Biden edges closer to projected electoral victory: Live news

Joe Biden breaks Barack Obama’s vote record, as Trump campaign challenges count in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

A Republican election challenger at right watches over election inspectors as they examine a ballot as votes are counted into the early morning hours Wednesday, November 4, 2020, at the central counting board in Detroit. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A Republican election challenger at right watches over election inspectors as they examine a ballot as votes are counted into the early morning hours Wednesday, November 4, 2020, at the central counting board in Detroit. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • In the US, all eyes are on the vote count in key states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina to decide the race for the White House.
  • Michigan, an important swing state, has been called for Democratic candidate Joe Biden by the Associated Press.
  • Biden said he “believes” he will win. He flipped Arizona and Wisconsin, while taking California, Washington, New York and Illinois.
  • US President Donald Trump prematurely claimed victory and has continued to falsely claim that ballots counted after Election Day signal malfeasance. He takes Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri and Texas.
  • The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits to halt the vote count in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan. It also said it will ask for a recount in Wisconsin.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the US elections. This is Linah Alsaafin taking over from Zaheena Rasheed.

Vote counting continues in Georgia

Vote counting continued in Atlanta, Georgia – one of a handful of states that is still yet to be declared following the election on Tuesday.

There was a narrow margin between Trump and Biden in Georgia, a close race in a state that has not backed a Democrat for president since 1992. There is no automatic recount, but a candidate can request one if the margin is within 0.5 percent.

Unlike in previous years, states are contending with an avalanche of mail ballots driven by the global pandemic.


Harris’s ancestral village in India hopeful as Biden leads count

Villagers pose for photographs after making a Kolam, a traditional art work using colored powder, wishing success for US democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris in Thulasendrapuram village, south of Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India [Aijaz Rahi/AP Photo]
Villagers in the Indian ancestral home of Kamala Harris have painted slogans on roads wishing her victory as Joe Biden, her Democrat running mate in the United States presidential election, moved closer to the White House.

Thulasendrapuram, located about 320km (200 miles) south of the coastal city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu state, is where Harris’s maternal grandfather was born more than a century ago.

“From yesterday, we are excited about the final result,” said Abirami, a resident of the village. “Now, we are hearing positive news. We are waiting to celebrate her victory.”

Read more here.


Biden’s lead in Arizona narrows

Authorities in Maricopa County have posted new vote totals, with Trump slashing Biden’s Arizona vote lead from 79,000 to under 69,000 – a gap of 2.4 percent – with 86 percent of precincts reported.

The results show Trump won the batches of ballots Maricopa County counted on Wednesday and early Thursday by a roughly 57-40 margin over Biden.

Both Fox News and The Associated Press news agency have already called Arizona for Biden, but the latest results have prompted hopes among Trump supporters that the president may be able to claw the state back.

Paul Bentz, a Republican pollster with the consulting firm HighGround, told the Arizona Republic that Trump needs to win 57.6 percent of the 470,000 votes that the paper estimates remain to be counted.

Maricopa County’s next update will come on Thursday night.


Trump allegations ‘undermined trust in democracy’: OSCE observer

The mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which monitors elections throughout Western nations and the former Soviet Union, said there was no evidence of election fraud in Tuesday’s vote which was “competitive and well managed”, despite challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions,” Michael Georg Link, who led the mission, said in a statement.

Read more here.


Protesters rally across US cities amid post-election uncertainty

With the US election down to the wire, thousands of people took to the streets in cities across the country – Trump supporters rallied in Detroit and Phoenix calling for officials to stop ballot counting, while the president’s opponents in New York, Portland, Seattle and others marched demanded a complete tally of the ballots.

Watch our recap of Wednesday’s protests:


Five key US states that will decide Biden and Trump’s fates

The US presidential race is now down to close contests in five key states – Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina and Alaska.

Biden, who has 264 electoral votes, has multiple paths to victory, while Trump, who has 214, would need to take all the remaining states.

