Biden calls for calm, Trump repeats unproven fraud claim

Vote counting continues in several close states that hold the key to victory for Donald Trump or Joe Biden.

Counter protesters gesture at supporters of US President Donald Trump during demonstrations outside of the TCF Center in downtown Detroit, Michigan. Former vice president Joe Biden, making his third run at the White House, was tantalizingly close to victory as President Donald Trump sought to stave off defeat with scattershot legal challenges and his campaign insisted he would be reelected [Seth Herald/AFP]

This blog is now closed, for November 6 updates look here.

  • Americans continue to watch and wait to see who will be declared the winner of Tuesday’s presidential election.
  • Currently, Biden is projected to have won 264 electoral votes and Trump 214. The race goes to the contender with 270 votes.
  • Alaska, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are still counting ballots and winners have not been projected in those states.
  • Arizona has been projected for Biden, but officials say mail-in ballots are still being counted.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the US elections. This is Creede Newton taking over from Jihan Abdalla.

Biden only less than 1,500 votes behind Trump in Georgia

With more than 99 percent of the votes counted in the US state of Georgia, US President Donald J. Trump has received 2,448,056 votes, according to the latest tally. That represents 49.4 percent of the total number of votes.

Meanwhile, Democrat Joe Biden’s number of votes has hit 2,446,577, or 49.37 percent of the total number of votes.

Biden is now only 1,479 votes behind Trump in Georgia with only a few more thousand votes still outstanding.

Police in Philadelphia investigating alleged plot to attack Pennsylvania Convention Center

WPVI-TV Philadelphia is reporting that the Philadelphia police force is investigating an alleged plot to attack the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Thursday night.

The ABC news affiliate said that police received a tip about a group, possibly a family, driving up from Virginia in a Hummer to unleash an attack at the Convention Center where votes are being counted in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania is one of the few remaining states where votes are still being counted following the November 3 presidential election.

Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes is crucial for victory for both presidential candidates, as they race to reach the 270 winning number.

Former US VP Al Gore weighs in on 2020 race

In an interview with broadcaster NBC News, former US Vice President Al Gore said that “nobody should be inciting violence”, as the country awaits the result of the 2020 presidential race.

Gore, who served as vice president of former leader Bill Clinton for eight years, ran for president in 2000 and won the popular vote. But he lost the electoral vote count to George W Bush following a disputed Supreme Court decision.

Georgia to conduct an audit before certifying election winner

Election officials from the US state of Georgia have announced that starting on Friday, they would conduct an audit of the election result before certifying the winner of the presidential election.

According to news website The Hill, the audit will be conducted under a new state law and has been designed to find any problems and errors in the counting machine.

US President Donald Trump holds a very slim lead of less than 2,000 votes against his challenger Joseph Biden in the latest count.

Trump’s Senate allies warn GOP may reject vote results

Two Senate allies of Trump on Thursday warned that Republicans may reject the legitimacy of vote results if they turn against the embattled president.

As a few Republicans distanced themselves from Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of fraud in Tuesday’s election, Senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz enthusiastically backed him in back-to-back appearances on TV network Fox News.

“I’ll tell you the president is angry and I’m angry and the voters ought to be angry,” Cruz told the network’s host Sean Hannity, whose evening show is a favourite of Trump.

Asked by Hannity if the Pennsylvania legislature could refuse to recognise the results and instead give the state’s electoral votes to Trump, Graham replied: “I think everything should be on the table.”

“Philadelphia elections are crooked as a snake. Why are they shutting people out? Because they don’t want people to see what they’re doing,” said Graham without offering any proof of his allegations.

Trump, Biden neck-and-neck in Pennsylvania

With 94 percent of the votes counted in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, Edison Research is reporting that US President Donald Trump remains slightly ahead with 49.6 percent of the votes.

Meanwhile, Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joseph Biden has 49.1 percent of the votes.

Pennsylvania is the hometown of Biden but voted for Trump during the 2016 elections. The state represents 20 electoral votes.

Trump’s lead in US state of Georgia down to 1,902

President Donald Trump’s lead in Georgia is now down to 1,902 as the southern US state continues to count the last few thousand outstanding votes.

