lest the vote lead to unrest.

With the worst public health crisis in a century still fiercely present, the pandemic — and Trump’s handling of it — was the inescapable focus for 2020.

For Trump, the election stood as a judgment on his four years in office, a term in which he bent Washington to his will, challenged faith in its institutions and changed how America was viewed across the globe. Rarely trying to unite a country divided along lines of race and class, he has often acted as an insurgent against the government he led while undermining the nation’s scientists, bureaucracy and media.

At the White House on Tuesday night, more than 100 family members, friends, donors and staff were set to watch returns from the East Room. Trump was watching votes come in upstairs in the residence with a few close aides. Most top campaign officials were monitoring returns from a “war room” set up in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Biden spent the day last-minute campaigning in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he was born, and in Philadelphia with a couple of local stops in Wilmington, Delaware, where he was spending Election Night.

The president began his day on an upbeat note, predicting that he’d do even better than in 2016. But during a midday visit to his campaign headquarters, he spoke in a gravelly, subdued tone.

“Winning is easy,” Trump told reporters. “Losing is never easy, not for me it’s not.”

Trump left open the possibility of addressing the nation Tuesday night, even if a winner hadn’t been determined. Biden was also scheduled to give a nighttime speech from Wilmington.

“I’m superstitious about predicting what an outcome’s gonna be until it happens … but I’m hopeful,” said Biden. “It’s just so uncertain … you can’t think of an election in the recent past where so many states were up for grabs.”

The momentum from early voting carried into Election Day, as an energized electorate produced long lines at polling sites throughout the country. Turnout was higher than in 2016 in numerous counties, including all of Florida, nearly every county in North Carolina and more than 100 counties in both Georgia and Texas. That tally seemed sure to increase as more counties reported their turnout figures.

Voters braved worries of the coronavirus, threats of polling place intimidation and expectations of long lines caused by changes to voting systems, but appeared undeterred as turnout appeared it would easily surpass the 139 million ballots cast four years ago.

No major problems arose on Tuesday, outside the typical glitches of a presidential election: Some polling places opened late, robocalls provided false information to voters in Iowa and Michigan, and machines or software malfunctioned in some counties in the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Texas.

The cybersecurity agency at the Department of Homeland Security said there were no outward signs by midday of any malicious activity.

The record-setting early vote — and legal skirmishing over how it would be counted — drew unsupported allegations of fraud from Trump, who had repeatedly refused to guarantee he would honor the election’s result.

With the coronavirus now surging anew, voters ranked the pandemic and the economy as top concerns in the race between Trump and Biden, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate.

Voters were especially likely to call the public health crisis the nation’s most important issue, with the economy following close behind. Fewer named health care, racism, law enforcement, immigration or climate change

The survey found that Trump’s leadership loomed large in voters’ decision-making. Nearly two-thirds of voters said their vote was about Trump — either for him or against him.

___

11:08 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won the state of Utah.

The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its six electoral votes.

Utah hasn’t supported a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

Trump won Utah in 2016, but independent candidate Evan McMullin had a strong showing in the state owing to widespread distaste of both Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. McMullin captured more than 20% of the vote.

___

11 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won California, Oregon and Washington state, while President Donald Trump has won Idaho.

California, Oregon and Washington are all liberal states, while Idaho is conservative.

California has 55 electoral votes, the biggest haul of any state. It’s also the home of Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris. She served as the San Francisco district attorney and the state’s attorney general before winning election to the Senate in 2016.

Biden nets 74 electoral votes for the three Western states, while Trump takes four electoral votes from Idaho.

___

10:54 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won New Hampshire and its four electoral votes, holding on to a state that President Donald Trump only narrowly lost in 2016.

The state was considered a 2020 battleground despite not going for a Republican presidential candidate since George W. Bush in 2000.

Four years ago, Democrat Hillary Clinton won the small state over Trump by roughly 2,700 votes. That’s less than 1% of the 732,000 ballots cast, and it was the second-closest margin of victory in the country.

Biden didn’t fare as well in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation Democratic primary in February. He finished a dismal fifth, behind Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. But his candidacy took off after a commanding win later that month in the South Carolina primary, leading to the exits of several of his competitors.

