Trump tests democracy by claiming conspiracy as TV cameras cut away

3 weeks ago 1

STATES STILL IN PLAY

ARIZONA - 11 electoral college votes: Votes still being counted, deadline for result unclear

50.49% BIDEN

48.14% TRUMP

Fox and the AP gave Arizona to Biden before dawn on Wednesday. On Wednesday afternoon, officials said that there were still 600,000 votes left to be counted which suggested that it could be put back in play. 

The AP is standing by its call, saying the outstanding votes are in Biden strongholds that will not flip back to Trump. 

PENNSYLVANIA - 20 electoral college votes: Result expected Friday

50.1% TRUMP 

48.7% BIDEN

GEORGIA - 16 electoral colleges votes: Result expected sometime on Thursday

49.4% TRUMP

49.2%  BIDEN

NEVADA - 6 electoral college votes: Result expected Friday

49.4% BIDEN 

48.5% TRUMP  

NORTH CAROLINA - 15 electoral college votes: Result expected some time Thursday

50.09% TRUMP

48.69% BIDEN 

President Donald Trump on Thursday called the entire presidential election into question, claiming it was rigged against him from start to finish by a vast conspiracy, in an extraordinary White House statement which television networks turned off.

He claimed he was the victim of 'big media, big money and big tech' coming together to commit 'historic election interference.'

He claimed that if all 'legal votes' were counted he would win the election as he charged Democrats with trying to steal the contest 'corruptly' through mail-in ballots in a suddenly-announced White House address delivered as his tiny voting leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia slipped further. 

At the podium in the briefing room he spoke for 17 minutes, largely reading from a script, listing his grievances at Joe Biden's campaign, 'suppression polls' and 'fraud.' 

He left without taking a question as a White House reporter shouted: 'Are you a sore loser?' - then his press secretary had to scuttle back to the podium because he had forgotten to take his large-script notes with him.

Trump's tirade against his list of enemies was switched off rapidly by TV network after TV network.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams said as they turned away: 'Here we go again.'

Republicans turned on him within minutes with Larry Hogan, the Maryland governor, saying: 'There is no defense. No person or election is more important than our democracy.' GOP rep Adam Klinzinger called it 'insane.'

At the briefing room podium - where the only aide with him was White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnanany - Trump appeared downcast as he listed his enemies and claimed a victory which nobody has handed to him.

'If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,' he said during what he called a press conference.

Joe Biden tweeted a rebuke shortly after he finished saying: 'No one is going to take our democracy away from us. 

'Not now, not ever. America has come too far, fought too many battles, and endured too much to let that happen.'

Trump, whose campaign has launched lawsuits in several battleground states, spoke more about the polls than he did about his own campaign, calling them 'phony' and 'suppression polls,' claiming that errors by pollsters were a deliberate attempt to keep his supporters at home.

Then he turned on his own party saying that because of him was no 'blue wave,'  referring to Democrats' failure to win the Senate and add to their majority in the House.

That was a coded attack on Republicans' most senior figures who have refused to come out in support of his claims of fraud. His son Don Jr. railed against Republicans earlier in similar terms - but Mitch McConnell has said that every vote must be counted.

'We won by historic numbers. And the pollsters got it knowingly wrong, they got it knowingly wrong. We had polls that were so ridiculous and everybody knew it at the time. There was no blue wave that they predicted,' Trump said. 

Trump's lead in Pennsylvania is slipping and in Georgia too Biden is creeping up on him, while Biden remains ahead in Nevada and Arizona. Biden needs only Pennsylvania to win, taking him to 273 electoral college votes, or Nevada and Arizona, taking him to 270. In contrast Trump would need to secure North Carolina, Arizona and Pennsylvania to secure 271. 

Trump had not been seen for more than 36 hours after appearing in the White House East Room at 2.30am on Wednesday morning in front of cheering fans in MAGA hats to claim then that he had 'won.'

But he spoke after a measured Biden asked Americans to be patient and calm as they waited for the final ballots in the presidential race to be counted - amid mounting anxiety over the long wait for results, and concern about public order.

'Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well,' the former vice president said from the stage of Wilmington's Queen theater late Thursday afternoon.

'So I ask everyone to stay calm, all people to stay calm. The process is working. The count is being completed and we'll know very soon.'

In the same brief statement, the Democratic nominee assured supporters that he and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, would come out on top.

In contrast Trump spent the his press conference railing. 'We grew our party by 4 million voters, the greatest turnout in Republican party history. Democrats are the party of the big donors, the big media, the big tech, it seems and Republicans have become the party of the American worker and that's what's happened,' Trump said.

He accused the media of giving Biden strong poll numbers as a way of keeping his voters at home.

Trust me I won: Donald Trump takes to the White House briefing room podium to claim he won 

End of the show: As Trump spoke from the WHite House podium TV network after TV network turned off his conspiracy-theory laden tirade 

That's all folks: Trump left the stage without taking questions. The only aide who went with him was Kayleigh McEnany, his White House press secretary. There was no sign of Vice President Mike Pence 

Forgotten and almost lost: Trump left his prepared script, in giant text and scrawled on with sharpie at the podium and it had to be retrieved by press secretary Kayleigh McEnany

MAGA is here: As Donald Trump spoke, his supporters in Arizona were demanding the count go on while his lawyers in Pennsylvania were demanding it stops

Damning verdict: Larry Hogan, the Republican Maryland governor became its most senior voice to speak out. Adam Kinzinger is a Republican congressman from Illinois who was one of the first of his party to slam Trump

'As everyone now recognizes media polling was election interference in the truest sense of that word.

