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CBS News: 2020 America Decides
CBS News: 2020 America Decides 43:36

Follow Friday's election updates here 

Joe Biden edged ahead of President Trump in Georgia overnight as vote counting continued there and in the other critical swing states of Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina. According to elections data from Clayton County, which was part of the congressional district of the late civil rights icon John Lewis, Biden added 1602 votes and Mr. Trump 223, leaving Biden with a remarkably thin statewide lead of  917 votes.

Earlier, President Trump spoke as network evening news broadcasts were beginning and falsely claimed victory. He also baselessly accused his political enemies of stealing the election from him.

"If you count the legal votes, I easily win," the president falsely claimed. "If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. If you count the votes that came in late, we're looking at them very strongly."

CBS News projects Biden has so far secured 253 electoral votes — just 17 shy of the 270 needed to win the presidency — and Mr. Trump has won 213 electoral votes. 

The race now centers on Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, following projections on Wednesday that Biden will win Michigan and Wisconsin. Biden holds slim leads in Nevada and Arizona, both of which are still considered likely to go to Biden in CBS News' estimation. 

Results continue to trickle in from Arizona, and Maricopa County officials said they expected more votes to come in Friday morning. As of Thursday night, Biden led by 46,257 votes in Arizona. 

Biden expanded his lead in Nevada in new results from mostly Democratic counties, with his margin more than doubling since Wednesday.

At the same time, Mr. Trump has been looking beyond the ballot box to the nation's courts in his efforts to hold onto the presidency, with his campaign filing a barrage of lawsuits in several battleground states 

Find results for all races in the CBS News Election Center, and updates from key states here:

 

Biden inches ahead of Trump in Georgia

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden took an ever-so-slight lead over President Trump in Georgia when Clayton County announced its latest results early Friday. 

Biden had been steadily catching up, and the county that was part of the congressional district of the late civil rights icon John Lewis put him ahead.

According to elections data from the county, Biden added 1602 votes and Mr. Trump 223, leaving Biden with a remarkably thin statewide lead of  917 votes.  

Georgia hasn't voted for a Democrat for president since it went for Bill Clinton in 1992.

By Brian Dakss
 

Trump's lead shrinks to 463, as Clayton County, part of John Lewis' home district, hopes to put Georgia over the top for Biden

A little after 10:30 p.m. Thursday, with 14,097 votes left to count in Georgia President Trump's lead over Joe Biden had evaporated to a mere 1,775 votes, and that the Democrat would surpass him seemed inevitable.
 
The two counties with the largest number of ballots left to count were Gwinnett, with 4,800 ballots and Clayton, with 4,355. By 2 a.m. some counties had ceased counting for the night — but not Clayton County, part of the home district of the late John Lewis, where Biden is winning roughly 85% of the vote to Mr. Trump's 14%. With 95% of its vote in, Clayton County was still turning in batches of votes, a couple hundred at a time and some people, including former senator Claire McCaskill, seemed pleased by the idea that it was a county represented by the late civil rights icon that just might put Biden over the top in Georgia.   

Clayton County Supervisor of Elections Shauna Dozier told CNN that as of 1:27 am, Clayton County had 3,500 absentee ballots to count out of 30,000 absentee ballots that had been accepted in the county.
 
"We're going to stay here until every single absentee ballot is counted," Dozier told CNN. " We're doing our best to get every vote counted," she continued, adding that she believes the county will be completed within hours and asks the community for patience.
 
Dozier said that in 2016, Clayton County received 3,170 absentee ballots and in 2020 had almost 10 times more 30,000 absentee ballots.  

By 3:39 a.m., Mr. Trump's margin had shrunk again, to 463 votes. 

By LaCrai Mitchell
 

Trump's lead in Pennsylvania shrinks to 26,319 votes

President Trump's lead in Pennsylvania shrunk to 26,319 votes as of Thursday night.

Joe Biden has pulled ahead in two longtime Democratic strongholds in Pennsylvania that Mr. Trump flipped in 2016. Biden is up by just over 1,300 votes in Erie, which Mr. Trump won by 1,957 in 2016. Biden leads by just over 850 votes in Northampton, which Mr. Trump won by 5,464. 

