By CATHERINE THORBECKE and MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — Election Day is turning into election week as the counting of votes continues across the country, with preliminary results showing tight races in several key battleground states.
Candidates need 270 Electoral College votes to secure the presidency. ABC News projects President Donald Trump currently has 213, while former Vice President Joe Biden has 225.
Both Trump, the Republican incumbent, and Biden, his Democratic challenger, addressed the nation in the early hours of Wednesday morning, each expressing confidence in the race for the White House. Trump invited about 400 people to the White House East Room for an indoor watch party as the election, considered by many a referendum on his handling of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, unfolded before them.
In the weeks leading up to Election Day, more than 100 million early votes were cast, shattering early turnout records across the country.
Here’s how Election results are unfolding. All times Eastern:
Nov 04, 2:02 pm
Biden campaign manager sends fundraising email for new ‘fight fund’
Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillion launched a new “fight fund” in a fundraising email following Trump’s remarks on election night.
“The President threatened to go to court to prevent the proper tabulation of votes. We are standing up the biggest and most comprehensive legal effort ever assembled. This work could stretch on for weeks, so I am coming to you to ask you to pitch $25 in to the newly-formed Biden Fight Fund,” she wrote.“The Biden Fight Fund will fund election protection efforts for Joe Biden and Democrats up and down the ballot. If he makes good on this threat, our legal team is standing by. And they will prevail.”
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle
Nov 04, 2:02 pm
Trump campaign hosting press conference in Philadelphia at 3:30 pm ET
In the battleground state of Pennsylvania where votes are still being counted, the Trump campaign will host a press conference in Philadelphia at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Attending the press conference will be Eric Trump, his wife Lara Trump, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and senior campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski.
-ABC News’ Terrance Smith
Nov 04, 1:47 pm
Trump’s top campaign advisers plotting path forward: Sources
Sources tell ABC News that Trump’s top campaign advisers are huddled at the campaign offices outside of Washington, D.C., Wednesday afternoon plotting a path forward. Among the campaign advisers there are White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner.
Sources say the teams have spent the day in meetings and conducting calls with staff.
As of now, it is unclear if Trump will make any public appearance Wednesday.
-ABC News’ John Satucci and Katherine Faulders
Nov 04, 1:47 pm
DHS officials urge patience, vigilance during vote counting
As the count continues across the country, top Department of Homeland Security officials are urging patience and vigilance.
Chris Krebs, the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) tweeted a photo of his socks with the #TrustedInfo2020.
“Patience is the name of the game and look to your state and local election officials for updates,” he said.
Tuesday night, a senior CISA official said that the environment is ripe for foreign actors to spread disinformation and urged Americans to be on the lookout. The FBI and DHS issued guidance in September.
-ABC News’ Luke Barr
Nov 04, 1:46 pm
Sharpies safe to use on ballots: Arizona secretary of state
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs appeared on a local Fox new station Wednesday to debunk concerns that ballots were being invalidated because permanent markers, such as Sharpies, were used to fill them out.
Her response came after Matt Schlapp tweeted that voters in GOP precincts were given Sharpies at the polling place, causing ballots to be invalidated.
Hobbs assured that those ballots filled out with Sharpies at the polls “are being counted.”
“I can assure voters that nobody in a polling place — a trained employed polling place worker — is not going to give you a pen to mark your ballot that is going to invalidate your ballot. They knew what they were doing and those ballots are being counted,” Hobbs said.
Hobbs also said that people who filled out their ballots at home using a Sharpie can also feel confident their vote will count.
“We have ways to address ballots that have stray marks or things that are going to interfere with the tabulator being able to read them,” Hobbs said. “There are adjudication boards that are looking at some of these ballots right now to determine the intent of the voter and make sure that their votes are able to be counted.”
Additionally, the Maricopa County Elections Department posted a video to Twitter Tuesday clarifying to voters that the use of Sharpies was approved in the county.
According to the video, “Sharpies are safe to use.”
Bleed-through from a Sharpie is not an issue because the columns on the ballot are offset from one another, the video explains.
“It’s the fastest drying ink and works best on the tabulation equipment,” the video says.
-ABC News’ Allison Pecorin
Nov 04, 1:37 pm
Susan Collins wins Senate race in Maine
Following a tight Senate race, Sara Gideon, a Democrat and speaker of the Maine House, has conceded to longtime Maine Sen. Susan Collins.
Gideon said Wednesday that she spoke with Collins and congratulated her.
“I told her that I will always be available to help serve the people with me,” Gideon said.
“Regardless of the result, together, we built a movement that will help us make progress for years to come,” she added.
At an outdoor COVID-19 compliant party Tuesday night, Collins touted her history of never missing a vote in the Senate, more than 7,400 votes over 24 years.
Nov 04, 1:27 pm
Twitter slaps a ‘disputed’ label on Trump’s tweet about unfounded tweet claiming ‘surprise ballot dumps’
Twitter hit one of Trump’s morning tweets with a label saying the content is “disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”
In a tweet posted just after 10 a.m. ET, the president claimed that “surprise ballot dumps” are stealing the election away from him.
“Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled,” he wrote. “Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!”
Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the “pollsters” got it completely & historically wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020
In a follow-up tweet Wednesday morning, the president doubled down on his misleading claims about mail-in ballots, writing: “How come every time they count Mail-In ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?”
The president has repeatedly attacked mail-in ballots throughout the campaign.
This late blue wave is not surprising because early voting and mail-in ballots were expected to be heavily Democratic.
Nov 04, 1:24 pm
McConnell says ‘you should not be shocked if both sides’ have lawyers
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he thinks President Trump “ran a heck of a race.”
“Everybody was writing him off,” McConnell said. “He went out and really worked himself to death for the last two months with multiple rallies every day and turned it into a cliffhanger against everybody’s expectation.”
Asked about the president falsely declaring victory, McConnell said, “It’s not unusual for people to claim they’ve won the election, I can think of that happening on numerous occasions, but claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”
“What we’re going to see here in the next few days both in the Senate races and in the presidential race is each state will get to a final outcome and you should not be shocked if both sides are going to have lawyers there, both in these close Senate races and in the presidential contest,” he said.
McConnell also changed his timeline on COVID-19 relief, saying he believes the Senate needs to do a relief package “before the end of the year.” That’s a departure from comments he made just before Election Day that relief ought to be taken up “right at the beginning” of next year.
-ABC News’ Allie Pecorin
Nov 04, 12:42 pm
Biden officially wins most votes for any presidential candidate
Former Vice President Joe Biden has 69,543,071 votes tallied for him so far, breaking a record of most votes for any presidential candidate.
In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama made history by winning 69,498,516 total votes, according to the FEC — the most of any presidential candidate in history at that time.
-ABC News’ Quinn Scanlan
Nov 04, 12:38 pm
Georgia Sec. of State says ‘every legal vote will be counted’
Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said that “every legal vote in Georgia will count” during a news conference Wednesday morning.
Raffensperger said that his office has instructed the counties to finish tabulating results for this election today.
“My team has sent reminders to counties to get all — let me repeat all — of our results counted today,” he said. “Every legal vote will count.”
He added that the state has about 200,000 ballots that are left to be counted.
Of those ballots left to be counted, Georgia officials said they do not know how many of them are coming from Fulton County, but a breakdown should be coming this afternoon.
-ABC News’ Quinn Scanlan
Nov 04, 12:18 pm
Biden projected to win Maine
ABC News projects Biden will win three electoral votes in Maine. There is one electoral vote remaining in Maine.
A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
Nov 04, 12:01 pm
Michigan may have ‘unofficial result’ Wednesday
In Michigan, there are “tens of thousands of ballots that still need to be counted,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Wednesday.
“Ballots are still being counted in our largest jurisdictions including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Kalamazoo, and numerous other Michigan cities and townships,” she said.
“I’m optimistic that by the end of the day, the majority of our ballots will be tabulated and we’ll be much closer to having a full, if not a full and complete, unofficial result to announce,” Benson said.
In Michigan, the voting tabulation staff is made up of 600 people — 300 Democrats and 300 Republicans — who work in bipartisan pairs to open the envelopes, verify names and ballot numbers, tally votes and scan ballots into the system, according to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office.
“Boards at the county and state level that are also comprised of people from both parties will then review the procedures and counts of the entire election before the results are certified as official,” Benson said.
“Every single valid ballot in Michigan will be counted,” Benson stressed.
Nov 04, 11:46 am
Trump campaign baselessly claims he won ‘if all legally cast ballots are counted’
The Trump campaign on a press call Wednesday argued both that if all “legal ballots” are counted the president wins — despite not providing any evidence that there have been any illegally cast ballots — while also projecting confidence that the remaining vote count in a number of states will swing to the president.
“If all legally cast ballots are counted, the President would win,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien claimed.
The campaign did not provide any evidence throughout the call, or even attempt to explain, what basis they had for claiming ballots might be illegally cast and took no questions.
The Trump team hinted at a legal fight; Stepien said Wisconsin is within 1% and in “recount territory.”
Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller said he believes Nevada is “still in play,” banking on mail-ballots. Without providing evidence, Miller also said Nevada is a place that is “rife with corruption,” setting the stage for a battle and argument if Trump does not win.
In Arizona, Stepien claimed the final batch of votes being counted will bring more votes to the president.
And in Pennsylvania, where Stepien acknowledged that there are still over 1 million ballots to be counted, he added that he’s confident Trump will hold his lead.
Miller said they believe that Trump is going to continue to over-perform with Black and Latino voters there as well, contributing to Trump’s lead.
Stepien ended the call by saying, “honing in specifically on Pennsylvania and Arizona, if all legally cast ballots are counted, the president will win.”
-ABC News’ Will Steakin
Nov 04, 11:43 am
Biden’s campaign says it expects to win the election by this afternoon
Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, said her team is “confident” that the former vice president will win the White House, based on the available data from states.
“Joe Biden is on track to win this election and he will be the next president of the United States,” O’Malley Dillon told a virtual press conference Wednesday morning. “So we believe we are on a clear path to victory. By the afternoon, we expect that the vice president will have leads in states that put him over 270 electoral votes.”