'By powerful special interests, these really phony polls, I have to call them phony polls, state polls, were designed to keep our voters at home, create the illusion of momentum for Mr. Biden and diminish Republicans abilities to raise funds.

'They were what's called suppression polls, everyone knows that now. And it's never been used to the extent that it's been used on this last election,' he said.

He went on to accuse Democrats of tinkering with the election in states with outstanding results.

'There are now only a few states yet to be decided in the presidential race. The voting apparatus of those states are run in all cases by Democrats,' he said.

In fact Arizona and Georgia – two critical states that are still counting ballots – have Republican governors; Nevada's secretary of state is a Democrat and Pennsylvania's rules on counting were set by its Republican legislature.

He pointed to his campaign's lawsuits, which have alleged voter fraud but offered no proof of the allegations. Two were thrown out by judges Thursday, one claiming fraud for lack of any evidence.

'There's tremendous litigation going on and this is a case where they're trying to steal an election. They're trying to rig an election and we can't let that happen,' he said. 

The blizzard of litigation he promised had been beset throughout the day by problems.

In Georgia, superior court judge James Bass said there was 'no evidence' to the Trump suit's claims that a 53 ballots arrived late and got mixed with other ballots. In Michigan, Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled against the Trump campaign's push to stop the count in order to gain additional access for its observers. 'I have no basis to find that there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits,' she said.  

In Nevada, he sent Ric Grenell, his former acting director of national intelligence to announce legal claims that out of state residents had been voting.

But the press conference went badly wrong when Grenell refused to say what his name was and was laughed at by reporters then chased into a van refusing to answer questions on what evidence he had.

In Pennsylvania, the campaign claimed they were 'banned' from watching poll counters in Philadelphia and are now suing in federal court. 

Trump has responded to Biden's leads in Arizona and Nevada and his gains in Pennsylvania and Georgia on Twitter, often all in capitals. Several Tweets have been flagged by Twitter as misinformation. 

Biden did not mention Trump's name Thursday.

But he did make a comment that was clearly aimed at Trump and his campaign team's legal efforts to stall vote-counting and rhetorical efforts to call into question the legitimacy of the election.

'In America, the vote is sacred. It's how people of this nation express their will. And it is the will of the voters, no one, not anything else, that chooses the president of the United States of America,' Biden said. 'So each ballot must be counted.'

Earlier Thursday, Biden was at the Queen to participate in a COVID-19 and also an economic briefing. He also made an appearance at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware Wednesday, where he again told Americans they needed to wait – but that he would win.

The appearance in Delaware was clearly intended to cast Biden as presidential and paint a contrast to Trump.

The plea for calm also spoke to increasing concerns about public order.

Address to America: Joe Biden appeared with running mate Kamala Harris at his side to plead for calm and patience over the vote count

Public statement: 'We continue to feel, the senator and I, we continue to feel very good about where things stand,' Biden said. 'We have no doubt that when the count is finished Sen. Harris and I will be declared the winners.'

In Michigan, Arizona and Nevada, Trump supporters, some of them armed have descended on counting locations.

And in New York there were arrests Wednesday after a pro-Biden 'count every vote' protest descended into violence. 

The president had launched a furious tweet demanding that the count be stopped early Thursday morning then said his campaign would sue in any state where Joe Biden had already been declared a winner.

The election outcome now hinges on five states: Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Nevada, Arizona and Georgia had expected to finish their counts Thursday but then changed expectations. 

The extraordinary focus on the counting in individual states is unprecedented.  

The legal devices being used by Republicans to challenge election results

Michigan - stop votes being counted and review ballots

Called for Biden with 99 per cent of ballots counted 

Donald Trump yesterday filed a lawsuit in the battleground state of Michigan seeking to halt vote-counting and review counted ballots.

Campaign manager Bill Stepien said Republicans had not been given 'meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process'.

He claims this violates state law.

Georgia - secure and account for late mail-in ballots

Too early to call. Trump ahead by 0.5 points with 98 per cent of ballots counted 

President Trump and the Georgia Republican Party have filed a lawsuit against election officials in Chatham County, asking a judge to order all late ballots be secured and accounted for. 

It was filed after a Republican observer claims to have witnessed mail-in ballots which arrived after the 7pm deadline added to a pile of lawful votes to be counted.

Sean Pumphry, a registered GOP poll-watcher, said he saw 53 unprocessed ballots added to processed ones. 

Wisconsin - recount the ballots

Called for Biden with 99 per cent of ballots counted 

The Trump campaign last night announced it would demand a recount of ballots in Wisconsin after an ultra-tight race. 

Biden only edged a victory in the state, leading Trump by just 0.53 per cent of the vote.

Wisconsin state law allows campaigns to pay for a recount if the margin of defeat is less than 1 per cent. 

