Trump vs. Biden: 2020 Election Live Updates – The New York Times

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Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

Afkab Hussein has barely eaten since Election Day.

“All I can do is pray and watch the news,” said Mr. Hussein, 32, a refugee from Somalia.

He arrived in the United States five years ago, after more than a decade in a refugee camp in Kenya. But he is still waiting for his wife and two children to join him.

“This election is the only hope for me to reunite with my wife and sons,” Mr. Hussein said on Friday as he drove his eighteen-wheeler from his home in Columbus, Ohio, to Buffalo.

Shortly after Mr. Hussein’s family was approved to join him — he fell in love with Rhoda at the refugee camp while his case was already in process — President Trump took office. The new administration soon suspended the refugee program and banned residents of several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

Since then, thousands of refugees have been stranded in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Mr. Hussein has called his family every day on WhatsApp. The pictures of his two little boys were his only source of joy as he crisscrossed the country alone to make deliveries.

As the presidential election approached, the polls gave Mr. Hussein hope. But when the early results gave Mr. Trump a lead over Joseph R. Biden Jr. in battleground states, he was filled with dread. “I was so nervous, my heart pained,” Mr. Hussein said. He stopped eating.

By Friday, with Mr. Biden closer to victory, he was hopeful again.

“I am very, very happy. You can’t imagine,” Mr. Hussein said as he passed Harrisburg, Pa. “I will be with my family.”

Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

MORAGA, Calif. — Suzy Loftus has been Kamala Harris’s close friend and colleague for two decades. She worked on Ms. Harris’s first political campaign, a successful run for district attorney in San Francisco. She served as a senior adviser during Ms. Harris’s ascent to state and national politics, and they worked together at the state’s Justice Department.

Yet on Friday afternoon, as she watched results trickle in that seemed to point to a victory for Ms. Harris and Joseph R. Biden Jr., Ms. Loftus was in no mood to celebrate.

“Are you kidding?” Ms. Loftus said from her home in San Francisco. “There’s still hand-wringing.”

The ups and downs of election night, the indignant outbursts and premature declarations of victory by President Trump — Ms. Loftus said her stomach was still churning. A Biden-Harris victory, she said, would feel like passing the bar exam: “There was some jubilation but mostly it was just profound relief.”

And Ms. Loftus, raised by an English-Irish immigrant mother who taught her that public service was honorable and government a force for good, said she was worried about what her three children and their generation would take away from this election.

“It’s beyond my understanding as a mother about what effect this has on young people and what they believe about our institutions,” she said. “The emotions are all over the place.”

For some, that meant continuing to tally votes. But others were able to let loose — or looser, at least — toward the end of an exhausting week.

Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

As Friday came to a close in the Eastern United States, the six states that will decide the next president remained uncalled. In a brief speech, Joseph R. Biden Jr. expressed confidence that he would prevail in the end, but it was clear that vote counting would carry into the weekend.

Here’s where things stand and when to expect additional results:

  • Alaska: President Trump leads Mr. Biden, and the state may well be the last to be called. Officials won’t begin counting mail ballots, or early in-person ballots cast after Oct. 29, for another few days.

  • Arizona: Biden leads Trump. Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, will post its next report Saturday at 11 a.m. Eastern time. Officials there say nearly all of their early ballots will be counted by that point, and that only a smaller number of provisional and other ballots will remain.

  • Georgia: Biden leads Trump. The secretary of state said Friday that because of the small margin between the presidential candidates, there will be a recount.

  • Nevada: Biden leads Trump. Numbers continue to go Mr. Biden’s way. Officials in Clark County, where tens of thousands of ballots are left to count, plan to release results twice a day going forward.

  • North Carolina: Trump leads Biden, and most of the state’s ballots have already counted. But mail ballots postmarked by Election Day will be accepted until Nov. 12, so the numbers could yet change a bit.

  • Pennsylvania: Biden leads Trump. The remaining mail ballots are expected to favor Democrats. Philadelphia officials said it could take a few more days to complete the count there.

