BREAKING NEWS: Biden takes the lead in Pennsylvania

Joe Biden WILL address the nation TONIGHT as he closes in on victories in Nevada, Arizona and overtakes Trump in Pennsylvania and Georgia – where a RECOUNT is called – but Trump rages: ‘He should not wrongfully claim victory.’

  • Biden has taken Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania, a key state in the agonizing race for the White House
  • He also leads in Nevada and Arizona; any and all of the three states could call their results at any time  
  • If Biden wins PA today, claiming 20 electoral college votes, he’ll have enough to claim victory 
  • Equally, he can win the White House without it if he takes Nevada and Arizona 
  • Georgia says it has to recount its election result because the race is too tight
  • Trump is refusing the results, claiming he is the victim of a nationwide conspiracy to oust him from the WH 
  • He has filed lawsuits in many states claiming fraud and is demanding a recount in many of them 
  • Senior Republicans are turning on him, calling him ‘insane’ and calling for an intervention 

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Biden on Thursday night - he is now poised for White House victory after taking the lead in Pennsylvania

Biden on Thursday night – he is now poised for White House victory after taking the lead in Pennsylvania

Joe Biden will address the nation in primetime Friday, his campaign confirmed – pointing to their overwhelming confidence he is about to win the presidential election.

The speech will be delivered regardless of whether the election has been called in his favor, which now appears certain to be either Friday or over the weekend.

As it stands, Biden has 253 electoral college votes. He needs 270 to win which is realistic in two ways. If he wins Pennsylvania, he gains 20 votes and no longer needs either Arizona or Nevada. But if he wins Arizona – which has 11 electoral college votes – and Nevada – which has 6 – he no longer needs Pennsylvania. 

Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania was over 14,500 when Trump tweeted; just under 44,000 in Arizona although apparently falling rather than rising; up 20,000 in Nevada and ahead but set for a recount in Georgia.

The Associated Press said the address would come in primetime, with the exact time so far still flexible while the campaign waits to see if the election will be called in his favor by TV networks and the AP.

Biden’s move prompted an angry tweet from Donald Trump just before 6pm, sent from the White House where he had spent the day reportedly fuming as he watched television and spoke to confidantes. 

His legal path to challenging the election unclear and his mathematical path to retaining power apparently almost closed, Trump railed:  ‘Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!’

Then he tweeted – apparently somewhat plaintively – that his initial ‘big leads’ had vanished, something which election watchers had predicted for weeks before the election.

‘I had such a big lead in all of these states late into election night, only to see the leads miraculously disappear as the days went by. Perhaps these leads will return as our legal proceedings move forward!’ he tweeted.

But vote tallies in Pennsylvania and Nevada showed Biden’s lead – not Trump’s increasing.

In the White House, Trump’s inner circle were scrambling to work out how to tell him he had lost, while he vowed defiantly to pursue legal challenges to the count in a series of states, claiming he was fighting for ‘election integrity,’ the day after an extraordinary 17-minute tirade claiming he was the victim of a ‘conspiracy’ and that counting the votes was part of the ‘fraud.’ 

Biden’s campaign has kept ready an outdoor stage at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware for a primetime address and warned TV networks to be prepared for a speech. 

Close supporters of the VP were tipped off Friday to head to the Chase Center in their vehicles. The Democrats have been holding major events drive-in movie theater style in order to ensure proper social distancing of their crowds. The Chase Center parking lot is where his campaign staged fireworks after he accepted the Democratic nomination during the Democratic National Convention, where the major speeches were moved to Wilmington due to the coronavirus pandemic. If the race is called for the former vice president, the event is expected to look the same. 

The country and the world are waiting for election results from three states; Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona. 

While officials work at an excruciatingly slow pace to finish the count, and amid claims he would refuse to concede, Trump muddied the waters with a vague statement about his intentions. 

 

 

The tone in the statement, released by his campaign, was vastly different from the fighting words Trump lets loose in his tweets.

‘This is no longer about any single election. This is about the integrity of our entire election process. From the beginning we have said that all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal ballots should not be counted, yet we have met resistance to this basic principle by Democrats at every turn,’ Trump said of the campaign’s legal battles in battleground states.

He vowed not to give up fighting but his options are growing narrower. There have been few reports of election fraud and his campaign has offered no proof of any illegalities in the contest.

‘We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government. I will never give up fighting for you and our nation,’ Trump said.

On Thursday night, he launched an astonishing, 17-minute tirade from the White House briefing room where he claimed to be the victim of a conspiracy by big tech, big money, the Democrats and the media. 

In a statement on Friday morning, his campaign team said the election was ‘far from over’. They said it was a ‘false projection’ that Biden would win and that they had evidence to prove it. They have presented none so yet. 

The President went on a 2.30am Twitter rampage then resumed it at around 11.30am. 

Biden has been quiet. He spoke last night at a press conference on Thursday evening, telling the country to be ‘calm’ and to wait for the results but that he was confident he as on the path to victory.  

Trump is refusing to accept what Biden’s team is calling the ‘inevitable’.

STATES STILL IN PLAY

PENNSYLVANIA – 20 electoral college votes

Result expected Friday, approx. 76,000 votes to count 

49.5% BIDEN – 3,315,745 

49.3% TRUMP – 3,301,204

Biden leads by 14,541

ARIZONA – 11 electoral college votes

Result expected Friday, approx. 250,000 votes to count 

49.9% BIDEN – 1,565,200

48.6% TRUMP – 1,525,800

Biden leads by 39,400

Fox and the AP called Arizona for Biden on Election Day, but others held back as mail-in votes are counted. Mail-in ballots are trending towards Trump in Arizona.