Pennsylvania - multiple legal challenges

Won't know until Friday. Biden ahead by three points with 89 per cent of ballots counted

Supreme Court  

The Trump campaign yesterday said it will wade into a case currently before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, over whether late mail-in ballots can be counted.

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar ruled ballots that arrived up to three days late could be counted, which is currently being challenged by state Republicans.

Trump's lawyers now plan to 'intervene' in this case.  

Stop counting until transparency guarantees 

Like in Georgia, he also said Trump would be suing to stop 'Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing' from GOP poll-watchers.

He claimed that Republican observers in Philadelphia were ordered to stand 25 metres away from counting staff, making it impossible to watch.

And like in Michigan, the Trump campaign is suing to halt vote counting until 'meaningful transparency' is guaranteed.

Voter ID challenge

Trump has accused Pennsylvania's Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar of unilaterally extending the deadline by which mail-in voters whose voter ID was missing to provide proof.

Under state law, first-time mail-in and absentee voters must provide identification.

The wafer-thin margins in each state mean that every ballot now counts to the result. In a normal year, the states' results would have been called quickly by television networks and the Associated Press and the count gone on quietly in the background.

But this time, with unprecedented numbers of mail-in ballots fueling a record turnout, the calls were not made and instead it is official counts which regularly take days or even weeks to be completed, certified and declared which have become the focus of public attention. 

In each state:

Nevada: 63,000 ballots remain to be counted but late-arriving mail-in ballots are still arriving and will do until Tuesday November 10. And the result may not be known until Thursday November 12, officials said, when all provisional ballots will be resolved after going through a validation process.' Biden is ahead by 11,500 votes.Pennsylvania: Counting stopped then restarted in Philadelphia as Trump's campaign sued claiming they are not being allowed to watch the count, winning their case first. And in Pittsburgh, 35,000 votes cannot be legally counted until Friday. But the Secretary of State hinted that a result could come Thursday, suggesting Arizona: The Secretary of State says counting of the 450,000 outstanding votes there will not be completed until Friday, stretching out the agonizing wait for an overall election result after a night of chaos which saw Biden's lead shrink considerably and put the state possibly back in play for Trump. Biden is ahead in Arizona but only by about 67,000 votes after his majority shrank overnight. Of the 450,000 remaining votes there, 300,000 are in Maricopa County where Biden holds a two point lead, and where he is expected to win. Georgia: State is down to its final 50,000 ballots but has still to say when that will be completed. And Friday is the deadline North Carolina: There is no indication of when the result will be finalized. 


The Associated Press has awarded Biden 264 electoral votes - including in Arizona, a state not all news organizations have called and that the Trump campaign is arguing they can win when all votes are counted.

Nevada's six electoral votes would put Biden exactly at 270 in the AP's count - handing him the presidency. 

Nevada released another tranche of votes Thursday that expanded Biden's lead to 12,000. 

Georgia also released additional votes counts that resulted in Trump's lead going down to about 13,500 votes. The state has about 50,000 absentee ballots left to be counted - along with provisional ballots, military ballots, and votes from Americans living overseas.

Trump, with 214 electoral votes, faces a much higher hurdle to 270. He would need to win all four remaining battleground states: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada. 

The Trump campaign expressed confidence the president will get a second term in the White House.

'By end of tomorrow – Friday – it will be clear that President Trump and Vice President Pence will serve another term in the White House,' campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told reporters in a press call on Thursday morning. 

The Biden campaign expressed similar confidence.

'Our data shows that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States,' Dillon said. 

As the count dragged on, Trump expressed confidence he will win the election but said his campaign will sue in the battleground states Joe Biden won, a sign his team is not confident the vote tallies will come out in his favor.

'All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud. Plenty of proof - just check out the Media. WE WILL WIN! America First!,' Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning. 

Additionally, Trump has demanded the nation stop counting votes in the presidential election.

He also launched a barrage of litigation.

In Nevada, which could hand Biden the presidency should he win its six electoral votes, he claimed non-residents were being allowed to vote.

The Trump campaign had a legal victory in Pennsylvania on Thursday when a judge ruled ballot observers can watch officials count ballots within six feet. Representatives of both campaigns were in the room to watch the counts but at a further distance because of the coronavirus. A county judge agreed with the Trump campaign, but Democrats appealed to the state Supreme Court. 

The Biden campaign accused the Trump team of using the court system to delay the inevitable. 

'What we're seeing on these legal suits are that they are meritless and nothing more than an attempt to distract and delay what is now inevitable – Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States,' campaign manager Jennifer O'Malley Dillon told reporters Thursday morning. 

'STOP THE COUNT!,' the president tweeted Thursday as state officials continued to make their way through the legally cast votes. Trump has spent the past few days holed up in the White House, speaking to advisers about the race.

If state officials stop counting now and the election were called on the current tallies as the president seems to be demanding - Biden would win. The president needs to make up vote gaps in Arizona and Nevada in order to win the election - in other words he needs officials there to keep counting the ballots. 

Trump later added this tweet: 'ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!'

The president was likely referring to Pennsylvania, where officials are counting any mail-in ballot received by Friday as long as it is post marked by Election Day. Trump currently leads in the state but Biden is slowing making up ground as the mail-in votes are counted. More Democrats than Republicans used the mail-in voting option.