Find out more on where things stand in this explainer.


Biden vows to rejoin Paris climate deal if elected

Joe Biden has said he would immediately return the US to the Paris accord if elected president, a day after Washington withdrew from the climate change pact.

“Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it,” tweeted Biden, who, if elected, would take the presidential oath on January 20.

Read more here.


A day after election, US breaks record for daily COVID-19 cases

The US set a one-day record for new coronavirus cases on Wednesday with at least 102,591 new cases, according to a count from the Reuters news agency.

Nine states reported record one-day increases in cases on Wednesday: Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin.

Read more here.


Nevada, where Biden has a narrow lead, to release new vote totals on Thursday

Protesters gathered outside the Clark County elections office in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday evening, chanting “Count every vote” as unofficial results showed Biden with a narrow lead of nearly 8,000 votes over Trump in the state’s vote totals.

The top elections official in Nevada’s most populous county said more results would be released on Thursday morning, including mail-in ballots received on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that he did not yet have a number of how many ballots had been received and had yet to be counted in the Las Vegas area. At stake in Nevada are 6 electoral votes.


Portland declares ‘riot’, deploys National Guard

Kate Brown, governor of Portland, Oregon, activated National Guard troops after protesters engaged in what authorities said was “widespread violence” in the city’s downtown, including smashing windows.

“It’s important to trust the process, and the system that has ensured free and fair elections in this country through the decades, even in times of great crisis,” Brown said in a statement. “We are all in this together.”

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s office declared a riot just before 8:30pm on Wednesday (04:30 GMT Thursday) and made at least nine arrests, according to a statement on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, thousands of people held a peaceful rally demanding a complete count of the votes and an end to police brutality.


New York police arrest more than 20 ‘who attempted to hijack peaceful protest’

The New York Police Department said it arrested more than 20 individuals “who attempted to hijack a peaceful protest by lighting fires, throwing garbage and eggs” in Manhattan.

The NYPD said it confiscated knives and fireworks from some of the individuals.

Earlier on Wednesday, hundreds of people waving US flags and carrying signs that read, “Count every vote, every vote counts,” demonstrated peacefully in Washington Square Park after marching through midtown Manhattan.

Hundreds marched peacefully through midtown Manhattan demanding every vote be counted in the US presidential election [Jeenah Moon/Reuters]

Trump supporters protest at Phoenix vote-counting centre

Dozens of Trump supporters have converged on a vote-counting centre in Phoenix, Arizona, chanting “We love Trump” and “Stop the steal” after the president made the unfounded and unbacked claim that there were major problems with the voting and the ballot counting in several battleground states.

The protesters filled much of the parking lot at the Maricopa County election centre, where sheriff’s deputies were guarding the outside of the building and the counting inside. Observers from both major political parties were there as ballots were processed and counted and the entire process was live-streamed online.

The Associated Press has declared Biden the winner in Arizona, flipping a longtime Republican state that Trump won in 2016.

President Donald Trump’s supporters rally outside the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, in Phoenix as two counter-protesters stand in the rear [Matt York/ AP]
Congressman Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican and staunch Trump supporter, joined the crowd, declaring: “We’re not going to let this election be stolen. Period.”


All eyes on Georgia as vote counting continues

About 78,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted in Georgia as of 11:12pm on Wednesday (04:12 GMT on Thursday), according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), as people across the US watched to see if the state would flip to the Democrats.

There was a narrow margin between Trump and Biden, with the president ahead by about 32,000 votes, the AJC reported.

The outstanding vote was primarily in the Atlanta area, which tends to lean Democratic. At stake in Georgia are 16 electoral votes. All absentee ballots were due on Tuesday.

Election personnel examines a ballot as vote counting continues in Atlanta, Georgia [Brynn Anderson/ AP]

Trump’s election legal strategy is last-ditch effort: Experts

President Trump’s campaign has filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania, challenging the state Supreme Court’s decision to allow officials to count ballots received up to three days after Election Day if they were postmarked November 3 or before.