According to reports, there are still over 16,000 ballots that remain to be counted.

GOP House members denounce Trump’s unproven claim of electoral fraud

Members of President Donald Trump’s own party have denounced him following his statement claiming that he has been cheated in the recently-concluded US presidential race.

In a statement on social media, Republican Representative Will Hurd of Texas said that what is Trump doing “is not only dangerous and wrong, it undermines the very foundation this nation was built upon.”

Meanwhile, Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said that the president should “STOP spreading debunked misinformation.”

Trump’s edge in state of Georgia shrinks further

With 99 percent of the total votes counted, US President Donald Trump’s edge in the US state of Georgia has shrunk further to 2,497 votes.

According to the latest count, Trump received 2,447,015 votes, representing 49.4 percent of the total votes.

Meanwhile, Trump’s challenger, former Vice President Joseph Biden received 2,444,518, which is also about 49.4 percent of the total votes.

Georgia is a reliably Republican state with 16 electoral votes. Biden only needs six more electoral votes to clinch the presidency.

Trump repeats unproven fraud claims in first speech since election night

US President Donald Trump has reiterated unproven claims that widespread voter fraud has marred the US presidential election, which remains too close to call as ballot-counting continues in several key states.

In a Thursday evening address at the White House, the US president struck a typically defiant tone, accusing pollsters as well as the Democratic Party of engaging in fraud – an unproven claim he has repeated throughout the week on Twitter, which has labelled information in his tweets as “disputed” or potentially “misleading”.

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” said Trump, adding that if “illegal votes” are counted, “they can try to steal the election from us”.

Trump did not provide any evidence to back up any of the fraud claims he made during his speech. It was the first time the Republican leader addressed the nation since election night.

Fed chief outlines wish-list for economy: More stimulus and mask-wearing

Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Jerome Powell refused to comment on Thursday about the cliffhanger US presidential election as he rolled out a wish-list of measures to help the nation’s economic recovery, including another round of virus relief aid from Congress and more mask-wearing by Americans.

At a virtual news conference following a two-day policy meeting, during which Fed officials voted unanimously to leave interest rates near zero, Powell said that economic growth and the jobs market are recovering, but improvements are “moderating” and both are still well below pre-pandemic levels.

Characterising the surge in COVID-19 cases in the US and abroad as “particularly concerning”, Powell said the economic outlook remained “extraordinarily uncertain” and that much depended on keeping the virus in check.

“Following the advice of public health professionals to keep appropriate social distances and to wear masks in public will help get the economy back to full strength,” he said.

Read more here.


Duelling rallies outside election count centre in Philadelphia

Al Jazeera’s Hilary Beaumont sent in this dispatch from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In yellow hoodies emblazoned with the phrase “Count every vote”, dozens of people in their 20s and 30s danced in sync to a Marvin Gaye song outside a downtown Philadelphia convention centre where election staff scanned ballots.

Steps away, separated by a barrier, people waved Trump signs at a second rally. Reporters and cameras lined the sidewalk around them. Police officers leaned against buildings and strategically parked at nearby intersections. A helicopter hovered high above.

Despite Donald Trump’s lead of just over 100,000 votes in Pennsylvania, the mood among Joe Biden’s supporters was celebratory, as the Democratic candidate has dramatically narrowed the race since Wednesday.

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar says about 350,000 ballots still need to be counted – and they are expected to favour Biden.

In an update at 5:30pm local time (2030 GMT), Boockvar said the majority of in-person ballots had been counted already, leaving mail ballots, military overseas ballots and provisional ballots left. “The closer the race is, the longer it takes,” she said.

First non-binary, Muslim state legislator elected in Oklahoma

Mauree Turner, who identifies as non-binary, or as neither male or female became Oklahoma’s first Muslim state representative in a landmark victory, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

“Conversion therapy and trans students not getting the opportunity to play the sport that they would like to play … that’s the type of things that we’re combatting when we show up,” the 27-year-old Turner was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency.

Turner defeated Republican Kelly Barlean to represent Oklahoma’s District 88, found in Oklahoma City. Turner won roughly 71 percent of the votes, broadcaster CNN reported.

