Voting has ended, but votes cast on or before Election Day are still being counted. We’re posting live updates on the results and related news in Washington and across the U.S.
What to know in Washington:
- In Washington, vote counting continues for days. Here’s how to see whether your ballot was accepted, a behind-the-scenes look inside the counting process in King County, and an explanation of how we declare winners.
What to know across the U.S.:
- The Associated Press had not called the presidential race as of Thursday morning because neither candidate has yet secured the 270 electoral college votes needed to claim victory.
- We knew this year’s count could take longer than usual. But in fact, we have never had final results on Election Day.
EXPLAINER: States still in play and what makes them that way
WASHINGTON — A handful of states remained in play Thursday in the tightly contested U.S. presidential race. The outcome of contests in Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Nevada will determine whether Democrat Joe Biden, or President Donald Trump wins.
The solidly Republican state of Alaska has also not been called because it is only 50% counted and will not release absentee numbers until Nov. 10. It is not expected to impact the outcome.
The Associated Press reviews the states that will determine the presidency.
Confounding Democrats, Trump makes inroads with Latinos
President Donald Trump and his Republican allies made significant inroads with Latino voters in Tuesday’s election, alarming some Democrats who warned that immigration politics alone was not enough to hold their edge with the nation’s largest minority group.
Trump’s strong performance with Cuban Americans in South Florida narrowed the traditional Democratic edge in Miami-Dade County and helped put Florida in Trump’s column early Tuesday. In Texas, Trump won tens of thousands of new supporters in predominantly Mexican American communities along the border.
A GOP win in a heavily Latino New Mexico congressional district suggested a surge of Republican-leaning support there. And even in Nevada, where Democrats’ strength among Latinos had powered the party to dominance, there were some signs of new Trump support among Latinos frustrated at the economic toll of coronavirus-related shutdowns. Democrat Joe Biden and Trump were still locked in a tight race there as officials counted the vote.
Democrats had hoped this would be the year when their strength among Latino voters would translate into victories in Florida and Texas, a game-changer that would reshape presidential politics. But Trump’s margins dashed those hopes and prompted debate on whether the party was taking Latino voters’ support for granted.
Twin Senate runoffs in Georgia could shape Biden presidency
ATLANTA — The outcome in several contested states will determine whether Joe Biden defeats President Donald Trump. But if the Democratic challenger wins, the ambitions of a Biden presidency could well come down to Georgia.
Georgia, long a Republican stronghold — but one with rapidly changing demographics — could be the site of two runoffs on Jan. 5 to settle which party would control the Senate.
Should Democrats win them, Biden would be dealing with a majority in the Senate, increasing his chances for passing legislation and securing major appointment confirmations. Otherwise, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, could wield the power to block Biden.
Other races in North Carolina and Alaska also hold the potential to reshape the balance of power, but Georgia offers the more likely prospect.
In Georgia, two runoff elections would mean a campaign on an almost national scale, with tens of millions of dollars spent by both sides.
Votes were still being counted to determine whether Ossoff will meet Georgia Sen. David Perdue in a second round. Georgia law requires an outright majority to win a statewide office.
Police detain men after tip about vehicle with armed group heading to Philly vote-counting location
PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia police detained two men late Thursday night after receiving a tip that a Hummer vehicle from Virginia with two or three people armed with firearms was headed to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where ballot counting is underway for the presidential election.
Just after 10:20 p.m. Eastern time, police reported they had received information about a 2003 gray or silver Hummer with Virginia tags that was occupied by several people armed with AR-15 rifles.
A few minutes later a Hummer fitting the description was found parked and unoccupied in the 200 block of North 13th Street, just north of the convention center. Police then detained two men in the area and were on their way to find a woman located outside the city.
On the back window of the Hummer were decals associated with the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy movement, including a large “Q” and “#WWG1WGA,” which stands for “where we go one we go all.” The movement believes President Donald Trump is fighting a secret war against the “deep state” and that Democrats are led by Satan-worshipping pedophiles. Trump has refused to denounce the movement.
It was not immediately clear whether police found any weapons. A bomb-sniffing police dog was called in to check the Hummer. The occupants of the Hummer may have been staying at a nearby hotel, police said.
