32 min read.Updated: 04 Nov 2020, 11:26 PM ISTAgencies
Though Democrats seemed likely to retain House control, their performance was an unexpected disappointment for the party
Trump will suffer a harsh loss if he follows through on threats to challenge election vote counts in the US Supreme Court, a lawyer for Joe Biden's campaign warned
President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are battling it out for the White House, with polls closed across the country and a long night of waiting for results in key battleground states on the cards.
Will President Trump return this time to purportedly 'Make America Great' once again or will Biden be the new 'leader of the free world'? Follow latest updates on the 2020 US presidential election results only on livemint.com
Disappointed Democrats drove Wednesday toward extending their control of the House for two more years but with a potentially shrunken majority as they lost at least seven incumbents and failed to oust any Republican lawmakers in initial returns.
By midmorning on Wednesday, Democrats' only gains were two North Carolina seats vacated by GOP incumbents after a court-ordered remapping made the districts more Democratic. Though they seemed likely to retain House control, their performance was an unexpected disappointment for the party, which hoped for modest gains of perhaps 15 seats.
Democrats’ hopes of protecting their majority and even expanding it were based on public anxiety over the pandemic, Trump’s alienation of suburban voters and a vast fundraising edge. But those advantages didn't carry them as far as they'd hoped. Read more here.
Democratic candidate Joe Biden's campaign said on Wednesday the former U.S. vice president was on track to win the 2020 election against President Donald Trump, with expected victories in the battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Campaign manager Jennifer O'Malley Dillon said she expected Biden will have more than 270 electoral votes later on Wednesday. She told reporters she believed Biden has already won Wisconsin and was expected to win Nevada.
Biden team: Trump faces 'embarrassing defeat' if he fights vote in Supreme Court
President Donald Trump will suffer a harsh loss if he follows through on threats to challenge election vote counts in the US Supreme Court, a lawyer for Democrat Joe Biden's campaign warned Wednesday.
Trump "will be in for one of the most embarrassing defeats a president ever suffered before the highest court in the land" if he asks it to invalidate ballots counted after Election Day, said former White House counsel Bob Bauer.
Trump holds lead in North Carolina
With 100% of precincts now reporting, Trump is still leading Biden in the Tar Heel State. But Trump’s margin -- about 78,000 votes -- is less than the number of outstanding absentee ballots yet to be counted, about 117,000, leaving the race too close to call.
Both candidates made frequent visits to North Carolina, which Barack Obama narrowly won in 2008 but lost in 2012. Trump won the state by 3.6 percentage points in 2016. -- Andrew Ballard
Biden leading by 2.3 million in popular vote
Biden was leading the national popular vote by more than 2.3 million votes as of Wednesday morning. He had 69.6 million votes to 67.3 million for Trump in partial results.
This is hardly alarming for Trump, since U.S. presidencies are won with electors rather than vote totals. He lost the popular vote in 2016 by almost 2.9 million votes to Democrat Hillary Clinton, who scored huge margins of victory in the populous blue states of California, New York and Illinois, where Trump had done little campaigning.
The loser of the popular vote (George W. Bush) also won the presidency in 2000. Before that it had happened only three times, in 1824, 1876 and 1888. -- Laurence Arnold
Trump’s road to Supreme Court is neither fast nor certain
President Donald Trump said he will go to the U.S. Supreme Court because he wants “all voting to stop," as he tries to hold on to early leads in key battleground states.
He won’t be able to go there immediately and it’s not clear he has a legal argument that could affect the outcome of the election.
Cases typically work their way to the nation’s highest court after a ruling by a local judge and then other appeals courts. In 2000, it took more than a month before the Supreme Court issued the landmark Bush v. Gore ruling that ultimately decided that year’s election.
The Supreme Court has only limited power to sway the outcome of the election. Trump would need to raise specific legal objections -- under either the Constitution or a federal statute -- that could swing a pivotal state.
