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Highlights: Presidential candidates compete for battleground states

Get coverage and electoral vote updates.
Image; President Donald Trump and Joe Biden on a background of red and blue stars in concentric circles.
Watch live presidential election results as ballots are counted in key swing states for President Trump and Joe Biden.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading election news from Thursday, November 5, 2020.

The United States remained in electoral purgatory on Wednesday afternoon as officials scrambled to count the millions of votes still outstanding after Tuesday's presidential election.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden sustained an overall Electoral College lead after being projected as the winner in key Midwestern battlegrounds Wisconsin and Michigan. President Donald Trump vowed to take legal action in both states, as well as in Pennsylvania, where over 1 million ballots remained uncounted.

Stories we're following:

—Nov. 5 highlights: Presidential candidates compete for battleground states

Amid shrinking odds of victory, Trump campaign plans legal battle

Republicans break with Trump, say take time to count all the votes

—See which counties in the remaining battleground states have the most votes left to count

814d ago / 2:00 AM UTC

Viral ‘ballot’ burning video shared by Eric Trump is fake

A viral video claiming to show ballots for President Trump being burned is fake, Virginia Beach officials said on Tuesday. 

The video shows an unidentified person putting what appear to be paper ballots in a plastic bag before dousing them with a flammable liquid and setting them on fire. While that person does not specify the location, other candidates that appear on the papers are from Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The ballots, however, are not real and are actually sample ballots, the City of Virginia Beach said, noting that the papers in the video do not have barcode markings that appear on all official ballots. Fire officials are investigating the illegal burning, city officials told NBC News affiliate WAVY

On Wednesday afternoon, President Trump’s son, Eric Trump, retweeted the video, adding the caption, “Burning 80 Trump Ballots.”

The City of Virginia Beach responded to the tweet writing, “Those were sample ballots. Addressed this yesterday.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is the state’s project winner, gaining Virginia’s 13 Electoral College votes. 

814d ago / 1:59 AM UTC

Voters around the U.S. approve police reform measures

Voters in at least six states overwhelmingly approved police reform measures on Election Day, reflecting a growing demand for greater law enforcement accountability after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.

Creating and strengthening police oversight boards, changing department staffing and funding levels and allowing greater public access to body and dashboard camera recordings were among the measures approved by voters around the country.

Many of the reforms run along the lines of laws already passed in localities in other states, such as Massachusetts and New York, in response to widespread protests over racial injustice and police violence nationwide.

Voters in nearly a dozen cities and counties in California, Texas, Oregon and Ohio approved creating, overhauling or strengthening police oversight boards.

In Portland, Oregon, where police protests have been ongoing since Floyd's death in May, over 80 percent of voters passed Measure 26-217, which amends the city's charter to create a police oversight committee that would have the power to investigate the use of deadly force and allegations of misconduct by officers. The committee would also have power to discipline officers for wrongdoing.

Read the full story.

814d ago / 1:12 AM UTC

Georgia GOP files lawsuit over absentee ballots

 

814d ago / 1:02 AM UTC

Sen. Gary Peters wins in Michigan, NBC News projects

Democratic incumbent Sen. Gary Peters defeats Republican John James in Michigan Senate race, NBC News projects.

Rebuffing Republican efforts to take a seat from Democrats in the Senate, incumber Sen. Gary Peters has fended off Republican challenger John James, NBC News projects.

A first-term senator, Peters faced a stronger challenge from James than was expected.

814d ago / 12:59 AM UTC
814d ago / 12:53 AM UTC

Rhode Island voters drop 'Providence Plantations' from state name

Voters approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday that strips part of what has long been the state's official name — "Rhode Island and Providence Plantations."

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the amendment dropping "Providence Plantations" passed with 52.9 percent of the vote, according to unofficial state results.

The name dates to the 17th century, when the Puritan minister Roger Williams founded plantations on the Providence River that later became the colony — and then the state — of Rhode Island.

An online petition this year pointed to the state's history as a slave-trading hub and argued that its name "holds the memory of an economic foundation built on slavery, and only keeps us connected to a shameful past."

Click here for the full story. 

814d ago / 12:53 AM UTC

'Not done': Why social media's biggest election test is ahead

There was a long list going into Election Day of horror stories that might have played out on social media. There could have been rampant interference by foreign governments, widespread hoaxes, a flood of deliberately false information about voting and much more.