GEORGIA – 16 electoral colleges votes

Result expected Friday, approx. 5,500 votes + 8,000 mail-ins to count 

49.4% BIDEN – 2,455,778

49.3% TRUMP – 2,451,594

Biden leads by 4,184

NEVADA – 6 electoral college votes

Result expected Friday, approx. 130,000 votes to count 

49.7% BIDEN – 627,104

48.1% TRUMP  – 606,967

Biden leads by 20,000   

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‘This election is no over. The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final.  Georgia is headed for a recount, where we are confident we will find ballots improperly harvested, and where President Trump will ultimately prevail. 

‘There were many irregularities in Pennsylvania, including having election officials prevent our volunteer legal observers from having meaningful access to vote counting locations.

‘We prevailed in court on our challenge but were deprived of valuable time and denied the transparency we are entitled to under state law. 

‘In Nevada, there appear to be thousands of individuals who improperly cast mail ballots. 

‘Finally, the President is on course to win Arizona outright, despite the irresponsible and erroneous ‘calling’ of the state for Biden by Fox News and the Associated Press. 

‘Biden is relying on these states  for his phony claim on the White House, but once the election is final, President Trump will be re-elected,’ Matt Morgan, his campaign general counsel, said. 

Biden’s team in response told Bloomberg: ‘As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election. 

‘And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.’ 

His reluctance to accept the result poses an unprecedented scenario for the country and the world. 

It will make Biden’s transition to power, should he be win enough electoral college votes, more difficult.

Many networks on Thursday night refused to air Trump’s speech. 

ABC, CBS and NBC  cut away from the press conference before it finished, warning their viewers that Trump had made ‘a number of false statements’ that needed clarifying. MSNBC was the first to cut away, as anchor Brian Williams warned ‘here we go again’. Fox News and CNN covered it in full.

In a series of tweets sent at 2.30am, Trump continued his tirade – attacking social media regulation, making baseless claims of fraud, casting doubt over several close Senate races, and calling on the Supreme Court to intervene.  

Having narrowly won the swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan, he has more routes to the White House open to him – with Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina yet to be called. 

A win in Pennsylvania would hand him the presidency even if all the other states go to Trump. Holding his lead in Arizona and Nevada would also hand him the win.

Meanwhile Trump needs most of the outstanding states to go his way to stand a chance of winning.

Biden also gave a speech Thursday, calling for calm and patience while the votes are counted, insisting once again that when the dust has settled he will have beaten Trump.

‘Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well,’ the former vice president said from the stage of Wilmington’s Queen theater late Thursday afternoon.

‘So I ask everyone to stay calm, all people to stay calm. The process is working. The count is being completed and we’ll know very soon.’

The United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.’ 
Biden campaign 

He also tweeted: ‘No one is going to take our democracy away from us. 

‘Not now, not ever. America has come too far, fought too many battles, and endured too much to let that happen. Keep the faith, folks.’ 

Meanwhile Donald Trump Jr gave a speech in Georgia, calling for his father to ‘fight to the death’ and urging him to ‘go to war’ to ‘expose all of the fraud that has been going on for far too long.’

‘Americans need to know that this is not a banana republic and right now very few people have faith that’s not the case,’ he added. 

At the podium in the briefing room on Thursday night, President Trump read from from a script and listed his grievances at Biden’s campaign, ‘suppression polls’ and ‘fraud.’  

The scene in front of the White House early on day three after election day for the 2020 Presidential election

The scene in front of the White House early on day three after election day for the 2020 Presidential election

Journalists from all over the world wait for the result of the US Presidential elections on Black Lives Matter Plaza in front of the White House on November 6, 2020 in Washington

Journalists from all over the world wait for the result of the US Presidential elections on Black Lives Matter Plaza in front of the White House on November 6, 2020 in Washington

'Loser' signs outside the White House on Friday as President Trump refused to accept he was likely going to lose the election

‘Loser’ signs outside the White House on Friday as President Trump refused to accept he was likely going to lose the election 

Eviction notice signs at the White House on Friday morning as Trump refused to accept the results of the election

Eviction notice signs at the White House on Friday morning as Trump refused to accept the results of the election 

Protesters descended on the White House on Friday with signs calling Trump a 'fascist clown'

 Protesters descended on the White House on Friday with signs calling Trump a ‘fascist clown’

Trump supporter Michael Breitenbach screams outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center as ballot counting inside for the presidential election, on November 6, 2020 in Philadelphia

Trump supporter Michael Breitenbach screams outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center as ballot counting inside for the presidential election, on November 6, 2020 in Philadelphia

People celebrate Joe Biden's lead outside of the Philadelphia Convention Center as the counting of ballots continues in the state on November 06, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Joe Biden took the lead in the vote count in Pennsylvania on Friday morning from President Trump, as mail-in ballots continue to be counted in the battleground state

People celebrate Joe Biden’s lead outside of the Philadelphia Convention Center as the counting of ballots continues in the state on November 06, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Joe Biden took the lead in the vote count in Pennsylvania on Friday morning from President Trump, as mail-in ballots continue to be counted in the battleground state

Supporters of President Trump who are questioning, without evidence, the legitimacy of the state's vote counting, gather outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 06 November 2020.

Supporters of President Trump who are questioning, without evidence, the legitimacy of the state’s vote counting, gather outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 06 November 2020.