The case is one of several legal challenges by the Trump campaign seeking to prevent the counting of absentee ballots.

Adav Noti, senior director of trial litigation for the election reform group, the Campaign Legal Center, said the Pennsylvania effort marks the most serious attempt by the Trump campaign to challenge vote counting. But even if the case advances, Noti believes it may do little to improve Trump’s success of electoral victory, because Pennsylvania may not matter.

Find out why in this analysis from Daniel Newhauser in Washington, DC.

 


‘Counting ballots is not fraud’: Experts blast Trump claims

Legal and elections experts in the US say that there is no evidence to back up President Trump’s claims that delays in declaring a winner are evidence of wide-scale voter fraud.

“Counting ballots is not fraud. That’s what we do in elections – we count ballots,” said Lonna Atkeson, director of the University of New Mexico’s Center for the Study of Voting, Elections and Democracy.

Atkeson told Al Jazeera in a phone interview that people need to be patient and respect the process, which is “slow and laboured”.

Jillian Kestler-D’Amours has more on this topic here.


Michigan Democrat wins Senate re-election

Democrat Gary Peters has held onto his Senate seat in Michigan, defeating Republican challenger John James, a Black business executive and former combat veteran.

The 61-year-old Peters – a former congressman who ran on emphasising his bipartisan work – continued the Democrats’ dominance of Senate elections in the presidential battleground state.

Republicans, who have won just one Senate seat in Michigan since the 1970s, spent heavily to try to unseat Peters in one of their few pickup opportunities.


Trump campaign files lawsuit to secure ballots in Georgia

Trump’s re-election campaign and the Georgia Republican Party have filed a lawsuit in Georgia seeking to force Chatham County to secure and account for ballots received after 7pm (midnight or 00:00 GMT) on Election Day.

The lawsuit claims that Republican challengers had inadequate access to ballots received after 7pm on November 3 and that a “significant degree of confusion may still exist regarding whether ballots received after 7:00 P.M. can be legally counted in Georgia – and they cannot.”

Chatham County, home to the city of Savannah, was taken by Biden with 57.7 percent to Trump’s 41 percent, according to Fox News.

Georgia is the third state in which the Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit related to counting ballots in the tight presidential election.


Angry crowd chants ‘stop the count’ in Michigan

More than 100 people gathered at a vote-counting location in downtown Detroit on Wednesday. Los Angeles Times writer Seema Mehta tweeted a video showing the crowd chanting “Stop the count”, which is expected to heavily favour Democrat Joe Biden.

Security officers at the TCF Center covered the windows of the counting location, where more than 200 challengers – partisan observers who watch the counting of ballots – were already present, the Detroit Free Press newspaper reported.

“We are not allowing any more challengers in at this time,” the newspaper quoted an election official as telling more than two dozen people who arrived at 1pm (18:00 GMT) to monitor the count.

The Detroit Free Press said 227 Republican challengers, 268 Democrat challengers and 75 non-partisan challengers from rights and advocacy groups were present to monitor the count.


AP: Biden projected to win Michigan

Joe Biden is projected to win the state of Michigan and its 16 electoral votes, bringing him within six votes of the 270 needed to be the projected Electoral College winner.

Biden reclaimed Michigan, a state that had voted Democrat in presidential elections since 1988 until Donald Trump squeaked past opponent Hillary Clinton there by 10,704 votes in 2016.

Biden’s margin of victory will likely be slightly, but not much, larger, in a race that will have had more than 5.3 million votes cast.

Last night’s count was delayed by the massive number of mail-in ballots that had been received by were, by state law, not able to be counted until Election Day.


Pennsylvania governor slams Trump campaign lawsuit

Al Jazeera’s Hilary Beaumont has filed this report from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tom Wolf, governor of Pennsylvania, condemned a Trump campaign lawsuit filed to stop the vote count in the key battleground state.