The worst possibilities appeared not to have come to pass Tuesday, some tech researchers said, although they weren't ready to give tech platforms a sterling review just yet — especially after President Donald Trump set off a fresh wave of misinformation early Wednesday by falsely claiming that he had won.

A full accounting of how the end of the campaign played out on sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is still to come as researchers and the companies themselves examine how people used the platforms. But early assessments indicated that, at least publicly, social media didn't stand out as a problem on Election Day.

Read the full story here.

814d ago / 12:49 AM UTC

International election monitors say no evidence of fraud in U.S. election, Trump claims ‘baseless’

International election monitors said Wednesday there is no evidence that the U.S. election was marked by systematic fraud and that allegations from President Donald Trump and others are “baseless.”

“We feel that these allegations of systemic wrongdoing during these elections have no solid ground,” Urszula Gacek, head observer mission for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told reporters in Washington.

“To the contrary, given the extreme stress test the system was exposed to, and despite problems with resources both financially, and at least initially with the recruitment of poll workers, the American electoral process appears to have passed that stress test,” Gacek said.

Michael Georg Link, a former German diplomat who served as the special coordinator for the OSCE observer mission monitoring the U.S. vote, said that “baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions.”

The OSCE mission, with 102 observers from 39 countries, praised the work of state and local election officials and said the vote on Tuesday was well-managed despite the coronavirus pandemic, a deeply partisan climate and numerous legal battles over voting rules. The monitoring team will remain in the United States to observe the final counting of ballots and how legal challenges play out, Gacek said.

814d ago / 12:25 AM UTC

 

814d ago / 12:21 AM UTC

Nevada election officials reverse themselves on releasing vote count updates

Nevada election officials reversed themselves Wednesday night on when they would announce updated election results, going back to releasing the information on Thursday morning in what was the second such rescheduling of the day. 

The secretary of state’s elections division originally tweeted early Wednesday morning that they would announce more results on Thursday. But by Wednesday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the office said an update would be provided later in the day because of the national and statewide interest. 

The elections division had hoped at least one of the two largest counties, Clark and Washoe, would have updates by Wednesday afternoon, but it was told those officials were still processing and counting ballots, the spokeswoman, Jennifer Russell, said. 

“Given that Washoe and Clark counties are not going to have updated results to provide us with till later, we decide to release an update on Thursday at 9 a.m. with all of the counties,” she said. 

Russell said state election officials originally decided not to release further election results till Thursday because they did not want to disrupt county elections offices while they were still tabulating ballots.

814d ago / 12:13 AM UTC

'A tipping point': Psychedelics, cannabis win big across the country on election night

As the nation awaits a final result from the presidential election, a clear winner emerged Tuesday: drugs.

Measures to legalize cannabis and decriminalize other drugs won major victories this week as five states — ArizonaNew JerseySouth DakotaMontana and Mississippi — legalized some form of marijuana use and Oregon became the first state to make possession of small amounts of harder drugs, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, violations not punishable by jail time.

Voters in Oregon and Washington, D.C., also approved measures to allow for the therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms, which are already being prescribed to help some terminally ill patients in Canada cope with pain and end-of-life anxiety.

"People are realizing it's not just about getting high," said Avis Bulbulyan, CEO of SIVA Enterprises, a cannabis business development and solutions firm based in Glendale, California, near Los Angeles. "This is a tipping point for drug policy absent any federal reform."

Click here for the full story. 

814d ago / 12:01 AM UTC

Speaker Pelosi believes Biden will have enough Electoral College votes to win White House

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to her Democratic colleagues stating she believes Biden will have enough Electoral College votes to win the White House. 

“The American people have made their choice clear at the ballot box, and are sending Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House,” she wrote.

This is the first time Pelosi commented on the state of the presidential race, while also barely addressing the tough races Democrats ran to maintain their majority in the House.

Instead, she urged urging her colleagues to remain patient as the final ballots are counted, and races called.

814d ago / 11:43 PM UTC

 

814d ago / 11:24 PM UTC

Track which counties in battleground states have the most votes left to count

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After the election drew to a close, several battleground states were left counting mail-in ballots which were submitted in record numbers.

Vote counting in Michigan has been challenged by protesters seeking to stop the count.

Track the vote count progress here. This graphic will update with the latest numbers.

