CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Days after American voters turned out in large numbers at the polls, ballots are still being counted in several key states. NewsNation will continue to provide live Election 2020 updates as ballots are tallied and states report results. It’s standard practice to continue tabulating votes after Election Day.
At the top of the ticket is the U.S. presidency, all 435 U.S. House seats, 35 U.S. Senate seats and 11 gubernatorial races.
As of Thursday evening, President Donald Trump has 214 Electoral College votes to Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s 264 as of the latest Associated Press race call of Michigan for Biden.
All updates in eastern standard time
4:30 a.m. – Biden takes lead in Georgia
ATLANTA — Democratic nominee Joe Biden is now leading in Georgia by a very slim margin, according to The Associated Press.
New numbers in from Georgia show Biden with a lead of 917 votes over President Donald Trump.
The race is still too early to call, according to the AP.
10:45 p.m. – Pennsylvania presidential count tightens
PHILADELPHIA — Vote counting continued in Pennsylvania on Thursday and within the last hour, President Donald Trump’s lead in the battleground state narrowed from more than 42,000 votes separating he and Joe Biden to 26,132.
As of 11 p.m, there are roughly 176,000 ballots left to count, or 7% of the total mail in ballots.
The Associated Press has not declared a winner in Pennsylvania because the race between President Trump and Biden is too early to call.
9 p.m. – Georgia presidential count tightens
ATLANTA — Vote counting continued in several Georgia counties on Thursday as Americans watched to see whether the state gives Democrat Joe Biden the electoral votes he needs to become president.
The Associated Press has not declared a winner in Georgia because the race between President Donald Trump and Biden is still too early to call. Trump had a narrow lead, currently with just under 2,500 votes over the former vice president, but with thousands of ballots still being tallied in counties that tend to vote blue, Democrats had reason for optimism.
The roughly 16,000 outstanding absentee ballots don’t include provisional ballots and ballots that need to be “cured” before being scanned. Gabriel Sterling, who has overseen the implementation of Georgia’s new electronic voting system, noted that ballots cast before Election Day by military voters and citizens living overseas and received by 5 p.m. Friday will be tallied.
A software problem that occurred on Election Day was delaying the counting of about 6,000 ballots in Gwinnett County outside of Atlanta, county spokesman Joe Sorenson said. The error is forcing officials to rescan roughly 80,000 ballots to identify ones where voters made errors in marking them by hand. An adjudication panel will then examine those ballots to try to determine voter intent over the next two to four days, Sorenson said. Once that’s done, the outstanding ballots – mostly absentee ballots received on Election Day – can be counted.
After each county certifies their total, the state will perform an audit before certifying the results, Sterling said. Counties must certify their results by Nov. 13 and the state must certify the results by Nov. 20.
6:46 p.m. – President Trump addresses election
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump spoke from the White House briefing room Thursday evening, renewing his unfounded claims that Democrats are trying to “steal” the election from him. He did not back up his claim with any details or evidence. State and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud.
He also renewed his criticism of the widespread use of mail-in balloting in the pandemic, claiming that the ballot-counting process is unfair and corrupt.
The ballot-counting process across the country has been running smoothly, and the count is ongoing in several battleground states.
5:51 p.m. – President Trump to deliver remarks
President Trump was scheduled to deliver remarks at 6:30 p.m. EST from the White House. NewsNation streamed the president’s remarks live right here; check back for the full clip.
Trump last appeared in public early Wednesday.
5:50 p.m. – Trump campaign, RNC ask to join lawsuit in AZ
PHOENIX — The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee have asked an Arizona judge to let them join a lawsuit that alleges vote tabulation equipment in metro Phoenix was unable to record a voter’s ballot because she completed it with a county-issued Sharpie pen.
They argued that potential tabulation errors resulting from Sharpies demands further review and that they should be allowed to participate in the lawsuit because it will likely affect their interests in the tabulation of votes.
The lawsuit seeks a court order for all Maricopa County voters whose ballots were rejected as a result of using a Sharpie to be given a chance to fix their ballots. It also asks for such voters to be able to be present while election officials count their ballots.
Arizona election officials say that voting with a Sharpie would have no impact on the votes being recorded by tabulation machines, and if there was an issue, there is a process that would keep the ballots from being canceled out.
5:25 p.m. – Pennsylvania Secretary of State gives briefing
The Pennsylvania Secretary of State gave an update Thursday afternoon; approximately 326,000 votes are left to count.
