Home / News / World /  Why are election results taking so long? State-by-state look at electoral votes

Key states’ results were still too close to call Thursday—here is why and what to expect.

Election officials in pivotal states have long said it will take additional time to tally votes as a result of the pandemic-driven surge of mailed ballots. The process could be further slowed by legal fights in some states and potential recounts in others.

The Associated Press called Wisconsin and Michigan for Democrat Joe Biden on Wednesday, narrowing President Trump’s path to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win. The president needs to win Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina to reach that threshold. Mr. Biden needs to win any one of those states to get to 270.

The Trump campaign and Republicans have filed legal challenges in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Nevada. The campaign has also called for a recount in Wisconsin. So far, courts haven’t halted efforts by states to complete the counting of ballots.

In Arizona, the campaign is disputing the AP’s call that Mr. Biden won the state, saying that mail-in ballots yet to be counted will ultimately allow the president to prevail.

Here are the key states yet to be called by the AP.

Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes)

Pennsylvania could potentially finish counting enough votes to determine a winner by late Thursday evening, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told CNN. Ms. Boockvar said at a later afternoon media briefing that about 350,000 mail-in ballots remained to be counted. That was roughly half the number outstanding a day earlier. Previously, Ms. Boockvar said the state might need until Friday to count all mail-in votes.

Mr. Trump leads Mr. Biden, but the remaining ballots are expected to overwhelmingly favor the Democrat and be enough to likely overtake Mr. Trump. In Philadelphia, more than 100,000 of the 350,000 mail ballots received as of Tuesday remained to be counted as of Thursday afternoon.

The race in Pennsylvania has tightened as results have come in. According to the AP, with 90% of votes counted, Mr. Trump is ahead of Mr. Biden by 0.39 percentage point, or about 64,000 votes.

The Trump campaign Wednesday filed three legal challenges to Pennsylvania voting procedures, one of which asked the U.S. Supreme Court for permission to intervene in a pending appeal.

A Pennsylvania appeals court ruled Thursday that poll watchers must be allowed to closely observe the vote-counting process. The ruling was a win for the Trump campaign, which had said one of its lawyers couldn’t view the writing on ballots at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Georgia (16 EV)

About 47,000 ballots remained to be counted in Georgia as of Thursday afternoon, according to the Office of the Secretary of State.

Many of the outstanding ballots in Georgia were from Democratic-leaning counties, and the margin of Mr. Trump’s lead over Mr. Biden narrowed on Thursday. As of 11 p.m., the president led the former vice president by about 1,700 votes, according to the AP, down from about 18,000 votes reported at 11 a.m.

Georgia election officials said ballot counting which they hoped to finish Thursday evening might go into Friday.

On Thursday, a Georgia judge dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit that asked to ensure that state laws were followed on storing and counting absentee ballots, the AP reported.

North Carolina (15 EV)

North Carolina has a number of races that are too close to call, including for president and Senate, and the tally is unlikely to change significantly until Nov. 13, according to state election officials.

Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, said Wednesday there were roughly 117,000 voters who requested an absentee ballot but haven’t voted. That number doesn’t reflect voters who asked for an absentee ballot but chose to cast an in-person ballot on Tuesday. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received by Nov. 12 to be counted.

On Thursday, the state board said there were an additional 40,700 provisional ballots, which are cast in cases where there are questions about voter eligibility. In 2016, nearly half of the 61,000 provisional ballots was deemed valid and counted, according to the state board.

It isn’t clear that there are enough uncounted votes to change the trajectory of top races. Mr. Trump has a lead of about 76,700 votes out of 5.5 million votes cast, according to unofficial results from the state board of elections.

Nevada (Six EV)

Mr. Biden’s lead in Nevada stood at more than 11,000 votes, according to the AP, with officials saying more results would be released Friday morning.

More than 190,000 ballots were still to be counted as of Thursday afternoon, most of them in Clark County, the state’s population center, election officials said.

There is no threshold required to request a recount in Nevada. No recount requests are expected until the Nevada secretary of state finishes counting mail ballots received on Election Day and those that arrive over the next week, in addition to provisional ballots.

The Nevada Supreme Court rejected a last-minute GOP request to alter how Las Vegas-area election officials were handling mail-in ballots but agreed to hear the party’s legal challenge in the coming weeks.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text

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