814d ago / 11:18 PM UTC

Tears and triumph as Biden wins Michigan

Image: A woman reacts at the news of Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden winning Michigan, after Election Day in Washington
Hannah McKay / Reuters
Image: People react while watching news of Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden winning Michigan broadcasted on a television, after Election Day in Washington
Supporters react as they hear the news on television that Joe Biden won Michigan at a watch party near the White House the day after the election.Hannah McKay / Reuters
814d ago / 11:03 PM UTC

Democrats worry as waning Senate prospects threaten big ambitions

WASHINGTON — The latest results from the 2020 election elevate the prospects of a Joe Biden presidency and a Republican-led Senate, which would make him the first president since 1989 to enter office without full control of Congress.

Neither is settled yet, but Biden has an edge in the final count to 270 electoral votes and Senate Republicans have more paths to retaining a majority in the final races left to be decided, due in part to GOP turnout surges beyond what polls had predicted, and drop-offs in Democratic Latino support.

"It was a bad night," Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said on MSNBC. "I do think Democrats need to sharpen our message ... We need a popular 'we're on your side' message."

So could a divided Washington get anything done?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who easily won re-election in Kentucky, has styled himself the "grim reaper" of progressive policy ideas.

"There will be no progressive legislation unless Dems take the Senate now or in 2022," Ezra Levin, an activist who co-founded the group Indivisible, said.

Click here for the full story.

814d ago / 10:57 PM UTC

Officials in largest Nevada county still working on determining outstanding ballots

Election officials in the largest county in Nevada say they will announce on Thursday how many ballots are still left to be counted. 

More than 800,000 votes have been processed in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, as of Election Day. Of those, more than 337,000 were mail-in ballots, Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon. 

Ballots still left to be counted include provisional ballots, electronic ballots sent to absentee voters overseas, ballots from disabled voters, as well as special ballots for new residents, Gloria said. 

State officials said they were working to release some data later Wednesday.

"We now recognize there is a lot of national and statewide interest in the results and we are going to release updates as they come in,” Nevada Secretary of State spokeswoman Jennifer A. Russell told NBC News. She said updated results would be announced Wednesday, but did not give a specific time.

814d ago / 10:55 PM UTC

Postal Service says it delivered ballots on time amid concern over untracked votes

A federal judge blasted the Postal Service on Wednesday because it did not follow his order to sweep mail-sorting facilities for undelivered ballots by Tuesday afternoon.

That led to a hearing Wednesday at which government attorneys were asked to explain why they did not start inspecting Postal Service facilities in 12 key regions at 3 p.m. ET on Election Day, as U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan of Washington, D.C., had ordered.

"It just leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth for the clock to run out, game's over and then we find out that there was not compliance with a very important court order," Sullivan said during the hearing.

Joseph Borson, a Justice Department attorney representing the Postal Service, said agency officials told him after Sullivan issued the order Tuesday that there was not enough time to comply with it. Postal Service agents were not in a position to sweep facilities across the United States, although they had conducted inspections of all 220 facilities earlier in the day.

"I wish we knew that earlier, so we could convey that," said Borson, who said the Postal Service had conducted sweeps throughout the day, which began at 7 a.m. ET on Election Day and continued until evening. Only 13 undelivered ballots were found, all in Pennsylvania, and they were immediately delivered to local boards of elections before Tuesday's count.

Click here to read the full story.

814d ago / 10:51 PM UTC

Facebook anti-lockdown group mobilizes to drive people to vote-counting location in Detroit

Hours before pro-Trump protesters banged on windows outside Detroit’s TCF Center, urging officials to “stop the count,” a Facebook group previously devoted to protesting Covid-19 restrictions told users to “be a presence” at the ballot counting facility.

Stand Up Michigan to Unlock Michigan, a Lansing-based private Facebook group of 79,000 members "who are passionate about advancing freedom,” organized an event with calls to action that garnered nearly 2,000 interactions, such as likes and comments, according to the group’s private Facebook page viewed by NBC News. 

“Urgent call to action in Detroit,” a group administrator posted Wednesday. 

Facebook groups that advocated for efforts to push back against coronavirus lockdowns initially popped up in nearly every state in the early spring to organize activists protesting local coronavirus lockdown orders. Their rapid growth made them a central organizing space for various conservative causes, including the anti-Black Lives Matter movements

While it's unclear if the event drove people to the convention center, the situation highlights how groups of right-leaning citizens who had previously organized around the coronavirus pandemic are being tapped to protest the election.

Posts urged users who were outside the ballot facility to “just be a presence” and “pray, take photos, take videos.” Inside the facility, according to NBC News correspondent Steve Patterson, election workers were “quietly, diligently counting” ballots.

