Joe Biden’s lead in Georgia suddenly expanded on Friday from 1,500 to 4,263 after officials said the race was so close that a recount there would be inevitable.
Biden now leads in Georgia 49.4% to Trump’s 49.3%. Georgia holds 16 electoral college votes. If Biden were to win it, he would only need to hold is lead in one of the other three states still at play; Arizona, Nevada or Pennsylvania.
A candidate can request a recount in Georgia if the margin is less than 0.5%. Right now, it is well within that at 0.1%. It is unclear now how many more votes there are to count in Georgia.
Earlier in the day, election officials said they still had 5,500 mail-in ballots to count, plus as many as 8,000 that could come from overseas military personnel.
In the most recent jump, Biden won more than 2,700 votes and Trump won 2,121. Georgia‘s Secretary of State on Friday said there will be a recount there no matter what the outcome is because the margin is so tight.
It does not delay the election result if Biden wins Pennsylvania, which he is poised for after taking the lead from Trump. He can also still win before a Georgia recount if he wins Nevada and Arizona, where he also holds leads.
‘As of 10am, there were a little under 5,500 votes to be counted. There are 8.890 military ballots outstanding that will be counted if they are returned by the close of business today. Right now Georgia remains too close to call. We’ll have a margin of a few thousand.
‘The focus of our office for now remains on making sure that every legal vote is counted accurately. We can begin to look towards our next steps.
‘With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia,’ he said.
Later, the state’s Voting System Implementation Manager, Gabriel Sterling explained why it was taking so long.
‘The outstanding ballots are about the same as they are this morning. We will start with the margin. We’re looking at a margin of 1,585.
‘That’s where we stand right now. We do know that today is the today for the military and overseas deadline.
‘In the overall side, we have 18,008 that have already been accepted and 8, 410 that are still available to be received.
That doesn’t mean there’s a bucket ready to be counted; that means there are that many that can be received today.
‘It’s going to be more than zero and less than 8,410 – somewhere in that range. We don’t know exactly how many,’ he said.
Georgia carries 16 electoral college votes. If Biden claims it today along with any other state, he will win the Presidency.
Trump would have to win every state left on the field to get a second term and Biden is leading everywhere.
Biden took a crucial lead in Pennsylvania on Friday morning. If he wins the state today, he will have won the White House.
But Trump is refusing to accept the results, claiming election fraud all-round.
On Friday morning, the state’s Voting System Implementation Manager, Gabriel Sterling, said the result would come in ‘hopefully today’.
‘It’s going about the way we expected. We’ve been telling people for two months, guess what it’s not going Tuesday night, it’s not going to be Wednesday,’ he told Good Morning America.
In Georgia, the latest figures puts both candidates in equal standing in terms of percentage points with each currently holding 49.4 per cent of the state vote.
Protesters descended on the White House on Friday with signs calling Trump a ‘fascist clown’
In one Georgia county, there was a corrupt memory card on one scanner which meant 400 had to be recounted.
Officials in some counties are also using paper ballots for the first time in 20 years because they voted earlier this year that machine voting was not secretive enough. They are then scanning all of the paper votes which is an ‘arduous’ process, it was said on Thursday.
Speaking earlier on Thursday, Georgia’s Voting System Implementation Manager, Gabriel Sterling, said there was nothing suspicious or strange about the process, but that elections were never normally so close so it doesn’t always have to come down to an official count.
‘We can’t know how long the process will take. We hope to have clarity but “done” is a very relative term at this point.
‘As we’ve been stating for weeks and months, it’s going to take time. The effort here is to make sure everybody’s legal vote is counted properly.
‘The issue we have in Georgia is it’s a close vote. There’s other states that have more votes to count than we do but it’s a wide margin so nobody cares,’ Sterling said.
Biden’s lead in Nevada DOUBLES to 20,000 votes overnight as the count drags on at an excruciatingly pace with at least 130,000 outstanding ballots – and they’ll keep tallying mail-ins until TUESDAY
Biden’s lead has doubled to 20,000 in Nevada as the count there dragged on with at least another 130,000 votes left to count.
Biden holds 49.7% of the vote in Nevada over Trump’s 48%. Ninety-one percent of the vote there has been counted already – some 1.2million votes – and another 9 percent is outstanding but the number could expand as more mail-in ballots arrive.
Any ballot that was posted by November 3 will be counted if it arrives by November 10 at 5pm.
The majority of the remaining ballots are coming from Clark County, which includes Las Vegas.
Why it is taking them so long to get through the remainder remains largely unanswered.
One of the only reasons they’ve given is that they don’t know how many mail-in ballots they will receive through the weekend but they won’t say when they are going to stop accepting them.
If Biden wins Nevada and its 6 electoral college points, as well as Arizona, he will have won the election. He doesn’t, however, need it to claim victory.
He is also leading in Pennsylvania, which carries 20 electoral college votes and would land him the White House. A result is expected there at some point on Friday.
A recount has been called in Georgia – where Biden leads but only by 1,500 votes – and in Arizona, where he leads by 39,000. His lead in Arizona is shrinking.