By Zak Hudak
 

Graham says "everything should be on the table" for Trump

Senator Lindsey Graham, who has been one of President Trump's closest allies, threw his full support behind the president Thursday night. On "Hannity," Graham said "everything should be on the table" when asked if Republican state legislatures should consider sending in electors who would invalidate the results if "election observers" aren't allowed in. 

Graham baselessly accused the elections officials in some of the states that haven't been counted as being "crooked as snakes."

Shortly after Graham's remarks, his fellow Republican Senator Ted Cruz joined Sean Hannity, but stopped short of saying GOP-controlled state legislatures should offer their own electors. 

"Now that's a big cannon to use," Cruz said. "I can tell you during Bush v. Gore, we were having very explicit conversations about that as we were seeing an effort to steal that election."

Cruz said the outcome that he wanted to see is "to count every vote that was legally cast." 

 The answer that I want to see the outcome I want to see, is to count every vote that was legally cast," Cruz said.

Graham also pledged $500,000 to the Trump legal defense fund. His support for Mr. Trump came hours after the president's son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted "no one is surprised" that Graham had not yet publicly supported Mr. Trump. 

By Caroline Linton
 

Trump's lead in Georgia shrinks to 1,902 votes

President Trump's lead in Georgia shrunk to 1,902 votes, according to CBS News elections data. 

As of about an hour earlier, the Georgia Secretary of State said there were 16,105 ballots still outstanding.

A Georgia elections official said earlier Thursday that he expected "to have a recount for president, more than likely." He said that the process of counting ballots is "going to take time."

"'Done' is a very relative term at this point," Sterling said.

Incumbent Senator David Perdue still was at 49.9% of the vote, meaning that race still appeared headed for a runoff in January. 

By Caroline Linton
 

Biden's lead drops in Arizona, as more Maricopa County votes are tallied

Joe Biden's lead in Arizona over President Trump dropped to 46,257, after Maricopa County, the largest county in the state, released new ballot counts Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET. At this point, Biden has 1,528,319 votes, while Mr. Trump has 1,482,062.

The county still has about 204,000 early ballots to be processed, and there are also 15,949 provisional ballots left, with another 5,620 early ballots that must still be verified.

The Elections Department plans to give an update of unofficial results at 12 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET on Friday and again until all valid ballots are counted.

 

Rick Santorum calls Trump's statement "dangerous"

Former Republican Senator Rick Santorum described the president's statement baselessly claiming fraud "dangerous," and said he hopes Republicans speak out against it. 

Santorum, speaking on CNN, said for the president to claim fraud "without any evidence is dangerous."

The former Pennsylvania senator said it's "disappointing and shocking" to hear what the president said.

"I am hopeful that Republicans will stand up at this moment and say what needs to be said about the integrity of our election," Santorum said on CNN.

By Kathryn Watson
 

Trump falsely claims victory despite ongoing vote count in 5 states

President Trump, in his first appearance since the early hours after election night, made a series of false and inflammatory claims that began with the assertion that he "easily" wins if only "legal votes" are counted. The votes that are being counted now are legally cast votes, and election officials still have thousands of votes to count in Georgia, Nevada, Arizona and Pennsylvania. 

"If you count the legal votes, I easily win," the president claimed, without any evidence. "If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us, if you count the votes that came in late, we're looking at them very strongly."

Mr. Trump claimed he's already "decisively" won many states, including Iowa, Ohio, Florida and Indiana. 

APTOPIX Election 2020 Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. Evan Vucci / AP

"There was no blue wave that they predicted," the president said, adding that "instead there was a big red wave." 

The president also touted Republican wins in the House and Senate. 

"We kept the Senate, despite having twice as many seats to defend as Democrats," he said. 

He also railed against the media, what he described as fake polls, and big tech. 

The president wrongly claimed that the election was being stolen from him. "They want to find out how many votes they need, and then they seem to be able to find them," he said. This is false: election officials are counting valid ballots that were cast lawfully. 

The president continued to make baseless accusations of "irregularities" and fraud.

Shortly after Mr. Trump wrapped up his remarks without taking any questions, Vice President Pence tweeted he "stands with" Mr. Trump "We must count every LEGAL vote." 

By Kathryn Watson
 

Trump to hold news conference

 President Trump will have a news conference Thursday at 6:30, he tweeted. He has not spoken publicly since the early hours Wednesday morning, when he falsely claimed victory.