Rupee plunges to 2-month low over US election uncertainty
The Indian rupee on Wednesday plunged by 35 paise to close at its weakest level in over 10 weeks at 74.76 against the US dollar as investors appeared cautious looking for clarity on the US election outcome and the latest tranche of fiscal stimulus.
At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened at 74.74 against the greenback and witnessed an intra-day high of 74.57 and a low of 74.90. It finally settled at 74.76 -- its lowest level since August 21 this year.
9 states have not been called yet
Trump and Biden's fate now hangs on these states:
Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Maine, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Close contests in five key states mean the U.S. presidential election may not be decided for days, or longer, even as President Donald Trump’s falsely claimed victory over Democrat Joe Biden with millions of ballots still to be counted.
As of 6 a.m. New York time Wednesday, Biden had 238 electoral votes while Trump had 213, leaving both shy of the 270 needed to secure immediate victories.
Biden’s Nevada lead shrinks in close race
Biden’s lead over Trump in Nevada, a state Hillary Clinton narrowly won in 2016, has narrowed to less than 8,000 votes, or 0.64 percentage points, according to the latest batch of returns.
While Nevada is done counting for the evening, the race is not over there yet: Tens of thousands of mail-in and provisional ballots from same-day registration have yet to be counted, including in urban parts of Clark County, where those votes may favor Democrats. Nevada allows mail-in ballots that are postmarked by Election Day to be counted until Nov. 10.
The latest numbers reflect all votes cast in person on Tuesday and in weeks of early voting, as well as all mail ballots received through Monday.
The next update will be at 9 am on Thursday, according to the Secretary of State.
Clinton won the state by a margin of 2.42 percentage points four years ago
Biden edges ahead in Wisconsin as vote count continues
In Wisconsin, Biden took a small lead around 4:30 am New York time, as several metropolitan areas submitted their absentee ballot counts.
As expected, the Democrat took a large haul from Milwaukee, the state’s biggest city -- crucial to potentially overcoming Trump’s strength in smaller towns and rural areas. An influx of nearly 170,000 absentee votes from the city of Milwaukee erased the solid lead from in-person voting that Trump had maintained since the polls closed at 8 pm.
The president, who carried Wisconsin by 0.8 percentage points in 2016, trailed Biden in by 0.3 percentage points in the latest figures with some precincts still outstanding.
Biden camp: Trump bid to stop vote counting 'outrageous'
Joe Biden's White House campaign slammed President Donald Trump's threat to try to stop the election vote count as "outrageous" early Wednesday, saying its legal team was ready to prevent such an "unprecedented" act.
"The president's statement tonight about trying to shut down the counting of duly cast ballots was outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect," Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said in a statement as the election remained undecided.
"Never before in our history has a president of the United States sought to strip Americans of their voice in a national election."
The comments came shortly after Trump delivered an extraordinary speech from the White House, in which he claimed that "we did win this election" despite neither candidate reaching the electoral vote threshold for victory.
Key states unsettled as counting enters Day 2
The US presidential election remained unsettled Wednesday morning as key states continued counting ballots. After a relatively untroubled day at US polling places, unprecedented numbers of early and mail-in votes complicated counts across the country. By early Wednesday morning, both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden retained potential paths to victory.
Ballot-counting continues in key battleground states, including Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as the presidency and control of the US Senate remain up for grabs on the morning after the US election.
Shortly before 3 am New York time, Biden won Arizona, marking the Democratic nominee’s first victory in a state Trump won in 2016. He also picked up what could be a crucial single elector in Nebraska’s Second Congressional District. But with his own victories in Texas and Florida, Trump had a viable path to victory as well – setting up high stakes in what could become a drawn out resolution in the remaining states.
Pennsylvania sees 1 million votes yet uncounted
Pennsylvania has more than 1 million votes left to count, its Democratic governor, Tom Wolf, said in a Twitter posting early Wednesday.
“I promised Pennsylvanians that we would count every vote and that’s what we’re going to do," Wolf said on Twitter. His tweet came after Trump falsely declared victory and complained of “a fraud on the American public" in ongoing vote-counting.