He left without taking a question as CNN’s White House reporter Jim Acosta shouted: ‘Are you a sore loser?’ – then his press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had to scuttle back to the podium because he had forgotten to take his notes with him.

Trump’s condemnation of the entire democratic system and his growing list of enemies was switched off rapidly by TV network after TV network.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams said as they turned away less than a minute in: ‘Here we go again.’

CNN was among the few channels to air the president’s full speech, after which Anderson Cooper said Trump was ‘like an obese turtle flailing in the sun.’

‘That is the President of the United States. 

‘That is the most powerful person in the world and we see him like an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun realizing his time is over,’ Cooper said on air. 

‘But he just hasn’t accepted it and he wants to take everybody down with him, including this country.’ 

Republicans also turned on him within minutes with Larry Hogan, the Maryland governor, saying: ‘There is no defense. No person or election is more important than our democracy.’ GOP rep Adam Klinzinger called it ‘insane.’

At the briefing room podium – where the only aide with him was White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnanany – Trump appeared downcast as he listed his enemies and claimed a victory which nobody has handed to him.

‘If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,’ he said during what he called a press conference.

Joe Biden tweeted a rebuke shortly after he finished saying: ‘No one is going to take our democracy away from us. Not now, not ever. America has come too far, fought too many battles, and endured too much to let that happen.’

Trump, whose campaign has launched lawsuits in several battleground states, spoke more about the polls than he did about his own campaign, calling them ‘phony’ and ‘suppression polls,’ claiming that errors by pollsters were a deliberate attempt to keep his supporters at home.

End of the show: As Trump spoke from the WHite House podium TV network after TV network turned off his conspiracy-theory laden tirade

End of the show: As Trump spoke from the WHite House podium TV network after TV network turned off his conspiracy-theory laden tirade 

Forgotten and almost lost: Trump left his prepared script, in giant text and scrawled on with sharpie at the podium and it had to be retrieved by press secretary Kayleigh McEnany

Forgotten and almost lost: Trump left his prepared script, in giant text and scrawled on with sharpie at the podium and it had to be retrieved by press secretary Kayleigh McEnany

One page of Trump's notebook contained talking points on Georgia (left), which he is now poised to lose, and the other appeared to contain unsubstantiated claims of illegal voting (right)

One page of Trump’s notebook contained talking points on Georgia (left), which he is now poised to lose, and the other appeared to contain unsubstantiated claims of illegal voting (right)

Then he turned on his own party saying that because of him was no ‘blue wave,’  referring to Democrats’ failure to win the Senate and add to their majority in the House.

That was a coded attack on Republicans’ most senior figures who have refused to come out in support of his claims of fraud. His son Don Jr. railed against Republicans earlier in similar terms – but Mitch McConnell has said that every vote must be counted.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went against Trump, saying 'every vote must be counted'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went against Trump, saying ‘every vote must be counted’

‘We won by historic numbers. And the pollsters got it knowingly wrong, they got it knowingly wrong. We had polls that were so ridiculous and everybody knew it at the time. There was no blue wave that they predicted,’ Trump said.  

He apoke after a measured Biden asked Americans to be patient and calm as they waited for the final ballots in the presidential race to be counted – amid mounting anxiety over the long wait for results, and concern about public order.

‘Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well,’ the former vice president said from the stage of Wilmington’s Queen theater late Thursday afternoon.

‘So I ask everyone to stay calm, all people to stay calm. The process is working. The count is being completed and we’ll know very soon.’

In the same brief statement, the Democratic nominee assured supporters that he and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, would come out on top.

In contrast Trump spent the his press conference railing. 

‘We grew our party by 4 million voters, the greatest turnout in Republican party history. Democrats are the party of the big donors, the big media, the big tech, it seems and Republicans have become the party of the American worker and that’s what’s happened,’ Trump said.He accused the media of giving Biden strong poll numbers as a way of keeping his voters at home.

‘As everyone now recognizes media polling was election interference in the truest sense of that word.

‘By powerful special interests, these really phony polls, I have to call them phony polls, state polls, were designed to keep our voters at home, create the illusion of momentum for Mr. Biden and diminish Republicans abilities to raise funds.

Damning verdict:  Republicans are lining up to distance themselves from Trump

Damning verdict:  Republicans are lining up to distance themselves from Trump 

‘They were what’s called suppression polls, everyone knows that now. And it’s never been used to the extent that it’s been used on this last election,’ he said.

He went on to accuse Democrats of tinkering with the election in states with outstanding results.

‘There are now only a few states yet to be decided in the presidential race. The voting apparatus of those states are run in all cases by Democrats,’ he said.

In fact Arizona and Georgia – two critical states that are still counting ballots – have Republican governors; Nevada’s secretary of state is a Democrat and Pennsylvania’s rules on counting were set by its Republican legislature.

He pointed to his campaign’s lawsuits, which have alleged voter fraud but offered no proof of the allegations. Two were thrown out by judges Thursday, one claiming fraud for lack of any evidence.

‘There’s tremendous litigation going on and this is a case where they’re trying to steal an election. They’re trying to rig an election and we can’t let that happen,’ he said. 

