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 presidential candidates need 270 electoral college votes to claim victory. Several key states have been close as votes continue to be counted.
Inslee reiterates he's 'committed' to his state governor job
Gov. Jay Inslee said he was "committed to this job" on CNN Friday evening, when asked if he would consider taking a federal position under a Joe Biden presidency.
"Today I was working on our COVID plan that I'm really dedicated to," Inslee told CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon. "I am committed to this job. We got a great state. And my grandkids are here."
Some have long speculated that Biden, if he wins, might appoint Inslee to a federal position, possibly working on climate-change policy — theories Inslee has dismissed in the past.
On Friday, he also praised Biden for his policies on climate change -- which he said have shown "tremendous growth" since he debated Biden as a presidential candidate last year -- and said he would be a "great general on the war against COVID."
"We need to solve our problems in a unifying approach," Inslee said. "That's the most important thing. ... I look forward to a fireside chat with Joe Biden because he's going to save a lot of lives."
Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, tests positive for COVID-19
President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told associates he has coronavirus, according to people familiar with the matter, adding to the outbreaks connected to the White House.
It wasn’t immediately clear when Meadows learned that he had contracted the virus or whether he had developed symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. He informed a close circle of advisers after Tuesday’s election, one of the people said.
Meadows didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. White House spokespeople didn’t respond to numerous e-mails and phone messages requesting comment.
A Trump campaign aide, Nick Trainer, is also infected, according to two people familiar with the matter. He and campaign spokespeople declined to comment.
Meadows has remained involved in Trump’s post-election effort to challenge votes in several states where he trails former Vice President Joe Biden, according to one person familiar with the matter.
Joe Biden addresses public at Delaware convention center
Joe Biden, who has pulled ahead of President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania and Georgia vote counts, shared a confident message with the public Friday evening.
"We don't have a final declaration, a victory, yet, but the numbers tell us a clear and convincing story," said Biden, who spoke from a convention center in Wilmington, Delaware. "We're going to win this race."
He continued, "More than 74 million Americans spoke loudly for our ticket. ... I want people to know we're not waiting to get the work done."
He added that on Thursday, he and his vice presidential pick, Sen. Kamala Harris, met with groups to discuss a plan to address the country's public health and economic crisis, noting the recent skyrocketing of daily coronavirus cases.
"I'll work as hard for those who voted against me, as for those who voted for me. That's the job," he said.
The Electoral College is close; the popular vote isn’t
As the presidential race inches agonizingly toward a conclusion, it might be easy to miss the fact that the results are not really close.
With many ballots still left to count in heavily Democratic cities, former Vice President Joe Biden was leading President Donald Trump on Friday by more than 4.1 million votes. Amid all the anxiety over the counts in Pennsylvania and Georgia, and despite Americans’ intense ideological divisions, there was no question that — for the fourth presidential election in a row, and the seventh of the past eight — more people had chosen a Democrat than a Republican.
Only once in the past 30 years have more Americans voted for a Republican: in 2004, when President George W. Bush beat John Kerry by about 3 million votes. But three times, a Republican has been elected.
Biden is very likely to win the Electoral College, avoiding another split with the popular vote. But the prolonged uncertainty despite the public’s fairly decisive preference — Biden’s current vote margin is larger than the populations of more than 20 states, and larger than Hillary Clinton’s margin in 2016 — has intensified some Americans’ anger at a system in which a minority of people can often claim a majority of power.
Judge Rejects GOP Challenge to Nevada Ballot Count Procedures
A federal judge in Nevada rejected a bid by two Republican candidates for Congress to block the swing state’s procedure for processing mail-in ballots, which they claimed was unfair.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon in Las Vegas on Friday evening denied a request for an injunction and temporary restraining order against the state’s continued use of a machine that uses advanced signature-matching technology. He also denied a request to force the state’s Clark County to let observers get closer to the ballot-counting process.