“Let’s be clear: This is a partisan attack on Pennsylvania’s elections, our votes, and democracy," Wolf said in another Twitter post. -- John Voskuhl
Biden campaign willing to fight Trump in court
Democrat Joe Biden's campaign says it will fight any efforts by President Donald Trump's campaign to go to the US Supreme Court to prevent ballots from being tabulated.
Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon called Trump's statement that he will “be going to the US Supreme Court" and that he wants “all voting to stop" “outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect."
O'Malley Dillon says the Biden campaign has “legal teams standing by ready to deploy to resist that effort." And she says, “They will prevail."
First flip: Biden takes Arizona from Trump
Joe Biden won Arizona, a state Trump won in 2016. It is the first state to flip in the election and greatly complicates the president’s path to re-election. Biden also won three of Maine’s four Electoral College votes, the AP said.
All four Democratic Indian-American lawmakers re-elected to House of Representatives
All the four Indian-American Democratic lawmakers — Dr Ami Bera, Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna and Raja Krishnamoorthi — have been re-elected to the US House of Representatives.
Indian-American Republican candidate Rik Mehta loses New Jersey Senate election
Indian-American Republican candidate Rik Mehta lost his New Jersey Senate election bid to Democratic incumbent Senator Cory Booker.
Mehta garnered 37.9% of the votes at 1,071,726, while Booker got 60.6% with 1,714,375 votes in the 3 November polls.
Joe Biden wins Maine
Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in Maine, the Associated Press projected, winning three of the state’s four Electoral College votes.
Trump wants voting to stop
"This is a fraud on the American public... we were getting ready to win the election, frankly we have won the election. Our goal now is to ensure integrity... We'll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop," says Donald Trump.
Republican Donald Trump said, “Frankly, we did win this election" over Democrat Joe Biden and said he would take the election to the Supreme Court.
Micro-blogging site Twitter on Wednesday flagged a "disputed" label on a tweet from President Donald Trump, in which he accused the rival Joe Biden campaign of trying to "steal" the tightly-contested presidential election.
President Trump LIVE
President Trump says Georgia and North Carolina have been won.
President Trump says results tonight have been 'phenomenal' and his party was ready to celebrate.
Biden, Trump appear edging towards photo-finish
As per Fox News, Biden has 238 of the 538 electoral college seats, while Trump has 213. On the other hand, CNN has projected 220 electoral college votes to Biden and 213 o Trump.
The New York Times reported that Biden has earned 223 electoral college votes and Trump 212. The winner needs at least 270 electoral college votes.
As per the latest report, Trump was leading in the key battleground states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Biden was leading in Arizona and Minneapolis.
The Biden campaign tried to downplay its electoral performance in Florida, which has 29 electoral college votes.
As US on 3 November voted to select the next American President, Donald Trump Jr -- the eldest son of Donald Trump -- predicted the poll results of the 2020 presidential elections by sharing a "red wave" map of the world.
In a major goof-up, the distorted map tweeted by Donald Trump Jr showed India in blue shade while Jammu and Kashmir was in red colour, indicating a divide. The map, predicting poll results, also showed regions of northeastern India in red.
Trump wins Ohio, leads in Florida
Trump is projected to win the battleground state of Ohio and is leading the vote count in Florida. Joe Biden has the lead in Arizona
Investors dig in for a long night after close initial U.S. election results
Investor hopes for a decisive early read on the U.S. election were dampened on Tuesday night after initial voting results showed a tight race, with signs some traders were unwinding bets that would benefit from a broad Democratic victory.
Republican President Donald Trump was narrowly leading Democratic rival Joe Biden in the vital battleground state of Florida, and in several other competitive swing states that will help decide the election.
Trump wins Ohio, holding onto battleground
President Donald Trump has won Ohio and its 18 electoral votes, holding on to a battleground state where the race against Democrat Joe Biden had tightened in recent months.