814d ago / 10:48 PM UTC

Fact check: Trump says he can claim Electoral College votes

The president tweeted Wednesday that he had "claimed" the Electoral College votes of three of the six states still counting ballots and would claim a fourth, too, due to fraud. 

"We have 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 wrote in a pair of tweets, which Twitter has flagged for containing unproven information. ".....there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!"

This is all false. The president cannot claim Electoral College votes; they are awarded by states, based on the results of elections. While Trump is leading in Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina, NBC News has characterized the races as either "too early" or "to close to call" because there are many outstanding ballots still being counted. His leads in Georgia and North Carolina are narrow, too.

Pennsylvania does allow election observers; a state judge rejected a Trump campaign lawsuit making this same claim earlier Wednesday, after determining that election officials were following the law.

And finally, there's been no evidence of "secretly dumped" ballots in Michigan. NBC News has projected that Joe Biden will win the state.

814d ago / 10:24 PM UTC

'Count Every Vote' rallies in Philadelphia and New York

Image: People attend a rally at the New York Public Library, the day after Election day, in Manhattan
People hold a "Count Every Vote" banner during a rally at the New York Public Library the day after Election Day.Jeenah Moon / Reuters
Image: Protestors Hold "Count Every Vote" Protest Rally In Philadelphia
A "Count Every Vote" rally in Philadelphia where votes are still being tallied.Spencer Platt / Getty Images
814d ago / 10:08 PM UTC

Biden predicts victory in 2020 race: ‘When the count is finished, we will be the winners’

Joe Biden predicted Wednesday that he would win the 2020 election over President Donald Trump when the final votes were counted.

“After a long night of counting, it’s clear we’re winning enough states to win 270 electoral votes to win the presidency,” Biden told a small group of reporters at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware.

“When the count is finished, we will be the winners,” Biden said. He noted he was “not here to declare we won,” but added he’d speak again “tonight or tomorrow.”

Standing beside his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., the Democratic nominee then ran through his electoral prospects in a series of critical battleground states.

Read the story.

814d ago / 10:01 PM UTC

Biden campaign says calls for Wisconsin recount 'pathetic'

The Biden campaign called the Trump camp's demands for a recount in Wisconsin “pathetic.” Biden’s team called out the contradiction of the Trump camp wanting a recount when their original plea was to stop the count.

“Plain and simple, Donald Trump has lost Wisconsin, is losing Michigan and he is losing the presidency,” Biden's Rapid Response Director Andrew Bates says.

In his full statement, Bates points out that Trump won Wisconsin by roughly the same amount of votes in 2016 and noted lawyers are standing by if the president wants to push forward with a call for a recount. 

814d ago / 9:43 PM UTC

MAP: See the states where marijuana is legal

Voters in New Jersey, Arizona, Montana and South Dakota approved ballot measures Tuesday that would legalize recreational marijuana. Mississippi approved the use of medical marijuana for people with debilitating conditions.

Nationwide, 15 states, two territories and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 34 states and two more territories allow medical marijuana.

See which states allow marijuana for medical and/or recreational use.

814d ago / 9:39 PM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: College grads and older voters swing Michigan for Biden in projected win

President Trump won the votes of seniors and white college graduates in Michigan four years ago, but Joe Biden was able to swing both groups into his column to cobble together a narrow projected victory this year.

According to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters, Biden won voters 65 and older by 54 percent to 46 percent, reversing Trump’s 4-point win in 2016. Biden also won white college graduates, by 52 percent to 46 percent, a group that Trump won by 8 points four years ago. 

In addition, Biden won the union vote by 15 points (56 percent to 41 percent), similar to Hillary Clinton’s 13-point margin in the last election. Union households, though, are a dwindling share of the electorate in Michigan (22 percent, down from 28 percent in 2016).

And Biden saw strong support among Black voters (89 percent) and voters under age 30 (56 percent). 

814d ago / 9:36 PM UTC

North Carolina won't be making updates to its vote total for more than a week

It's unlikely Americans will know the full electoral picture in North Carolina for another eight days, the North Carolina State Board of Elections said Wednesday.

Trump currently holds a lead of less than 80,000 votes over Biden in the state, which NBC projects is still too close to call. NBC News estimates that about 300,000 votes are left to be tallied, but counting in North Carolina has not resumed during the day Wednesday following Election Day.

The final count is delayed because the vast majority of county boards of elections won't start counting the absentee and provisional ballots until Nov. 12 — so totals won't be updated for more than one week.

