The two contenders split the first US states to be projected in the White House race.
US President Donald Trump was narrowly leading Democratic rival Joe Biden in the vital battleground state of Florida on Tuesday, while other competitive swing states that will help decide the election outcome, such as Georgia and North Carolina, remained up in the air.
The two contenders split the first US states to be projected in the White House race, with conservative Indiana and Kentucky going to Trump and Democratic-leaning Vermont and Virginia going to Biden, according to projections by television networks and Edison Research.
But in Florida, a must-win state for Trump in his quest for the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, Trump was leading Biden 50.3 per cent to 48.7 per cent with about 89 per cent reported. Biden still has multiple paths to the 270 electoral votes he needs without Florida despite having spent lots of time and money trying to flip the state that backed Trump in 2016.
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 3, 2020
The Latest on Senate races in the 2020 election
Trump wins 5 more states, Biden adds 2 states
President Donald Trump has won Louisiana, Nebraska, Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, while Democrat Joe Biden has won New Mexico and New York.
Nebraska, one of two states that divides its electoral votes, has five total electoral votes up for grabs. Trump won the statewide vote, which is good for two electoral votes. He also won the 3rd Congressional District, which nets him a third vote.
Nebraska’s 1st and 2nd congressional districts haven’t yet been called.
Trump nets 20 electoral votes from his wins in Louisiana, Nebraska, Nebraska’s 3rd, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, while Biden takes 34 electoral votes for winning New Mexico and New York.
President Donald Trump has won the state of Indiana.
The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its 11 electoral votes.
Indiana is the home state of Trump’s running mate, Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump won Indiana by 19 percentage points in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
President Donald Trump has won the state of Arkansas.
The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its six electoral votes.
Arkansas is a reliably Republican state that hasn’t gone for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1996.
A judge in Nevada has ordered 30 Las Vegas-area voting sites to remain open for an extra hour after President Donald Trump’s campaign and Nevada Republicans cited reports that some locations did not open on time.
Clark County District Court Judge Joe Hardy Jr. in Las Vegas heard immediate arguments in an Election Day lawsuit filed to extend voting times to 8 p.m. for 22 specified sites, which had been scheduled to close at 7 p.m.
Hardy added eight additional sites at the request of attorneys for Democrats.
Clark County has 125 voting centers in and around Las Vegas. The judge ordered that anyone in line at the 30 sites at 8 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot.
President Donald Trump has won Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee, while Democrat Joe Biden has won Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
The results were not a surprise. Biden is very strong in the states that went for him, just as Trump is strong in the states he won.
Trump takes 33 electoral votes for winning those four states, while Biden adds 69 electoral votes to his total for winning seven states.
President Donald Trump has won the state of South Carolina.
The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its nine electoral votes.
Trump handily won the state in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Clinton. South Carolina hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Joe Biden’s victory in the South Carolina primary in February started a wave of wins that helped cement his status as Democrats’ presidential nominee. South Carolina Republicans didn’t hold a primary, an early sign of their support for Trump’s reelection.
Democrat Joe Biden has won the state of Virginia.
He was awarded its 13 electoral votes on Tuesday.
Democrat Hillary Clinton won Virginia over Republican Donald Trump in 2016, helped in part by her choice of running mate: Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
Virginia has grown increasingly liberal over the last four years, and as a result of the 2019 elections, Democrats now control every branch of government in the state.
President Donald Trump has coasted to victory in West Virginia, taking its five electoral votes.
The Republican nominee defeated Democrat Joe Biden on Tuesday in a reliably conservative state.
The last Democrat to win a presidential race in West Virginia was Bill Clinton in 1996.
Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in West Virginia four years ago by 42 percentage points, one of his highest margins of victory in the nation. Many in the state credit him for his conservative populism and promises to help the declining coal industry, even as few expected he could bring back jobs in a dying field.
The Trump campaign and Nevada Republicans are asking a state court judge to extend voting by one hour at 22 Las Vegas-area locations, citing reports that those sites did not open on time Tuesday morning.