Trump or Biden? How gold prices could move
As the US elections headed towards a tight finish, gold prices remained choppy today. On MCX, gold futures were down 0.5% at ₹51,328 per 10 gram. In global markets, gold was down 0.6% at $1,897.01 an ounce as early tallies suggested the outcome of the American presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden could be closer than polls had suggested. Read the full story here
New York progressive Ocasio-Cortez easily wins second House term
New York progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comfortably secured a second term in Congress on Tuesday with an expected win over her Republican challenger who was outspent despite raising $10 million.
Indian markets surge in early trade
Equity benchmark Sensex surged over 180 points in early trade on Wednesday, tracking gains in IT stocks and ahead of the outcome of the US presidential elections. The 30-share BSE index was trading 183.86 points or 0.46 per cent higher at 40,444.99. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty climbed 49.50 points or 0.42 per cent to 11,863.00.
Trump Ahead In Florida Amid Neck And Neck With Biden In Polls: Reports
Joe Biden Wins California, Oregon, Washington: Report
Trump, Biden Win 17 States Each In Tight Race To White House: Reports
Indian-origin Democratic congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has been re-elected to the US House of Representatives for the third consecutive term.
Krishnamoorthi, 47, who was born in New Delhi, easily defeated Preston Nelson of the Libertarian Party. When last reports came in, he had accounted for nearly 71 per cent of the total votes counted.
QAnon supporter Greene wins Georgia house race
Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene has won Georgia’s open 14th Congressional District, reported Bloomberg. She has expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory, and has been criticised for racist comments and violent rhetoric. President Donald Trump, however, called her a “future Republican star."
The race for the White House has turned out to be far tighter against what the pollsters said was going to be a clear win by Joe Biden. The Democratic Party challenger was still ahead of President Donald Trump as of 8.40am IST but it was a close call in the big swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan.
Twitter, Facebook suspend some accounts as U.S. election misinformation spreads online
Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc on Tuesday suspended several recently created and mostly right-leaning news accounts posting information about voting in the hotly contested U.S. election for violating their policies.
Twitter said the accounts had been suspended for violating its policy against "coordination" by posting identical content while appearing independent or engaging in other covertly automated behavior.
Delaware elects country’s first transgender state senator
Democrat Sarah McBride won a state Senate race on Tuesday in Delaware, and would become the first openly transgender state senator in the country when sworn in. McBride defeated Republican Steve Washington to win the seat that became open following the retirement of the longest-serving legislator in Delaware history.
Election results for Texas counties watched by Wall Street
Wall Street investors, hunting for clues on who will win the U.S. presidential race, are looking at the election results in a few dozen counties that could be indicative of broader trends.
Counting of votes starts; Biden takes early lead
Democratic candidate Joe Biden has taken an early lead against Republican incumbent Donald Trump as the counting of votes in the crucial US presidential election began on Tuesday night.
Biden 117 electoral votes and Trump 80
Biden has captured 10 states including his home state Delaware and big prize New York, plus the US capital Washington Connecticut. As with Trump, so far, all states claimed by Biden were won by Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
So far, that gives Biden 117 electoral votes and Trump 80. The magic number is 270. Observers expect the hotly contested race for the White House to come down to a handful of key battleground states.
COVID positive people in US allowed to vote in-person at polling stations
Voters in the US who are infected with the novel coronavirus are allowed to cast their vote in-person in the 2020 presidential election, as long as they take measures to protect workers at polling stations, according to US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).
"Voters who are sick or in quarantine should take steps to protect poll workers and other voters. This includes wearing a mask, staying at least six feet away from others, and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer before and after voting," the CDC was quoted by Sputnik.
Trump wins Indiana, Kentucky, Biden takes Vermont, Virginia: US Media
The first results are trickling in, with US media projecting wins for the Republican incumbent so far in Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia -- all states he won in 2016. Biden has captured Vermont and Virginia.
So far, that gives Trump 24 electoral votes to 16 for Biden. The magic number is 270. Observers expect the hotly contested race for the White House to come down to a handful of key battleground states.