By Caroline Linton
 

Pennsylvania secretary of state: "We already have counted the majority of ballots"

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told reporters on Thursday evening that there are "several hundred thousand ballots remaining to be counted," but added that "we already have counted the majority of ballots."

Boockvar said that military and overseas ballots would be counted through Tuesday and said that provisional ballots need to be counted as well.

"It's very close. Because it's a close race, it's not quite clear who the winner is," Boockvar said.

By Grace Segers
 

Trump's lead in Pennsylvania shrinks to 90,542

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, the president holds a lead of just 90,542 votes in Pennsylvania. His lead stood at 132,611 just before noon, meaning Biden has cut into his margin by more than 40,000 votes in just a few hours.

By Stefan Becket
 

Biden urges calm and patience as winner remains unclear

Following briefings on the economy and the coronavirus crisis, Biden delivered brief remarks from The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, reiterating that he and running mate Kamala Harris feel "very good" about where the presidential race stands and asking for patience from the American people.

"We have no doubt that when the count is finished, Senator Harris and I will be declared the winners," he said. "So I ask everyone to stay calm, all the people to stay calm, the process is working, the count is being completed and we'll know very soon."

Biden stressed that only the voters can select the next president of the United States, a seeming reference to Mr. Trump's false claims of victory in several key states he has not won, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia.

"Each ballot must be counted and that's what we're going through now and that's how it should be," the former vice president said. "Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well, but that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that's been the envy of the world."

Despite Mr. Trump's inaccurate claims he has defeated Biden in key battleground states, the former vice president leads the president by 40 electoral votes.

CBS News projected Biden won Michigan, countering Mr. Trump's own false statement of victory, while Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are still rated toss-ups.

As elections officials continue to count mail-in ballots, Mr. Trump has seen his lead over Biden in Georgia and Pennsylvania narrow. In Georgia as of 4 p.m. ET, Biden trails the president by 12,765 votes, and in Pennsylvania the president's lead has fallen to about 97,000 votes.

North Carolina is not expected to update its results until November 12. Two other states that have yet to be called, Arizona and Nevada, are estimated by CBS News as likely for Biden.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Wisconsin's top election official says Trump campaign has not asked for recount

Wisconsin's chief election official, Meagan Wolfe, told reporters that the Trump campaign has not contacted her office about conducting a recount, despite the Trump campaign's vow on Wednesday to "immediately" request one.

Wolfe said Thursday that she was not aware of "any official communications about a recount," noting that the state could not begin a recount now in any event, since officials haven't completed the canvass of votes, as required by state law. 

"They really can't make a request until after we have the certified canvasses from the counties," she said. "Now wouldn't be an appropriate time for them to file."

A canvass is a "triple-check on the election process," Wolfe explained, required under state law. "It's what takes unofficial results and makes them official results," she said.

The process starts with publicly observable checks at polling places. Those physical materials are then sent to counties to check, and the state conducts a third and final check that certifies results. 

A candidate can request a recount in Wisconsin if the margin of victory falls under 1 percentage point. Biden's lead currently stands at 0.6%, and CBS News has projected he will win the state.

If the Trump campaign does eventually request a recount, here's how it would work.

By Audrey McNamara
 

Biden needs 63.5% of remaining Georgia ballots to catch Trump

As of 4 p.m., Biden trails the president by 12,765 votes in Georgia, and election officials say 47,277 ballots remain to be counted. That means Biden would need 30,022, or 63.5%, of the remaining ballots to take the lead by a single vote.

By Stefan Becket
 

Georgia "more than likely" headed to recount as 47,000 ballots remain uncounted, official says

There are 47,277 ballots left to count statewide in Georgia, election official Gabriel Sterling told reporters on Thursday afternoon. He also said the state has received more than 17,000 military absentee ballots, and there are 8,899 requested overseas and military ballots that could arrive tomorrow.

Here is a list of how many ballots remain to be counted by county:

  • Chatham County: 17,157

  • Clayton County: 6,026

  • Cobb County: 700

  • Floyd County: 682

  • Forsyth County: 4,713

  • Fulton County: 7,305

  • Gwinnett County: 4,800

  • Harris County: 3,641

  • Laurens County: 1,797

  • Taylor County: 456

Sterling said votes would be audited, and added that he expected "to have a recount for president, more than likely." He said that the process of counting ballots is "going to take time."