Biden feels ‘very good’ about election outcome

Amid rising tensions and uncertainty over the final vote count and the winner of the US election, Biden reiterated his call for patience in a sober tweet – in stark contradiction to Trump, who has been raging about election fraud.

In brief remarks delivered at a theatre in Delaware, Biden said he feels “very good” about the outcome of the presidential election and is told his supporters to “stay calm” as votes continue to be counted.

“It is the will of the voters – no one, not anyone else – who chooses the president of the United States of America,” he said.

Trump’s campaign has pursued legal efforts to halt the vote-counting in some states and is seeking a recount in Wisconsin.

Biden said that “the process is working” and “we’ll know very soon” the outcome of the election. He and his top campaign officials have expressed confidence about the vote but have stressed the need for every ballot to be counted.

What’s happening in Arizona – a key battleground state

State officials say there are about 450,000 votes still to be counted in Arizona, where Biden has a 2.35 percentage points lead over Trump – an advantage of about 68,000 votes.

But The Associated Press news agency has called the race in Arizona for Biden. Broadcaster Fox News has also projected Biden to win the race in Arizona, but other US media outlets have yet to issue a projection there, amid continuing ballot counting.

Read more here.


New Mexico elects all women of colour to Congress

New Mexico became the first US state to elect all women of colour in all three of its congressional districts.

Incumbent Deb Haaland, a Democrat and a Native American, won re-election to her House seat.

Teresa Leger Fernandez, also a Democrat, beat Republican challenger Alexis Johnson to fill an open seat to represent the state’s 3rd Congressional District.

And Republican Yvette Herrell, a member of the Cherokee Nation, defeated incumbent Representative Xochitl Torres Small for the state’s 2nd District.

Trump campaign attacks Fox News polling expert

Trump’s campaign attacked Fox News polling expert Arnon Mishkin calling him a “Clinton-voting, Biden-donating Democrat” after Mishkin projected Biden won Arizona.

Mishkin “prematurely called Arizona for Joe Biden before hundreds of thousands of ballots had been counted”, the campaign says on its website. “Even left-leaning election analysts like [538’s] Nate Silver have criticised the decision, but Mishkin is standing by his terrible decision despite and refusing to retract his unjustified call.”

The campaign also alleged that Mishkin “has a long record of donating to Democrats, including the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign”.

With Arizona projected in Biden’s column, he would have 264 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House, putting him closer to victory and narrowing Trump’s path to re-election.

Postal Service told to sweep processing centres

A federal judge in Washington, DC has ordered the US Postal Service to perform twice daily sweeps of processing centres in states with extended ballot receipt deadlines to check for mail-in votes and to expedite them for delivery.

Thursday’s order will remain in place until the end of states’ windows for accepting ballots.

According to court records, a similar order by the same judge earlier this week found just 13 ballots in a search of 27 processing hubs in several battleground areas.

With the presidential election hanging in the balance, an election worker hands out ballots to be counted at an arena in Atlanta [Brynn Anderson/AP Photo]

Facebook removes pro-Trump group

Facebook said it had taken down a rapidly growing group in which Trump supporters posted misinformation, violent rhetoric and organised protests against the baseless claim that Democrats were stealing the election.

“The group was organised around the delegitimisation of the election process, and we saw worrying calls for violence from some members of the group,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement.

She said the move was in line with measures Facebook was taking during “this period of heightened tension”.

The “Stop the Steal” group, which called for “boots on the ground to protect the integrity of the vote”, had ballooned to more than 365,000 members in one day.

Largest Nevada county still tallying mail votes

Nevada Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria says it could take until Saturday or Sunday before the state’s largest county finishes tallying mail-in ballots that have been returned.

“Our goal here in Clark County is not to count fast. We want to make sure that we’re being accurate,” Gloria said at a press conference.

Officials say Clark County has at least 63,262 ballots left to count, including 34,743 returned in drop boxes on Election Day and 4,208 returned via the US Postal Service. But as mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day continue to trickle in, Gloria said he had no way of knowing the total number of outstanding ballots.

“That’s a number that I can’t give you. I can’t predict to you what’s going to come through the US mail,” he said.

The last day to count ballots in Nevada is November 12.