PENNSYLVANIA: Supporters of U.S. president Donald Trump hold signs and chant slogans during a protest outside the Philadelphia Convention center

PENNSYLVANIA: Supporters of U.S. president Donald Trump hold signs and chant slogans during a protest outside the Philadelphia Convention center

Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrators face police during a protest at Union Square in New York, New York, USA last night

Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrators face police during a protest at Union Square in New York, New York, USA last night 

NEW YORK: Ten people were arrested during demonstrations in Manhattan on Friday as Americans demanded that votes be counted

NEW YORK: Ten people were arrested during demonstrations in Manhattan on Friday as Americans demanded that votes be counted

People demonstrate outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol to urge that all votes be counted

People demonstrate outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol to urge that all votes be counted

Donald Trump supporters get into an altercation with a driver that stopped to voice his support of Joe Biden during a protest about the Nevada vote outside Clark County Election Department

Donald Trump supporters get into an altercation with a driver that stopped to voice his support of Joe Biden during a protest about the Nevada vote outside Clark County Election Department

Trump supporters gather in Miami, Florida, to protest what they have deemed as election fraud from the Biden camp

Trump supporters gather in Miami, Florida, to protest what they have deemed as election fraud from the Biden camp

The blizzard of litigation he promised had been beset throughout the day by problems.

The legal devices being used by Republicans to challenge election results

Michigan – stop votes being counted and review ballots

Called for Biden with 99 per cent of ballots counted 

Donald Trump yesterday filed a lawsuit in the battleground state of Michigan seeking to halt vote-counting and review counted ballots.

Campaign manager Bill Stepien said Republicans had not been given ‘meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process’.

He claims this violates state law.

Georgia – secure and account for late mail-in ballots

Too early to call. Trump ahead by 0.5 points with 98 per cent of ballots counted 

President Trump and the Georgia Republican Party have filed a lawsuit against election officials in Chatham County, asking a judge to order all late ballots be secured and accounted for. 

It was filed after a Republican observer claims to have witnessed mail-in ballots which arrived after the 7pm deadline added to a pile of lawful votes to be counted.

Sean Pumphry, a registered GOP poll-watcher, said he saw 53 unprocessed ballots added to processed ones. 

Wisconsin – recount the ballots

Called for Biden with 99 per cent of ballots counted 

The Trump campaign last night announced it would demand a recount of ballots in Wisconsin after an ultra-tight race. 

Biden only edged a victory in the state, leading Trump by just 0.53 per cent of the vote.

Wisconsin state law allows campaigns to pay for a recount if the margin of defeat is less than 1 per cent. 

Pennsylvania – multiple legal challenges

Won’t know until Friday. Biden ahead by three points with 89 per cent of ballots counted

Supreme Court  

The Trump campaign yesterday said it will wade into a case currently before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, over whether late mail-in ballots can be counted.

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar ruled ballots that arrived up to three days late could be counted, which is currently being challenged by state Republicans.

Trump’s lawyers now plan to ‘intervene’ in this case.  

Stop counting until transparency guarantees 

Like in Georgia, he also said Trump would be suing to stop ‘Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing’ from GOP poll-watchers.

He claimed that Republican observers in Philadelphia were ordered to stand 25 metres away from counting staff, making it impossible to watch.

And like in Michigan, the Trump campaign is suing to halt vote counting until ‘meaningful transparency’ is guaranteed.

Voter ID challenge

Trump has accused Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar of unilaterally extending the deadline by which mail-in voters whose voter ID was missing to provide proof.

Under state law, first-time mail-in and absentee voters must provide identification.

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In Georgia, superior court judge James Bass said there was ‘no evidence’ to the Trump suit’s claims that a 53 ballots arrived late and got mixed with other ballots. 

In Michigan, Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled against the Trump campaign’s push to stop the count in order to gain additional access for its observers. ‘I have no basis to find that there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits,’ she said.  

In Nevada, he sent Ric Grenell, his former acting director of national intelligence to announce legal claims that out of state residents had been voting.

But the press conference went badly wrong when Grenell refused to say what his name was and was laughed at by reporters then chased into a van refusing to answer questions on what evidence he had.

In Pennsylvania, the campaign claimed they were ‘banned’ from watching poll counters in Philadelphia and are now suing in federal court. 

And Jared Kushner was reported to be looking for a ‘James Baker’ figure to lead the litigation – hardly a vote of confidence in Rudy Giuliani who had been its public face for the last 48 hours.

Don Jr. headed to Georgia after tweeting a demand for ‘total war,’ and retweeting an appeal from a Trump supporter for a mass protest in Detroit against the count. Many of his tweets were flagged by Twitter.

Before he spoke Trump has responded to Biden’s leads in Arizona and Nevada and his gains in Pennsylvania and Georgia on Twitter, often all in capitals. Several Tweets have been flagged by Twitter as misinformation. 

Biden did not mention Trump’s name Thursday.

But he did make a comment that was clearly aimed at Trump and his campaign team’s legal efforts to stall vote-counting and rhetorical efforts to call into question the legitimacy of the election.

‘In America, the vote is sacred. It’s how people of this nation express their will. And it is the will of the voters, no one, not anything else, that chooses the president of the United States of America,’ Biden said. ‘So each ballot must be counted.’

Earlier Thursday, Biden was at the Queen to participate in a COVID-19 and also an economic briefing. He also made an appearance at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware Wednesday, where he again told Americans they needed to wait – but that he would win.

The appearance in Delaware was clearly intended to cast Biden as presidential and paint a contrast to Trump.

The plea for calm also spoke to increasing concerns about public order.

In Michigan, Arizona and Nevada, Trump supporters, some of them armed have descended on counting locations.

And in New York there were arrests Wednesday after a pro-Biden ‘count every vote’ protest descended into violence. 