814d ago / 9:35 PM UTC

Finish the path to 270 after Biden wins Wisconsin and Michigan

It will take at least 270 electoral votes to win the 2020 presidential election. Finish the 2020 map on our interactive page by clicking or tapping an individual state or toggle in order to move it to red or blue. States where NBC News has a projected or apparent winner cannot be changed.

814d ago / 9:27 PM UTC

Pa. court rejects one Trump lawsuit in Philadelphia County

A state court in Pennsylvania has rejected a legal complaint brought by Republicans in the state who objected that they were not given a good enough chance to observe the opening and sorting of ballots.

The judge said that observers are not there to audit ballots, so it appeared that the board of elections in Philadelphia County was complying with state law.

But the judge said he would not discourage election officials from allowing observers to get closer to the canvassing tables if it can be done in a manner consistent with coronavirus safety protocols.  

814d ago / 9:27 PM UTC

Black men drifted from Democrats toward Trump in record numbers, polls show

Support for the Democratic presidential candidate reached a new low among Black men this year, according to the NBC News poll of early and Election Day voters.

Eighty percent of Black men supported Joe Biden, down slightly from Hilary Clinton’s 82 percent in 2016 but significantly down from Barack Obama’s level of support among Black men in 2012 and 2008.

In Obama’s first presidential campaign, 95 percent of Black male voters and 96 percent of Black women chose him. Four years later, support from Black women remained at 96 percent for Obama’s 2012 re-election, while the figure for Black men slid to 87 percent.

In 2016, when the nominee was Hillary Clinton, Black men dropped further to 82 percent while Black women’s support for Clinton remained high at 94 percent. Biden came close to matching that this year, garnering the support of 91 percent of Black women.

Support for the Democratic presidential candidate in general appears to be slipping among Black women, as well, but to a much smaller degree. Biden still enjoyed the support of more than 9 out of every 10 Black female voters.

Read more here.

814d ago / 9:26 PM UTC

Biden wins Michigan, NBC News projects

Joe Biden has won Michigan, NBC News projects.

It is an important notch for the former vice president, who believed his working-class appeal and attacks on Trump for his handling of the coronavirus would resonate with voters in the industrial Midwest.

The state, which Trump carried in 2016 over Hillary Clinton by fewer than 11,000 votes out of over 4.5 million cast, has 16 Electoral College votes.

814d ago / 9:21 PM UTC

Despite inconclusive election, Wall Street ends the day on a high note

Wall Street soared Wednesday amid an inconclusive presidential election, recording some of its biggest gains since April as investors bought up "security blanket" stocks such as tech and Treasury notes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged by more than 800 points at its session high, before closing the day with a gain of around 370 points. The S&P 500 ended the day higher by around 2.2 percent, logging its best performance since June, and the Nasdaq closed the day up 3.8 percent. 

With no sure path toward a "blue wave" controlling both chambers, investors were mostly trading on the belief that a more equal balance of power would prevent any overly progressive changes and would return more moderate legislation on the economy and taxes.

Read the story here.

814d ago / 9:14 PM UTC

Amid shrinking odds of victory, Trump campaign plans legal battle

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President Trump is being encouraged by aides and advisers in his determination not to give up on his shrinking odds of victory, with those in his orbit pushing a range of allegations about voting irregularities as they hold out hope that the count somehow shifts in his favor.

Campaign officials, along with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and chief of staff Mark Meadows, huddled at the campaign’s Virginia headquarters Wednesday afternoon plotting strategy and legal battles ahead. Aides plan to make sure Trump is very visible in the days ahead performing presidential duties while his campaign tries to challenge results on multiple fronts.

If Joe Biden’s leads in Michigan, Arizona and Nevada hold, he will have enough Electoral College votes to win regardless of the outcomes in Pennsylvania and Georgia, where the contests also remained close.

Read more here.

814d ago / 9:08 PM UTC

Chaos erupts in Detroit after Republican poll challengers demand an end to vote count

DETROIT — Things are getting tense in the TCF Center after the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit to stop vote counting until it receives greater access to the counting sites.

Around 2:30 p.m. ET, a large group of Republican poll challengers arrived at the door of the massive basement room where Detroit election workers are processing the small number of absentee and military ballots that still need to be counted and were angry to learn they would not be allowed inside due to capacity issues.

Sharon Dolente, the voting rights strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, estimated that both parties have more than 100 poll challengers in the room.

Dozens of people outside the counting room began to bang on the windows, shouting, "stop the count." A group of poll challengers on the convention center floor also started clapping and chanting, demanding that the vote be stopped.