“Pennsylvania is going to fight every single attempt to disenfranchise voters and continue to administer a free and fair election,” Wolf said in a statement.

“Our election officials at the state and local level should be free to do their jobs without intimidation or attacks,” Governor Wolf said. “These attempts to subvert the democratic process are disgraceful.”

The Trump campaign’s lawsuit alleges that Republican poll watchers had not been given sufficient access to the ballot count. It follows similar litigation in Michigan filed on Wednesday.

The Trump campaign also said it would ask the Supreme Court to intervene to stop the count of mail-in ballots postmarked on or before Election Day but which arrived after November 3.


Trump ‘claims’ electoral votes in states that are still counting their votes

US President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday evening that “we have claimed” Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan “for electoral vote purposes”.

It was unclear whom the president was referring to by “we” and what was being alleged, as he does not have the power to “claim” the electoral votes of states in an election.

Each of the states he mentioned in his tweet are still in the process of counting votes – and they are key to victory for either Trump or his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.


 

4 percent of the vote remains uncounted in Michigan

Michigan is among a handful of battleground states where Trump prematurely claimed early Wednesday that he was “winning” the contest with Biden.

“We’re winning Michigan by – I’ll tell you, I looked at the numbers,” Trump said during an appearance at the White House, where he promised to contest the election before the Supreme Court.

More than 5.26 million votes have been cast in Michigan, according to AP, and many of the ballots left to be counted were submitted by mail, a way of voting that favours Biden. Of those, a significant number were from Wayne County, home to heavily Democratic Detroit.

With 96 percent of the vote counted in the state early Wednesday afternoon, Biden held a roughly 46,000 vote edge over Trump – a lead of about one percentage point.

 


 

Dow closes up 360 points as US stocks rally in face of election uncertainty

The major stock indexes in the US closed higher on Wednesday after a long election night produced no clear winner in a historic presidential race and an anticipated “blue wave” Democratic sweep of Congress and the White House failed to materialise.

With votes still being counted in five key battleground states, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up more than 367 points or 1.34 percent at 27,847.66.

Earlier in the session, the 30-share index had rallied more than 700 points.


Biden, ‘confident’ of win, urges Americans to put divisive campaign behind them

Biden, in a statement in Wilmington, Delaware, said it is clear he is winning enough states to take the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to become president.

He noted he has won Wisconsin, is ahead in Michigan with a growing margin, and he is confident about prevailing in Pennsylvania. Biden emphasised that he and running mate Kamala Harris had also won the popular vote nationwide.

Biden stopped short of declaring victory, saying the continuing counts of mail-in ballots must be completed. “Every vote must be counted. Nobody’s going to take our democracy away from us,” Biden said. “We the people will not be silenced.”

Biden also called for a “lowering the temperature” and “putting of harsh rhetoric” of the campaign “behind us”, striking a conciliatory note, urging Americans “to come together as a nation”.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden has said he expects to win 270 electoral votes [Carolyn Kaster/The Associated Press]

Trump campaign says it is suing to temporarily stop Pennsylvania vote count

Trump’s campaign says it is suing to temporarily stop the vote count in Pennsylvania, claiming a lack of “transparency”.

Justin Clark, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, said in a statement Wednesday that the campaign is “suing to stop Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing from our Republican poll observers”.

He said the campaign wants “to temporarily halt counting until there is meaningful transparency and Republicans can ensure all counting is done above board and by the law”.

Clark also said the campaign would also seek to intervene in an ongoing Supreme Court case involving the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots. There have been no reports by law enforcement of fraud or any type of ballot concerns out of Pennsylvania.


When Clinton joined a recount in 2016, Trump complained

Trump, whose campaign announced that it would seek an “immediate” recount in Wisconsin, slammed former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton doing the same thing in 2016.

In 2016, Clinton joined a recount sought by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. At the time, Trump wrote on Twitter: “So much time and money will be wasted – same result! Sad.”