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Maggie Haberman

Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff who abided by Trump’s efforts to play down the coronavirus throughout the summer, has contracted the virus himself, a senior administration official said.

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OBERLIN, Ohio — On the roads that lead to Oberlin College, Trump flags tied to telephone poles whip in the wind all year long. But the scene is far different on campus, with a jazz band crooning on Friday evenings and Priuses with bumper stickers that say “be kind.”

Against a backdrop of crunchy autumn leaves, there was a low-level anxiety at the liberal enclave on Friday, a sense of not wanting to jinx the results of a tight presidential race.

Though President Trump won Ohio, traditionally a swing state, by a decisive 8 percentage points, the race was far closer elsewhere, leaving some uncertain what to think.

Jake Zweiback, a sophomore from the Philadelphia suburbs, said he had been refreshing his phone almost constantly, looking at a map of the Electoral College and checking on the progress of the vote count in his home state.

After supporting Bernie Sanders in the primary, Mr. Zweiback, 20, said he had voted absentee for Joseph R. Biden Jr. and was eager to make sure his vote counted.

“I haven’t checked in a few hours,” he said, sitting under a tree on the quad. He asked a friend the status of the count in Pennsylvania, where Mr. Biden leads by less than a percentage point.

“I don’t know,” said Chloe Seaton, 18. “I’m taking a break.”

Ms. Seaton, a sophomore from Brooklyn, said she had also voted for Mr. Biden and had been trying to keep up with the news. But the days-long saga had left her a bit exhausted.

“It just seems like it’s never-ending,” she said.

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‘We’re Going to Win this Race’: Biden Speaks From Delaware

Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential nominee, expressed confidence that he would win the presidential election and that his lead had given him “a mandate for action” on national issues.

We don’t have a final declaration of victory yet. But the numbers tell us it’s clear, tell us a clear and convincing story: We’re going to win this race. We’re on track to have over 300 electoral votes, Electoral College votes. And look at the national numbers. We’re going to win this race with a clear majority of the nation behind us. We’ve gotten over 74 million votes. Let me repeat that: 74 million votes. That’s more than any presidential ticket has ever gotten in the history of the United States of America. I know watching these vote tallies on TV moves very slow, slow, and it’s — and as slow as it goes, it can be numbing. But never forget: The tallies aren’t just numbers. They represent votes and voters, men and women who exercised their fundamental right to have their voice heard. And what’s becoming clearer each hour is that record number of Americans of all races, faiths, religions, chose change over more of the same. They’ve given us a mandate for action on Covid, the economy, climate change, systemic racism. They made it clear they want the country to come together, not continue to pull apart. Look, we both know tensions are high. They can be high after a tough election, one like we’ve had. But we need to remember: We have to remain calm, patient. Let the process work out as we count all the votes. You know, we’re proving again what we’ve proved for 244 years in this country: Democracy works. Your vote will be counted. I don’t care how hard people try to stop it. I will not let it happen. The people will be heard.

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Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential nominee, expressed confidence that he would win the presidential election and that his lead had given him “a mandate for action” on national issues.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. urged patience on Friday as the vote count continued, but he expressed confidence in the coming result. The numbers “tell us a clear and convincing story,” Mr. Biden said in brief remarks just before 11 p.m. “We’re going to win this race.”

“We’re proving again what we’ve proved for 244 years in this country: Democracy works. Your vote will be counted,” Mr. Biden said from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. Citing his substantial popular vote lead over President Trump, Mr. Biden said that Americans had “given us a mandate for action” on issues like the coronavirus and the economy. “They made it clear they want the country to come together,” he added.

Mr. Biden sought to lower the temperature around the continuing vote count in several states: “We may be opponents, but we’re not enemies. We’re Americans,” he said. “We have to put the anger and the demonization behind us.” It wasn’t the victory speech Mr. Biden had hoped to deliver. But he hinted at one on Saturday, concluding, “I hope to be talking to you tomorrow.”