The president had launched a furious tweet demanding that the count be stopped early Thursday morning then said his campaign would sue in any state where Joe Biden had already been declared a winner. The election outcome now hinges on five states: Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Nevada, Arizona and Georgia had expected to finish their counts Thursday but then changed expectations. 

The extraordinary focus on the counting in individual states is unprecedented.  

The wafer-thin margins in each state mean that every ballot now counts to the result. In a normal year, the states’ results would have been called quickly by television networks and the Associated Press and the count gone on quietly in the background.

But this time, with unprecedented numbers of mail-in ballots fueling a record turnout, the calls were not made and instead it is official counts which regularly take days or even weeks to be completed, certified and declared which have become the focus of public attention.  

Nevada’s six electoral votes would put Biden exactly at 270 in the AP’s count – handing him the presidency. 

Nevada released another tranche of votes Thursday that expanded Biden’s lead to 12,000. 

Georgia also released additional votes counts that resulted in Trump’s lead going down to about 13,500 votes. 

The state has about 50,000 absentee ballots left to be counted – along with provisional ballots, military ballots, and votes from Americans living overseas.

Trump, with 214 electoral votes, faces a much higher hurdle to 270. He would need to win all four remaining battleground states: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada. 

The Trump campaign expressed confidence the president will get a second term in the White House.

‘By end of tomorrow – Friday – it will be clear that President Trump and Vice President Pence will serve another term in the White House,’ campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told reporters in a press call on Thursday morning. 

The Biden campaign expressed similar confidence.

‘Our data shows that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States,’ Dillon said. 

As the count dragged on, Trump expressed confidence he will win the election but said his campaign will sue in the battleground states Joe Biden won, a sign his team is not confident the vote tallies will come out in his favor.

‘All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud. Plenty of proof – just check out the Media. WE WILL WIN! America First!,’ Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning. Additionally, Trump has demanded the nation stop counting votes in the presidential election. 

Read Trump’s 17-minute White House statement attacking US democracy and the ‘conspiracies’ against him

Thank you very much. Good evening. 

I’d like to update the American people with our efforts to protect the election. 

If you count the legal vote, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. If you count the votes that came in late, we’re looking at them very strongly. 

A lot of votes came in late. 

I’ve already won many critical states, including Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio.  

We’ve won — election interference. 

As everybody saw, we won by historic numbers. And they got it knowingly wrong. It’s so ridiculous and everybody knew it at the time. 

There is no blue wave that they predicted. They thought there was going to be a big blue wave. That was false. Instead, there was a big red wave and it’s been properly acknowledged by the media. 

I think they were very impressed, but that was after the fact. That doesn’t do us any good. 

We kept the senate, despite having twice as many seats to protect as Democrats. And really, and much more competitive states, we did a fantastic job with the senate. I think we’re very proud of what’s happened there. 

They spent more on senate races in South Carolina and Kentucky alone, two races and hundreds — races and hundreds of millions of dollars against us. 

Opponents and major donors were wall street bankers and special interests. 

Our major donors were police officers, farmers, and everyday citizens. 

For the first time ever, we lost zero races in the House. 

I was talking to Kevin McCarthy today. He said he couldn’t believe it. We won new seats, with many more on the way.

This is also the year of the Republican woman. More Republican women were elected to congress than ever before. That’s a great achievement. I won the largest share of non-white voters of any republican, including historic numbers of Latino, African-American, Asian American, and Native American voters, the largest ever in our history. 

We grew our party by 4 million voters, the greatest turnout in Republican party history. 

Democrats are the party of the big donors, the big media, the big tech it seems, and Republicans have become the party of the American worker, and that’s what happened. And we’re also the party of inclusion. A

s everybody recognizes, media polling was election interference in the truest sense of that word, by powerful special interests. These really phony polls — I have to call them phony polls, fake polls, designed to create the illusion of momentum for Mr. Biden and diminish Republicans ability to raise funds. 

They were what’s called suppression polls. Everyone knows that now. 

To highlight just a few examples, the day before the election, Quinnipiac, which was wrong on every occasion that I know of, had Joe Biden up by five points in Florida. And they were off by 8.4 points and I won Florida easily, easily. I ended up winning Florida by a lot. Other than that, they were very accurate. 

They had him up four points in Ohio, and they were up by 12.2 points. And they also won Ohio, the great state of Ohio, there easily. They had Joe Biden up 17 points in Wisconsin, and it was basically even. They were off by about 17 point. And they knew that. They were not stupid people. They knew that, suppression. 

There are states yet to be decided in the presidential race. The voting apparatus of this state are run, in all cases, by Democrats. We were winning in all the key locations by a lot, actually, and then our numbers started miraculously getting whittled away, in secret, and they wouldn’t allow, legally permissible observers. 

We went to court in a couple of instances and we were able to get the observers put in. They wanted them 60, 70 feet away, 100 feet away, to observe. 

There is lots of litigation. There is tremendous amount of litigation because of how unfair this process was. And I predicted that. 

I talked about mail-in voting for a long time. It’s really destroyed our system. It’s a corrupt system. And it’s made as corrupt, even if we are not corrupt by nature. It’s too easy. They wait and wait and you see that on election night.

We were ahead in North Carolina by a lot, tremendous number of votes. And we’re still ahead by a lot, but not as many because they’re finding ballots all of a sudden.

It’s amazing how these mail-in ballots are all one-sided. I know it’s supposed to be to the advantage of the Democrats. But in all cases, they are one-sided. 

We were up by 700,000 votes in Pennsylvania. I won Pennsylvania by a lot. And that gets whittled down to, now we’re up by 90,000 votes.

 They will keep coming and coming and coming and they don’t want us to have observers, although we won a court case. And they’re appealing. Actually, they’re appealing. We won a case we want people to watch, and they’re appealing. That’s interesting. I wonder why they’re appealing. 

Likewise in Georgia, I won by a lot, a lot, with a lead getting close to 300,000 votes on election night in Georgia — and by the way, got whittled down, and now it’s getting to be to a point where I’ll be winning by a lot by perhaps even being down a little bit. 

In Georgia, a pipe burst, totally unrelated to the location, and they stopped counting and a lot of things happened. The election apparatus in Georgia is run by Democrats. 

We’ve had margins of 300,000. Michigan, we won the state. In Wisconsin, we did likewise, fantastically well. And that got whittled down. In every case, they got whittled down. We’re on track to win Arizona. We only need to carry 55% of the remaining vote, 55% margins, and that’s a margin that we’ve significantly exceeded, so we’ll see what happens with that. 

Our goal is to defend the integrity of the election. We will not allow the corruption to steal such an important election, or any election for that matter, and we can’t allow silence of anybody to silence our voters and manufacture results. 

I’ve been doing a lot of public things for a long time. I’ve never had anything that’s been as inspirational by people calling, talking, sending things to us. 

I’ve never seen such love and such affection and such spirit as I’ve seen for this. People know what happening and they’ve seen what’s happening. 

There are many instances, which will be reported very shortly. There is tremendous litigation going on. And this is a case where they are trying to steal an election. They are trying to rig an election. We can’t let that happen. 

They cannot be responsible for engineering the outcome of the presidential race. 

In Pennsylvania, Democrats have gone to the state supreme court to try to ban our election observers very strongly. We won the case, but they’re going forward. They don’t want anybody watching them as they count the ballots. And I can’t imagine why. There is no legitimate reason why they would not want to have people watching this process. 

Because if it’s straight, they should be proud of it. Instead, they are trying obviously to commit fraud. There’s no question about that. 

In Philadelphia, observers are kept far away, very far away. So far, that people are using binocular’s. 

There’s been tremendous problems caused, paper on all of the windows so you can’t see in, and the people that are banned are very unhappy and have become somewhat violent.   

The 11th circuit ruled that in Georgia, the votes have been in by election day, that they should be in by election day, and they weren’t. Votes are coming in after election day. And they had a ruling already that you have to have the votes in by election day. To the best of my knowledge, votes should be in by election day. 

Democrats never believed they could win this election honestly. I really believed that. Tremendous corruption and fraud going on. That’s why they mailed out tens of millions of unsolicited ballots without any verification measures whatsoever. 

And I told everybody that these things would happen. Because I’ve seen it happen. 

I’ve watched a lot of different elections before they decided to go with this big massive election with tens of millions of ballots going out to everybody, in many cases totally unsolicited.

 This was unprecedented in American history. This was by design despite years of claiming to care about election security. 

They refuse to require signatures, identities, or to make sure they are eligible or ineligible to vote. People are walking in, they have no idea. They are writing down things, doing a lot of bad things.We have a lot of information coming that you’ll see, will shake even you people up. 

The officials overseeing the counting in Pennsylvania, all part of a corrupt Democrat machine that you’ve written about for a long time. You’ve been writing about a corrupt democrat machine. 

I went to school there. It hasn’t changed. It’s gotten worse. 

In Pennsylvania, partisan democrats have allowed the ballots to be received three days after the election, and we think much more than that. And they are counting those without any identification whatsoever. So you don’t have postmarks, you don’t have identification. 

There have been a number of disturbing irregularities across the nation. 

Our campaign has been denied access to observe any counting in Detroit. Detroit is another place. And I wouldn’t say the best reputation for election integrity. 

Poll workers in Michigan were duplicating ballots. When our observers attempted to challenge the activity, they jumped in front of the volunteers to block their view so they couldn’t see what they were doing. And it became a little bit dangerous. 

One major hub for counting ballots in they covered up the windows with large pieces of cardboard. So they wanted to protect and block the counting area the final batch did not arrive until 4:00 in the morning. So they brought it in. And the batches came in and nobody knew where they came from. We’ve been denied access. 

Counting was halted for hours and hours on election night with results with held from major democrat-run locations only to appear later and they all had the name Biden on them or just about all, which is a little strange.

I challenge Joe and Democrats to clarify that they only want legal votes. I think they should use legal votes. 

We want every legal vote counted. We want openness and transparency. No secret count rooms. No mystery ballots, no illegal votes after election day. 

You have election day and the laws are very strong on that. You have an election day. We want an honest election and an honest count. We want people working back there because it’s a very important job. 

That’s the way this country will win. 

We think there’s going to be a lot of litigation because we have so much evidence and so much proof, but we think there will be a lot of litigation because we can’t have an election stolen like this.

I tell you, I’ve been talking about this for many months with all of you. 

I’ve said strongly that mail-in ballots are going to be a disaster, small very easy elections were disastrous. 

This is a large scale version and it’s getting worse and worse every day. 

We’re hearing stories that are absolute horror stories. And we can’t let that happen to the united states. 

It’s not a question of who wins, Republican, Democrats, Joe, myself. 

We can’t let that happen to our country. 

We can’t be disgraced by having something like this happen. So it will be hopefully cleared up, maybe soon. I hope soon. But it will probably go through a process, a legal process. 