An Election Day lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court was getting an immediate hearing before Judge Joe Hardy.
Polls are scheduled to close at 7 p.m. Pacific time, but election officials keep sites open until the last person in line at that time can vote.
Clark County has 1,150 precincts bunched into 125 voting centers in and around Las Vegas.
The lawsuit filed against Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria points to a Twitter message posted by the Nevada Secretary of State elections division at 7:22 a.m. referring to several polling locations having technical problems that delayed opening.
The message urged people in line to be patient, saying the sites would open soon.
The Trump campaign and Nevada GOP have been involved in several legal fights in Nevada, including an appeal on Tuesday to the Nevada Supreme Court, seeking to stop the mail-in ballot count in Democratic-leaning Las Vegas.
President Donald Trump has won Kentucky, and Democrat Joe Biden has carried Vermont.
They are the first two states called in the 2020 presidential election.
Kentucky is reliably conservative, while Vermont is considered one of the most liberal states.
Trump wins eight electoral votes from Kentucky, while Biden takes three for winning Vermont.
President Donald Trump called into talk radio shows in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin just hours before polls closed.
Trump projected confidence Tuesday that he will win key states like North Carolina and Florida and said he’s expecting a “great” evening.
He was set to call into conservative host Mark Levin’s show minutes after the first two interviews, but Levin abruptly said Trump would not be appearing. Levin said he was told the president couldn’t come on the show but gave no further details.
Trump told Wisconsin host Vicki McKenna that he is expecting a strong night based on lines of people waiting to vote. Trump has sown doubts about mail voting, without evidence, and is expecting most of his supporters to turn out on Election Day.
At the same time, his campaign was hosting a call with reporters in which they projected confidence but predicted a tight race that would come down to turnout.
In North Carolina, an armed man loitering at a polling site on Election Day has been arrested and charged with trespassing.
Thirty-six-year-old Justin Dunn was legally carrying a firearm but loitered at the Charlotte site after voting Tuesday morning, which prompted a precinct official to call police over fears of voter intimidation. A precinct official accompanied by a police officer asked him to leave the site and banned him from the location.
Police say Dunn left the precinct but returned about two hours later. He was taken into custody and charged with second-degree trespassing.
Publicly listed numbers for Dunn were disconnected when a reporter tried to reach him Tuesday.
2: 55 am.
More than 13,000 votes in one South Carolina county will have to wait a while to be counted because of a printing error.
Dorchester County Election Commissioner Todd Billman said at a news conference Tuesday that the mail-in ballots did not have the proper bars printed at the top so the scanner used to count the votes won’t register them. He says the error does not affect anyone’s vote.
The votes will have to be counted by hand and will not be counted Tuesday. Billman says Dorchester County’s full results will be finished by the Friday deadline to certify returns.
The county went for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The Senate race between Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and his Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison, as well as the U.S. House race between Rep. Joe Cunningham and Republican challenger Nancy Mace, will be affected by the unscanned ballots.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott says he voted for Joe Biden for president, making him the first Republican governor in the nation to acknowledge voting for the Democratic presidential candidate.
The Republican governor told reporters Tuesday after casting his ballot in his hometown of Berlin, Vermont, that he had never voted for a Democrat in his life.
“As many of you knew, I didn’t support President Trump. I wasn’t going to vote for him,” Scott said. “But then I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t enough for me to just not vote. I had to vote against.”
He says he “put country over party, which again wasn’t an easy thing to do in some respects.”
A couple of other current Republican governors have said they aren’t voting for Trump, but they said they weren’t voting for Biden, either. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says he left his ballot blank for president. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he voted for President Ronald Reagan, who died 16 years ago.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden isn’t making any predictions about the outcome of the election as the final hours of voting tick down.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday outside a Delaware community center, Biden said he’s “superstitious” about offering predictions for election night but remains “hopeful.” He says he’s heard from aides that there’s “overwhelming turnout” among young people, women and older Black adults in places like Georgia and Florida.