___

10:31 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won the state of Missouri.

The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its 10 electoral votes.

In 2016, Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the state by 18 percentage points.

___

9:59 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won the state of Kansas.

The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its six electoral votes.

In 2016, Trump coasted to victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton by 20 percentage points in the state.

___

9:37 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won the state of Colorado.

He was awarded its nine electoral votes on Tuesday.

The state, which went for Democrat Hillary Clinton four years ago, has trended sharply to the left since President Donald Trump’s 2016 election.

The state also has a competitive Senate race between Republican incumbent Cory Gardner and the state’s former governor John Hickenlooper. Gardner is considered one of the nation’s most vulnerable senators.

___

9:27 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won the District of Columbia.

He was awarded its three electoral votes on Tuesday.

District voters have been allowed to cast presidential ballots since 1964 and have always voted overwhelmingly Democratic. Hillary Clinton’s win in the District over Republican Donald Trump in 2016 was the widest margin ever.

___

9 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won Louisiana, Nebraska, Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, while Democrat Joe Biden has won New Mexico and New York.

Nebraska, one of two states that divides its electoral votes, has five total electoral votes up for grabs. Trump won the statewide vote, which is good for two electoral votes. He also won the 3rd Congressional District, which nets him a third vote.

Nebraska’s 1st and 2nd congressional districts haven’t yet been called.

Trump nets 20 electoral votes from his wins in Louisiana, Nebraska, Nebraska’s 3rd, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, while Biden takes 34 electoral votes for winning New Mexico and New York.

___

8:52 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won the state of Indiana.

The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its 11 electoral votes.

Indiana is the home state of Trump’s running mate, Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump won Indiana by 19 percentage points in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

___

8:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won the state of Arkansas.

The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its six electoral votes.

Arkansas is a reliably Republican state that hasn’t gone for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1996.

___

8 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee, while Democrat Joe Biden has won Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

The results were not a surprise. Biden is very strong in the states that went for him, just as Trump is strong in the states he won.

Trump takes 33 electoral votes for winning those four states, while Biden adds 69 electoral votes to his total for winning seven states.

___

7:56 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won the state of South Carolina.

The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its nine electoral votes.

Trump handily won the state in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Clinton. South Carolina hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Joe Biden’s victory in the South Carolina primary in February started a wave of wins that helped cement his status as Democrats’ presidential nominee. South Carolina Republicans didn’t hold a primary, an early sign of their support for Trump’s reelection.

___

7:36 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won the state of Virginia.

He was awarded its 13 electoral votes on Tuesday.

Democrat Hillary Clinton won Virginia over Republican Donald Trump in 2016, helped in part by her choice of running mate: Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

Virginia has grown increasingly liberal over the last four years, and as a result of the 2019 elections, Democrats now control every branch of government in the state.

___

7:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump has coasted to victory in West Virginia, taking its five electoral votes.

The Republican nominee defeated Democrat Joe Biden on Tuesday in a reliably conservative state.

The last Democrat to win a presidential race in West Virginia was Bill Clinton in 1996.

Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in West Virginia four years ago by 42 percentage points, one of his highest margins of victory in the nation. Many in the state credit him for his conservative populism and promises to help the declining coal industry, even as few expected he could bring back jobs in a dying field.

___

7 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won Kentucky, and Democrat Joe Biden has carried Vermont.

They are the first two states called in the 2020 presidential election.

Kentucky is reliably conservative, while Vermont is considered one of the most liberal states.

Trump wins eight electoral votes from Kentucky, while Biden takes three for winning Vermont.

Hundreds gather in Black Lives Matter Plaza

11:15 p.m.

Several hundred people have gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza, just one block from the White House, holding signs and chanting about democracy.

It was a generally festive atmosphere Tuesday night as election results came in, with a few scuffles along the edges.

There were fears of widespread unrest connected to the election, and authorities around the country were on alert in their communities.

___

No quick answer on GOP appeal request in Nevada

10:15 p.m.