AP FACT CHECK: Trump fabricates election corruption
WASHINGTON — Citing “horror stories,” President Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of fabricated accusations Thursday in an audacious attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the U.S. election.
Standing behind the presidential seal, Trump used a White House setting symbolizing the power of his office to assail an election he portrayed as rife with fraud and corruption. One allegation after another had no basis in fact, such as his accusation that election officials in Pennsylvania and Detroit tried to ban election observers from polling stations.
Here's a look at his remarks, coming as Democrat Joe Biden made progress toward the electoral votes needed to claim the presidency.
Some in GOP break with Trump over baseless vote-fraud claims
WASHINGTON — Some Republican lawmakers on Thursday criticized President Donald Trump’s unsupported claim that Democrats are trying to “steal” the election, saying Trump’s comments undermine the U.S. political process and the bedrock notion that all Americans should have their vote counted.
Trump, who has complained for weeks about mail-in ballots, escalated his allegations late Thursday, saying at the White House that the ballot-counting process is unfair and corrupt. Trump did not back up his claims with any details or evidence, and state and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, tweeted that the president’s claims of fraud are “getting insane.” If Trump has “legit” concerns about fraud, they need to be based on evidence and taken to court, Kinzinger said, adding, “STOP Spreading debunked misinformation.”
Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, a potential 2024 presidential hopeful who has often criticized Trump, said unequivocally: “There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process. America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before.”
“No election or person is more important than our Democracy,” Hogan said on Twitter.
The comments by the Republican lawmakers and other GOP leaders were rare, public rebukes of Trump, who has demanded — and generally received — loyalty from fellow Republicans throughout his four-year term. Most in the GOP take pains to avoid directly criticizing Trump, even when they find his conduct unhelpful or offensive to their values and goals.
House Democrats point fingers over 2020 losses
WASHINGTON — Their majority shrunk, House Democrats cast blame Thursday on their election message, ground game and leadership under Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s team after expectations for big wins came crashing down by a stark reversal in Trump country.
They focused too narrowly on health care, when voters were also worried about the economy.
They failed to fight back when Republicans labeled them “socialists” aligned with the party’s most liberal firebrands.
They didn’t knock on doors to meet voters, focusing instead on phone calls, digital outreach and TV ads, due to the health risks of campaigning during the pandemic.
They lost Latino voters in some places, and white, working class men in others.
They did not pass more COVID aid through Congress when Americans needed help most.
And perhaps most importantly, Democrats are coming to grips with the fact that whether President Donald Trump is e-elected or defeated by rival Joe Biden, they still have a problem understanding and winning over Trump voters.
Former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna calls Trump's false vote-fraud claims 'appalling'
As some Republican figures nationally fall in line behind President Donald Trump's false allegations of a "stolen" election, former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna said GOP politicians should stand up to the rhetoric.
"It's appalling and it's contrary to the rule of law," McKenna said in an interview Thursday, referring to Trump's tweets and speeches demanding a halt to vote counts in states where later ballots are trending for Democrat Joe Biden.
McKenna, who served two terms as Washington attorney general and was the GOP nominee for governor in 2012, said Trump's conduct is contrary to the party's longstanding values.
"It's impossible to imagine a Ronald Reagan or George Bush or any other Republican [president] in my lifetime acting this way," McKenna said.
McKenna predicted Republican politicians will start to distance themselves from Trump if late vote counts finally show Biden winning in more than one of the remaining states, such as Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia.
City of Republic disputes Loren Culp's story of how his police chief job was eliminated
City leaders in Republic, Ferry County, say GOP gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp was well aware his position as police chief -- and sole police officer in town -- was on the chopping block this year as he took leave to run for office.
Culp had complained in a Facebook live video this week that the town had eliminated his job without "even a letter or a thank you" and urged his supporters to contact the city to object.
In a statement Thursday, Republic City Council members said they were clearing up "any misinformation" about their budget decision. They contradicted Culp's suggestion he'd been blindsided by the vote to contract with the Ferry County Sheriff's office for police services.
"The City Council was assured time and again that Mr. Culp was abreast of the possibility that the Police Department may be closed..." the council statement said. "With Mr. Culp on the campaign trail this fall, the Ferry County Sheriff's Department has filled in with exceptional results."
The council's letter added that Culp will be offered a job as a deputy with the sheriff's office if he wants it.
The tiny town in northeast Washington has struggled with declining revenues due to the closure of a nearby gold mine and sawmill. Eliminating the standalone police force and contracting with the sheriff's office is a common practice in smaller communities and will save Republic $50,000 or $60,000 a year, the council noted.
"We struggled in making this decision and it was not made lightly," the statement said.
Culp lost his challenge to Gov. Jay Inslee in the Nov. 3 election but has not formally conceded. As of Thursday evening he had about 42% of the statewide vote.
Without citing evidence, Culp has alleged "irregularities" in the election.
A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Kim Wyman's office on Thursday said there have been "no reports or evidence of irregularities with county tabulation systems" and that neither Culp nor anyone from his campaign had contacted the office to relay or discuss any concerns.
Mullet takes slight lead in 5th Legislative District race
Sen. Mark Mullet has taken the lead over challenger Ingrid Anderson — by just 18 votes — in the race for the 5th Legislative District seat.
Mullet had 40,730 votes and Anderson had 40,712 votes in Thursday’s election results, according to King County Elections. Mullet had previously been trailing Anderson in the race between the two Democrats for the seat representing East King County.
Business and labor groups have poured more than $3 million into the race, dwarfing independent spending in other legislative contests across the state.
Biden-Trump counting presses ahead 2 days after Election Day
WASHINGTON — Election officials in key battlegrounds pressed forward Thursday with presidential vote counting as Democrat Joe Biden urged patience and President Donald Trump pursued legal options with little success, insisting the processing of ballots should be stopped.
The president spent Thursday at the White House, working the phones and escalating efforts to sow doubt about the outcome of the race. In a series of tweets, he pushed baseless allegations of electoral misconduct and said the ongoing vote count of ballots submitted before and on Election Day should cease. Trump reiterated his claims Thursday night at the White House, his first public appearance since late on Election Night.
“This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election,” he said of Democrats, whom he accused of corruption while providing no evidence.
Biden, meanwhile, sought to project the appearance of a president, speaking briefly to reporters after attending a COVID-19 briefing on Thursday. He offered reassurance that the counting could be trusted and declared that “each ballot must be counted.”
“I ask everyone to stay calm. The process is working,” said Biden. “It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America.”
USPS processed 150,000 ballots after Election Day, jeopardizing thousands of votes
More than 150,000 ballots were caught in U.S. Postal Service processing facilities and not delivered by Election Day, agency data shows, including more than 12,000 in five of the states that have yet to be called for either President Donald Trump or his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.
Despite assurances from Postal Service leaders that agency officials were conducting daily sweeps for misplaced ballots, the mail service acknowledged in a court filing Thursday that thousands of ballots had not been processed in time, and that more ballots were processed Wednesday than on Election Day.
The number of mailed ballots the Postal Service did not deliver by Election Day is expected to grow as more data is released in the coming days. Some election experts worry such delays could run up against even more-generous ballot acceptance windows that some states have granted.
In several swing states, late ballots will still be counted as long as they were postmarked by Election Day and received by Friday, according to state law. They include Nevada, where 4,518 ballots arrived after Election Day, as well as North Carolina (2,958) and Pennsylvania, (3,439). But in other states — such as Arizona, where 864 ballots were delayed, and Georgia, where 853 were delayed — votes that did not reach election officials by Nov. 3 will be disqualified
Trump will speak at 3:30 p.m.
President Donald Trump will speak from the White House at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. This will be his first public appearance since the early morning hours after Election Day.
Drop boxes reopen for signature challenge forms
Ballot drop boxes in King County have reopened for voters who need to send in forms because their election ballots were challenged. The boxes will be open until Nov. 23.
Of the more than 1.2 million ballots returned, 13,602 have been challenged because of a problem with ballot signatures, according to King County Elections spokesperson Halei Watkins. Signatures are challenged if the ballot return envelope wasn’t signed or if the signature doesn’t match the one in the voter’s registration record.
Any voter with a signature challenge will receive a letter from King County Elections and can fill out a form to have their ballot counted. Voters who haven’t sent in a form three days before the deadline will receive a second notification. The form can also be scanned and emailed to email@example.com.
Poll watchers emerge as a flashpoint in battle over ballots
Election officials in key battleground states pushed back on claims by the Trump campaign that Republican poll watchers were being improperly denied access to observe the counting of ballots, saying Thursday that rules were being followed and they were committed to transparency.
Tasked this year with monitoring a record number of mail ballots, partisan poll watchers are designated by a political party or campaign to report any concerns they may have. With a few reports of overly aggressive poll watchers, election officials said they were carefully balancing access with the need to minimize disruptions.
“There were certainly a lot of eyes on the process in every absentee counting board all across our state,” said Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat and the state’s top election official. “I’m proud of how transparent and secure our process has been. I know that the truth is on our side here.”
Poll watchers have been a central element of legal battles that have erupted in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada. While counting was largely finished in Michigan, the work continued Thursday in Pennsylvania and Nevada where a narrow margin separated President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.
Monitoring polling places and election offices is allowed in most states, but rules vary and there are certain limits to avoid any harassment or intimidation. Monitors are not allowed to interfere with the conduct of the election and are typically required to register in advance with the local election office.
Biden getting virtual briefing on coronavirus
Joe Biden is getting virtual briefings on the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout from panels of experts, sticking to a routine he’s had since March, even as the outcome of the presidential race remains in doubt.
The former vice president traveled Thursday afternoon to a theater in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, where his campaign has set up a makeshift studio. He and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, often sit facing large screens while experts participate by video conference.
Biden has held similar public health and economic briefings about once a week since March while criticizing President Donald Trump’s administration for the federal government’s response to a pandemic that has killed more than 230,000 Americans.
Journalists traveling with Biden were not allowed inside the briefing but saw him as he entered the theater. He did not take questions.
Social media rumors alleging modified ballots in Washington aren't accurate
Posts circulating on social media falsely allege that ballots cast in Washington are being "modified," citing a screenshot showing different names than those the voter chose.
But the screenshot, of a page on the Secretary of State's website, doesn't show a ballot — it's a list of elected officials who are currently in office.
The list includes officials like Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, who wasn't on any ballot this year. Habib is currently in California to begin the process of becoming a Jesuit priest.
Washington voters cannot view their ballot — or anyone else's — online, according to the Washington Secretary of State's office.
Michigan judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit
A Michigan judge has dismissed a lawsuit by President Donald Trump’s campaign in a dispute over whether Republican challengers had access to the handling of absentee ballots.
Judge Cynthia Stephens noted that the lawsuit was filed late Wednesday afternoon, just hours before the last ballots were counted. She also said the defendant, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, was the wrong person to sue because she doesn’t control the logistics of local ballot counting, even if she is the state’s chief election officer.
The Associated Press called the Michigan presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden on Wednesday evening. Trump won the state in 2016.
The lawsuit claimed 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.
EXPLAINER: A closer look at Arizona
State officials say there are about 450,000 votes still to be counted in Arizona, a Western presidential battleground state, where Biden has a 2.35 percentage point lead over Trump, an advantage of about 68,000 votes.
The Associated Press has called the race in Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden. The AP said Thursday it is monitoring the vote count in the state as ballots continued to be tallied.
“The Associated Press continues to watch and analyze vote count results from Arizona as they come in,” said Sally Buzbee, AP’s executive editor. “We will follow the facts in all cases.”
The vast majority of the ballots still being counted are from Maricopa County, the most populous area of the state. The next update from elections officials in Arizona is expected around 9 p.m. EST.
The Trump campaign says it is confident the president will overtake Biden when all votes in the state are tallied.
The AP called the race in Arizona for Biden at 2:50 a.m. EST Wednesday after an analysis of ballots cast statewide concluded Trump could not catch up in the ballots left to be counted.
Georgia judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit
A judge in Georgia has dismissed a lawsuit by the state Republican Party and President Donald 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.
Election observer says no evidence for Trump’s fraud claims
BERLIN — The head of an international delegation monitoring the U.S. election says his team has no evidence to support President Donald Trump’s claims about alleged fraud involving mail-in absentee ballots.
Michael Georg Link, a German lawmaker who heads an observer mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told German public broadcaster rbb Thursday that “on the election day itself, we couldn’t see any violations” at the U.S. polling places they visited.
Link said he was “very surprised” by Trump’s claims about postal ballot fraud because the United States has a long history of this method of voting going back to the 19th century.
“We looked into this. We found no violations of the rules whatsoever,” Link told rbb.
Biden faces prospect of gridlock presidency after party losses
Joe Biden may have the inside track on Donald Trump to win the White House, but his party’s otherwise poor performance on Election Night sets up a gridlock presidency, with faint hopes of achieving liberal policy aspirations.
If he prevails, Biden would become the first president since George H.W. Bush to enter office without control of both the House and Senate — promising him at least two years of stasis and gridlock.
In the immediate term, there will be little incentive for Republicans to give in on the sweeping coronavirus stimulus package Democrats hoped a big election victory could secure. But that battle would likely be the first in a string of GOP efforts to stifle a Biden administration at every turn.
Biden pushes closer to victory in race for the White House
WASHINGTON — Democrat Joe Biden was pushing closer to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to carry the White House, securing victories in the “blue wall” states of Wisconsin and Michigan and narrowing President Donald Trump’s path.
With just a handful of states still up for grabs, Trump tried to press his case in court in some key swing states. It was unclear if any of his campaign’s legal maneuvering over balloting would succeed in shifting the race in his favor.
Two days after Election Day, neither candidate had amassed the votes needed to win the White House. But Biden’s victories in the Great Lakes states left him at 264, meaning he was one state away — any would do — from becoming president-elect.
Trump, with 214 electoral votes, faced a much higher hurdle. To reach 270, he needed to claim all four remaining swing states: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada.
How teachers are helping kids understand this election
It’s hard to focus on tests in AP Spanish and AP U.S. History when the presidency hangs in balance, when you’re learning from your bedroom, when the outcome of this election will surely shape your young life.
Four years ago, when Donald Trump was elected, teachers in Washington and across the country were first responders to students’ concerns and fears, as well as their elation — moderating real-time political debates that could suddenly become charged with racism and xenophobia.
Now, the job is even harder: Educators must teach the complicated facts of a nail-biter election, where realities are constantly changing. At the same time, due to the COVID-19 closures, they have to engage their students from a distance — often without even seeing their faces. Many teachers have fewer minutes of live instruction with students than they would in a classroom setting, giving them less time for open-ended discussions.
For some Seattle-area teachers, who find themselves serving as first responders and fact-checkers, careful preparation is paying off as they talk "not just about the election results but about the country we’re in today."
Catch up on the past 24 hours
Joe Biden is one swing state away from becoming president as counting continues today, and he's already received the most votes in history. Here's the status of the states still in play. President Donald Trump is mounting legal challenges in four states, but his road to the Supreme Court won't be as fast as he'd like. If Biden comes out of all of this on top, his goals will likely hit massive political gridlock. Meanwhile, a jittery and bitterly divided America is bracing for rocky days to come.
A rally drew hundreds of people to Occidental Park last night. It was one of several Seattle demonstrations where voters expressed stress about the presidential contest mixed with calls for change far beyond a win by Joe Biden. Protests are sweeping through U.S. cities, with Biden backers focused on "not allowing Donald Trump to steal this election" and Trump supporters converging on vote centers in key states.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp has lost his police job in addition to losing Washington's gubernatorial election. The Republic City Council defunded its one-person police department, he bitterly revealed yesterday.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday the election results give him a mandate to continue with a public-health-based approach to tamping down the COVID-19 outbreak. Washington state confirmed a record one-day count of 1,469 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, as the nation topped 100,000 cases in a day for the first time. Inslee said he would make more remarks Thursday on the pandemic.
Democrat Marilyn Strickland has won the U.S. House seat in Washington’s 10th District. Here's the latest on the state's other congressional races. In the Senate, Democrats face increasingly long odds as control of that chamber hangs in the balance.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman is set to win her third term, but Washington's only other statewide elected Republican has not fared as well in the newest returns.
After voters in Oregon passed a landmark measure making it the first state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of drugs including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, Washington could be next.
Rhode Island voters have changed the state's name.
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