"'Done' is a very relative term at this point," Sterling said.

By Grace Segers
 

Trump campaign seeks public face for legal battle

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is actively searching for a legal spokesperson to spearhead the campaign's election litigation strategy in the coming days, two senior campaign officials told CBS News. Mr. Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow, who also represented the president during his impeachment trial in the Senate, has been floated for the position.

This person would function similarly to James Baker, who served as chief legal adviser for George W. Bush during the battle over the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election campaign.

Mr. Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has so far been one of the major public faces of the campaign's efforts to delegitimize the vote counting process. Giuliani told reporters in Philadelphia on Wednesday that Democrats were trying to cheat in the election. 

Nicole Sganga and Grace Segers

 

Biden and Harris briefed on coronavirus crisis as vote counting continues

Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris received a briefing from their public health team on the coronavirus crisis in Wilmington, Delaware, and will also receive an economic briefing, the Biden campaign said. 

The former vice president has received these briefings since March, his campaign added.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Trump's lead in Pennsylvania narrows to 111,369

Mr. Trump's lead in Pennsylvania has fallen to 111,369 votes, or 1.7%, as of 2 p.m. ET. There were about 370,000 uncounted mail ballots in the state at 1:30 p.m., some of which may now be included in the vote totals:

By Zak Hudak
 

Michigan judge tosses Trump suit seeking to halt vote count

A judge in Michigan denied the Trump campaign's request to order officials to stop counting votes, the latest setback in the president's efforts to challenge the election in the courts.

The Trump campaign had asked a Michigan court to stop the count until the secretary of state issued a directive that election inspectors be present at all absent voter counting boards.

Judge Cynthia Stephens noted that Jocelyn Benson, the secretary of state, had already issued a directive about how to follow state laws, with instructions for providing meaningful access for poll-watchers. She also said the day-to-day process of vote counting is up to local jurisdictions, meaning the campaign's request for relief from the secretary of state was unavailable. 

Stephens noted that the suit was filed at 4 p.m. Wednesday, at which point vote counting had largely proceeded. The "essence of the count is completed," Stephens said. 

The judge criticized evidence the campaign provided, including an affidavit detailing a potential issue at a counting facility. "What I have at best is a hearsay affidavit," the judge said. A campaign lawyer pushed back against that, but the judge wasn't buying it.

The Trump campaign appeared to have one lawyer at the hearing, to face off against one lawyer from the secretary of state's office, the attorney general's office and two lawyers with the Democratic National Committee.

The Michigan attorney general's office praised Stephens for the decision in a statement later Thursday.

"She identified the same defects in the campaign's filings as we did, namely a complete lack of any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of election officials, and meritless legal arguments," a spokesman said. "Michigan's elections have been fair, transparent and reflect the will of the voters, and we will continue to defend against any challenges that claim otherwise."

By Adam Brewster
 

Official says 63,262 ballots remain outstanding in Clark County, Nevada

Nevada official gives update on vote count 22:23

Joe Gloria, registrar of voters for Clark County, Nevada, said that of the ballots the county has received, 63,262 have yet to be counted. Biden is leading in the county, which includes Las Vegas, by 431,863 votes to Mr. Trump's 367,279.

Among those, 34,743 were returned by voters to drop-off locations on Election Day. Another 24,311 mail-in ballots were pending as of Election Day, and 4,208 were received from the U.S. Postal Service on November 3 and November 4. 

Staff in Clark County are prepared to count 51,000 ballots throughout the day Thursday and results will be reported before 10 a.m. PT Friday, Garcia said. He added that there are more than 60,000 provisional ballots cast during early voting and on Election Day that are outstanding.

Garcia dismissed allegations of voter fraud that have been made by members of the Trump campaign, saying he is "not aware of any improper ballots that are being processed."

"Our goal here in Clark County is not to count fast," he said. "We want to make sure we're being accurate."

Garcia said Clark County is on track to complete the bulk of its mail-in ballot count by Saturday or Sunday.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Trump lead in Georgia dips to less than 14,000 with 50,000 votes to be counted

Biden has significantly narrowed the president's lead in Georgia, where the secretary of state says there are about 50,000 votes that have yet to be counted. The president's lead now stands at fewer than 14,000 votes as of 1:30 p.m.:

By Stefan Becket
 

Georgia court dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit

The lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign and the Georgia Republican Party against the Chatham County Board of Elections has been dismissed.