Republicans and President Donald Trump’s campaign got no quick decision from the Nevada Supreme Court on an appeal aimed at stopping the count of mail-in ballots in the Las Vegas area.

The state high court did not stop election night counting, calling instead for written filings to be completed Monday, Nov. 9, in a case that could affect the vote tally in Clark County, a Democratic stronghold in an otherwise red GOP state.

Trump campaign officials say they want transparency.

State Democrats say Republicans are trying to undermine the election.

Nevada is a presidential battleground state with six electoral votes at stake. Democrat Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016.

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8:20 p.m.

A judge in Nevada has ordered 30 Las Vegas-area voting sites to remain open for an extra hour after President Donald Trump’s campaign and Nevada Republicans cited reports that some locations did not open on time.

Clark County District Court Judge Joe Hardy Jr. in Las Vegas heard immediate arguments in an Election Day lawsuit filed to extend voting times to 8 p.m. for 22 specified sites, which had been scheduled to close at 7 p.m.

Hardy added eight additional sites at the request of attorneys for Democrats.

Clark County has 125 voting centers in and around Las Vegas. The judge ordered that anyone in line at the 30 sites at 8 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot.

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7:20 p.m.

The Trump campaign and Nevada Republicans are asking a state court judge to extend voting by one hour at 22 Las Vegas-area locations, citing reports that those sites did not open on time Tuesday morning.

An Election Day lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court was getting an immediate hearing before Judge Joe Hardy.

Polls are scheduled to close at 7 p.m. Pacific time, but election officials keep sites open until the last person in line at that time can vote.

Clark County has 1,150 precincts bunched into 125 voting centers in and around Las Vegas.

The lawsuit filed against Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria points to a Twitter message posted by the Nevada Secretary of State elections division at 7:22 a.m. referring to several polling locations having technical problems that delayed opening.

The message urged people in line to be patient, saying the sites would open soon.

The Trump campaign and Nevada GOP have been involved in several legal fights in Nevada, including an appeal on Tuesday to the Nevada Supreme Court, seeking to stop the mail-in ballot count in Democratic-leaning Las Vegas.

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6:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump called into talk radio shows in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin just hours before polls closed.

Trump projected confidence Tuesday that he will win key states like North Carolina and Florida and said he’s expecting a “great” evening.

He was set to call into conservative host Mark Levin’s show minutes after the first two interviews, but Levin abruptly said Trump would not be appearing. Levin said he was told the president couldn’t come on the show but gave no further details.

Trump told Wisconsin host Vicki McKenna that he is expecting a strong night based on lines of people waiting to vote. Trump has sown doubts about mail voting, without evidence, and is expecting most of his supporters to turn out on Election Day.

At the same time, his campaign was hosting a call with reporters in which they projected confidence but predicted a tight race that would come down to turnout.

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6:25 p.m.

In North Carolina, an armed man loitering at a polling site on Election Day has been arrested and charged with trespassing.

Thirty-six-year-old Justin Dunn was legally carrying a firearm but loitered at the Charlotte site after voting Tuesday morning, which prompted a precinct official to call police over fears of voter intimidation. A precinct official accompanied by a police officer asked him to leave the site and banned him from the location.

Police say Dunn left the precinct but returned about two hours later. He was taken into custody and charged with second-degree trespassing.

Publicly listed numbers for Dunn were disconnected when a reporter tried to reach him Tuesday.

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5:45 p.m.

More than 13,000 votes in one South Carolina county will have to wait a while to be counted because of a printing error.

Dorchester County Election Commissioner Todd Billman said at a news conference Tuesday that the mail-in ballots did not have the proper bars printed at the top so the scanner used to count the votes won’t register them. He says the error does not affect anyone’s vote.

The votes will have to be counted by hand and will not be counted Tuesday. Billman says Dorchester County’s full results will be finished by the Friday deadline to certify returns.

The county went for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The Senate race between Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and his Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison, as well as the U.S. House race between Rep. Joe Cunningham and Republican challenger Nancy Mace, will be affected by the unscanned ballots.