He says, “The things that are happening bode well for the base that has been supporting me — but we’ll see.” Still, he admitted, “It’s just so uncertain” because of how many states are in play.
Biden also wouldn’t commit to commenting on any results on election night, even if President Donald Trump weighs in on the vote. “If there’s something to talk about tonight, I’ll talk about it,” Biden said. “If not, I’ll wait till the votes are counted the next day.”
Biden capped off a day of last-minute campaigning in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and in Philadelphia with a couple of local stops in Wilmington, Delaware. He spoke to the CEO of a community center for teens and visited a pool where he worked as a teenager, closing out a day that began before the sun rose.
The cybersecurity agency at the Department of Homeland Security says the U.S. election so far has featured the usual technical glitches and routine issues but no apparent signs of any malicious cyber activity — at least not yet.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency also says it’s too early to declare victory as polls near closing time around the nation Tuesday and with days of vote counting and certification ahead.
A senior agency official says, “It has been quiet and we take some confidence in that but we are not out of the woods yet.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity to brief reporters about ongoing nationwide election monitoring efforts ahead of the release of any kind of official evaluation.
The official warned that local and state election systems could experience problems as results are reported, but the most likely cause would be from high demand put on the system as people overwhelm websites to check results.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is heading to Wilmington, Delaware, after spending the afternoon campaigning in battleground Michigan.
She reminded voters at a Detroit church on Tuesday how slim Donald Trump’s margin of victory was in the state in 2016. She urged them to try to get two other people to vote as well.
She also urged people to remember why they are voting if they are stuck in long lines.
Earlier Tuesday, she campaigned alongside Democratic Sen. Gary Peters, who is up for reelection, Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Brenda Lawrence in Southfield. Peters is in a competitive race against Republican John James.
She will join Joe Biden in Delaware on Tuesday night.
A spokesperson for the Iowa secretary of state says hand sanitizer on voters’ hands caused a ballot scanner to jam at a polling place in Des Moines.
Spokesperson Kevin Hall says some voters’ hands were moist when they handled the ballots and the buildup of sanitizer eventually caused the scanner to stop working.
The machine was fixed in about an hour.
To prevent another breakdown, poll workers moved the sanitizing station farther back in the line so voters’ hands would be dry when they first touched the ballots.
It was a problem unique to the coronavirus era. Iowa is considered one of the tossup states in Tuesday’s election between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered U.S. Postal Service inspectors to sweep more than two dozen mail processing facilities for lingering mail-in ballots and for those ballots to be sent out immediately.
The order, which includes centers in central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, south Florida and parts of Wisconsin, comes after national delivery delays leading up to the election and concerns the agency wouldn’t be able to deliver ballots on time.
The Postal Service’s ability to handle the surge of mail-in ballots became a concern after its new leader, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major GOP donor, implemented a series of policy changes that delayed mail nationwide this summer. Delivery times have since rebounded but have consistently remained below the agency’s internal goals of having more than 95% of first-class mail delivered within five days, with service in some battleground areas severely lagging, according to postal data.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections voted Tuesday to keep four polling places open longer because they opened late, which is expected to delay statewide reporting of results.
The longest extension was 45 minutes for a site in Sampson County. That means the state can’t publicly report any statewide results until 8:15 p.m.
The state’s more than 2,600 polling places are otherwise scheduled to close at 7:30 p.m. But state elections officials said in a news release last week that if hours are extended at any polls, they wouldn’t publicly post any results until all polls are closed.
Board Chair Damon Circosta confirmed at the meeting Tuesday that the extended hours would delay public release of results.
The polling places that opened late include one site in Cabarrus County, one in Guilford County and two in Sampson County. The delays were at least partly due to issues with printers or other electronic equipment. The extensions, which only apply to the individual precincts and not other sites in those counties, range from 17 minutes to 45 minutes and match the extra time it took to get them open.