Katie Glueck headshot

 

Katie Glueck in Wilmington, Del.

Here in Wilmington, a number of top Biden aides have entered the room.

Nick Corasaniti headshot

 

Nick Corasaniti in Philadelphia

Election officials in both Philadelphia and Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) have stopped counting for the night and will resume Saturday morning.

See Pennsylvania results

Trip Gabriel headshot

 

Trip Gabriel in Pittsburgh

The elections chair in Erie County, Pa., said about 1,500 provisional ballots were cast there, and they’ve been about evenly split Trump-Biden. Biden’s lead will change little.

See Pennsylvania results

Thomas Kaplan headshot

 

Thomas Kaplan in Wilmington, Del.

Biden’s motorcade is en route to the Chase Center in Wilmington, where he is expected to speak shortly.

Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

PHILADELPHIA — Dueling protests by supporters of President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. ended late Friday outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where Philadelphia’s votes are still being counted.

Some 11 hours after the two demonstrations began on opposite sides of the street, several hundred Biden supporters ended a dance party in the street that had started on Thursday in anticipation of his victory. There was no violence, but by Friday evening the two sides competed for the loudest music: For the fewer Trump supporters, it included Bruce Springsteen and Led Zeppelin; for the Biden camp, the playlist was rap and hip-hop.

Police officers on bicycles increased their numbers to three lines keeping the two groups apart, from one line earlier in the day. Liz Irvine, a Biden supporter, said she had feared violent confrontations between rival camps after the election, but was now more comfortable. “I wouldn’t be here if I thought this was going to pop off,” she said.

Credit…Joshua Rashaad McFadden for The New York Times

MINNEAPOLIS — At the site where George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis police in May, Romell Jernagin said on Friday that persistent issues plaguing his community, such as police brutality and gang activity, were unlikely to be solved by new political leadership.

Although he voted for Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Jernagin, 31, said he was not confident that Mr. Biden could truly address systemic racism if he clinched the election.

“We’ll see what change is really going to happen,” said Mr. Jernagin, a security guard.

Chantal Tousignant was devastated when Donald J. Trump won in 2016. It was the first time she was eligible to vote, and she had supported Hillary Clinton.

So she said she felt good that it seemed Mr. Biden would win. But she was not elated.

“The problems that we’re facing right now aren’t problems that are here because of Trump,” said Ms. Tousignant, 23, the chief operating officer of 612 MASH, a nonprofit emergency response team formed after the Floyd protests.

“I’m happy that he’s not going to be able to have the influence and power that he’s had for the last four years,” Ms. Tousignant said of Mr. Trump. “But I think the wake of his destruction is still going to ripple through.”

Credit…Gabriella Angotti-Jones for The New York Times

LOS ANGELES — When Dolores Selico cast her vote for Joseph R. Biden Jr. in a high school gymnasium in South Los Angeles on Tuesday, she wore a T-shirt with the face of John Lewis, the Georgia congressman and civil rights pioneer who died in July. Her attire was to honor “what our ancestors went through so we could vote,” said Ms. Selico, 80, who is Black.

As the nation sat on edge while election results trickled in, Ms. Selico stayed away from the news. But she did receive updates from friends, and as Americans started to absorb the reality on Friday that they could soon have a new leader, she was ecstatic.

“Beautiful,” she said. “It’s God’s will, not ours.”

Raymond Eaton, another longtime resident of South Los Angeles, also cast his vote for Mr. Biden this week. But he left the polling station with trepidation; he recalled voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and being shocked when President Trump won.

As Mr. Eaton, 68, who works as a driver for Uber and Lyft, watched the initial results on Tuesday night, a similar feeling of dread set in. But by Friday, his mood brightened. With Mr. Biden closer to victory, Mr. Eaton said he was now filled with hope.

Despite the deep polarization that is likely to persist, a new president is, in Mr. Eaton’s view, a victory for everybody: “For the whole doggone world. We can still become united.”

Trip Gabriel headshot

 

Trip Gabriel in Pittsburgh

Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) just announced a new batch of ballots counted: 7,300 for Biden, 1,875 for Trump. Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania increases to 27,130 votes.

See Pennsylvania results

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s advisers accelerated their transition planning on Friday as election results showed him with an advantage in battleground states that could hand him the presidency, with the first senior officials in a potential Biden White House possibly named as early as next week.

In Wilmington and Washington, Mr. Biden’s advisers and allies are ramping up their conversations about who might fill critical posts, both in the West Wing and across federal agencies, guided heavily by Mr. Biden’s plan to assemble what would be the most diverse cabinet in history.

The behind-the-scenes activity underscored that even as Mr. Biden publicly offered a disciplined message about counting every vote and refrained from claiming victory, he was already mapping out a quick start in office as the nation faces a worsening pandemic and a damaged economy.

Biden advisers say that so far, officials in Mr. Trump’s government have worked with them in good faith, which they hope and expect will continue.

As coronavirus infections hit new highs, Mr. Biden’s aides are planning for the first critical transition decisions to focus on health care and addressing the pandemic, the central theme of his campaign in the final months. Transition officials are also looking at what types of economic actions could be taken almost immediately, including rolling back some of Mr. Trump’s executive orders.

“Men, women, gay, straight, center, across the board, Black, white, Asian,” Mr. Biden said this spring when talking about his prospective cabinet. “It really matters that you look like the country, because everyone brings a slightly different perspective.”

Credit…Johnathon Kelso for The New York Times

Stacey Abrams, who was on a short list of potential vice-presidential candidates, was ultimately not chosen by Joseph R. Biden Jr.

But on Friday, as Mr. Biden took a narrow lead in Georgia, celebrities, activists and voters credited Ms. Abrams with moving past her loss — she came within 55,000 votes of the governor’s mansion in 2018 — and building a well-funded network of organizations to highlight voter suppression in the state and inspiring an estimated 800,000 residents to register to vote.

“You have to build the infrastructure to organize and motivate your base, and you have to persuade people,” said Jason Carter, a Democrat who was the party’s candidate for governor in 2014. “Stacey built that infrastructure.”

Katie Glueck headshot

 

Katie Glueck in Wilmington, Del.

A number of top Biden officials and allies are on hand tonight in Wilmington, including Jake Sullivan and Steve Ricchetti, two of his close advisers, and Senator Chris Coons.

Credit…Joseph Prezioso/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

BOSTON — There has been a member of the Kennedy family in Congress nearly continuously since John F. Kennedy was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1946. But 2021, it seems, will be a rare exception.

Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III, Democrat of Massachusetts, ran unsuccessfully for the Senate this year, losing in a primary in September and giving up his House seat in the process. Also on the 2020 ballot: Amy Kennedy, the wife of former Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s son Patrick, who was running for a House seat in New Jersey’s 2nd District. The Associated Press declared her opponent, Representative Jeff Van Drew, a onetime Democrat who switched parties in December and declared allegiance to President Trump, the winner on Friday.

Between John F. Kennedy and Joseph P. Kennedy III, there have been four Kennedys in Congress: Robert F. Kennedy, the senator from New York in the late 1960s; Edward M. Kennedy, a Massachusetts senators from the 1960s through 2009; Joseph P. Kennedy II, a representative from Massachusetts in the 1990s; and Patrick J. Kennedy, a representative from Rhode Island from 1995 to 2011.

And while 2021 won’t see one of the Kennedys in Congress, there will still be a Kennedy: The junior senator from Louisiana, a Republican, shares a first and last name, if not a family lineage, with the former president — John Kennedy.

Jennifer Medina headshot

 

Jennifer Medina in Phoenix

In Arizona, Maricopa County just released another round of ballot results, and while Trump closed the gap slightly, it doesn’t put him on pace to capture the state.