Image:
Election challengers look through the doors of the central counting board in Detroit on Nov. 4, 2020.Carlos Osorio / AP

Still, the city continued to count ballots.

814d ago / 9:03 PM UTC

Nevada election officials to announce updated results Wednesday

Nevada state election officials say they will announce updated results Wednesday, earlier than previously stated. 

In the wee hours on Tuesday, the Nevada secretary of state’s elections division tweeted that further results would not be announced till 9 a.m. Thursday. 

“But we now recognize there is a lot of national and statewide interest in the results, and we are going to release updates as they come in,” secretary of state spokeswoman Jennifer Russell told NBC News. She did not give a specific time for announcing the updated results. 

Russell said state election officials originally decided not to release further election results till Thursday because they did not want to disrupt county elections offices while they were still tabulating ballots.

Nevada lawmakers passed a bill over the summer to provide for a mostly mail-in vote amid Covid-19 concerns, allowing mailed ballots to be counted so long as they were postmarked by Election Day and received by officials within a week of the election. In Nevada, election results are required to be certified and reported by Nov. 16. 

“There are still a great deal of mail-in ballots that are being counted, processed and that are still coming in,” Russell said.  

814d ago / 8:46 PM UTC
814d ago / 8:43 PM UTC

With election results in flux, progressive groups mobilize for 'National Day of Solidarity'

Feeling optimistic about Joe Biden's prospects in the presidential race, a massive coalition of progressive groups is planning a "National Day of Solidarity" on Saturday.

The coordinated effort will span 40 states across the country and will include more than 70 events beginning midday.

"We're going to see the leaders of 230 people-powered organizations across the country coming together, lifting up our voices" Angela Peoples, director of the umbrella group Democracy Defense Coalition, told NBC News exclusively in an interview. The purpose is to celebrate record high ballot counts nationwide while "making sure that every vote is counted, and that the voices of the people is what won out on the day," she explained.

Ahead of Tuesday's election, the groups mapped out multiple ways to mobilize progressives after Nov. 3, regardless of the outcome that was expected to be unpredictable. In materials sent to organizers of faith, labor, women, environmental and social justice groups, the coalition explained that "sustained and coordinated action" is the best way to help ensure long term support for progressives.

Saturday's actions are encouraged to respect local Covid-19 safety protocols and will include everything from rallies and demonstrations to live music and artistic expressions.

Read more here.

814d ago / 8:27 PM UTC

Trump wins one Electoral College vote in Maine, NBC News projects

Trump wins one Electoral College vote in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, NBC News projects.

The district — which encompasses nearly all of the state outside the Portland and Augusta metro areas — is receiving outsize attention due to the higher-than-usual possibility the race could end in a 269-269 electoral vote tie.

Maine awards two of its four Electoral College votes to the statewide winner, but allows two of its congressional districts to award one vote each to the winner in each of the districts.

Democrats carried Maine's 2nd District in every election since 1992 before Trump flipped it red in 2016 by seizing on its rural, union-heavy makeup the way he did in many states across the Upper Midwest.

814d ago / 7:59 PM UTC

Arizona's Maricopa County has 605,000 uncounted ballots, some results released tonight

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Data from Arizona's Maricopa County shows that there are still about 605,000 uncounted ballots, and results for a bulk of them are expected to come out in two batches starting around 9 p.m. ET, which is 7 p.m. local time.

It's unclear when other counties in Arizona will report their latest figures. NBC News says that the presidential race in Arizona is too close to call. 

814d ago / 7:54 PM UTC

 

814d ago / 7:54 PM UTC

Some Republicans break with Trump, say take time to count all the votes

WASHINGTON — Some Republicans are not falling in line behind President Donald Trump's attempts to falsely declare victory and seek to halt some vote counting in the presidential race, with several GOP leaders expressing rare public rebukes of the president.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a Trump ally who usually avoids criticizing the president in public, told reporters Wednesday that "claiming you've won the election is different from finishing the counting."

With millions of votes still uncounted, Trump in a 2:35 a.m. Wednesday speech at the White House baselessly claimed he had defeated Democrat Joe Biden and alleged "major fraud on our nation" as election officials work through a massive surge in mail-in ballots, which they had long warned would take extra time to count. The president called for a halt in "all voting."

Trump's campaign amplified their boss's erroneous claims in public statements and threats of lawsuits, which Biden's team dismissed as meritless, insisting even the conservative-leaning Supreme Court would not give them any consideration.

But the more surprising rebukes came from members of Trump's own party.