However he did not state the law as it exists. The state was in the process of counting ballots that did not come in after Election Day. And the change to allow ballots that come in for three days after was upheld by the state supreme court in a decision the U.S. Supreme Court let stand. The Trump camp could try to challenge the post-election day ballots again later in the process. 

Twitter put a warning on several of the president's tweets. 

And the Trump campaign released a statement from the president to clarify his tweets: 'IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTES, I EASILY WIN THE ELECTION! IF YOU COUNT THE ILLEGAL AND LATE VOTES, THEY CAN STEAL THE ELECTION FROM US!' 

The situation in Pittsburgh is complicated by about 30,000 outstanding ballots, where a vendor sent the wrong ballots to voters and had to reissue new ballots with the correct races. 

Poll workers now have to examine these ballots to make sure that people don't vote twice, or, if they sent in the wrong ballot, they didn't vote in races they aren't eligible for. 

They cannot legally be counted until Friday when Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh sits, swears in a special board to examine these ballots, as required by law.

 Biden has been closing the gap with Trump in Pennsylvania as mail-in ballots are counted. 

And in Chatham County, Georgia, where Savannah is located, a judge ruled against the Trump campaign's legal challenge to some absentee ballots. The judge declared officials took the proper precautions to ensure it was legal ballots that were counted.  Trump's lead in Georgia fell to fewer than 20,000 votes as more vote totals were released.   

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Chaos hit the election count center in a crucial Arizona county on Wednesday night after a large group of Trump supporters gathered outside to protest, some carrying weapons as the chanted for the vote to continue

Trump campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski speaks outside the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, amid lawsuits by the campaign in the state

NEVADA: President Trump supporters protest the Nevada vote in Clark County

MICHIGAN: Supporters of President Donald Trump chant slogans as they gather outside the room where absentee ballots for the 2020 general election are being counted

Video from outside the count center showed the angered crowd as they shouted that the vote was being suppressed

As President Trump offers unsubstantiated charges of election fraud, pro-Trump demonstrators have showed up at vote counting centers in Nevada, Arizona, and Detroit demanding that all votes be counted.  

The results of the election remain unclear but Biden is inches towards victory as mail-in ballots are tallied.

Trump has falsely claimed these votes are illegitimate because they are being counted after the election. The votes were legally cast before Election Day but the process to count mail-in ballots takes longer as they have to be checked against voter rolls to confirm it's a legal ballot from a registered voter – just as when someone who votes in person has to confirm their identity with a poll worker before receiving a ballot. 

In Arizona overnight, armed pro-Trump protesters descended on a counting center in Maricopa County, after Biden's commanding 200,000-vote lead was slashed to just 68,000 as ballots continued being tallied.  

They faced off with police and security outside the counting center, chanting that every vote should be counted with the result in the balance. At least one person made it inside, forcing the center to close with staff locked in.   

Why the deciding votes are taking SO long to count: Sluggish tallying of mail-ins, fixing ballots one-by-one, ink shortages and printer errors have drawn out the process for days as America and the world wait

As Americans sit on tenterhooks waiting for five key states to finally crown a victor in the presidential election, one question is on everyone's minds: What is taking so long? 

Election officials in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina have pleaded for patience as they continue chipping away at mountains of hundreds of thousands of uncounted ballots.  

The paramount reason tallying has been sluggish is because of a record number of mail-in ballots, which take significantly more time to process than in-person ballots because they have to be verified and scanned via a system with multiple steps where things can, and have, gone awry.  

Voting centers around the US have reported issues with ink shortages, ballots printed on the wrong paper and faulty machinery - exacerbating an already arduous process. 

The states that still haven't been called as of Thursday are facing yet another challenge: Unprecedented pressure to make sure the results are right when the margin is razor-thin. 

President Donald Trump on Thursday promised to mount legal battles in all battleground states won by his rival Joe Biden as he continued issuing fevered demands to stop counting in states that haven't been called yet. 

Trump and Republicans have been waging a war against mail-in ballots for months, charging that they would lead to widespread voter fraud. 

Now that mail-in ballots have led to delays, Republicans are arguing that the counting process is stacked against them as well - even in states where their own party makes the rules.  

Meanwhile Biden and the Democrats have urged Americans to be patient and insisted that every vote be counted, especially since they expect the bulk of mail-in ballots to go in their favor.  

With the eyes of the nation blaring down at them, election officials in the states still up for grabs are doing just that, making sure results are bulletproof in preparation for legal action by the Trump campaign. 

Two days after the election, hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots remain uncounted across Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina - prompting many to question why it's taking so long to reach a result. Pictured: Fulton County election workers examine ballots while vote counting at State Farm Arena on Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia

The states still counting as of Thursday afternoon:

Pennsylvania (20 Arizona (11)  Nevada (6)  Georgia (16) North Carolina (15)

Not knowing the winner of the presidential election two days after the polls closed is understandably unsettling for Americans, who are used to seeing a result the night of. 

But in fact the counting process has always taken several days or weeks, continuing well after media outlets project the winner based on partial counts. 