O’Malley Dillon said the campaign anticipates Biden to ultimately win the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin, which would bring his tally of Electoral College votes well past the 270 mark needed to secure the presidency.
She said Georgia remains “a toss-up,” but added that there are many outstanding ballots in Atlanta, an area that favors Biden. She said North Carolina is also a tight race and the campaign believes it’s currently leaning toward Trump.
“Last night, the president of the United States falsely claimed that he had won this race and then demanded that votes stop being counted,” she told reporters. “Let’s be extremely clear about something. If Donald Trump got his wish and we stopped counting ballots right now, Vice President Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States.”
ABC News projects Trump currently has the lead in Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina, while Biden has a slight lead in Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin.
With 86% of expected vote reporting nationwide, ABC News projects Biden currently has 225 Electoral College votes while Trump has 213. ABC News has not yet projected wins for Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Nov 04, 11:25 am
Pennsylvania officials say they’re approaching 50% of mail-in ballots being counted
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said at a news conference Wednesday morning that election officials “are still at work counting the votes” and added “we may not know the results even today.”
“But the most important thing is that we have accurate results, again, even if that takes a little longer than we’re used to,” he added. “I will do everything within my power to ensure that the results are fair and that every vote is counted.”
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said the state is approaching 50% of the mail-in ballots being counted, but added “there’s still millions of ballots left to be counted.”
Boockvar said the state had somewhere between 2.5 and 3 million mail-in ballots cast this year, or about 10 times the number of mail-in ballots than in the previous presidential election.
Nov 04, 9:21 am
Rubio counters Trump’s stance on vote counting
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took to Twitter Wednesday morning to apparently contradict Trump’s stance on counting votes.
“The result of the presidential race will be known after every legally cast vote has been counted,” Rubio tweeted.
Rubio is the first Republican senator to publicly react to Trump falsely declaring victory in the presidential election and urging the national vote count to be halted.
Nov 04, 8:22 am
Georgia’s secretary of state expects counting to be done by end of day
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said vote counting in the Peach State will “definitely” be done by the end of the day.
“By midday, we should be pretty much through it. Probably by the end of the day, we’ll definitely have it done,” Raffensperger told ABC’s Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts in an interview Wednesday.
“We had a successful election,” he added. “Over 4.8 million Georgians voted, which is also a record turnout for a presidential election.”
Once counting is done, Raffensperger said Georgia’s election officials will conduct the first statewide audit of paper ballots to help verify the results and “give voters that additional layer of confidence.”
“That’s very important,” he said.
There are 16 electoral votes up for grabs in Georgia, a key battleground state in the race to 270. With 92% of expected vote reporting, ABC News projects Trump currently has a slight lead in Georgia with 50% while Biden has 48%.
Nov 04, 8:19 am
‘Way too early’ to call a winner in Pennsylvania, attorney general says
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said it’s still “way too early” to know which presidential candidate will win the 20 electoral votes up for grabs in the Keystone State.
“There’s still a lot of vote left,” Shapiro told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Wednesday on Good Morning America.
“Counties are full steam ahead on counting every eligible vote,” he added.
With 75% of expected vote reporting, ABC News projects Trump currently has the lead in Pennsylvania with 55% while Biden has 44%.
When asked about Trump falsely and prematurely declaring victory, claiming he will go to the Supreme Court to stop vote counting nationwide, Shapiro said, “It doesn’t work that way.”
“The president doesn’t count these votes. The clerks in our communities count these votes,” he said. “We’re not going to let anything interfere with that process.”
“The bottom line is we’re going to make sure here in Pennsylvania that we respect the will of the people,” he added. “We’re going to get an accurate count, it’s the law.”
Nov 04, 7:25 am
‘Hundreds of thousands of ballots’ still uncounted in Michigan
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said election officials in her state were counting ballots through the night and they’re not done yet.
“Hundreds of thousands of ballots in our largest jurisdictions are still being counted, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Warren & Sterling Heights,” Benson wrote on her official Twitter account Wednesday morning. “Every vote will count.”
Michigan is a key swing state in the race to 270 electoral votes. With 86% of expected vote reporting, ABC News projects Trump currently has a slim lead over Biden of less than 27,000 votes.
Nov 04, 6:39 am
Nevada says no more results till Thursday
Nevada’s elections division announced Wednesday morning that no more results will be released until Thursday at 9 a.m. PT (12 p.m. ET).
The division said in-person early votes, in-person Election Day votes and mail-in ballots through Nov. 2 have all been counted so far. That means mail-in ballots received on Election Day, any mail-in ballots that will be received over the next week and provisional ballots have not yet been counted.
All active registered voters in Nevada were mailed a ballot for the 2020 presidential election.
“Ballots outstanding is difficult to estimate in Nevada because every voter was sent a mail ballot,” Nevada’s elections division wrote on its official Twitter account. “Obviously, not all will vote.”
With 86% of the expected vote reporting in Nevada, ABC News projects Biden currently has a very narrow lead in the Silver State, by less than 8,000 votes.
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