Read more here.

814d ago / 7:52 PM UTC

NBC News Exit Poll: Gains with white men helped put Biden over the top in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, where NBC News has declared Joe Biden the apparent winner, the Democratic candidate got strong support from Black voters, Latino voters, and white women with a college degree, according to the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters. It was his relative strength among white men without a college degree, though, that helped put him over the top. 

President Trump won this group by 62 percent to the 35 percent Biden won, but that was much narrower than his 69 percent to 26 percent margin with this group in 2016.

814d ago / 7:49 PM UTC

Analysis: Trump thinks he's losing. Just listen to him.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump sounds like a man who knows he's losing, even though it will take time to sort out the final vote counts in key electoral battlegrounds.

Speaking from the White House early Wednesday morning, Trump falsely declared that he was winning. And then he said the election is "a fraud on the American public" and an "embarrassment to our country." In case it wasn't obvious that he is desperately worried, he said he wants state officials to stop counting ballots midstream.

Oh, and he vowed to sue to overturn the results, despite calling himself the winner.

All of this is normal behavior for an intemperate adolescent, an authoritarian ruler, or Trump. Still, his speech Tuesday night will surely be remembered as a low point for both the concept of democracy and the practice of republicanism. For the moment, Trump's tack represents two significant developments in the purgatory-is-hell story of the 2020 election.

Read  Jonathan Allen’s analysis here.

814d ago / 7:31 PM UTC

Trump campaign sues to stop the count in Michigan

The Trump campaign announced Wednesday it is suing in Michigan to stop the vote count after the president fell behind Biden in the critical swing state.

"As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely tight as we always knew it would be," Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement. "President Trump’s 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."

"We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted," he added.

Biden holds a 45,000 vote lead over Trump in Michigan. The president, back in 2016, carried the state by a slimmer margin.

814d ago / 7:27 PM UTC

Biden is the apparent winner in Wisconsin, NBC News projects

Joe Biden is the apparent winner in Wisconsin, NBC News projects.

The narrow apparent victory renewed Democrats' long winning streak in the swing state, which was broken four years ago when Trump edged out Hillary Clinton. Biden’s heartland appeal brought him 10 Electoral College votes.

The Trump campaign said earlier Wednesday that it would "immediately" demand a recount in the state as the presidency remains in the balance.

814d ago / 7:22 PM UTC

Biden now has more votes than any presidential candidate in history

Biden has now won more votes than any presidential candidate in American history as of Wednesday afternoon, passing Obama's 2008 record of more than 69.4 million ballots cast in his name.

With more than 20 million expected votes left to count, according to an NBC News projection, Biden's final total should go well beyond Obama's 2008 mark. Trump, too, is on track to win the second-highest vote total in U.S. history. He should pass Obama's 2008 total in the coming days, but it looks unlikely that he will surpass Biden.

814d ago / 7:09 PM UTC

Key Georgia county reports issue counting estimated 80,000 absentee ballots

Election officials in a suburban Georgia county that could help determine whether Biden or Trump takes the state have flagged an issue affecting up to 80,000 hand-marked absentee ballots scanned by a new voting system. 

The votes, cast in Gwinnett County, are scanned in batches, and 3,200 of the batches, with each batch containing a maximum of 25 ballots, had at least one ballot that needed review, county spokeswoman Heather Sawyer said in an email. 

The batches must remain together, so the county temporarily approved the problematic ballots and re-scanned the batches, but will go back to review the ballots that previously couldn’t be scanned, which will change final vote tallies, Sawyer said.

Unique in Georgia, the county, with a population of 936,250, uses a two-page absentee ballot printed in English and Spanish. The multipage ballot could have been an issue if new users didn’t have adequate training, Eddie Perez, an analyst for election technology advocacy group OSET, told NBC News in an email. NBC News has collaborated with the OSET Institute since 2016 to monitor U.S. election-technology and voting issues.

Dominion, provider of the new $150 million voting system in place across Georgia, declined to comment.

814d ago / 6:54 PM UTC

Judge furious that Postal Service didn't sweep mail-sorting facilities for ballots as ordered

A federal judge blasted the Postal Service on Wednesday because it did not follow his court order to perform a sweep of mail-sorting facilities Tuesday afternoon for any undelivered ballots. 

“It just leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth for the clock to run out, game’s over and then we find out that there was not compliance with a very important court order,” U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said during a hearing Wednesday.