Kanye West votes for himself after erratic campaign for the White House
Rapper Kanye West on Tuesday voted for himself as the next U.S. president after a longshot campaign marked by erratic statements and speculation that he might siphon some Black votes from Democrat Joe Biden.
The singer and fashion designer tweeted that he was "voting for the first time in my life for the President of the United States, and it's for someone I truly trust ... me."
Stocks Rise, Dollar Drops as Election Count Begins
U.S. equity futures gained with most Asian stocks and the dollar extended its decline as investors awaited the outcome of the American presidential election.
S&P 500 futures climbed and stocks rose in Japan and South Korea as polls began to close across the country. Speculation is mounting that Americans will get a clear election decision and that Congress will deliver a spending bill. Democratic nominee Joe Biden led President Donald Trump in the final polls. Treasuries fell as benchmark yields passed 0.9%. Oil extended Monday’s gains.
US set to witness highest voter turnout in a century
The US appears to be on track to see over 160 million votes cast in the 2020 presidential election, a turnout rate of about 67 per cent, which is higher than the country has witnessed in more than a century, as President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden campaigned through the final day to get more voters to the polling booths.
Voting across the nation was largely smooth as voters lined up early in the morning across polling stations in the country to cast their ballots in one of the most consequential and polarised elections in US history that took place in the shadow of a devastating coronavirus pandemic.
Biden briefly appears to confuse granddaughter with son in verbal gaffe
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden briefly appeared to confuse his granddaughter with his son as he spoke in Philadelphia on Election Day, in a verbal gaffe which was swiftly seized on by the Trump campaign.
Biden, a former stutterer renowned for becoming easily tangled in his words, was introducing the daughter of his son Beau -- who died of brain cancer in 2015 -- to supporters in the city in Pennsylvania when he called her "none other than my son Beau Biden."
U.S. Election Day unfolds smoothly, so far defying fears of disruption
Americans by the millions patiently lined up on Tuesday to cast ballots at libraries, schools and arenas amid a deadly pandemic, in an orderly show of civic duty that belied deep tensions shaping one of the most polarizing presidential campaigns in U.S. history.
The face masks worn by many voters and the sight of boarded-up stores in some city centers were reminders of two big issues defining the 2020 election, with COVID-19 still ravaging parts of the country after a summer of sometimes violence-marred protests against police brutality and racism.
Votes in SC county can't be counted immediately
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.
Done with Trump, looking forward to elect Biden: Kamala Harris
Kamala-Harris, US Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate on Tuesday, said that she is "done talking" about US President Donald Trump and expressed confidence in her party's presidential nominee, saying that she is looking forward to elect Joe Biden as the next president.
"I am at a point now that I am done talking about the guy in the White House. We need to do that. Let's talk about the opportunity that is in front of us which is to elect Joe Biden," Harris said during the last-day appeal to voters in Michigan.
US Elections 2020: Surveillance beefed up on streets near White House
Crews of US law enforcement officers are monitoring the current situation on the streets surrounding the White House in Washington, which was fenced off ahead of the election day, a Sputnik correspondent at the scene reports.
Several dozen law enforcement officers have been dispatched to the streets adjacent to the White House. Many civilians, some with banners and posters, have taken to the streets of the US capital as voting in the presidential election continues.
Biden May Not Speak Tonight If Outcome Unclear
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he might not address supporters on election night if the outcome of the vote remains unclear.
“If there’s something to talk about tonight I’ll talk about it," Biden said Tuesday at a campaign stop in Wilmington, Delaware. “If not, I’ll wait till the votes are counted the next day."
Biden spent much of Election Day campaigning in Pennsylvania, a critical battleground that could hold the key to a close election and where there are questions about how long it will take to process an unprecedented flood of mail-in ballots. -- Jennifer Epstein
Florida County Moves Polling Place Over Covid
Florida’s Indian River County scrambled to move voting equipment early Tuesday after an American Legion Hall that officials had planned to use as a polling place reported that a member had tested positive for Covid-19.