Wisconsin turned Republican in 2016 – the first time since 1984 – by a razor-thin margin of 0.7 percentage points and flipped back to Democrats in 2020 with a margin nearly as thin.


Biden garners most votes ever

Biden has broken the record set by his former boss for the most votes cast in a US presidential election.

Newly elected President Barack Obama earned 69,498,516 votes in 2008.

Former Vice President Biden has surpassed him, with 70,427,609 and counting.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to supporters in Wilmington, Delaware [Paul Sancya/The Associated Press]

Pennsylvania: ‘We said it was going to take time’

Al Jazeera’s Hilary Beaumont has sent this report from Malvern, Pennsylvania

Hours after Election Day voting came to a close, officials in the battleground state of Pennsylvania said it could take days to count all the remaining ballots – and to not expect final results on Wednesday.

Before noon (17:00 GMT), Trump had a solid lead in the state, but Democratic candidate Biden could still win as mail-in ballots are likely to skew blue.

Only about 50 percent of the state’s mail votes have been counted so far, said Pennsylvania Commonwealth Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar.

“We are exactly where we said we would be,” said Boockvar, who emphasised that the election went smoothly with no major issues and noted, “We said it was going to take some time to count the mail ballots.”

Read more here.

An election worker moves mail-in ballots in Chester County, Pennsylvania [Rachel Wisniewski/Reuters]

Wisconsin called for Biden

The AP has called Wisconsin in favour of Joe Biden, giving him the 10 electoral votes of the key battleground state.


Trump campaign files lawsuit to halt vote counting in Michigan

The Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit to halt ballot counting in Michigan.

“As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely tight as we always knew it would be,” campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement. “President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law.”

“We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted. We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access. President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else,” the statement said.

Michigan, a key battleground, was still counting ballots on Wednesday [Carlos Osorio/The Associated Press]

Republican Maine Senator Susan Collins wins re-election: AP

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine has won the hardest-fought race of her career, turning back a challenge by Democrat Sara Gideon and surviving to serve a fifth term, The Associated Press reported. Collins, one of four candidates on the ballot, won a majority of first-place votes.

That meant no additional tabulation rounds were necessary under Maine’s ranked-choice voting system – and it strengthens Republicans prospects for retaining control of the US Senate.

Collins, 67, turned back one of the strongest challenges in her career as she defeated Gideon, 48, the speaker of the Maine State House of Representatives. Gideon said she called Collins to concede the race.

The result is a setback for Democrats, who hoped to pick up at least three seats to win control of the 100-seat Senate. Collins had been viewed as one of the most vulnerable Republicans.


Maine’s 2nd Congressional district called for Trump

The AP calls Maine’s 2nd Congressional district for Trump, giving him one more electoral seat.


Georgia expects to announce winner today

Al Jazeera’s Chris Moody has sent this report

Georgia is expected to finish counting ballots today, a move that will help further clarify the state of the presidential race, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a press briefing Wednesday morning.

“My team has sent reminders to counties to get all – let me repeat – all of our results counted today,” Raffensperger said. “Every legal vote will count.”

He added that there were still approximately 200,000 ballots left to count and many in the state’s largest counties. Raffensperger also pushed back against President Trump’s claims that votes shouldn’t be counted after Election Day and against accusations of voter suppression in Georgia.

“This election puts to rest the debates inflamed by those in our – or not in our state – who have looked to sow doubt about our systems and those who have wrongly claimed there’s a lack of access to voting,” he said. Georgia, where 16 Electoral College votes are up for grabs, is a state that has supported Republican presidential candidates for decades, but it has become a battleground state this year as the demographics shift in a way that has been friendlier to Democrats.

 


Trump campaign to request Wisconsin recount

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien has said the campaign will request a recount in the state.

“Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor-thin race as we always knew that it would be,” Stepien said in a statement. “There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results. The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”

Officials have not released a final tally yet in the state.