A poll worker unrolls Las Vegas Strip-themed “I Voted” stickers for voters at a polling place at the Veterans Memorial Leisure Center in Las Vegas, Nevada [Ethan Miller/Getty Images]

More than a dozen arrested as protesters demand vote count

Police arrested dozens of people in Seattle, Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon overnight during protests demanding a tally of all votes in the US election, while smaller groups backing Trump returned to tabulation sites in closely contested states to insist counting be halted.

In Seattle, seven people were arrested. In Minneapolis, police arrested more than 600 demonstrators who marched onto an interstate protesting Trump’s threats to challenge the election results.

Demonstrators outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center [Kena Betancur/AFP]

In Portland, protesters smashed windows at businesses, hurled objects including fireworks at officers. Police made at least 10 arrests, according to a statement from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

In New York, hundreds of people paraded past boarded-up luxury stores on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, and in Chicago, demonstrators marched through downtown and along a street across the river from Trump Tower. Protesters also gathered in cities including Los Angeles, Houston, Pittsburgh and San Diego.

Supporters of US president Donald Trump demanding to stop the vote count in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US [Eduardo Munoz/Reuters]

Trump campaign loses lawsuit seeking to halt Michigan vote count

A judge tossed a lawsuit brought by Trump’s campaign that demanded halting vote-counting in Michigan.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens made the ruling during a court hearing on Thursday. She said she planned to issue a written ruling on Friday.

The lawsuit claimed  Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, was allowing absentee ballots to be counted without teams of bipartisan observers as well as challengers. She was accused of undermining the “constitutional right of all Michigan voters … to participate in fair and lawful elections.”

Benson, through state attorneys, denied the allegations. Much of the dispute centered on the TCF Center in Detroit where pro-Trump protesters gathered while absentee ballots were being counted.

Biden calls for patience


Amid rising tensions over the outcome of the election and controversy over the vote count in key states, Biden urged for patience.

“Be patient, folks. Votes are being counted, and we feel good about where we are,” he said in a tweet.


Georgia judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit

A judge in Georgia has dismissed a lawsuit by the state Republican Party and Trump’s campaign that asked him to ensure a coastal county was following state laws on processing absentee ballots.

Chatham County Superior Court Judge James Bass did not provide an explanation for his decision Thursday at the close of a roughly one-hour hearing. The county includes the heavily Democratic city of Savannah.

The suit had raised concerns about 53 absentee ballots that poll observers said were not part of an original batch of ballots. County elections officials testified that all 53 ballots had been received on time.

The 2020 Presidential Election result remains undetermined as votes continued to be counted in several key battleground states [Erik S. Lesser/EPA]

Biden campaign slams Trump for “attempt to distract and delay”

Biden’s campaign is expressing optimism at the ultimate result of the election but warning supporters to “stay patient and stay calm” as vote counting continues.

Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said on a briefing call with reporters that “the story of today is going to be a very positive story” for their campaign, but cautioned that as the counting continues, “we need to allow it to get done and get done well.”

She says the campaign expects their lead to fluctuate in some states as more votes come in.

O’Malley Dillon also charged that legal challenges by President Donald Trump’s campaign to halt vote-counting in some states and seek a recount in Wisconsin are a “flailing strategy” that are an “attempt to distract and delay” from the results of the election.

Follow Al Jazeera’s interactive map of results here.

Absentee ballots are processed and verified by the Fulton County Registration and Elections Department in a large room at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, US [Erik S. Lesser/EPA]

Facebook group pushing claim of stolen US election rapidly gaining members

A public Facebook group pushing false claims about voter fraud and Democrats trying to “steal” the US election rapidly swelled to more than 325,000 members on Thursday, a day after it was created.

The “Stop the Steal” group, which says it was started by the conservative non-profit Women for America First, called for “boots on the ground to protect the integrity of the vote.”

Trump says campaign will legally challenge ‘Biden claimed states’

Trump threatens more legal challenges to results in a handful of states, claiming – without any evidence – that voter fraud has been committed in places where Biden appears to have won.

“All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud,” Trump wrote in a tweet, without listing specific states or examples of alleged fraud.

The post was flagged by Twitter as citing potentially misleading information.