“So we weren’t going to be able to use the facility for the election," Indian River County Supervisor of Elections Leslie Rossway Swan told WPEC-TV. “We had to kick into high gear."
Swan’s staffed printed flyers with a new polling location to give to voters, and made arrangements to move all the voting equipment before dawn. -- Jennifer Kay
Lines Form Around the U.S. in Heavy Turnout
Voters around the country are queuing up to cast ballots in an election that has already broken turnout records in many states.
Door-to-Door Canvassing Strong in Nevada, Union Says
Door-to-door canvassing by labor groups in Nevada, traditionally an Election Day strength for Democrats, faced a dual threat from the pandemic. It made some people wary of face-to-face interactions, and the economic crash it caused hit the state’s unionized hospitality workers particularly hard.
But one powerful union says its operation was stronger this year, not weaker.
Over the last several months, 500 canvassers from Nevada’s UNITE HERE Local 226, the Culinary Workers Union, have knocked on about 470,000 doors — at least 100,000 more than during the 2016 election, when 300 canvassers handled the load, according to Bethany Khan, the union’s director of communications.
“And we have another nine hours left," Khan said Tuesday morning.
Canvassers were also focused on signature curing, or helping voters correct mailed-in ballots that were filled out incorrectly. -- Sarah Holder and Laura Bliss
Houston Area Turnout Tops 60% With Hours to Go
Voter turnout in Harris County, Texas has surpassed 60% with almost six hours to go before polls close in the nation’s third-largest county.
Since polls opened in Houston and its suburbs on Tuesday, 107,000 people have cast votes, pushing the cumulative total to 1.54 million, or 62% of those registered, according to the Harris County Clerk’s Office. In 2016, 63.5% of the county’s registered voters cast ballots, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s data.
Elsewhere in Texas, election and public-health officials in places such as El Paso and Amarillo are dealing with resurgent Covid-19 outbreaks that are complicating voting procedures. In addition, El Paso police began erecting barricades are substations in anticipation of civil unrest, according to El Paso Matters, a nonprofit news website. --Rachel Adams-Heard
North Carolina Extends Voting Times at Four Sites
Results from North Carolina will come in 45 minutes later than planned.
The State Board of Elections has extended voting times to as late as 8:15 p.m. at four sites – one in Cabarrus County, one in Guilford County and two in Sampson County -- after there were delays in opening them Tuesday morning. The board won’t release any voting results until all 2,663 polling places around the state have closed.
About 4.6 million people, or 62% of the state’s registered voters, submitted ballots before Election Day. Those votes have been tabulated and will be released as soon as the last polling place closes.
The state Board of Elections says it expects about 1 million people to vote in person today.
Absent the handful of late poll openings, voting in North Carolina has gone relatively smoothly. “The extension of hours is not unusual in any election," said Karen Brinson Bell, the State Board of Elections’ executive director. -- Andrew Ballard
FBI Investigating Robocalls Telling Voters to Stay Home
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into reports of misleading robocalls telling voters to stay home because of long lines at the polls, according to officials familiar with the situation.
Residents of Flint, Michigan, have reported getting calls saying they should vote on Wednesday instead. Voters in Dearborn, Michigan, have said they received text messages with misleading information as well.
The calls are a voter intimidation and suppression issue, the officials said. There have been some technical glitches in Ohio, Texas and Nevada, but local election officials have been able to resolve those problems quickly, the officials said. -- Alyza Sebenius
Trump Predicts ‘Great Night’ to Campaign Staff
President Donald Trump said he’s not yet considering either a victory or a concession speech during an afternoon visit to his campaign headquarters, but predicted “some tremendous results" and a “great night" for his re-election bid.
“You never know," Trump said, while contending that toss-up states including Texas and Arizona were “looking really very strong."
“Winning is easy," he added. “Losing is never easy - not for me, it’s not."