Chatham County Judge James Bass announced the dismissal late this morning.

The suit alleged that over 50 unprocessed absentee ballots had been mixed into processed absentee ballots, as reported by a Republican poll-watcher. 

"[T]he Court finds that there is no evidence that the ballots referenced in the petition were received after 7:00pm on election day, thereby making those ballots invalid," the judge said.

By LaCrai Mitchell
 

Biden expands lead in Nevada as new results reported

Nevada is reporting another round of votes, showing Biden's lead expanding from 7,647 votes to more than 10,000:

Biden's lead has more than doubled in the state since Wednesday, when he held a lead of roughly 5,000 votes.

By Stefan Becket
 

Trump lead narrows in Pennsylvania as 581,167 mail ballots remain uncounted

Mr. Trump's lead in Pennsylvania has fallen to 132,611, or 2.1%, in Pennsylvania, where 581,167 mail ballots remain uncounted. The state received about 3.1 million applications for mail ballots, with more than twice as many Democrats as Republicans requesting them. 

The most mail ballots remain in deep-blue Philadelphia County (104,607), followed by Chester County (41,817), a Philadelphia suburb that turned blue in 2016. Next is Allegheny County (35,806), home to Pittsburgh, where the return board is not counting today, but will reconvene Friday. 

Next is Westmoreland County (20,978), outside Pittsburgh. Twenty-three percent of the population there is over 65, and it went to Mr. Trump by a 2-1 margin in 2016, although Biden is faring slightly better there so far this year. 

Unless the Supreme Court says otherwise, mail ballots will be accepted until tomorrow evening so long as they don't show a postmark from after Election Day. 

By Zak Hudak
 

Ex-Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says Trump faces "high hurdle" in recount

Ex-Wisconsin governor on calls for recount 05:38

Former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker told "CBS This Morning" on Thursday that a recount in his state could be warranted, but offered little assurance to the Trump campaign. CBS News projected Biden to win the state Wednesday afternoon.

"With millions of votes cast, you're talking about less than 1% — about 0.7% of the vote is the difference between the two candidates," Walker said. "So right now today, if nothing else changed, that is indeed a high hurdle

As of Thursday morning, Biden holds a lead of more than 20,000 votes with 99% of the expected votes reported. According to Walker, past Wisconsin recounts have changed the result by hundreds of votes, not thousands, which would not make a difference for the president. 

The former Republican governor said he still supports a recount, but only after the local canvassing process, now underway, is complete. State rules require counties to canvass results and turn them over to the state by November 17. 

"Be ready for a recount, but wait till after the canvass," he said.

Walker said he has not seen evidence of voter fraud in his state, but claimed that surges in votes cast by newly registered voters on Election Day "raises a red flag." Wisconsin is one of a handful of states that allows voter registration on Election Day, and both parties pushed hard to increase turnout, particularly among Black voters. 

"We have same-day voter registration. So it is clearly possible that you had a surge," Walker said. "But I think it's worth at least checking in to make sure those numbers match up with the number of people registered on that day."

"Typically, when you have problems out there it's not corruption, it's somebody made an error," he said. "This may not be an error, but you need to at least check into things like that."

In Wisconsin, the candidate who wants a recount has to pay for it. Asked whether a recount is worth the cost for Mr. Trump, Walker noted that only one state election in recent memory came close to making the vote difference the president would need.  

"Let's take a breath, let's do the canvass, let's not declare a winner until the canvasses are complete," Walker said. "And once that's done, if there's a big margin out there, then it is indeed difficult to go over that kind of a hurdle."

By Audrey McNamara
 

Biden campaign manager: "Our data shows that Joe Biden will be the next president"

In a briefing on Thursday morning, Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon expressed confidence about the outcome of the election.

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

O'Malley Dillon acknowledged that the race appeared to be narrowing in Arizona, but said the campaign is "bullish" about the outcome and expects to win by "tens of thousands" of votes. She also said that she expected Biden to win Pennsylvania by a "sizable" amount.

CBS News reporting as of Thursday morning shows Biden narrowly leading Mr. Trump in Arizona, and Mr. Trump ahead in Pennsylvania by about 132,611 votes.

O'Malley Dillon also said that she expected Nevada to be called in favor of Biden today. If Biden wins both Arizona and Nevada, that will bring him to 270 electoral votes, the number needed to win the election.

Biden campaign lawyer Bob Bauer also spoke to reporters, dismissing the various lawsuits launched by the Trump campaign, calling it an effort to "disrupt the vote count." He said it is "doomed to fail" and that courts and election officials will "see through it."

 

Pennsylvania AG says voters will have a "better sense" of results today

Pennsylvania attorney general on election 04:40

With Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes still up for grabs in the presidential race, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro told "CBS This Morning" on Thursday the nation will have a "better sense" of where the state stands later in the day. 

Shapiro told co-host Anthony Mason that the state's top elections official indicated the majority of remaining ballots could be counted by Thursday.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar "indicated that the vast majority of those ballots would be done, counted today, so I think you'll have a better sense where Pennsylvania is likely to land later today," Shapiro said.

A win in the Keystone State would carry Biden past the finish line in the race for the White House, according to CBS News' estimates. As of Thursday morning, CBS News projects Biden has 253 electoral votes and Mr. Trump has 213, with 270 needed to win the presidency.

Mr. Trump has already claimed he won Pennsylvania. Shapiro emphasized that's not how it works.

"A candidate doesn't claim something," he said. "What happens here in Pennsylvania, according to the law — and it's my job as the chief law enforcement officer of the commonwealth to enforce that law — is to make sure that legal votes are counted and then when they are, that the will of the people is respected, and that's the process we're going through right now, and so I think it really does a disservice to these community members who are doing the counting, does really a disservice to the commonwealth and the country to make those kinds of predictions or proclamations."

By Alex Sundby
 

Pennsylvania court grants Trump request allowing poll-watchers to be closer

The Trump campaign has won one of several ongoing legal battles, this one in Pennsylvania, with a state appellate court allowing poll-watchers and representatives of campaigns to be closer to the canvassing process.

The campaign had taken issue with Philadelphia officials setting up a specific area for poll-watchers in their canvassing room at the Philly Convention Center. A judge ordered Thursday that poll-watchers must be allowed to observe the canvassing process at a distance of 6 feet.

"Now, according to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, 'all candidates, watchers, or candidate representatives' shall 'be permitted to be present for the canvassing process' and '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,'" said Justin Clark, Trump 2020 deputy campaign manager and senior counsel. 

The Trump campaign has also sued to halt counting votes in Pennsylvania, a suit that will be far more challenging to win. Mr. Trump holds a lead of roughly 136,000 votes in the Keystone State, with 91% of the expected votes counted.

By Kathryn Watson
 

Georgia voting official says 60,000 votes left to be counted

Georgia voting official says there are 60,000 votes left to be counted

Gabriel Sterling, Georgia's voting system implementation manager, told reporters during a press conference at the state capitol there are roughly 60,000 votes that are left to be counted, though he said election officials in the state are working to finish their tallies Thursday if possible.

"Having an accurate, fair count is much more vital than having a fast count," he said. Georgia is characterized as a toss-up by CBS News, with Mr. Trump leading Biden by 18,146 votes.

Sterling said the state is going to ensure that every "legal, lawful ballot is counted."

"These are 159 elections directors and employees who are here to do the job of protecting democracy," he said. "These are people who are not involved in voter fraud. These people are not involved in voter suppression. I'm telling you they are doing their jobs every day."

Sterling provided a breakdown of how many votes have yet to be counted by county:

  • Bryan County: 3,027

  • Burke County: 494

  • Chatham County: 17,157

  • Clayton County: 7,408

  • Cobb County: 700

  • Floyd County: 682

  • Forsyth County: 4,713

  • Fulton County: 11,200

  • Gwinnett County: 7,300

  • Harris County: 3,641

  • Laurens County: 1,797

  • Putnam County: 1,552

  • Taylor County: 456

By Melissa Quinn
 

Arizona secretary of state responds to potential Trump challenge

Arizona secretary of state on vote counting 06:15

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs says the state is "prepared" for a potential legal challenge from the Trump campaign on Thursday morning, adding there was "no real legal basis to stop counting" ballots. Biden currently holds an advantage in Arizona and CBS News considers him likely to prevail in the state.

"Quite honestly there's no legal ground for us to stop counting ballots," Hobbs said on "CBS This Morning." "We don't have a postmark deadline in Arizona. Our ballots have to be received by Election Day. Those are the votes we're counting."

The president's campaign has already presented legal challenges in other key states with close margins — Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan. In Wisconsin, where CBS News projects Biden as the winner, the Trump campaign has called for an official recount.

As of Thursday morning, Biden was leading Mr. Trump by more than 68,000 votes in Arizona. According to Hobbs, there remain "just under 450,000 outstanding ballots" — the bulk of those being in Maricopa County, the state's most populous region and home to the capital city of Phoenix.

"If that's the pace they're going, I think we should have a good indicator where we're at, you know, late tomorrow," she said.

Read more here

By Elizabeth Elkind
 

A look back at close presidential races through history

CBS News senior political analyst and "60 Minutes" correspondent John Dickerson joined "CBS This Morning" on Thursday to provide some historical context about past races for president, how they were decided and what lessons can be learned.  

Watch here:

A look at historical presidential contests 05:52


 

Americans in state of "high anxiety"

For many Americans, the uncertain outcome of the presidential election is adding to the anxiety of an already stressful year. 

About six in 10 of the nation's voters feel the country is on the wrong track, according to a survey by the Associated Press. The American Psychological Association finds that 68% of adults say the election has been a significant source of stress in their lives, according to a recent survey.

From New York to Chicago to Las Vegas, protesters on both sides of the political divide took to the streets Wednesday. Some are angered by President Trump's declaration that he already had the votes to win before all the ballots have been counted.

Meanwhile in Detroit, dozens of Trump supporters protested outside a vote-counting center, shortly before Michigan was declared a win for Joe Biden. Crowds were caught on video chanting "stop the count."

In the battleground state of Pennsylvania, which is also still counting mail-in and provisional ballots, voters say the tension is intense.

"I am absolutely in a state of ... high anxiety," one woman said.

Read more here.

Americans anxious over political uncertainty 04:20


 

Republicans plan to file lawsuit alleging voter fraud in Nevada

The Trump campaign presented a "major announcement" at a press conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nevada GOP Chair Michael McDonald confirmed that Republicans are planning to file a lawsuit alleging voter fraud, claiming that roughly 10,000 people who cast ballots no longer live in Nevada. Mr. Trump currently trails Biden by 7,647 votes in the state.

The Trump campaign and the president have made claims of voter fraud before, though there is little evidence widespread fraud exists. When presented with opportunities by judges to produce proof that certain situations would lead to fraud, Republicans have not done so.

Nevada is one of the few remaining states that hangs in the balance. CBS News estimates the state is likely for Biden.

Alex Tin 

 

Trump backers converge on vote centers in Michigan, Arizona

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

"Stop the count!" the Trump supporters chanted in Detroit. "Stop the steal!" they said in Phoenix. The protests came as the president insisted without evidence that there were major problems with the voting and the ballot counting and as Republicans filed suit in various states over the election.

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

"Voters Rights Rally" Held At Arizona State Capitol As Ballots Continue To Be Counted
Trump supporters gather to protest the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department office on November 4, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.  Getty Images

Representative Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican and Trump supporter, joined the crowd, declaring: "We're not going to let this election be stolen. Period." However, observers from both major political parties were inside the election center as ballots were processed and counted, and the procedure was live-streamed online at all times.

Meanwhile, from New York City to Seattle, thousands of demonstrators turned out to demand that every vote be tallied.

In Portland, Oregon, Governor Kate Brown called out the National Guard as demonstrators engaged in what authorities said was widespread violence downtown, including smashing windows. Protesters in Portland were demonstrating about a range of issues, including police brutality and the counting of the vote.

In New York, hundreds of people paraded past boarded-up luxury stores on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, and in Chicago, demonstrators marched through downtown and along a street across the river from Trump Tower.

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

By Associated Press
 

Biden, Trump to remain out of public view Thursday, for now

As Biden maintains his electoral lead over Mr. Trump, with votes in five key states still being counted, neither candidate is scheduled to make public appearances Thursday, though that could change.

The White House schedule released Tuesday night shows Mr. Trump does not have any public events scheduled. The president was last seen by the American people early Wednesday morning, when he delivered remarks from the White House just after 2 a.m. and made a series of false claims about the outcome of the presidential election.

However, he was active on Twitter throughout the day Wednesday, again making false claims he has won Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia, which CBS News still considers toss-ups, and making dubious accusations of election fraud.

Biden, too, does not have any public appearances on his schedule. The former vice president, joined by running mate Kamala Harris, delivered remarks from Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday afternoon, during which Biden stopped short of claiming victory but said he is confident they will win the White House.

"I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners," Biden said.

He also appealed to the American people to leave the division and partisanship of the campaign behind, and unite as a nation.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Where the race stands in Nevada

With votes still being counted in Nevada, Biden has an edge over Mr. Trump with 49.3% of the vote compared to the president's 48.7%.

All eyes are on the state and its six electoral votes, as a win for the former vice president there could move him closer to the 270 electoral votes he needs to deny Mr. Trump a second term in the White House. 

CBS News estimates Nevada is likely for Biden.

Nevada's secretary of state said in an update Wednesday night that all in-person votes cast early and on Election Day have been counted, as have most mail-in ballots received before Tuesday.

The ballots that remain to be counted are mail-in ballots received on or after Election Day and votes cast by Nevadans who registered to vote at their polling place. Nevada is one of 21 states, as well as the District of Columbia, with same-day voter registration.

It's unknown how many ballots have yet to be counted, Nevada's secretary of state said, but all eyes will be on the state at 12 p.m. ET, when its unofficial election results are set to be updated.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Georgia race tightens

The race for the presidency tightened in Georgia early Thursday morning. Mr. Trump was clinching 49.6% of the vote compared to Biden's 49.2%, with an 18,540-vote margin.

The latest update from the Georgia secretary of state's office was at 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, when it reported that approximately 90,735 ballots were still outstanding.

A Fulton County public affairs spokesperson told CBS News that as of early Thursday, roughly 7,500 absentee ballots were yet to be counted in the county. 

Georgia Election Officials Continue Ballot Counting
Members of an adjudication review panel look over scanned absentee ballots at the Fulton County Election Preparation Center on November 4, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Jessica McGowan/Getty Images
By LaCrai Mitchell
 

Trump's lead shrinks in Georgia

Mr. Trump has seen his lead shrink in Georgia to just 28,827 votes with 95% of the vote now in. At 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, Mr. Trump had 2,427,542 votes to Biden's 2,398,715 votes. They're separated by a razor-thin margin of 0.6%.

Earlier on Wednesday night as counting continues in numerous counties throughout the state, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that as of 10:15 p.m., there were approximately 90,735 ballots still outstanding.

Heavily Democratic Fulton County, which has currently reported 94% of its vote, said it expected to finish its counting at some point after midnight. Georgia has so far reported 95% of its vote.

By LaCrai Mitchell
 

Trump's lead narrows in Pennsylvania

Mr. Trump's lead narrowed to 182,561 in Pennsylvania with 1,066,963 mail ballots still uncounted as of 7 a.m. With about 88% of the vote in, Mr. Trump was leading Biden late Wednesday 50.8% to 47.9%. That's a significant drop from Wednesday afternoon, when Mr. Trump held a much wider lead of 379,639 votes over Biden. 

The ballots that are outstanding seem likely to favor Biden. They were cast by mail, and of the 3.1 million mail ballots requests in Pennsylvania, 63% were from Democrats, 25% from Republicans and 12% other. It remains to be seen if there's enough support for Biden among the million or so ballots left to surpass Mr. Trump.

By Zak Hudak
 

Trump campaign sues over ballot counting in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia

Lawyers for the Trump campaign are taking legal action in an effort to prevent Biden from reaching the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election. The lawsuits, filed Wednesday, contest ballot counting in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

The campaign is demanding access to vote-counting sites in Michigan and Pennsylvania so they can count each ballot, but there are already poll watchers representing both parties in place doing just that.

CBS News projects that Biden has won Michigan, a state which supported Mr. Trump in 2016. Pennsylvania and Georgia, however, still remain too close to call.

Read more here or watch the full story:   

Trump claims 2020 election is being stolen 01:19
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