What is going on now in the US election 2020?

The short story is we still don’t know who has won the presidency.

While there have been no major shifts overnight, the count has been continuing in six states that can swing the outcome. A pathway for Joe Biden is becoming clearer but it could still go to either candidate.

Biden currently has 243 electoral college votes, and Trump 214. They need 270 to win the White House.

  • Joe Biden is now projected to win in Michigan – one of the traditionally Democratic states Hillary Clinton lost in 2016
  • In Georgia, officials said they would keep counting all night until all the ballots are tallied. But as of 04:45 GMT, there were still about 90,000 to count. Trump’s lead is slowly dwindling – down to 28,000 now
  • In Nevada, the race is on a knife-edge. Biden’s lead is just 7,647. Officials on Wednesday said that the next results would be posted on Thursday at 17:00 GMT (09:00 local time)
  • Arizona says more votes are coming at 06:00 GMT – but it is not clear when projections will be possible
  • Our partners, Reuters, have still not projected Wisconsin – Biden leads currently by 20,510 votes
  • Trump’s significant lead in Pennsylvania has narrowed. With 90% of ballots counted at 05:45 GMT (23:30 Wednesday local time) Trump was ahead by 164,414 votes. Late on Wednesday afternoon Trump held a lead of 379,639 votes
  • And in North Carolina, where 96% of the votes have been counted, Trump has a lead of 76,737
  • Trump’s campaign launched a legal challenge in Georgia, making it the fourth state where his team allege irregularities
  • There have been protests by both camps. In Detroit, Michigan and in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania, Democrats gathered at vote counting centres carrying sign and chanting “count my vote”. And Trump supporters have also protested at vote centres – in Arizona, groups demanded that the count stop
  • And Republicans have retained their grip on the Senate – which leaves Congress mostly unchanged, despite Democrats hope of wresting four seats from their opponents

Pennsylvania governor defies Trump’s call to stop count

Pennsylvania’s governor, Tom Wolf, says the vote count there will continue, despite efforts by President Trump’s campaign team to stop it.

It has claimed that Democrats are trying to hijack the vote in Pennsylvania. Deputy campaign manager Justin Clark said Democrats were “scheming to disenfranchise and dilute Republican votes”. However there have been no reports of fraud or irregularities.

“These attempts to subvert the democratic process are simply disgraceful,” said Mr. Wolf, a Democrat. “I’m going to fight like hell to protect the vote of every Pennsylvanian. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that every vote counts.”

Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania narrows

Donald Trump’s lead in the battleground state of Pennsylvania is narrowing, latest figures show.

With 90% of the ballots counted at 23:30 EST (04:30 GMT Thursday) Trump was ahead of Joe Biden by 164,414 votes. On late Wednesday afternoon Trump held a lead of 379,639 votes over Biden.

Outstanding ballots seem likely to favour Biden, the BBC’s US partner CBS reports. They are postal votes and of the 3.1 million postal ballot requests made in Pennsylvania, 63% were from Democrats.

With 20 electoral college votes, Pennsylvania is a key election prize. The state voted Democrat in six consecutive races before it swung to Trump in 2016.

‘Driving to Nevada to count these votes myself’

As ballot counting continues, so does the nail-biting.

And on TikTok and Twitter, this is fertile ground for a more lighthearted take on the agonising wait.

Much of the comedic frustration on social media was directed towards Nevada, where vote counting has paused for the evening, and the next results update won’t be until 9:00 local time (17:00 GMT) on Thursday.


Biden launches transition website

When a candidate wins the presidency, he or she needs to set up what’s called a transition team to help prepare to take office in the following January.

As we know, there’s no winner in this election yet, but both candidates say they’re expecting to be victorious. Both want to set a narrative that the direction of the race favours them.

Now Joe Biden has launched his transition website – Build Back Better. It states: “The crises facing the country are severe – from a pandemic to an economic recession, climate change to racial injustice – and the transition team will continue preparing at full speed so that the Biden‑Harris Administration can hit the ground running on Day One.”

On Wednesday, Biden reaffirmed his pledge to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement on the first day of his presidency.

The US officially withdrew from the accord on Wednesday, something that Donald Trump committed to in 2016.

Trump claims fraud – but is there any evidence?

President Donald Trump has said the election “is a fraud on the American public”.

“We’ll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop,” he said as results appeared to give his rival, Joe Biden, the edge in a tight race.

First of all, there are large numbers of legitimate votes in battleground states that remain uncounted, which could swing the election either way.

On the allegation of fraud, Trump did not give any specific examples and studies done on previous elections have shown that voter fraud is extremely rare.

Trump has frequently made the claim that postal ballots – being used extensively this time due to the pandemic – are subject to widespread fraud.

This is not the case, and we’ve looked into the issue here.

The only other complaints of fraud that we’ve seen for this election have been unsubstantiated rumours on social media.

In late September, FBI director Christopher Wray said they had not seen “any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election”.


In Philadelphia, protesters anxiously await vote returns

As votes are counted in a handful of critical states, hundreds of demonstrators in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have taken to the street, demanding that every vote be counted. The Trump campaign has launched a legal bid to stop counting the remaining ballots in the state, as well as in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia.

The BBC’s Hannah Long-Higgins and Xinyan Yu are there, and spoke to demonstrators, many of them supporters of Democrat Joe Biden. The mood is hopeful, they said, as the vote tallies have started to lean slightly in favour of Biden.

Mark Wahl, 27, said he’s feeling “somewhat better” now than he did on Wednesday night.

“I am not upset by the process. I understand that we’re in a pandemic, I understand that there’s no protocol for this type of thing to happen,” he said. “I’m a little bit anxious and nervous, but I think that’s typical and I think it’s valid that everybody’s feeling anxious at this time.”

The protests have been calm so far, though there is a heavy security presence at the site.


Michigan official calls Trump’s lawsuit ‘frivolous’

The top election official in Michigan has criticised a legal challenge launched by the Trump campaign to stop vote counting in the battleground state, calling it “frivolous”.

All valid ballots cast in the state had been tabulated accurately, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said.

Mr Trump won the state in 2016 by just over 10,700 votes.

His campaign announced the lawsuit on Wednesday alleging irregularities. Trump is also challenging counts in Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania.

Summary

  1. Vote counting continues in a handful of key battleground states which will determine the outcome of the US presidential election
  2. The final result hinges on the states of Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania
  3. The Trump campaign has launched legal bids to stop the counts in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Michigan
  4. Protesters have taken to the streets of several cities to demand counting is allowed to continue, while others have called for counting to stop
  5. Donald Trump has alleged fraud, without offering evidence
  6. Democrat Joe Biden has racked up a record 71.5 million votes and has said he will win enough states to become president – but key results remain outstanding
  7. “When the count is finished we believe we will be the winners,” Mr Biden said in a brief speech, just before projections showed him winning Michigan
  8. Mr Trump is so far projected to win 23 states, including Texas, Ohio and Florida, having outperformed pollsters’ predictions
  9. Overall turnout is projected to be the highest in 120 years at 66.9%, and we might not have a result for days

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