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5:25 p.m.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott says he voted for Joe Biden for president, making him the first Republican governor in the nation to acknowledge voting for the Democratic presidential candidate.

The Republican governor told reporters Tuesday after casting his ballot in his hometown of Berlin, Vermont, that he had never voted for a Democrat in his life.

“As many of you knew, I didn’t support President Trump. I wasn’t going to vote for him,” Scott said. “But then I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t enough for me to just not vote. I had to vote against.”

He says he “put country over party, which again wasn’t an easy thing to do in some respects.”

A couple of other current Republican governors have said they aren’t voting for Trump, but they said they weren’t voting for Biden, either. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says he left his ballot blank for president. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he voted for President Ronald Reagan, who died 16 years ago.

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5 p.m.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden isn’t making any predictions about the outcome of the election as the final hours of voting tick down.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday outside a Delaware community center, Biden said he’s “superstitious” about offering predictions for election night but remains “hopeful.” He says he’s heard from aides that there’s “overwhelming turnout” among young people, women and older Black adults in places like Georgia and Florida.

He says, “The things that are happening bode well for the base that has been supporting me — but we’ll see.” Still, he admitted, “It’s just so uncertain” because of how many states are in play.

Biden also wouldn’t commit to commenting on any results on election night, even if President Donald Trump weighs in on the vote. “If there’s something to talk about tonight, I’ll talk about it,” Biden said. “If not, I’ll wait till the votes are counted the next day.”

Biden capped off a day of last-minute campaigning in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and in Philadelphia with a couple of local stops in Wilmington, Delaware. He spoke to the CEO of a community center for teens and visited a pool where he worked as a teenager, closing out a day that began before the sun rose.

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4:45 p.m.

The cybersecurity agency at the Department of Homeland Security says the U.S. election so far has featured the usual technical glitches and routine issues but no apparent signs of any malicious cyber activity — at least not yet.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency also says it’s too early to declare victory as polls near closing time around the nation Tuesday and with days of vote counting and certification ahead.

A senior agency official says, “It has been quiet and we take some confidence in that but we are not out of the woods yet.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity to brief reporters about ongoing nationwide election monitoring efforts ahead of the release of any kind of official evaluation.

The official warned that local and state election systems could experience problems as results are reported, but the most likely cause would be from high demand put on the system as people overwhelm websites to check results.

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4:30 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is heading to Wilmington, Delaware, after spending the afternoon campaigning in battleground Michigan.

She reminded voters at a Detroit church on Tuesday how slim Donald Trump’s margin of victory was in the state in 2016. She urged them to try to get two other people to vote as well.

She also urged people to remember why they are voting if they are stuck in long lines.

Earlier Tuesday, she campaigned alongside Democratic Sen. Gary Peters, who is up for reelection, Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Brenda Lawrence in Southfield. Peters is in a competitive race against Republican John James.

She will join Joe Biden in Delaware on Tuesday night.

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4:25 p.m.

A spokesperson for the Iowa secretary of state says hand sanitizer on voters’ hands caused a ballot scanner to jam at a polling place in Des Moines.

Spokesperson Kevin Hall says some voters’ hands were moist when they handled the ballots and the buildup of sanitizer eventually caused the scanner to stop working.

The machine was fixed in about an hour.

To prevent another breakdown, poll workers moved the sanitizing station farther back in the line so voters’ hands would be dry when they first touched the ballots.

It was a problem unique to the coronavirus era. Iowa is considered one of the tossup states in Tuesday’s election between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.

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2:30 p.m.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered U.S. Postal Service inspectors to sweep more than two dozen mail processing facilities for lingering mail-in ballots and for those ballots to be sent out immediately.

The order, which includes centers in central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, south Florida and parts of Wisconsin, comes after national delivery delays leading up to the election and concerns the agency wouldn’t be able to deliver ballots on time.

The Postal Service’s ability to handle the surge of mail-in ballots became a concern after its new leader, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major GOP donor, implemented a series of policy changes that delayed mail nationwide this summer. Delivery times have since rebounded but have consistently remained below the agency’s internal goals of having more than 95% of first-class mail delivered within five days, with service in some battleground areas severely lagging, according to postal data.

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2:25 p.m.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections voted Tuesday to keep four polling places open longer because they opened late, which is expected to delay statewide reporting of results.

The longest extension was 45 minutes for a site in Sampson County. That means the state can’t publicly report any statewide results until 8:15 p.m.

The state’s more than 2,600 polling places are otherwise scheduled to close at 7:30 p.m. But state elections officials said in a news release last week that if hours are extended at any polls, they wouldn’t publicly post any results until all polls are closed.

Board Chair Damon Circosta confirmed at the meeting Tuesday that the extended hours would delay public release of results.

The polling places that opened late include one site in Cabarrus County, one in Guilford County and two in Sampson County. The delays were at least partly due to issues with printers or other electronic equipment. The extensions, which only apply to the individual precincts and not other sites in those counties, range from 17 minutes to 45 minutes and match the extra time it took to get them open.

Board Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell said at a news conference in the morning before the vote was held that it’s not unusual to extend polling place hours on Election Day.

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1:45 p.m.

The latest tally of early voting in the U.S. shows that almost 102 million Americans cast their votes before Election Day, an eye-popping total that represents 73% of the total turnout of the 2016 presidential election.

The Associated Press tally reveals that the early vote in several states, including hotly-contested Texas and Arizona, has already exceeded the total vote of four years ago.

Early voting — whether in-person or by mail-in or absentee ballot — has swelled during the COVID-19 pandemic as voters have sought the safety and convenience it offers. The greatest gains have been witnessed in Kentucky, where almost 13 times as many voters cast their ballots early as in 2016.

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1:20 p.m.

Supporters cheered and applauded President Donald Trump at his campaign headquarters, where he visited Tuesday to thank dozens of staffers working to get him reelected.

Trump predicted his victory, but acknowledged he could lose.

“I think we’re going to have a great night, but it’s politics and it’s elections and you never know,” Trump said.

He said his campaign was doing well in states like Florida, Arizona and Texas. He noted the importance of winning Pennsylvania.

“Winning is easy. Losing is never easy,” he said. “Not for me it’s not.”

The president went to the Republican National Committee’s annex in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington after days of grueling campaigning on the road.

“After doing that many rallies, the voice gets a little choppy,” Trump said with his now-gravely delivery.

Trump said success will bring unity. He listed what he believes are his accomplishments with the coronavirus and the economy.

More than 100 staffers, almost all wearing masks, lined up against the back wall of the operations center to hear from their candidate. Some masks were emblazoned with “Trump” and “MAGA” for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.

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12:20 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s “absolutely certain” that Democrats will “solidly hold” onto their House majority.

On an Election Day conference call with reporters, the California Democrat said “this election is about nothing less than taking back the soul of America, whether our nation will follow the voices of fear or whether we will choose hope.”

Pelosi and Rep. Cheri Bustos say the party is reaching deep into Trump country to win seats. Bustos is chair of the campaign arm for House Democrats, who are well positioned to try to add longtime GOP seats in Long Island, Arkansas, Indiana and rural Virginia.

Bustos says Democrats “are going to see some wins in those deep red districts.”

Pelosi says she’s confident Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will win the White House from President Donald Trump.

Biden has spent the day visiting Pennsylvania. Trump had a phone interview on Fox News Channel.

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11 a.m.

First lady Melania Trump has cast her vote, stopping in at a voting center in Palm Beach, Florida, close to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

Trump switched his residence from New York to Palm Beach County last year and voted in person on Oct. 24 during early voting. Asked why she didn’t vote with the president, the first lady told reporters on Tuesday: “It’s Election Day so I wanted to come here to vote today for the election.”

The first lady waved and smiled to reporters. She was the only person not wearing a mask to guard against the coronavirus when she entered the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center to vote, presumably for her husband.

Mrs. Trump’s spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, says the first lady, who recovered from COVID-19, was the only person in the polling site, with the exception of a couple of poll workers and her own staffers, all of whom were tested.

Grisham says no one was near the first lady “because of social distancing and the privacy” people receive when they vote.