As you know I’ve claimed certain states. He’s claiming states. So we can both claim the states. 

But ultimately, I have a feeling that the judges will have to rule. 

There have been a lot of shenanigans and we can’t stand for that in the country. 

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Why the deciding votes are taking SO long to count: Sluggish tallying of mail-ins, fixing ballots one-by-one, ink shortages and printer errors have drawn out the process for days as America and the world wait

As Americans sit on tenterhooks waiting for five key states to finally crown a victor in the presidential election, one question is on everyone’s minds: What is taking so long? 

Election officials in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina have pleaded for patience as they continue chipping away at mountains of hundreds of thousands of uncounted ballots.  

The paramount reason tallying has been sluggish is because of a record number of mail-in ballots, which take significantly more time to process than in-person ballots because they have to be verified and scanned via a system with multiple steps where things can, and have, gone awry.  

Voting centers around the US have reported issues with ink shortages, ballots printed on the wrong paper and faulty machinery – exacerbating an already arduous process. 

The states that still haven’t been called as of Thursday are facing yet another challenge: Unprecedented pressure to make sure the results are right when the margin is razor-thin. 

President Donald Trump on Thursday promised to mount legal battles in all battleground states won by his rival Joe Biden as he continued issuing fevered demands to stop counting in states that haven’t been called yet. 

Trump and Republicans have been waging a war against mail-in ballots for months, charging that they would lead to widespread voter fraud. 

Now that mail-in ballots have led to delays, Republicans are arguing that the counting process is stacked against them as well – even in states where their own party makes the rules.  

Meanwhile Biden and the Democrats have urged Americans to be patient and insisted that every vote be counted, especially since they expect the bulk of mail-in ballots to go in their favor.  

With the eyes of the nation blaring down at them, election officials in the states still up for grabs are doing just that, making sure results are bulletproof in preparation for legal action by the Trump campaign. 

Two days after the election, hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots remain uncounted across Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina - prompting many to question why it's taking so long to reach a result. Pictured: Fulton County election workers examine ballots while vote counting at State Farm Arena on Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia

Two days after the election, hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots remain uncounted across Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina – prompting many to question why it’s taking so long to reach a result. Pictured: Fulton County election workers examine ballots while vote counting at State Farm Arena on Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia

The states still counting as of Thursday afternoon:

  • Pennsylvania (20
  •  Arizona (11) 
  •  Nevada (6)
  •  Georgia (16)
  •  North Carolina (15)

Not knowing the winner of the presidential election two days after the polls closed is understandably unsettling for Americans, who are used to seeing a result the night of. 

But in fact the counting process has always taken several days or weeks, continuing well after media outlets project the winner based on partial counts. 

Each state has its own certification deadline to hand down an official count, ranging from two days after the election in Delaware to more than a month after in California.

Why mail-in ballots take so long to count

Experts have been predicting for months that counting votes would take much longer than in previous years because of an unprecedented number of voters sending ballots by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Absentee ballots are considerably more time-consuming to process than in-person ballots. 

When you vote in person, the ballot typically goes straight into the machine, where it is processed and counted almost immediately. 

There are a couple more steps with mail-in ballots. The first step is processing, which in most states sees an election worker verify the signature on the exterior of the envelope against voter rolls. 

A worker then takes time to carefully open the envelope and flatten out the ballot before it can be scanned into a system – a simple yet lengthy process in large numbers – at which point it is counted.  

Technical snags and snafus in several jurisdictions across the US slowed the process further this week.

Absentee ballots are considerably more time-consuming to process than in-person ballots. Pictured: Mail-in ballots are processed, flattened and scanned by poll workers in the Philadelphia Convention Center in Pennsylvania on November 3

Absentee ballots are considerably more time-consuming to process than in-person ballots. Pictured: Mail-in ballots are processed, flattened and scanned by poll workers in the Philadelphia Convention Center in Pennsylvania on November 3

In Georgia, for example, a burst pipe caused delays in counting up to 60,000 absentee ballots in Fulton County, which includes part of Atlanta and leans Democrat. 

In another 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.  

And in Wisconsin, absentee ballot results in and around Green Bay, a Democratic stronghold, were delayed after vote-counting machines ran out of ink and a batch of more than 60,000 ballots had to be reprinted.

While some states were able to get ahead by counting mail-in votes as they came in over the past two months, officials in three Midwestern battlegrounds – Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – were not allowed to begin counting mail-in votes until on or just before Election Day.  

Republican-led state legislatures in those three states had opposed changing laws to allow earlier preparations as other states did. 

States can predict how many mail-in ballots they will receive based on how many requests were made, however that does not account for people who changed their minds and voted in person instead or who failed to mail their ballots by November 3.

Where the count process stands

Pennsylvania

As of Thursday afternoon Pennsylvania has by far the most ballots left to count, with an estimated 956,000. 

The state, which has 20 electoral votes, is also continuing to accept ballots through 5pm Friday, as long as they were postmarked by Election Day. 

Republicans had challenged that late deadline prior to Election Day, but it remained in place after the US Supreme Court declined to take up the case. 

However, the justices have said they may reconsider the case afterward—meaning that any ballots received after Election Day could be tossed out, complicating matters further. 

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar on Thursday said that election workers could finish tallying ‘the overwhelming majority’ of the uncounted ballots to have a clear winner by the end of the day.  

Boockvar has asked counties to separate any ballots arriving between 8pm on November 3 and 5pm on November 6 in preparation for a legal challenge from the Trump campaign. 