Peaceful protests in Philadelphia as vote count continues

Hilary Beaumont sent this report from Pennsylvania

Small crowds gathered in Philadelphia early Thursday morning outside the Pennsylvania Convention Centre where election workers began their third day of scanning ballots.

A DJ played for one group of protesters, who danced while asking for every vote to be counted, while across the street a smaller group was calling on officials to stop counting votes received after Election Day, echoing a Trump campaign request to the US Supreme Court. The demonstrations followed a peaceful march in favour of counting every vote on Wednesday evening, organised by unions and Black Voters Matter.

People marching towards City Hall after a rally demanding a fair count of the votes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US [Eduardo Munoz/Reuters]

On Thursday morning Trump was ahead in Pennsylvania by about 176,000 votes, but the race has narrowed considerably from his lead of about 675,000 early Wednesday morning. The reason is mail ballots, which skew Democrat. By law, Pennsylvania officials could not start counting mail ballots until Election Day. There are still hundreds of thousands of mail ballots uncounted.

As protests continued, the Trump campaign legal team held a press conference in front of the convention centre to display a court ruling allowing them to observe the ballot counting process. “We are planning to enter that building right now,” campaign lawyer Pam Bondi told reporters before she and the Trump team walked into the building.

Arizona officials say 450K ballots still to be counted

Arizona state officials say there are 450,000 ballots still to be counted in the Western battleground.

The Associated Press news agency has called the presidential race in Arizona for Biden. Sally Buzbee, AP executive editor said: “The Associated Press continues to watch and analyse vote count results from Arizona as they come in. We will follow the facts in all cases.”

Biden holds a 2.35 percentage point lead over Trump in Arizona, an advantage of about 68,000 votes.

The vast majority of the ballots yet to be counted are from Maricopa County, the most populous area of the state.

Tabulators check ballots at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office in Phoenix, Arizona [Rick D’Elia/EPA-EFE]

Dow jumps 430 points as post-election stock rally rolls on

Wall Street’s main stock indexes extended their post-election rally on Thursday as investors bet that if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins the White House, his plans to tighten regulations and increase taxes would be blocked by a Republican-controlled Senate.

With presidential election votes still being counted, the Dow Jones Industrial Average vaulted more than 431 points, or 1.55 percent, to 28,279.54 at the opening bell on Wall Street.

Read more here.

California Prop 22 rewrites road map for gig workers’ rights

While ballots are still being counted in California, the pro-Prop 22 campaign – which lobbied California voters to pass a law that lets them keep classifying app-based drivers as independent contractors – is significantly ahead with 58 percent of the vote, marking the beginning of the end of the most expensive and closely watched ballot operation in California’s history.

Read more here.

Trump again seeks to stop the counting of votes

With Biden edging closer to victory, Trump reiterated that he wants the vote counting to stop, tweeting on Thursday morning: “STOP THE COUNT!”

It is important to note that elections – including the decisions to count ballots – are run by individual state, county and local governments. And Trump’s comments have no effect on the tallying of votes across the country.

Joe Biden ahead of a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, US [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

Biden’s path to victory much wider than Trump’s

With 264 electoral votes called for Joe Biden, he is on the verge of capturing enough electoral votes to be projected the winner.

Slim margins separate Donald Trump and Biden in the remaining states’ vote counts and a Biden victory in any one of those states, except Alaska, would put him over the 270 vote threshold needed.

The key remaining states are Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), Georgia (16 electoral votes), North Carolina (15 electoral votes) and Nevada (six electoral votes). If Biden wins one of those, he will hit 270 or above.

Trump is currently at 214 electoral votes and would need a combination of those. He is expected to win Alaska, the other uncalled state, which has three electoral votes.

Trump supporters during a protest in front of the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC), in Phoenix, Arizona [Edgard Garrido/Reuters]

Trump backers hold out hope for Arizona

The Associated Press news agency and broadcaster Fox News projected Joe Biden as the winner of Arizona on election night, but other US media did not.

Now as the vote count continues and Biden’s lead shrinks a bit – he holds a 68,000-vote lead with 86 percent of the count in – Trump supporters are holding out hope that the Biden projection was made in error. Al Jazeera’s Patrick Strickland reports from Arizona.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies