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What to expect from critical swing states still counting ballots

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The race between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden remains incredibly tight as results have trickled in Wednesday, with hundreds of thousands of ballots still to be counted in several critical swing states.

Here is a rundown of what we can expect today from states that are still tallying ballots:


With 86% of votes counted, Biden has a lead of around 100,000 votes in Arizona. However, state Republicans are urging caution in declaring any winners, as several counties have not yet reported data yet to the state. The populous Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, has not yet reported the number of ballots that remain to be counted to the state. But based on what is known so far about Maricopa and data provided by the state, CBS News estimates that there are at least 300,000 ballots left to tabulate, with thousands more early ballots to be accepted and processed.


Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger predicted to reporters that vote counting in the state will be completed by the end of Wednesday. He added that the timeline is moving "much quicker" than initially expected and results will be able to be certified by Friday, November 13. Raffensberger said at his press conference early Wednesday afternoon that around 200,000 ballots still needed to be counted, including from DeKalb, Fulton and Forsyth counties. He also said 40,000 to 50,000 early votes remained to be counted.


Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told reporters in a press conference early Wednesday afternoon that there are just over 100,000 ballots that still have to be counted. She said the "vast majority" are absentee ballots, with most ballots coming from large cities like Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint and Kalamazoo. Benson said the state hopes it will have unofficial in the next 24 hours. Meanwhile, the Kent County Clerk told CBS News they're expecting to report about 60,000 absentee votes from Grand Rapids later this afternoon or in the evening, which would be the bulk of the ballots that haven't been reported. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said Wednesday the president's reelection campaign has filed a lawsuit in Michigan state court today to stop the counting of ballots, citing inadequate access to vote-tallying locations. 


Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske initially said the state isn't planning on reporting out any results in the state on Wednesday to give counties breathing room to tally their remaining ballots. However, a spokesperson for Nevada's secretary of state later confirmed they are planning to update results later today, but said they are unsure by when. As of Wednesday morning, all in-person early votes, in-person Election Day votes and mail ballots received through November 2 have been counted. Mail ballots received on Election Day and throughout this week have not yet been counted. Cegavske said reporting would resume on November 5. However, Washoe County spokesperson Bethany Drysdale says the county, which includes Reno, plans to release another results update on Wednesday.

North Carolina

North Carolina election officials are expected to address reporters later Wednesday afternoon. With 95% of votes counted, CBS News reports that Mr. Trump is leading Biden in the state by a little over one percentage point. As long as absentee ballots have been postmarked by November 3, state officials have until November 12 to count them.

In a nearly hour-long press conference this afternoon, North Carolina State Board of Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell told reporters that with very few exceptions, North Carolina's election result tallies will not change before November 12 or 13 because those are the dates that most county boards of elections have selected to hold meetings, where absentee by mail ballots will be reviewed before being tabulated. 


Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told reporters on Wednesday morning that 1 million of ballots in the state have yet to be counted. Boockvar said only 50% of mail ballots have been counted. They urged Pennsylvania voters to remain patient and said the delay showed the process of counting ballots accurately was working. The Trump campaign announced it is suing in Pennsylvania to halt the counting of votes there and moving to intervene in existing Supreme Court litigation over Pennsylvania's three-day extension for mail-in ballots.


CBS News projected Biden won the state of Wisconsin. Biden currently holds a lead of 20,533 votes out of a total 3,240,329 ballots cast, a lead of 0.6 percentage points. That lead could change if more votes are reported. Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe told reporters in a briefing on Wednesday that roughly 300 ballots in Willow Township, in Richland County, are left to be counted. The Trump campaign has said it would request an "immediate" recount. In Wisconsin, the candidate trailing in the results can request a recount if they are within 1% of the margin of victory, according to the state's manual outlining the process.

Stefan Becket, Adam Brewster, LaCrai Mitchell and Alexander Tin contributed to this report.

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