Each state has its own certification deadline to hand down an official count, ranging from two days after the election in Delaware to more than a month after in California.

Why mail-in ballots take so long to count

Experts have been predicting for months that counting votes would take much longer than in previous years because of an unprecedented number of voters sending ballots by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Absentee ballots are considerably more time-consuming to process than in-person ballots. 

When you vote in person, the ballot typically goes straight into the machine, where it is processed and counted almost immediately. 

There are a couple more steps with mail-in ballots. The first step is processing, which in most states sees an election worker verify the signature on the exterior of the envelope against voter rolls. 

A worker then takes time to carefully open the envelope and flatten out the ballot before it can be scanned into a system - a simple yet lengthy process in large numbers - at which point it is counted.  

Technical snags and snafus in several jurisdictions across the US slowed the process further this week.

Absentee ballots are considerably more time-consuming to process than in-person ballots. Pictured: Mail-in ballots are processed, flattened and scanned by poll workers in the Philadelphia Convention Center in Pennsylvania on November 3

In Georgia, for example, a burst pipe caused delays in counting up to 60,000 absentee ballots in Fulton County, which includes part of Atlanta and leans Democrat. 

In another Georgia county, there was a corrupt memory card on one scanner which meant 400 had to be recounted. Officials in some counties are also using paper ballots for the first time in 20 years because they voted earlier this year that machine voting was not secretive enough.  

And in Wisconsin, absentee ballot results in and around Green Bay, a Democratic stronghold, were delayed after vote-counting machines ran out of ink and a batch of more than 60,000 ballots had to be reprinted.

While some states were able to get ahead by counting mail-in votes as they came in over the past two months, officials in three Midwestern battlegrounds - Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania - were not allowed to begin counting mail-in votes until on or just before Election Day.  

Republican-led state legislatures in those three states had opposed changing laws to allow earlier preparations as other states did. 

States can predict how many mail-in ballots they will receive based on how many requests were made, however that does not account for people who changed their minds and voted in person instead or who failed to mail their ballots by November 3.

Where the count process stands

Pennsylvania

As of Thursday afternoon Pennsylvania has by far the most ballots left to count, with an estimated 956,000. 

The state, which has 20 electoral votes, is also continuing to accept ballots through 5pm Friday, as long as they were postmarked by Election Day. 

Republicans had challenged that late deadline prior to Election Day, but it remained in place after the US Supreme Court declined to take up the case. 

However, the justices have said they may reconsider the case afterward—meaning that any ballots received after Election Day could be tossed out, complicating matters further. 

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar on Thursday said that election workers could finish tallying 'the overwhelming majority' of the uncounted ballots to have a clear winner by the end of the day.  

Boockvar has asked counties to separate any ballots arriving between 8pm on November 3 and 5pm on November 6 in preparation for a legal challenge from the Trump campaign. 

However, Boockvar told CNN that she believes post-Election Day ballot numbers will only have a marginal impact on the outcome. 

'It's not a huge number,' she said. 'So, I think, no matter what happens, I don't think it's going to be a tremendous impact on this race.' 

The majority of the outstanding ballots in Pennsylvania are from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, which tend to lean Democrat.    

Counting stopped then restarted in Philadelphia as Trump's campaign sued claiming they are not being allowed to watch the count, winning their case first, then lost on appeal on Thursday. And in Pittsburgh, 35,000 votes cannot be legally counted until Friday. 

As of Thursday afternoon Pennsylvania has by far the most ballots left to count, with an estimated 956,000. Pictured: Monroe County municipal workers count ballots on Thursday in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Arizona

Arizona was expected to hand down a result on Thursday morning, before Secretary of State Katie Hobbs announced further delays. 

Hobbs said there are about 450,000 ballots waiting to be counted across the state, with the majority - 300,000 - coming from Maricopa County, where pro-Trump protesters stormed an election office on Wednesday night.  

Maricopa County added 62,000 votes to its tally on Thursday morning, putting Biden ahead by 68,400 votes, or less than three points. 

Like Maricopa County, the other counties with outstanding votes - Pima, Cococino and Santa Cruz - are considered Democratic areas.  

The AP and other outlets declared Biden the winner in Arizona on Tuesday night but the vote count is still being closely monitored. 

Meanwhile the Trump campaign has said it is confident about winning the state.  

Speaking on Thursday morning, Hobbs did not offer an estimate for how long it will be before an outcome is reached, but experts anticipate it could arrive by Friday.   

Arizona did not accept any mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day. 

There are about 450,000 ballots waiting to be counted across the state of Arizona, with the majority - 300,000 - coming from Maricopa County, where pro-Trump protesters stormed an election office on Wednesday night (pictured)

Georgia 

Georgia currently has nearly 48,000 mail-in ballots waiting to be counted, according to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. 

The majority of the uncounted ballots - 17,000 - are in Chatham County, which includes Savannah.  

Georgia's Voting System Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling said on Thursday that the state is still working to determine how many provisional ballots have yet to be counted. He said he hoped they would have a number by the end of the day.  

'Fast is great, and we appreciate fast,' Sterling said. 'We more appreciate accuracy.'

Asked why everything is taking so long, Sterling said there was nothing suspicious or strange about the process, but that elections were never normally so close so it doesn't always have to come down to an official count.