5:11 p.m. – Trump’s lead in Georgia continues to narrow
ATLANTA — Joe Biden continues to approach Donald Trump’s lead in Georgia as ballots in the Peach state continue to be scanned into the system. Trump leads Biden by just over 9,500 votes as of the latest election results update from the Associated Press at 5:11 p.m.
4:15 p.m. – Joe Biden makes remarks from Wilmington, Delaware
WILMINGTON — Democratic challenger Joe Biden made remarks Thursday afternoon from the Queen Theatre as the vote count continues in battleground states.
“We’re reminded again of the severity of this pandemic. Cases are on the rise nationwide and we’re nearing 240,000 deaths due to COVID,” Biden said. “In America the vote is sacred. It’s how the American people express their will. Each ballot must be counted and that’s how it should be. Democracy is sometimes messy, so sometimes it requires a little patience. But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that has been the envy of the world.”
3:30 p.m. – Georgia election officials give briefing
ATLANTA — Georgia election officials held another briefing at 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon as the presidential race in the state remains too close to be called with 47,277 ballots still outstanding.
Gabriel Sterling, Georgia Voting System Implementation Manager said ballots still being scanned Thursday in the Atlanta-metro area counties of Fulton, Cobb and Gwinnett. Chatham County, home to Savannah, also had a large number still being tallied.
“The effort here is to make sure that everyone’s legal vote is counted properly,” Sterling said. “This is the first time we’ve used paper ballots in this state for 20 years, so this is going to take a little more time. These close elections require us to be diligent and do everything right.”
1:45 p.m. – Nevada’s most populous county says vote counting is still underway
LAS VEGAS — Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria said 63,262 ballots still need to be counted for Clark County alone. Clark County has an estimated population of more than 2.2 million people and is where more than 75% of the state resides.
When asked about reports and allegations made by the Trump campaign, Gloria said he “was not aware of any improper ballots being processed.”
He said he hoped to have the bulk of the ballots counted by Saturday or Sunday saying the goal was to not be fast but to be accurate.
Gloria also said he had talked to the woman the Trump campaign claimed had an improper ballot and that her issue had been resolved.
The Associated Press has not yet declared a winner in the state of Nevada because it is too early to call the race there between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
1:30 p.m. – Michigan judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit
WASHINGTON — A Michigan judge has dismissed a lawsuit by President Donald Trump’s campaign in a dispute over whether Republican challengers had access to the handling of absentee ballots.
Judge Cynthia Stephens noted that the lawsuit was filed late Wednesday afternoon, just hours before the last ballots were counted. She also said the defendant, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, was the wrong person to sue because she doesn’t control the logistics of local ballot counting, even if she is the state’s chief election officer.
12:40 p.m. – President Trump releases statement
WASHINGTON — The Trump campaign released the following statement from President Donald Trump:
“IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTES, I EASILY WIN THE ELECTION! IF YOU COUNT THE ILLEGAL AND LATE VOTES, THEY CAN STEAL THE ELECTION FROM US!”
The president’s statement comes after his campaign has filed several lawsuits alleging the improper counting of ballots, most recently in Nevada.
12 p.m. – Trump campaign files lawsuit in Nevada
LAS VEGAS — The Trump campaign held a news conference Thursday where it announced it plans to file a lawsuit to stop the improper counting of ballots across Nevada. The campaign said it has received reports of Clark County, Nevada counting votes from dead people as well as votes from non-county residents.
You can watch the full press conference below:
Nevada election officials have yet to address the lawsuit, but they are holding a news conference at 1 p.m. EST. NewsNation will stream Nevada’s election update here.
11:45 a.m. Georgia judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit
ATLANTA — A judge in Georgia has dismissed a lawsuit by the state Republican Party and President Donald Trump’s campaign that asked him to ensure a coastal county was following state laws on processing absentee ballots.
Chatham County Superior Court Judge James Bass did not provide an explanation for his decision Thursday. The county includes the heavily Democratic city of Savannah.
The suit had raised concerns about 53 absentee ballots that poll observers said were not part of an original batch of ballots. County elections officials testified that all 53 ballots had been received on time.
11:30 a.m. Georgia still has 60K outstanding ballots, Pennsylvania cancels briefing
ATLANTA — Georgia election officials said Thursday morning that there are more than 60,000 outstanding ballots, with the Peach State still too close of a race for the Associated Press to call.
Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed at Thursday morning press conference that there are 61,367 ballots that still need to be counted.