However, Boockvar told CNN that she believes post-Election Day ballot numbers will only have a marginal impact on the outcome. 

‘It’s not a huge number,’ she said. ‘So, I think, no matter what happens, I don’t think it’s going to be a tremendous impact on this race.’ 

The majority of the outstanding ballots in Pennsylvania are from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, which tend to lean Democrat.    

Counting stopped then restarted in Philadelphia as Trump’s campaign sued claiming they are not being allowed to watch the count, winning their case first, then lost on appeal on Thursday. And in Pittsburgh, 35,000 votes cannot be legally counted until Friday. 

As of Thursday afternoon Pennsylvania has by far the most ballots left to count, with an estimated 956,000. Pictured: Monroe County municipal workers count ballots on Thursday in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

As of Thursday afternoon Pennsylvania has by far the most ballots left to count, with an estimated 956,000. Pictured: Monroe County municipal workers count ballots on Thursday in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Arizona

Arizona was expected to hand down a result on Thursday morning, before Secretary of State Katie Hobbs announced further delays. 

Hobbs said there are about 450,000 ballots waiting to be counted across the state, with the majority – 300,000 – coming from Maricopa County, where pro-Trump protesters stormed an election office on Wednesday night.  

Maricopa County added 62,000 votes to its tally on Thursday morning, putting Biden ahead by 68,400 votes, or less than three points. 

Like Maricopa County, the other counties with outstanding votes – Pima, Cococino and Santa Cruz – are considered Democratic areas.  

The AP and other outlets declared Biden the winner in Arizona on Tuesday night but the vote count is still being closely monitored. 

Meanwhile the Trump campaign has said it is confident about winning the state.  

Speaking on Thursday morning, Hobbs did not offer an estimate for how long it will be before an outcome is reached, but experts anticipate it could arrive by Friday.   

Arizona did not accept any mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day. 

There are about 450,000 ballots waiting to be counted across the state of Arizona, with the majority - 300,000 - coming from Maricopa County, where pro-Trump protesters stormed an election office on Wednesday night (pictured)

There are about 450,000 ballots waiting to be counted across the state of Arizona, with the majority – 300,000 – coming from Maricopa County, where pro-Trump protesters stormed an election office on Wednesday night (pictured)

Georgia 

Georgia currently has nearly 48,000 mail-in ballots waiting to be counted, according to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. 

The majority of the uncounted ballots – 17,000 – are in Chatham County, which includes Savannah.  

Georgia’s Voting System Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling said on Thursday that the state is still working to determine how many provisional ballots have yet to be counted. He said he hoped they would have a number by the end of the day.  

‘Fast is great, and we appreciate fast,’ Sterling said. ‘We more appreciate accuracy.’

Asked why everything is taking so long, 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.

Trump and the Georgia Republican Party have filed a lawsuit against election officials in Chatham County on Wednesday, asking a judge to order all late ballots be secured and accounted for.

It was filed after a Republican observer claims to have witnessed mail-in ballots which arrived after the 7pm deadline added to a pile of lawful votes to be counted.

Sean Pumphry, a registered GOP poll-watcher, said he saw 53 unprocessed ballots added to processed ones.

But Chatham County Judge James Bass dismissed Trump’s lawsuit on Thursday morning after county officials provided evidence to prove all ballots were legitimate and late ballots were not being accepted. 

Nevada

Nevada officials have estimated that around 100,000  have yet to be counted, although that number is shaky because the state mailed ballots to all active registered voters. 

The state, which has seen nearly half of its 1.2 million total votes come in by mail, will accept ballots through November 10.  

Updated results released on Thursday afternoon showed Biden’s lead has grown to nearly 12,000 votes, with 76 percent of expected votes counted. 

The majority of the outstanding votes are in Clark County, which is home to Las Vegas and more than 70 percent of the state’s voters. 

Clark County officials have said they hope to conclude counting by the end of the weekend.  

Washoe County, the state’s second largest county, had about 9,000 mail-in ballots waiting to be counted as of midday Thursday. 

The Trump campaign mounted a legal battle in Nevada on Thursday, claiming that ‘tens of thousands’ of people who voted in the state are no longer residents there.  

North Carolina 

Like Pennsylvania and Nevada, North Carolina extended its deadline to accept ballots postmarked on Election Day until November 12. 

Election officials in the state, which saw a record 4.5 million absentee ballots cast ahead of Election Day, have said new results will likely not be released until next week, when the final ballots arrive. 

There are currently about 116,000 outstanding requested absentee ballots, officials said, however it’s unclear how many of those will actually be returned.  

‘With very few exceptions, North Carolina’s numbers are not going to move until November 12 or 13,’ State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell said Wednesday.

Trump holds a one point lead in the state, with 94 percent of the expected vote in, according to the AP.   

Biden’s lead in Georgia expands from 1,500 to 4,263 – so will there still have to be a recount?

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%. On Friday afternoon, 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.   

If there is a recount, it will not delay the election result if Biden wins Pennsylvania, which he is poised for after taking the lead from Trump. That result is expected by the end of the day. He can also still win before a Georgia recount if he wins Nevada and Arizona, where he also holds leads.   

The state’s Voting System Implementation Manager, Gabriel Sterling, explained on Friday afternoon 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,’ he said. 

‘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.’

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.  

Trump, however, is refusing to accept the result and is claiming election fraud all-round.

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. 

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.  

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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. 

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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. 

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