Trump and the Georgia Republican Party have filed a lawsuit against election officials in Chatham County on Wednesday, asking a judge to order all late ballots be secured and accounted for.

It was filed after a Republican observer claims to have witnessed mail-in ballots which arrived after the 7pm deadline added to a pile of lawful votes to be counted.

Sean Pumphry, a registered GOP poll-watcher, said he saw 53 unprocessed ballots added to processed ones.

But Chatham County Judge James Bass dismissed Trump's lawsuit on Thursday morning after county officials provided evidence to prove all ballots were legitimate and late ballots were not being accepted. 

Nevada

Nevada officials have estimated that around 100,000  have yet to be counted, although that number is shaky because the state mailed ballots to all active registered voters. 

The state, which has seen nearly half of its 1.2 million total votes come in by mail, will accept ballots through November 10.  

Updated results released on Thursday afternoon showed Biden's lead has grown to nearly 12,000 votes, with 76 percent of expected votes counted. 

The majority of the outstanding votes are in Clark County, which is home to Las Vegas and more than 70 percent of the state's voters. 

Clark County officials have said they hope to conclude counting by the end of the weekend.  

Washoe County, the state's second largest county, had about 9,000 mail-in ballots waiting to be counted as of midday Thursday. 

The Trump campaign mounted a legal battle in Nevada on Thursday, claiming that 'tens of thousands' of people who voted in the state are no longer residents there.  

North Carolina 

Like Pennsylvania and Nevada, North Carolina extended its deadline to accept ballots postmarked on Election Day until November 12. 

Election officials in the state, which saw a record 4.5 million absentee ballots cast ahead of Election Day, have said new results will likely not be released until next week, when the final ballots arrive. 

There are currently about 116,000 outstanding requested absentee ballots, officials said, however it's unclear how many of those will actually be returned.  

'With very few exceptions, North Carolina's numbers are not going to move until November 12 or 13,' State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell said Wednesday.

Trump holds a one point lead in the state, with 94 percent of the expected vote in, according to the AP.   

Georgia's election result hangs on its last 47,227 votes

Georgia's Voting System Implementation Manager, Gabriel Sterling

Georgia still won't call its election because there are still 47,227 votes left to be counted, officials said on Thursday, and the race there is still too tight to make a prediction on. 

Biden could win the election with Georgia on Thursday, landing another 16 electoral college points, if he holds on to his lead in Arizona. The result in Arizona is not expected until Friday because there are still 450,000 votes left to count. 

Trump's lead in Georgia shrank from 18,000 to 9,000 from Wednesday to Thursday night.

Officials in both Arizona and Nevada - where only 51,000 need to be counted - say they need at least another day to get through them and get through them accurately, despite the fact that they've rattled through many, many more votes in the last few days alone.

In Georgia, nearly 5million votes have been counted but the result hangs in the last 47,227. 

Why it is taking so long to reach a conclusion is a question that millions of frustrated Americans are asking and it's being heard around the world. There is no simple answer for it. 

In one Georgia county, there was a corrupt memory card on one scanner which meant 400 had to be recounted. Officials in some counties are also using paper ballots for the first time in 20 years because they voted earlier this year that machine voting was not secretive enough. They are then scanning all of the paper votes which is an 'arduous' process, it was said on Thursday. 

In some states, it's because the race is simply tighter than it was in the last election so is difficult for news and TV networks - who ordinarily call elections - to make a decisive projection. Another reason is that there are more mail-in ballots this year than in elections gone by because of COVID-19. They are taking longer to pour in and different states had different rules on when those could start being counted. 

In any event, Trump is already contesting the results in several states. He says there has been voter fraud in Nevada, with people sending in ballots under dead residents' names, and from non-residents. 

In Georgia, he says they weren't able to verify that the count was being done properly.  

In Wisconsin, he is also demanding a recount, and in Michigan and Pennsylvania, he wants the counting to be halted. 

Trump has not been seen in person since 2.30am on Wednesday, when he prematurely claimed election vctory and said the entire process had been a 'fraud on the American people.' 

In almost every state that Biden has won, Trump's lead has been strong at first then shrank as more ballots- specifically mail-in ballots - have been tallied up. 

He thinks it is suspicious. 

Speaking on Thursday, Georgia's Voting System Implementation Manager, Gabriel Sterling, said there was nothing suspicious or strange about the process, but that elections were never normally so close so it doesn't always have to come down to an official count. 

'We can't know how long the process will take. We hope to have clarity but "done" is a very relative term at this point.

'As we've been stating for weeks and months, it's going to take time.  The effort here is to make sure everybody's legal vote is counted properly.

'The issue we have in Georgia is it's a close vote. There's other states that have more votes to count than we do but it's a wide margin so nobody cares,' Sterling said. 

He said he did anticipate giving a result by the end of the day. 

In Georgia, Superior Court judge James Bass said there was 'no evidence' to the Trump suit's claims that a 53 ballots arrived late and got mixed with other ballots. In Michigan, Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled against the Trump campaign's push to stop the count in order to gain additional access for its observers. 'I have no basis to find that there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits,' she said.