Arizona was called for him on Wednesday morning by Fox and the AP but with 250,000 votes still outstanding, it remains in play for Trump. If Biden loses Arizona, he has 259 electoral college votes. He’d need another 11 from either Georgia – which holds 16 – North Carolina – which holds 15 – or Pennsylvania – which holds 20 – to win.
It’s unclear when North Carolina will announce, but it is expected to go to Trump as it did in 2016.
Trump’s team is crying fraud and they say they have ‘evidence’ that ‘tens of thousands of votes’ had been cast there fraudulently.
Nevada law states that to be eligible to vote, a person has to have been a resident of the state for at least 30 days before the election.
That does not necessarily mean that they have to have been physically in the state for the 30 days preceding the election.
Trump’s people also claim that many of the votes in Nevada came from people who no longer live there, or were cast under the names of deceased people.
Biden’s lead in Arizona shrinks again to 39,000 as Trump claws back some of the vote
Joe Biden’s lead in Arizona has dropped to 39,000 votes after Donald Trump narrowed the gap overnight.
Biden’s lead is now at 49.9% to Trump’s 48.6%. There are between 250,000 and 270,000 votes left to count there and most are in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix.
On Friday afternoon, the state’s Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, said that they would only be working through 61,000 votes per day. It means they may not finish until 12am on Sunday.
In addition to the lead in Arizona, Biden is leading in every other state. He snatched the lead from Trump in Pennsylvania on Friday and is now ahead by 13,000 votes. If Biden wins Pennsylvania today, he no longer needs any of the other states to claim the 270 electoral college votes he needs to claim the White House.
In Georgia, the pair are neck-and-neck and a recount has been called because the margin is so thin. In Nevada, Biden is ahead by about 20,000 votes.
If Trump wins Arizona, he still needs every other state in play which seems increasingly unlikely.
Arizona has a long political history of voting Republican. It’s the home state of Barry Goldwater, a five-term, conservative senator who was the Republican nominee for president in 1964.
John McCain, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, represented the state in Congress from 1983 until his 2018 death.
But changing demographics, including a fast-growing Latino population and a boom of new residents – some fleeing the skyrocketing cost of living in neighboring California – have made the state friendlier to Democrats.
About 100 Trump supporters gathered again in front of the Maricopa County election center in Phoenix, Thursday night, with some carrying military-style rifles and handguns. Arizona law allows people to openly carry guns.
Authorities at the center used fences to create a ‘freedom of speech zone’ and keep the entrance to the building open. The crowd took turns chanting – ‘Count the votes!’ and ‘Four more years!’ – and complaining through a megaphone about the voting process.
They paused to listen as Trump spoke from the White House, where he repeated many of his groundless assertions of a rigged vote.
They whooped and clapped when the president said, ‘We’re on track to win Arizona.’
It comes after the AP and and Fox News had both called Arizona early on Wednesday morning, claiming there was no possible way for Trump to claw it back from him – a move which was later called into question.
Arizona holds 11 crucial electoral college votes which, when giving them to Biden now, poises him for the White House with 264 of the 270 that he needs.
Biden takes the lead over Trump in Pennsylvania by 14,700 votes with about 76,000 still to count
Joe Biden has taken the lead in the key state of Pennsylvania with more than 14,700 votes.
Biden is now ahead with 49.5% of the votes compared to Trump’s 49.3%.
There are about 76,000 ballots still to count.
If Biden holds on to his lead here then he will be the 46th President of the United States – even if he loses every other state that is still in contention.
Trump, who held a 675,000-vote lead early Wednesday, prematurely declared victory in the state on election night, only to see his lead evaporate in the coming days. By early Friday, Trump’s lead had slipped to about 18,229 votes before the state flipped blue later in the morning.
One reason for the tightening race is that under state law, elections officials are not allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day.
It’s a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor after Trump spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.
If Biden holds on to his lead here then he will be the 46th President of the United States, even if he loses every other state that is still in contention.
Trump cannot win on Pennsylvania alone; with 214 electoral college votes, he’d still need to pick up either Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona or Nevada – the four other states where a result is yet to be officially confirmed.
Results are expected to be in for Pennsylvania by Friday.
If there is less than a half percentage point difference between Biden and Trump’s vote total, state law dictates that a recount must be held.
Meanwhile, Trump sued Pennsylvania to undermine whatever election result is returned.
Voting was temporarily halted in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on Thursday as a result of the legal row. A judge intervened and dismissed the federal motion.
The Trump campaign had a brief legal victory in Pennsylvania on Thursday when a judge ruled ballot observers can watch officials count ballots within six feet. Representatives of both campaigns were in the room to watch the counts but at a further distance because of the coronavirus. A county judge agreed with the Trump campaign but the state Supreme Court rejected it.
The situation in Pittsburgh is complicated by about 30,000 outstanding ballots, where a vendor sent the wrong ballots to voters and had to reissue new ballots with the correct races.
Poll workers now have to examine these ballots to make sure that people don’t vote twice, or, if they sent in the wrong ballot, they didn’t vote in races they aren’t eligible for.
They cannot legally be counted until Friday when Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh sits, swears in a special board to examine these ballots, as required by law.