Mrs. Trump announced in a blog post last month that she had recovered from a bout with COVID-19 that included headaches, body aches and fatigue and said she had tested negative.

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10:40 a.m.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has returned to his roots on his final day of campaigning with a visit to his childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Biden arrived at the small, white two-story house to a hero’s welcome of more than 100 people cheering across the street. Biden greeted the crowd and said, “It’s good to be home!”

Biden lived in the home until he was 10 years old. On Tuesday, he walked up the front steps and chatted with the current owners before going in with his granddaughters. When Biden came out, he said the current residents had him sign their wall.

Biden then walked across the street to greet the crush of supporters, who cheered his name and applauded.

Pennsylvania is key to Biden’s White House hopes. He plans to visit Philadelphia later.

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9:45 a.m.

Federal authorities are monitoring voting and any threats to the election across the country at an operations center just outside Washington, D.C., run by the cyber-security component of the Department of Homeland Security. Officials there said there were no major problems detected early Tuesday but urged the public to be wary and patient.

U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency director Christopher Krebs said from the center there was “some early indication of system disruption,” but he did not elaborate. He says he has “confidence that the vote is secure, the count is secure and the results will be secure.”

Krebs says officials have seen attempts by foreign actors “to interfere in the 2020 election.” But he says officials “have addressed those threats quickly” and “comprehensively.”

Krebs says Election Day “in some sense is half-time.” He says, “There may be other events or activities or efforts to interfere and undermine confidence in the election.” He asks all Americans “to treat all sensational and unverified claims with skepticism and remember technology sometimes fails.”

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9:20 a.m.

For Joe Biden, it all comes down to Pennsylvania.

Biden is spending Election Day campaigning in his hometown of Scranton and in Philadelphia. He will meet with voters in each city.

Pennsylvania is key to Biden’s White House hopes. While his aides say he has multiple paths to nab 270 Electoral College votes, his easiest is by winning Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Biden has campaigned in the Keystone State more than any other.

The cities Biden is visiting Tuesday hold both strategic and symbolic significance: Biden has made his working-class upbringing in Scranton a centerpiece of his campaign, framing his economic pitch from the perspective of Scranton versus Wall Street, as he seeks to win back the blue-collar voters who helped deliver Donald Trump a win in 2016. Philadelphia has been the backdrop for some of Biden’s most significant speeches, and he’ll need strong turnout in the heavily democratic area, particularly among Black voters.

While boarding his flight on Tuesday morning, Biden tossed a thumbs up to the traveling press and said he was feeling “good.”

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8:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he believes his large rally crowds during his fast-paced weeks of campaigning are the “ultimate poll” and translate into a lot of votes for his reelection.

Trump told Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday he will spend Election Day making phone calls to people who have been loyal to him and will go to his campaign headquarters in suburban Virginia to thank the staff.

Trump said he would declare himself the winner of the election “Only when there’s victory.” There has been concern that Trump will declare victory early — before vote counts are definitive. But the Republican president told Fox there’s no reason to “play games.” He says he thinks he has a “very solid chance at winning.”

Trump also says he understands why businesses are boarding up their storefronts but thinks it’s very sad they feel the need to do it. He predicts that if there is violence and unrest, it will be in Democratically run cities like Chicago; New York; Portland, Oregon; Oakland, California; and Baltimore and blames “weak leadership.”

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8:30 a.m.

Joe Biden has started Election Day with a visit to church — and the grave of his late son, Beau.

Biden and his wife, Jill, made an early morning stop at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware, the church he typically visits on Sunday when home. Biden had granddaughters Finnegan and Natalie in tow Tuesday.

After a brief church visit, the four walked to Beau Biden’s grave in the church cemetery.

Beau died of brain cancer in 2015, and Biden often speaks on the campaign trail of his courage while deployed to Iraq as a major in the Delaware Army National Guard.

Biden’s late wife, Neilia, and infant daughter, Naomi, died in a car crash in 1972, shortly after Biden was elected senator. They are also buried in the cemetery.

Biden is spending the rest of his day in Pennsylvania as he makes a final push to get out the vote.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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