'All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud,' Trump tweeted Thursday amid the nationwide blitz of court challenges. 'Plenty of proof - just check out the Media. WE WILL WIN! America First!'

Trump's team scored a win in a Pennsylvania court, but not on an issue that appears likely to sway a race with thousands of ballots being processed.

'The Trump campaign called it a 'major victory,' but state officials appealed, saying it 'jeopardizes both the safety of the City Defendants’ canvass, plus the privacy of voters.'

Even if the Trump legal efforts don't ultimately prevail, they are already succeeding in slowing down the voting process, and Trump's allies are using them to claim Trump has seized an 'overwhelming victory' among 'verifiable' ballots. 

Nevada delays election result until Friday

Nevada has inexplicably delayed giving its election result, saying they need until at least tomorrow to count the remaining votes, as the country and the world wait in agony to find out who would be the next President.

It's unclear exactly how many votes there are left to count across the entire state but in Clark County, where Las Vegas is an which accounts for 800,000 of the 1.1million votes that have already been counted, officials say there are 51,000 that they won't be able to return a result on until tomorrow. 

They claim it's because that is simply how long the process takes, despite somehow being able to count 15 times as many votes since polls closed on Tuesday.     

Biden is leading in Nevada but only by 11,545 votes which is around 1 percent. If he claims the state today, he will win another 6 electoral college points, giving him 270 when factoring in the 11 that come from Arizona.

Arizona was called for him on Wednesday morning by Fox and the AP but with 450,000 votes still outstanding, it remains in play for Trump. If Biden loses Arizona, he has 259 electoral college votes. He'd need another 11 from either Georgia - which holds 16 - North Carolina - which holds 15 - or Pennsylvania - which holds 20 - to win.

Ric Grenell, Donald Trump adviser and former acting director of national intelligence, speaks during a news conference in front of the Clark County Election Department, Thursday. They say they have 'evidence' that tens of thousands of votes were cast fraudulently in Nevada 

It's unclear when North Carolina will announce, but it is expected to go to Trump as it did in 2016. The race in Nevada has been tight. For most of the morning, Biden led by only around 7,000 votes there.  

Trump's team is crying fraud. They say they have 'evidence' that 'tens of thousands of votes' had been cast there fraudulently. 

'We are confident that when all legal votes are tallied -- and only legal votes are tallied -- President Trump will win the state of Nevada,' Former Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell told Fox News on Thursday morning. 

'The reality is transparency is not political. Ballots are not automatically legal votes until they're checked. We are not being able to check.

'There's a 30 day residency requirement in the state of Nevada. If you haven't been in the state for 30 days it is illegal to vote.

'We are filing this federal lawsuit to protect legal voters. 

'It is unacceptable in this country to have illegal votes counted. That is what's happening in the state of Nevada,' Grenell claimed at a press conference. 

Nevada law states that to be eligible to vote, a person has to have been a resident of the state for at least 30 days before the election. 

That does not necessarily mean that they have to have been physically in the state for the 30 days preceding the election.  

Trump's people also claim that many of the votes in Nevada came from people who no longer live there, or were cast under the names of deceased people. 

Arizona Secretary of State prolongs results until Friday saying 450,000 STILL need to be counted

Katie Hobbs, Arizona's Secretary of State, said Arizona's won't be final until tomorrow night

Arizona's Secretary of State says counting of the 450,000 outstanding votes there will not be completed until Friday, stretching out the agonizing wait for an overall election result after a night of chaos which saw Biden's lead shrink considerably and put the state back in play for Trump.  

Biden is ahead in Arizona but only by about 67,000 votes after his majority shrank overnight. 

Of the 450,000 remaining votes there, 300,000 are in Maricopa County where Biden holds a two point lead, and where he is expected to win. 

Biden is ahead in Arizona but only by about 67,000 votes after his majority shrank overnight. 

At midnight EST, they are expected to announce the results of 140,000 of those votes. Then, they will announce the remaining 160,000 or so tomorrow, the Secretary of State said.  

The AP and and Fox News both called Arizona early on Wednesday morning, claiming there was no possible way for Trump to claw it back from him - a move which is now being called into question.  

Arizona holds 11 crucial electoral college votes which, when giving them to Biden now, poises him for the White House with 264 of the 270 that he needs. He would only need to win Nevada, Georgia, or North Carolina to claim victory if his Arizona lead holds. 

Nevada holds 6 electoral college votes and will be announced at noon EST. Georgia holds 16 and will be announced later. Trump is ahead in Georgia by only 18,000 votes and there are still some 60,000 votes left to count. The count is expected to be completed there today.

If Biden loses Arizona to Trump, Trump goes from 214 electoral college votes to 225. He would then only need 42 additional electoral college votes from  Georgia (16), North Carolina (15) and Pennsylvania (20) - all states in which he is leading - to claim victory, assuming he wins Alaska's three electoral college votes which he is all but guaranteed to. 

The delay prolongs an already excruciating wait to find out who will be the next President for frustrated Americans and people all over the world who are now asking why it is taking so long to reach a conclusion. 

There has been no simple answer so far. In some states it's because the margin is incredibly tight. In others, it's because mail-in ballots haven't yet arrived and can be counted for days yet. Official counts are never normally returned on election day or even in the immediate aftermath. The election is always called instead by a TV or news network based on analysis of possible outcomes. 