Joseph Borson, a Justice Department attorney representing the Postal Service, said that the agency had told him after Tuesday's order that there was not enough time for it to fulfill the court's order, as Postal Service agents were not in position to sweep its 220 facilities across the United States. 

“I wish we knew that earlier, so we could convey that,” Borson said, but he noted that the Postal Service had conducted sweeps beginning at 7 a.m. on Election Day that continued throughout the day. Only 13 undelivered ballots were found. 

The overarching issue is about 300,000 mailed ballots that were not scanned by the Postal Service. 

Voter advocates and the Postal Service both warn that just because the 300,000 ballots were not scanned does not mean they were not delivered. Both sides emphasized that in rushing ballots in the final week prior to the election, the Postal Service sacrificed tracking to ensure ballots’ quick delivery. Instead, some were pulled from circulation and prioritized.

Lawyers in the lawsuit maintain, however, that the Postal Service has not acted transparently and they want to certify that all of the agency’s facilities have been swept.

814d ago / 6:54 PM UTC

Democrat Sara Gideon concedes to Republican Sen. Susan Collins

Republican incumbent Susan Collins is the apparent winner in Maine's Senate race, NBC News projects.

Democrat challenger Sara Gideon conceded to Collins, a top target of Democrats this election cycle, earlier Wednesday.

"We came up short," Gideon told supporters Wednesday afternoon. She said she'd called Collins to wish her well. 

"I congratulated her on winning this election and told her I'll always be available to help serve the people of Maine," Gideon said. 

Collins called the call "very gracious." "We had a good talk," she said. 

The race was the most expensive in Maine history. Collins raised more than $26.5 million and spent over $23 million, while Gideon brought in more than $68.5 million and spent nearly $48 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

814d ago / 6:50 PM UTC

Fact check: Trump's false, misleading claims about ballot counting in key states

President Trump on Wednesday continued to promote false claims about the election and ballot processing after vote tallies in key states appeared to move in Joe Biden's favor in the early morning hours.

Twitter flagged a series of the president's tweets as "misleading," including one in which he said, in part, that his leads "started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted." There were no "surprise" ballot dumps in the states Trump appears to be referencing — states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan that NBC News has characterized as too close to call and will be pivotal to deciding who wins the White House.

Valid ballots are still being tabulated in those states, and rules restricting when officials in key states could begin processing mail ballots have delayed the vote count into Wednesday, at least.

In another tweet, Trump claimed, "They are finding Biden votes all over the place — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So bad for our Country!"

This is an incorrect characterization, since officials are not "finding" Biden ballots. More Democrats voted by mail this year than did Republicans, and as more mail ballots are processed, the totals are changing.

In one of the earlier tweets that Twitter labeled as misleading, Trump also appeared to suggest that Democratic officials are corruptly influencing the elections in their states. There's no evidence for this. Republicans also hold control of at least one part of the legislature in Michigan and Wisconsin, two states where Trump was leading last night but where valid mail ballots have caused the tallies to shift narrowly in Biden's favor with 97 percent of the expected vote in.

In fact, the president's party and his campaign bear some responsibility for the counting delays Trump is using to cast doubt on the validity of the results. Lawmakers in Pennsylvania sought to change the rules to enable the processing of mail-in ballots prior to Nov. 3, but negotiations broke down between the state's Democratic governor and the Republican-controlled House; each side blamed the other.

In Michigan, Republicans in the state Legislature only agreed to allow larger jurisdictions to get a 10-hour head start on pre-canvassing ballots, even as election officials pushed for more time. In Wisconsin, GOP Sen. Ron Johnson pushed the state's Republican Legislature to allow the processing of mail ballots ahead of Election Day, but the it did not act. 

814d ago / 6:29 PM UTC

Trump, Biden wait as vote counting continues in states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania

Image:
Election personnel handle ballots as vote counting continues in Atlanta on Nov. 4, 2020.Brynn Anderson / AP

WASHINGTON/DETROIT — The presidential election remained undecided Wednesday, turning the nation's attention to a handful of battleground states that continue to tabulate the crush of mail-in ballots that will decide if Donald Trump or Joe Biden will be victorious.

NBC News has projected the outcome in 42 states, giving Biden a narrow lead over Trump in the Electoral College count. But both remain shy of the 270 delegates needed to win, with many critical battleground states still either too early or too close to call.

As of Wednesday morning, NBC News has yet to project a winner in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin. Biden leads in Arizona. Some of these states have indicated that enough of their vote total could be in by the end of the day in order for a winner to be projected.

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