The president said his voice was hoarse from a whirlwind push that saw him hold five campaign rallies Sunday, and he identified Florida and Pennsylvania as the most crucial states as voters cast their ballots. He said he believed his campaign had preformed well with seniors, Blacks, and Latinos, and credited his performance in the second debate -- along with his rally schedule -- for improving his standing in the polls.
Trump also said it was possible Americans would know the results of the election Tuesday night, despite worry that the sizable early and mail-in vote due to the coronavirus pandemic could delay the reporting of results.
“I think you’ll know possibly tonight depending on the extent of victory," he said. -- Justin Sink and Clare Roth
Kamala Harris’s Husband Rallies Supporters in Ohio
“We are a nation in pain," Douglas Emhoff, husband of Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris, told supporters at a noon rally in Columbus, Ohio.
He also had a message for Trump.
“Don’t mess with the mail, don’t mess with your vote and don’t talk about staying in office when you get voted out," Emhoff told a socially distanced crowd of about 50 gathered in the beer garden of Land Grant, a popular Columbus microbrewery. “People are sick and tired of it."
Emhoff, an attorney, is a partner at DLA Piper LLP. He and Harris were married in 2014.
Trump has generally led in polling in Ohio, and the RealClearPolitics.com average shows him up 1.4%. The president’s winning margin in 2016 was eight points.
In-person voting got off to a rough start in Columbus when Franklin County had to resort to paper voting logs. The county, home to Columbus, made the switch at 5:30 a.m. after election officials couldn’t determine that electronic poll books, used to make sure nobody votes more than once, were properly uploading, Franklin County Board of Elections spokesman Aaron Sellers said. -- Alex Ebert
In Trump Coal Country, Economy Isn’t Only Worry
Long lines snaked out of several voting places in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh, one of the areas that delivered Trump victory in 2016 and could be critical to his winning (or losing) this year.
Roughly two-thirds of Westmoreland voted for Trump in 2016, as did pretty much all of southwest Pennsylvania, save for Pittsburgh. For most of the 20th century the county was solidly for Democrats, fueled by a once-strong labor union machine of coal miners and coke processors. Westmoreland first voted for a Republican presidential ticket in 2000 and hasn’t changed course since.
For some voters, the economy wasn’t top of mind.
“The biggest thing for me is I have eight children, so I don’t kill babies," said Sonya Carren, 50, who chose to vote in person (for Trump) because she feared a ballot sent by mail would get lost.
“I’m pro-life," she said. “I just can’t vote for anything or anyone who doesn’t support that."
Korey Thornton, 36, a barber from Greensburg, said his vote for Biden was a response to the “hate and bigotry" he saw in the Trump administration. -- Brentin Mock
Whitmer Warns Residents About Misleading Robocalls
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer tweeted about reports that residents in Flint are receiving robocalls spreading misinformation about voting.
“We received reports that an unknown party is purposefully spreading misinformation via robocalls in Flint in an attempt to confuse voters," Whitmer said. “Let me be clear -- if you plan to vote in-person, you must do so, or be in line to do so, by 8PM today."
An unknown robocaller has placed calls to millions of Americans in recent weeks warning them to “stay safe and say home," according to the Washington Post.
Whitmer said lines across the state are “minimal and moving quickly" and that government officials will “work quickly to stamp out misinformation trying to prevent Michiganders from voting." -- William Turton
USPS Finds Ballot Delays in Battleground States
The U.S. Postal Service reported delays in delivering ballots to election officials in three closely divided states that could swing the U.S. election: Michigan, where ballots must arrive today to be counted, and in parts of Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
The cohort of ballots in transit remains large. In Pennsylvania, about 683,000 ballots had been requested by voters and not yet returned to election officials as of Nov. 2, and in Michigan the corresponding figure was about 476,000, according to the U.S. Elections Project that tracks early voting. In Pennsylvania and North Carolina, ballots can be accepted in coming days if they are postmarked by Election Day.
Workers were sick from Covid-19 in Michigan and central Pennsylvania, the Postal Service said in an explanation of slow ballot delivery demanded by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington D.C.