NewsNation affiliate WHTM confirmed that the Pennsylvania governor canceled a previously planned election update, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. EST. The event may be rescheduled for later. NewsNation will provide updates on the potential briefing.
11:15 a.m. Biden’s campaign holds election protection briefing
WILMINGTON, D.E. — Biden’s campaign held a election protection briefing Thursday saying “victory is imminent: we are on the verge of wining 270 electoral votes.”
10:20 a.m. – Pennsylvania allows Trump officials to observe vote counting process
PHILADELPHIA — Trump campaign officials Pam Bondi and Corey Lewandowski announced Thursday morning that a state appeals court will allow Trump officials immediate access to observe the vote counting process in Pennsylvania.
Bondi said 15 people would be headed to observe the vote counting process in Philadelphia immediately. Lewandowski added that people will be six feet away from election workers processing mail-in ballots in Philadelphia.
7:30 a.m. – Trump campaign news conference planned
LAS VEGAS — The Trump campaign announced it will hold a news conference in Las Vegas Thursday morning.
It will be held at 11:30 a.m. EST in front of the Clark County Election Department, according to NewsNation affiliate KLAS-TV. Those in attendance include former Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, Chairman of the American Conservative Union Matt Schlapp and Nevada GOP Chair Michael McDonald.
7:15 a.m. – Vermont sets election turnout record, official says
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont saw a record turnout in Tuesday’s general election, the secretary of state’s office said.
More than 360,000 Vermonters cast ballots in Tuesday’s election, the office said. The previous record of nearly 327,000 votes came in the 2008 election.
More than 80% of Vermont voters who cast ballots in the 2016 election voted early this year, taking advantage of changes made to the voting system to enhance safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
6:40 a.m. – Georgia’s secretary of state expects election results by noon
ATLANTA — An estimated 25,000 ballots are left to be processed in Georgia, according to the secretary of state.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he expects the states to have election results by 12 p.m. ET, Nexstar Atlanta Bureau Correspondent Archith Seshadri reported.
A press conference will be held at 10:30 a.m. ET, according to Seshadri.
Leaders in Fulton County, home to Atlanta, said they have 5,000 ballots left to process, as of Thursday at 7:11 a.m. ET.
3 a.m. – Overnight protests erupt across US
The New York City Police Department said people “attempted to hijack” a peaceful protest, fighting with officers and lighting trash on fire. The arrests came after hundreds of marchers gathered in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park to demand the counting of every presidential vote.
In Portland, demonstrators held signs saying, “Count Every Vote,” and “Keeping Hope Alive.”
Protesters also took to the streets in Seattle, with many saying they’re trying to keep attention on the Black Lives Matter movement and other social justice causes.
In Phoenix, roughly 100 protesters converged in front of the Maricopa County Elections Department. Many were without masks and some were armed with rifles and handguns.
In Detroit, Trump supporters gathered by a ballot-tallying center shortly before The Associated Press declared that Biden had won Michigan.
12 a.m. – Election officials scramble to count ballots in key states
ATLANTA — Election officials in several key states furiously counted ballots Wednesday as the nation awaited the outcome of the race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.
Unlike in previous years, states were contending with an avalanche of mail ballots driven by the global pandemic. Every election, what’s reported on election night are unofficial results, and the counting of votes extends past Election Day. This year, with so many mail ballots and close races in key states, counting every vote was expected to take more time.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he was pushing counties to complete vote tallies, with just under 100,000 ballots left to count as of Wednesday night.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson had urged patience as counties tallied thousand of ballots that had been received on Election Day.
The top elections official in Nevada’s most populous county said more results will be released Thursday morning that include mail-in ballots received Tuesday and Wednesday.
Past Election 2020 Live Blogs:
How NewsNation will report election results
NewsNation’s television broadcast and digital properties will rely on The Associated Press for all vote counting and race calls. NewsNation chose to rely on the AP because they call races based on the facts.
“AP does not make projections or name apparent or likely winners,” said David Scott, a deputy managing editor who helps oversee AP’s coverage of elections. “If AP cannot definitively say a candidate has won, we don’t speculate.”
According to the AP, a race is only called when they “conclude that the trailing candidate will not catch the leader.” In fact, AP did not call the closely contested race in 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore, standing by its assessment that the margin in Florida made it too close to call. You can read more information about how AP calls races here.
We may not know who won the presidential election on Tuesday night. The biggest factor that may slow things down this year is the millions of Americans who voted by mail rather than risk being in a crowd during the coronavirus pandemic. In general, mail ballots take longer to count.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report