But none are calling it this year, because the race in the remaining swing states has been so tight.   

As the excruciating wait dragged on on Thursday morning, Katie Hobbs, Arizona's Secretary of State, said the process would simply take as long as it takes. 

'There are just under 300,000 votes left to count in Maricopa County which is two thirds of the voting population.  Statewide, just under 450,000 votes left to count so we're getting there, we have said from the beginning this take's time. We're going to focus on making sure every valid vote counts. 

'I haven't gotten an estimate from Maricopa County about how long it's going to take them to get through the ballots. It's not looking like today - probably closer to tomorrow that we'll be looking at getting through those ballots,' she told Good Morning America.

At 5pm EST, she said the same number still had to be counted and that Maricopa County were only getting through 140,000 a day - that means it could take another two days.  

Finally! Pennsylvania says it could have election result TODAY

Pennsylvania's Secretary of State has the state could return an election result on Thursday - a day earlier than expected - that could put an end to the agonizing wait for the next President.  

Trump is still leading in Pennsylvania by 115,000, a two point lead, that has been gradually shrinking while Biden collects more votes from urban areas.  Pennsylvania holds 20 electoral college votes. 

If Biden wins it, he wins the election. Currently, he has 264 votes - including Arizona despite that coming slightly back into play. 

Even without Arizona, if he won Pennsylvania, he would take the White House. 

Trump cannot win on Pennsylvania alone; with 214 electoral college votes, he'd still need to pick up either Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona or Nevada - the four other states where a result is yet to be officially confirmed. 

'I think we definitely could. I think there’s about 550,000 some odd — you know, plus or minus — ballots that are still in the process of being counted today. 

'Some of those may have already been counted but are not yet uploaded. But yeah, they’re coming in. We’re getting 10,000 here, 20,000 here, counties are furiously at work.

Pennsylvania 's Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told CNN on Thursday afternoon that the state could report an election result tonight - a day early 

 'I think no matter what happens, I don’t think it’s going to be a tremendous impact on this race,' Kathy Boockvar told CNN's Jape Tapper on Thursday afternoon.

Trump is already suing in Pennsylvania to undermine whatever election result is returned.

Voting was temporarily halted in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on Thursday as a result of the legal row.

A judge intervened and allowed it to continue; there are still 550,000 votes left to count there. 

In Nevada, there are only around 51,000 left to call before tomorrow and they say they need that much time Arizona also says they need until tomorrow to deliver a result on their remaining 450,000 votes. 

Pennsylvania said it would continue counting mail-in ballots until Friday so long as they were post-marked from November 3.  

The Trump campaign had a brief legal victory in Pennsylvania on Thursday when a judge ruled ballot observers can watch officials count ballots within six feet. Representatives of both campaigns were in the room to watch the counts but at a further distance because of the coronavirus. A county judge agreed with the Trump campaign, but the state Supreme Court rejected it.

The situation in Pittsburgh is complicated by about 30,000 outstanding ballots, where a vendor sent the wrong ballots to voters and had to reissue new ballots with the correct races.

Poll workers now have to examine these ballots to make sure that people don't vote twice, or, if they sent in the wrong ballot, they didn't vote in races they aren't eligible for.

They cannot legally be counted until Friday when Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh sits, swears in a special board to examine these ballots, as required by law

Trump's team of lawyers have filed lawsuits on multiple fronts – to try to stem the flow of presumably pro-Biden mail ballots into the system, and to try to force greater access for observers so they presumably can challenge more individual ballots.

They scored an initial win Thursday morning, which former Florida Secretary of State Pam Bondi, a Trump backer, brandished at a press conference.

The ruling, by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, reverses a decision by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. It lets Trumps observers 'be permitted to observe all aspects of the canvassing process, within 6 feet, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols, including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.'

Trump touted the 'Big legal win in Pennsylvania!' on Twitter. But then the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania almost instantly struck it down when Democrats appealed. 

The reason of the appeal was not concern over the watching itself, experts said, but because Democrats say Republicans accepted the rules on watching before they went into effect.

Conceding that the rules could be changed after they had been agreed would open the way to more rules being changed, they argue.

That is not the end of the road for the Trump campaign. 

The big battle, with a greater potential to affect the count, could come in an effort to challenge an earlier Supreme Court decision allowing the state to count mail-in ballots that come in three days after Election Day.

Conservative justices had indicated that it could get another hearing should these ballots that get counted later prove decisive.

But a decisive win by Biden with votes that came in before Election Day would undercut the need for the suit – and Biden was chipping away at Trump's lead with hundreds of thousands of ballots outstanding.

Pennsylvania Democrats, mindful of potential challenges and alarmed by reports the Republican-controlled legislature might seek to intervene, have been segregating mail-ballots that come in later to prevent the state's entire result from being thrown out.

Pennsylvania's Attorney General blasted the move on Thursday.

'That question is a question of state law,' he said, noting it was decided by the state supreme court. 'It was decided that those ballots and they will be counted,' he told CNN.

'We're following the law here in Pennsylvania here. We're counting these legal votes,' he said.

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