On Oct. 31 in both the Detroit and Philadelphia areas, about 78% of ballots sent by voters reached election authorities within the service’s guideline of 1-to-3 days for delivery, the service told Sullivan in a Nov. 2 filing. Other areas with on-time delivery less than 80% that date included central Pennsylvania and Greensboro, North Carolina, according to the USPS data filed with the court.
Daily figures may not be reliable, and the service scores don’t include ballots that are handled locally without being shipped to large processing centers, which are delivered the same day with a near 100% success rate, the USPS said in the filing. It said “extraordinary measures" are in place to deliver ballots. -- Todd Shields
First Lady Casts Ballot, Sans Mask, in Florida
First Lady Melania Trump visited a Palm Beach polling station Tuesday morning to cast her ballot in the way her husband has urged his supporters to: in person.
She was the only person not wearing a mask at the polling center. She waved and smiled to reporters. When asked why she didn’t vote with the president last week, Trump said she’d wanted to vote on Election Day. -- Kathleen Hunter
Biden Says Middle Class Built U.S., Not Wall Street
Biden returned to his childhood hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday morning and made another appeal to working-class voters.
Speaking to a group of canvassers, Biden said he wants to restore “basic decency and honor" and unite a country he said has fractured under the Trump administration.
“The middle class built this country. Wall Street didn’t build it," he said, speaking through a mask and using a bullhorn.
Biden also explained that he calls Scranton, where he lived until he was in the fourth grade, home because it’s “where I learned all my basic values." He said that “money does not determine your wealth," that it’s a basic responsibility to “look out for the other guy," and that “a job is about a lot more than a paycheck." -- Elizabeth Wasserman
Trump Says He’ll Declare ‘When There’s Victory’
Trump started his morning activities calling into the “Fox & Friends" program and was asked about Democratic concerns that he may declare victory prematurely before mail-in votes are counted in key states.
“At what point will you declare victory," one of the hosts, Steve Doocy, asked.
“When there’s victory," Trump replied. “I think we’ll have victory. But only when there’s victory. I mean, there’s no reason to play games. I look at it as being a very solid chance of winning here." -- Saleha Mohsin and Emma Kinery
Biden Starts Day With Mass at Local Church
The Democratic challenger started his day with an Election Day mass near his Delaware home.
Joined by wife Jill Biden and two granddaughters, the visit to St. Joseph on the Brandywine was the first stop of a day that also includes a few final events in the key battleground of Pennsylvania.
Biden’s son Beau, who passed away in 2015, is buried in the church’s cemetery. After leaving church, the Bidens walked to Beau’s gravesite.
Biden is slated to travel to his childhood hometown of Scranton and then to Philadelphia before returning home to await election results. -- Jennifer Epstein
Polls Open With Nearly 100 Million Votes Cast
Polls are scheduled to open at 6 a.m. in seven U.S. states, the beginning of an Election Day that many expect to come and go without a declared winner because of millions of as-yet uncounted ballots that were cast in early voting.
Heavy turnout is expected in many areas, even though by early Tuesday morning, about 99 million ballots – roughly 72% of the total in 2016 -- had already been cast as early votes or mail-in or absentee ballots.
Voter surveys have been relatively lopsided in the handful of states that are opening polls earliest this morning: Trump has led convincingly in Indiana and Kentucky, while Biden has led in Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, New York and Virginia.
Over the next hour, a number of states where the race is tighter are scheduled to open their polls – including North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania. -- John Voskuhl
Five Votes for Biden in New Hampshire
Voting and the counting of ballots got underway just after midnight Tuesday in the tiny community of Dixville Notch in northern New Hampshire near the Canadian border. Biden received five votes to none for Trump. The entire proceeding, broadcast live by WMUR-TV, took just a few minutes.
The results, while followed by political observers every four years, do not indicate, let alone foretell, anything about the election’s outcome. In 2016, Hillary Clinton received four votes in Dixville Notch, Trump two; Gary Johnson, an independent candidate, one. And someone wrote in the name of Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee in 2012. -- John Harney
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