As Tuesday bled into Wednesday, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden were running a tight race. Trump was projected to win some key battleground states such as Florida, Ohio and Texas, while Biden was projected to win New Hampshire and Minnesota. Meanwhile, election officials in three other key states, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona, still have millions of ballots to count.
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Trump campaign asks Pennsylvania counties for sensitive election security information
President Trump's campaign asked at least three counties in Pennsylvania for a rundown of highly specific election security plans — including ballot storage locations and transportation details — according to an email obtained by NBC News. The Pennsylvania secretary of state has advised counties not to disclose election security information to any third parties and has reached out to the FBI.
Election officials in Cumberland, Mercer and Montour counties — all counties that are delaying mail-in ballot canvassing until Wednesday morning — received the email from a Gmail address connected to a Trump campaign volunteer.
Cumberland County Commissioner Gary Eichelberger said that in his 16 years in office, he has "never seen anything like" the Trump campaign's request.
A spokesperson for Trump's campaign said that the request was made to evaluate the differences in voting processes across jurisdictions.
Citing a "slew of Democrat efforts to change election rules at the last minute, and the resulting pressure on election officials," the spokesperson wrote that the Trump campaign is seeking to "understand how and what officials are planning as a result."
Trump's firewall: Six 'toss up' states he cannot afford to lose
It's Election Day, and here's one way to think about the road to 270 electoral votes.
President Trump has a narrow path to victory, and six states rated "toss up" by the NBC News Political Unit are essential to keeping his hopes alive: Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Iowa.
These states are must-wins for Trump, but not necessarily for Democrat Joe Biden. The president won all of them in 2016 and if any fall in Biden's column, he's in trouble.
But capturing the six states wouldn't be enough. If he wins them and carries Maine's 2nd Congressional District, Trump would need an additional 22 electoral votes. Some people close to him see Arizona (also rated "toss up") and Pennsylvania (rated "lean Democratic") as his best hopes of achieving that, as he trails by larger margins in polls of Michigan and Wisconsin.
Biden, meanwhile, sees multiple potential paths to victory and is less reliant on the six toss-ups above.
ANALYSIS: It's 'white knuckle time' for Biden and Trump
Members of Florida's congressional delegation upbraided Joe Biden's state director last week about Biden's failure to mobilize Black voters in South Florida and around Jacksonville, according to two people who were on the conference call.
The state is one of two battlegrounds — along with Pennsylvania — where victory would likely give Biden a glide path to the presidency. His strength or weakness at the top of the ticket may also affect a series of down-ballot races across the state. And Democratic Party officials see a barnburner shaping up.
In a memo to state party insiders Monday morning, Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Juan Peñalosa explained his view that a 120,000-ballot edge for registered Democrats over registered Republicans heading into Election Day would put Biden in range of winning. NBC News, in conjunction with the company TargetSmart, has calculated that 119,552 more Democrats than Republicans had voted early in person or by absentee ballot through Sunday.
"It's white knuckle time," Peñalosa wrote in the memo, which was obtained by NBC News.
He might well have been speaking for all Americans on the eve of Election Day 2020.
Battleground Texas: Two voters in nation's biggest swing state on how they see the race
HOUSTON — There were few lines to vote in Harris County this morning, where a record 1.4 million people had cast ballots before Election Day.
The unprecedented enthusiasm in the Houston region — and in fast-growing and rapidly diversifying communities around Dallas, Austin and San Antonio — has Democrats thinking they could win Texas for the first time since the presidential election of 1976.
Michelle Green, a 57-year-old Black woman, stopped off to cast a ballot this morning at a polling location in north Houston. Green said she couldn’t even remember if she voted in 2016; it didn’t seem important at the time.
But she wasn’t going to miss her chance this year.
“I’m ready to get Trump out of there,” Green said. “He’s getting on my nerves. I don’t have time for that man.”
But not everyone is convinced Biden really has a serious shot in Texas, despite polls showing a toss-up. A few miles away, in a northern Houston suburb, Sam Willingham, a 37-year-old white man, parked his pickup truck at a community center, and headed in to cast a ballot for Trump.
“I don’t buy it,” Willingham said, referring to polls projecting a tight race in Texas. “Almost everyone I know is voting for Trump. Drive back through this neighborhood, and all you see are Trump signs and Trump flags. I think the media is pumping up that story to make Texas seem like a liberal place, but it’s really not.”
Voter intimidation lawsuit filed after police use pepper-spray at North Carolina march
A federal lawsuit is accusing police in North Carolina of voter intimidation after they deployed pepper spray during a get-out-the vote rally and hauled several participants to jail in a chaotic display of pre-Election Day discord.