Election staff members pack ballots after polls closed at the Moose Lodge in Kenosha, Wisconsin [Wong Maye-E/The Associated Press]

Michigan secretary of state says expects unofficial vote count by end of day

Michigan, a key battleground state that will help determine who wins the presidential election, is still counting “tens of thousands” of ballots and expects to have an unofficial tally by the end of the day, the state’s secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, has told reporters.

Michigan, with its 16 electoral votes, is one of a handful of states that has not yet been called for either candidate. Under state law, officials could not begin counting ballots until Election Day.


Berlin calls for ‘trust’ in electoral process after US vote

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has urged US politicians to help maintain “trust” in the electoral system after Trump prematurely declared victory in the tightly contested race.

“It is important that all politicians who reach people directly, establish trust in the electoral process and the results,” Maas said in a statement, adding that it would be “premature” to comment further given that ballots were still being counted.

“We must now be patient,” said the minister, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

A demonstrator holds a placard and a US flag during the ‘Count the Votes! Rally for Fair Elections in the USA’ organised by Young Democrats Abroad following the 2020 US presidential election [Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]

US Postal Service says it completed required ballot sweep

The United States Postal Service (USPS) completed required sweeps of mail processing facilities late Tuesday in about a dozen states after it had earlier said it could not meet an afternoon deadline to complete the checks, a spokesman for the agency has said.

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Tuesday had ordered the sweep in response to lawsuits by groups including Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates.

USPS data showed that as of Sunday, about 300,000 ballots that were received for mail processing did not have scans confirming their delivery to election authorities.

Biden supporter Lala Walker reacts to early election results in Houston, Texas on Election Day; the state has since been called for Trump by the AP [Callaghan O’Hare/Reuters]

Trump campaign says ‘illegally cast’ ballots should not be counted; it expects to win

Trump’s campaign has said it would go ahead with legal efforts to ensure only “legally cast” votes were counted, and said it expected to win even as ballots in key states continued to be tallied.

“If we count all legal ballots, we win, the president wins,” campaign manager Bill Stepien told reporters on a conference call.

Supporters of President Donald Trump wait for election results in Stanton, California on Election Day [Ashley Landis/The Associated Press]

Campaign says Biden ‘on track to win this election’

Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, in a briefing, said the campaign believes Biden is “in a clear path to victory by this afternoon”.

She said Biden would garner more votes than “any presidential candidate in history” and said Biden was on track to win in the key states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.


Biden says ‘won’t rest until every vote counted’

Biden has said that his campaign will not “rest until every vote is counted” in the US election after Trump said he would pursue action in the Supreme Court to halt the counting process.

“We won’t rest until everyone’s vote is counted, ” Biden said in a tweet.


Trump again falsely suggests vote count indicates malfeasance

Trump, in his first tweet the day after Election Day, suggested that “surprise ballot dumps” had shrunk his lead in key states.

Trump has claimed – repeatedly and falsely – that ballots counted after Election Day are somehow less valid than those counted on the day of the vote. Experts have warned his statements could undermine the electoral process and foment unrest.

Twitter labelled the tweet, saying its content “is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process”.


Analyst: Trump claims on vote counting crossed the line for some Republican allies

Amy Pope, the former deputy homeland security adviser to President Barack Obama, told Al Jazeera that Trump’s demand that vote counting be halted has crossed a line for some of his Republican allies.

“The fact that [Former New Jersey Governor and Trump ally] Chris Christie pretty immediately contradicted it online suggests that this is really going over the line even for the Republicans,” she said. “So you can’t stop the vote count.”

“I think he [Trump] is not confident he is going to win,” she added. “The fact that he is doing so preemptively, the fact that he has been doing so for the past several weeks really suggests a level of uncertainty about his ability to succeed and he wants – especially among his base – to seed doubt about this election.”

Trump has claimed that vote counting after Election Day is evidence of Democrats stealing the election. His critics say this is false. They note that states regularly and legally count votes – in particular, mail-in ballots – after Election Day.


Dow jumps 250 points as US election vote count continues

The major stock indexes in the US opened higher on Wednesday after a long election night produced no clear winner in a historic presidential race.

With votes still being counted in six key battleground states, the Dow Jones Industrial Average vaulted more than 251 points or 0.92 percent to 27,731.63, within a minute of the open of trading on Wall Street.

Read more here.


Uber and Lyft spend big and win big in California on Prop 22

Californians overwhelmingly voted in favour of Proposition 22, a ballot measure that exempts app-based ride-hailing and delivery services from classifying drivers as employees in the most populous US state.

Uber, Lyft and other app-based ride-hailing and delivery services spent $200m in a winning bet to circumvent California lawmakers and the courts to preserve their business model by keeping drivers from becoming employees eligible for benefits and job protections.

Read more here.

Californians voted in favour of a ballot measure exempting drivers from Uber, Lyft and other app-based delivery services from being classified as company employees eligible for benefits and job protections [Damian Dovarganes/The Associated Press]

Recap: Where are we?

A contentious and fast-moving election season held under the spectre of the coronavirus pandemic and protests against racial injustice culminated on Tuesday with millions of US citizens heading to the polls.

Voting across the country appeared to go relatively smoothly. Before that, more than 100 million US citizens cast ballots by mail or in person in early voting that reached historic levels.

However, as expected, counting those ballots – especially in states that do not allow the tally to begin until Election Day – has proven more daunting.

Currently, the AP has projected 238 electoral votes for Biden, who so far flipped Republican bastion Arizona. It called 213 electoral votes for Trump and called an early victory for the incumbent in battleground Florida. A candidate must clear 270 electoral votes to win.

The nation is now anxiously awaiting results from six key battleground states: Pennsylvania with 20 electoral votes, Michigan with 16, Wisconsin with 10, North Carolina with 15, Georgia with 16, and Nevada with six.

As of Nov 4, 14:00 GMT [Al Jazeera]

France: Vote result will not affect trade with Europe

The outcome of the presidential elections will have little effect on US-Europe trade relations, France’s finance chief asserted, saying Washington is unlikely to drop its confrontational stance whether Trump wins or not.

 

The US administration has inflicted billions of dollars worth of tariffs on European imports over the past four years, with Trump claiming unfair barriers against US firms trying to compete on continental markets.


Rouhani: It doesn’t matter to Iran who wins the US election

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has repeated his country’s stance on the US presidential race, saying what matters is not who wins but what actions the next president takes towards sanctions on Iran.

“What is important for us is that America returns to respecting the Iranian nation. We want respect instead of sanctions, no matter who is [in office]. If he lifts the unfair and illegal sanctions and replaces them with respect, then our situation will be different,” Rouhani said in a televised speech on Wednesday.


German minister warns of ‘very explosive situation’

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer warned that the US is facing a “very explosive situation” and a possible systemic crisis after Trump prematurely claimed an election victory.

Following Trump’s remarks that he will go to the Supreme Court to stop ballots from being tallied, Kramp-Karrenbauer told public broadcaster ZDF: “This election has not been decided … votes are still being counted.”

She said Trump could create “a constitutional crisis in the USA”, calling such a scenario “something that must deeply concern us”.


What could happen if US election result is disputed?

Despite incomplete results from several battleground states that could determine the outcome of the US presidential race, Trump prematurely claimed election victory.

The move confirmed worries that Trump would seek to dispute the election results.

Read more here about the different ways the election can be contested.

Trump supporters outside the Versailles Cuban restaurant during Election Night in Little Havana, Miami, Florida [Wilfredo Lee/The Associated Press]

See how the calls came in

In an election season that saw unprecedented early voting, some states were quick to count votes, which allowed The Associated Press to call electoral votes. Others – notably battlegrounds Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina – are pending.

Follow how the calls came in on our November 3 live blog here.

Source : Al Jazeera and News agencies

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