What we know today: Ballot counting, legal battles as Trump, Biden race continues

Chester County, Pa., election workers process mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 general election in the United States at West Chester University, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in West Chester., Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Chester County, Pa., election workers process mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 general election in the United States at West Chester University, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in West Chester., Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Credit: Matt Slocum

Credit: Matt Slocum

As we go into the second day since Election Day, the final outcome of the 2020 presidential race remains undetermined, just as many experts had cautioned Americans in the weeks before the final day of voting.

Neither President Donald Trump nor Joe Biden have reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win, although Biden stands closer with 264 votes, according to Associated Press calls of election results. The AP reports that Trump stands at 214 Electoral College votes.

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Battleground states

Five states remain to see their races called, including traditional battleground state Pennsylvania, plus North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada and Alaska.

Of those states, as of 6 a.m. Thursday, Biden had a lead in Nevada and Trump had leads in the remaining states, but the AP, which this publication follows, has decided against calling these races.

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That is because there are ballots left to be counted that could sway totals.

In Georgia, which awards 16 electoral votes, the AP said that an estimated 4% of the vote remains to be counted, including mailed ballots from population-dense counties in the Atlanta metro area that lean Democratic.

The AP said that Pennsylvania is also in this category, with more than a million votes left to count as of Wednesday afternoon. As counting continued into the evening, Trump’s lead continued to shrink, and a final total may not be clear for days as the state continues to process its mail-in ballots.

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In North Carolina, worth 15 electoral votes, the AP pointed out that the state still has up to 116,000 mail-in ballots and potentially thousands of provisional ballots left to count, concluding that it was simply too early to call the state for one candidate or the other. The state has until Nov. 12 to count its ballots, so long as those ballots are postmarked by Nov. 3.

Nevada, with six electoral votes at stake, is also deemed too early in its counting to call the result, with about 75% of the votes counted, and more ballots to be accepted so long as they were postmarked by Election Day.

Meanwhile Alaska, which holds three electoral votes, seems to also stand in the “too early to be called” category, with just over half of its precincts having reported their totals as of 6 a.m. Thursday.

Legal battles

Trump has suggested that counting of votes should stop in some states and that he would take the fight for that outcome to the U.S. Supreme Court, while Biden’s legal team has vowed to oppose such a move.

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“It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won this election,” Biden said. “That’s the decision of the American people.”

The AP reported that legal experts are dubious of Trump’s declaration.

“I do not see a way that he could go directly to the Supreme Court to stop the counting of votes. There could be fights in specific states, and some of those could end up at the Supreme Court. But this is not the way things work,” said Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California-Irvine.

Trump’s rhetoric was picked up by supporters who converged on vote-counting centers in Detroit and Phoenix on Wednesday as vote counts turned against him. Trump supporters in Detroit chanted, “Stop the count!” while in Phoenix they said, “Stop the steal!”

The AP pointed out that observers from both major political parties were inside the election center as ballots were processed and counted.

Trump’s campaign filed lawsuits Wednesday in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, the AP reported, demanding greater access for observers at ballot processing and counting locations, as well as raising absentee ballot concerns.

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The campaign also sought to intervene in a Pennsylvania case at the Supreme Court that deals with whether ballots received up to three days after the election can be counted, according to deputy campaign manager Justin Clark, speaking to the AP.

The Trump campaign also announced it would ask for a recount in Wisconsin.

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