The complaint, filed late Monday against the police chief of Graham, a rural community west of Durham, and the Alamance County sheriff, says that protesters were not expecting conflict at Saturday's "I Am Change" march, but that the situation escalated "when deputies and officers planned and orchestrated the violent dispersal" of a peaceful crowd.
The demonstration, attended by about 250 people, coincided with the last day North Carolina residents were allowed to sign up for same-day voter registration and vote early in person. Videos on social media showed the tense scene unfold as participants, some in Black Lives Matter shirts, clashed with deputies, seen spraying the crowd outside the county courthouse.
CDC offers guidelines for in-person voters
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests those voting in person on Tuesday bring their own black ink pens, sanitize their hands before and after voting, and stay 6 feet apart from other voters.
The CDC listed these and other tips on its website to minimize the risk of Covid-19 transmission on Election Day. Others include wearing a mask and bringing a spare one in case the first gets wet or dirty. The agency also suggests filling out any registration forms in advance to reduce the amount of time at polling sites.
Voters who are sick or in quarantine do have the right to vote, the federal health agency adds, but should speak to poll workers about safety guidelines when they arrive.
Sunrise Movement made 1.3 million calls, 2.4 million texts for Biden, other candidates
The youth-led Sunrise Movement, which endorsed Bernie Sanders in the democratic presidential primary, made more than 1.3 millions calls for Biden and other down-ballot candidates in the general election, according to the group.
Sunrise, which organizes around climate justice and advocates for a Green New Deal, sent more than 2.4 million texts and 778,000 postcards "all across 3.5 MILLION voters in key swing states and battleground districts," the group's data director said on Twitter.
The group hasn't shied away from criticizing Biden, but still reached out to voters in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin on his behalf, its data director said.
Prayers offered for Trump and Harris in India
Prayers were offered for President Donald Trump and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris in India on Tuesday.
A Hindu group sought divine blessings for Trump in capital New Delhi, saying it wanted the president to be reelected in order to keep the country's main rivals, Pakistan and China, in check.
The U.S. is viewed largely positively in India, the world’s second-most-populous nation, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi often uses his relationship with Trump to boost his own standing.
Meanwhile, residents of Thulasendrapuram, the village in southern India where Harris’ maternal grandfather is from, gathered at a temple for special prayers. One local politician conducted an "Abhishekam," which involves pouring milk over a Hindu idol amid recitation of religious verses.
Harris is the first vice-presidential candidate of Indian origin.
Livestreams offer a look inside the U.S. election
Coming to you live, it's Election Day 2020.
Many localities are offering livestreams of their ballot processing today.
They're rare looks behind the scenes of an election in which is already under the microscope. Here's what it looks like in Philadelphia:
'Trump,' 'MAGA' graffiti defaces Jewish cemetery in Michigan
A Jewish cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was vandalized with pro-Trump graffiti that was discovered the same day the president visited the city for his final campaign rally of the 2020 election.
The Michigan chapter of the Anti-Defamation League shared images of the vandalism on Twitter on Monday afternoon.
Grand Rapids police told NBC News the incident is under investigation. It is unknown when the vandalism occurred, and there are currently no suspects, police said.
Pennsylvania Latino radio host uses airwaves to give voting info after Trump rhetoric
In the battleground state of Pennsylvania, popular Latino radio host Vic Martinez — known on the airwaves as VJ Mar — said Trump’s rhetoric slamming mail-in ballots has meant more of his Latino listeners are opting to show up in person to vote.
“They are deciding that even though they ordered their ballots, they are going to go in person and vote,” said Martinez, who has never endorsed a presidential candidate in the popular Spanish-language radio station La Mega, but this year endorsed Joe Biden. La Mega, an FM station, broadcasts in Allentown and Reading, as well as in Philadelphia, through La Calle radio station.
Martinez said his listeners initially were concerned about exposure to the coronavirus and wanted to vote early by mail, but then he was getting more calls from people who were hearing rumors that Trump wanted to disqualify mail-in ballots.
“They said if their ballot was going to get discounted, they weren’t going to mail it in, they weren’t going to drop it off, they were going to go in on Election Day,” Martinez said.
Martinez said La Mega is devoting the day to providing information for voters. Over 5 percent of Pennsylvania's eligible voters are Latino.
The Keystone State has had multiple voting issues leading up to Election Day. Trump has been threatening to challenge mail-in ballots received three days after the election there and is raising a specter of fraud in the state where he and Joe Biden are in a close race.