Board Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell said at a news conference in the morning before the vote was held that it’s not unusual to extend polling place hours on Election Day.
Long lines were reported across the country, which is not unusual, and there were sporadic reports of polling places opening late. There have also been voting equipment issues in counties in Georgia, Ohio and Texas.
But overall, things seemed to be going smoothly in most places, with enthusiastic voters waiting patiently to cast their ballots. Experts expected total votes to exceed the 139 million cast in 2016. About 101 million people voted ahead of Election Day, heeding warnings about the coronavirus pandemic.
Sen. Kamala Harris is in battleground Michigan to get out the vote on Election Day.
She touched down in Detroit, a majority Black city, about six hours before polls were to close. As Joe Biden’s running mate, Harris has focused heavily on motivating Black voters to turn out. She told reporters she’s in Michigan so Detroit voters know “that they are seen and heard by Joe and me.”
Trump won Michigan in 2016.
Asked how confident she was, Harris said, “Listen, the day ain’t over.”
“I’m just here to remind people to vote because the election is still happening right now. It’s not over,” she said.
Polls in Michigan close at 8 p.m.
The latest tally of early voting in the U.S. shows that almost 102 million Americans cast their votes before Election Day, an eye-popping total that represents 73% of the total turnout of the 2016 presidential election.
The Associated Press tally reveals that the early vote in several states, including hotly-contested Texas and Arizona, has already exceeded the total vote of four years ago.
Early voting — whether in-person or by mail-in or absentee ballot — has swelled during the Covid-19 pandemic as voters have sought the safety and convenience it offers. The greatest gains have been witnessed in Kentucky, where almost 13 times as many voters cast their ballots early as in 2016.
Americans await election results
The winner – who may not be determined for days – will lead a nation strained by a pandemic that has killed more than 231,000 people and left millions more jobless, racial tensions and political polarization that has only worsened during a vitriolic campaign.
A third of US voters listed the economy as the issue that mattered most to them when deciding their choice for president while two out of 10 cited Covid-19, according to an Edison Research exit poll on Tuesday.
In the national exit poll, four out of 10 voters said they thought the effort to contain the virus was going “very badly.” In the battleground states of Florida and North Carolina, battleground states that could decide the election, five of 10 voters said the national response to the pandemic was going “somewhat or very badly.”
The poll found that nine out of 10 voters had already decided on their choice before October, and nine out of 10 voters said they were confident their state would accurately count votes.
The poll found signs Trump was losing support among his core base of supporters in Georgia and Virginia.
Edison’s exit polls showed Trump winning seven in 10 white men in Georgia, down from eight in 10 against Hillary Clinton in 2016. And while Trump was winning with six in 10 voters who were at least 65 years old in Georgia, that was down from a seven in 10 four years ago.
In Virginia, Trump is winning six in 10 whites without college degrees in Virginia, down from seven in 10 in 2016. Trump is also winning six in 10 white men in Virginia, down from seven in 10 in 2016.
Biden, the Democratic former vice president, has put Trump’s handling of the pandemic at the center of his campaign and has held a consistent lead in national opinion polls over the Republican president.
Biden, 77, appeared to have multiple paths to victory in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines the winner; at least 270 electoral votes, determined in part by a state’s population, are needed to win.
Opinion polls show Trump, 74, is close enough in several election battleground states that he could repeat the type of upset he pulled off in 2016, when he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton despite losing the national popular vote by about 3 million ballots.
Ahead of Election Day, just over 100 million voters cast early ballots either by mail or in person, according to the US Elections Project at the University of Florida, driven by concerns about crowded polling places during the pandemic as well as extraordinary enthusiasm.
The total has broken records and prompted some experts to predict the highest voting rates since 1908 and that the vote total could reach 160 million, topping the 138 million cast in 2016.
In anticipation of possible protests, some buildings and stores were boarded up in cities including Washington, Los Angeles and New York. Federal authorities erected a new fence around the White House perimeter.
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