See Arizona results

Nick Corasaniti headshot

 

Nick Corasaniti in Philadelphia

Biden continues to build on his lead in Pennsylvania, now leading the president by 21,705 votes after updates from Chester and Delaware counties outside Philadelphia.

See Pennsylvania results

Nearly a dozen lawsuits filed by President Trump and his allies are working their way through the courts in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, trying — so far unsuccessfully — to stop ballot counting and invalidate enough votes to erase Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s leads there. Here is a look at those cases.

In Pennsylvania, the biggest fight has been over ballots that are postmarked by Election Day but arrive later. In September, the state Supreme Court ruled, over Republican objections, that election officials could accept ballots arriving up to three days later. The point could be moot because Mr. Biden has taken the lead in Pennsylvania before those late-arriving ballots have been counted.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to intercede, but left open the possibility that it could revisit the question. The Trump camp has also asked the court to order that ballots cast on time but arriving late be kept apart from others, though Pennsylvania’s secretary of state has already given that instruction.

One of several other Pennsylvania disputes involves people from both parties who observe the tabulation in Philadelphia, where they were told to stay 10 feet away from the vote counters. Some Trump allies have claimed, falsely, that no observers were allowed. In response to a Republican complaint, a judge ruled on Thursday that they could stand within six feet, but refused to stop the counting.

A similar case in Michigan was thrown out.

In Nevada, the Trump campaign has sued to stop the processing of mail ballots, claiming that its monitors had inadequate access. A judge denied the request, citing a lack of evidence, but the Republicans have appealed. Another Republican suit claimed lax authentication of ballots; a judge dismissed it.

An Arizona lawsuit claims that ballots filled out with felt-tipped pens were being discarded; state and federal officials say that is false. A case in Georgia claims that a few dozen late-arriving ballots — which the state does not allow, even if they are postmarked by Election Day — were not properly set apart, raising the possibility that they would be counted. A judge threw out the complaint, saying there was no evidence that the ballots in question had arrived late.

Katie Glueck headshot

 

Katie Glueck in Wilmington, Del.

Biden is expected to speak tonight regardless of the status of the uncalled races, campaign officials say.

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Nicholas Fandos

Senator David Perdue is headed to a January runoff against Jon Ossoff, his Democratic challenger. The contest in Georgia could determine which party controls the Senate.

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“In some of these local races it has come down to a handful of votes,” said Ashleigh Strange, one of the Pennsylvanians assembled, about the movement’s importance.

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Officials said that an election worker in Fulton County, Ga., received threats following a Twitter post that falsely claimed he had discarded a ballot, and that the worker has gone into hiding.CreditCredit…Erik S Lesser/EPA, via Shutterstock

ATLANTA, Ga. — A man working at a vote-counting site in Atlanta earlier this week has gone into hiding after being wrongly accused of discarding a ballot, according to Richard Barron, elections director for Georgia’s largest county, Fulton.

Mr. Barron made the announcement at a Friday evening press conference during which Fulton officials announced they had finished counting all the county’s more than 500,000 votes, including those cast in person — early or on Election Day — and mail-in ballots. Just a few-thousand provisional, military and overseas ballots are yet to be counted.

A short video posted on social media showed a man processing ballots, and crumpling and throwing away a piece of paper. A person narrating the video claims that he threw out a ballot. In fact, he was simply tossing out a list of instructions that had been placed in a ballot envelope, Mr. Barron said. After the video went viral, and the election worker’s personal information was posted online, threats were made on his life and he was forced into hiding, Mr. Barron added.

“He’s afraid to drive his car because the information about his car and his license plate is out there,” Mr. Barron said.

Mr. Barron said an investigation by the State Election Board into the incident showed no ballots had been discarded. He praised the election worker for being “very good at his job,” which was to slice open ballot envelopes with a cutting machine. “He was one of the workers who trained others with the cutting machines.”

Fulton County expects to finish processing the remaining ballots at some point tonight, he said.

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