Why ballot-counting in Nevada is dragging on
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The pace of vote-counting in Nevada is being criticized for taking too long and it’s even become fodder for online jokes. But government officials say they are emphasizing accuracy over speed in a year when processing an unprecedented flood of mail-in ballots under extended deadlines is taking more time.
“We told everyone early on that results would take at least 10 days,” Secretary of State spokeswoman Jennifer A. Russell said in an email.
The Legislature passed a bill in August to send all active voters mail-in ballots in hopes of curbing, or at least not fueling, the spread of the coronavirus. Those postmarked by Election Day can be counted if they arrive at election offices within seven days, which is Tuesday. And they continue to come in, though the number arriving each day is expected to dwindle.
“It’s been a different year for us,” said Deanna Spikula, registrar of voters in Washoe County, the state’s second-largest county that includes Reno. “The volume is definitely something that we’ve never seen before in the state as far as receiving and processing mail-in ballots.”
Pro-Trump protesters decry the vote-counting
Pro-Trump protesters — some of them openly carrying rifles and handguns — rallied outside vote-tabulation centers in a few cities around the country Friday, responding to groundless accusations from President Donald Trump that the Democrats were trying to steal the White House.
Elections officials in several states where Democrat Joe Biden was ahead said the anger outside their doors made them fear for the safety of their employees.
Roughly 100 Trump supporters gathered for a third straight day in front of the elections center in Phoenix, where hundreds of workers were processing and counting ballots.
“Arrest the poll workers!” the crowd chanted, demanding four more years in office for Trump. Sheriff’s deputies kept protesters in a “free speech” zone away from the entrance to the building.
Police detain men after tip about vehicle with armed group heading to Philadelphia convention center, where ballots are being counted
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.
Romney: Trump’s election fraud claim wrong, ‘reckless’
WASHINGTON — Key Republican lawmakers, including 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, on Friday slammed President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that Democrats are trying to “steal” the election. But some GOP leaders struck a more neutral tone — and others urged the White House to fight.
Romney, now a senator from Utah, said Trump was within his rights to request recounts and call for investigations where evidence of irregularities exists.
But Trump “is wrong to say the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen,″ Romney said on Twitter. Trump’s claim “damages the cause of freedom here and around the world … and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions,” he said.
Romney is Trump’s most vocal critic within the Republican Party and voted to convict Trump in the president’s impeachment trial earlier this year.
His comments came as GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania — whose state is a key battleground in the presidential election, where votes are still being tallied — called Trump’s claim of fraud “very disturbing.”
“There’s simply no evidence anyone has shown me of any widespread corruption or fraud,” Toomey told “CBS This Morning.”
Where did Seattle transit measure do best, worst?
Seattle Proposition 1— a sales-tax measure to preserve frequent bus service, shuttle vans and free transit fares for students — won overwhelming support on Election Night, with "yes" votes nearly hitting 82%.
That support wasn't distributed equally across the city, however. Prop 1 won most convincingly on dense Capitol Hill blocks, according to precinct data from Tuesday night (precinct data has been released only for Election Night).
Prop 1's six best precincts all were on Capitol Hill, including four between Broadway and Interstate 5. It won about 92% to about 95% of the votes in those precincts.
The ballot measure's six worst precincts were more scattered, including one where Eastlake meets South Lake Union, one encompassing the Broadmoor Country Club in Madison Park, two in Magnolia and two along the city's southern border, in Lakeridge and Rainier View.
Only in the precinct straddling Eastlake and South Lake Union (an unusually small precinct, where only 24 votes were counted) did Prop 1 lose on Election Night, with 45%. It snagged at least 59% in every other precinct across Seattle.
The six-year measure will enact a tax of 0.15%, or 15 cents per $100 purchase, to generate $42 million per year. The money will replace existing taxes for transit that will expire on Dec. 31.
Advocates race to find Georgia voters who cast bad ballots
ATLANTA — Advocates for both presidential candidates raced to find every person in Georgia who submitted a flawed ballot before time ran out Friday to fix the paperwork in a race that could be decided by the narrowest of margins.
Hours before the 5 p.m. deadline, Christin Clatterbuck and Sarah Meng joined about 20 other volunteers who planned to visit addresses in suburban Atlanta’s Gwinnett County in search of voters whose ballots were initially rejected but could be fixed with a signature or an ID.
Cam Ashling, a Democratic activist who organized the small effort, gave instructions and a pep talk. “Never has it ever been more true than now that every vote counts,” she shouted beside a pickup truck with a bed full of snacks, water and a big bottle of hand sanitizer.
Clatterbuck and Meng drove through suburban neighborhoods in their small SUV. They walked past rose bushes to knock on the door of a home in Lilburn where they were looking for a 19-year-old voter. Her dad answered and promised to call her at college.
Trump’s special Twitter treatment would end with Biden win
As U.S. president, Donald Trump receives special treatment from Twitter when he violates the company’s rules around offensive or misleading content. That exemption will end in January if he loses the presidency.
The social network treats transgressions from world leaders differently than those from regular users, and often leaves up tweets that violate its content policies, adding a warning instead of forcing users to delete the posts. This is part of Twitter’s philosophy that people should be able to hear from world leaders even when they share controversial posts because their messages are inherently newsworthy.
But former world leaders aren’t protected under that policy. High-profile politicians no longer in office — like former U.S. President Barack Obama — are treated like regular users if they violate Twitter’s rules, which prohibit messages that include hate speech or posts that glorify violence or contain certain types of false information, like dangerous health-related misinformation.
Trump will fall into the “former” group if he leaves office in January, Twitter confirmed. If that happens, breaking one of Twitter’s rules means his tweets may be removed entirely instead of labeled. He could also rack up “strikes” for multiple violations, which would increase the severity of punishment issued from the company, and could lead to temporary account freezes, suspensions or even a permanent ban.
Trump predicts ‘lot of litigation’ in fight to keep his job
WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing the potential for narrow losses in multiple battlegrounds, President Donald Trump might have to persuade the Supreme Court to set aside votes in two or more states to prevent Joe Biden from becoming president.
That’s a substantially different scenario than in the contested presidential election of 2000, which was effectively settled by the Supreme Court. Then, the entire fight was over Florida’s electoral votes and involved a recount as opposed to trying to halt the initial counting of ballots.
Trump’s campaign and Republicans already are mounting legal challenges in several states, although most are small-scale lawsuits that do not appear to affect many votes.
Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed campaign lawsuits Thursday, undercutting a campaign legal strategy to attack the integrity of the voting process in states where the result could mean Trump’s defeat.
The rulings came as Biden inched closer to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.
Biden plans prime-time televised address
Joe Biden’s campaign says he will give a speech during prime time Friday.
The Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign announced that he would be making an address but did not say where or what he plans to say.
Biden is on the cusp of winning the presidency as he opens up narrow leads over President Donald Trump in several critical backgrounds.
The Associated Press has not called the presidential race. Votes are still being counted in states including Pennsylvania and Georgia.
He has urged the public to be patient as vote counting continues. He was spending Friday at home in Wilmington, Delaware.
A stage set up since election night for a victory party outside the city’s convention center remained intact and has been secured for days by security personnel using high fencing and car barriers.
Biden campaign staffers who arrived in Wilmington for a victory party earlier in the week have been told to hold onto their hotel rooms until early next week.
Tarleton concedes to Wyman in Washington secretary of state race
Rep. Gael Tarleton has conceded to two-term incumbent Kim Wyman in the Washington secretary of state race.
Wyman, a Republican, had extended her lead over Democratic challenger Tarleton since Election Day, with 53% of the vote as of Thursday evening.
Tarleton, who represents the 36th Legislative District in Seattle, called Wyman Friday morning to concede.
“Our democracy faces significant challenges, and I know she (Wyman) will work to protect our votes in Washington state,” said Tarleton said in a statement.
Trump wins white evangelicals, Catholics split
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump won support from about 8 in 10 white evangelical Christian voters in his race for reelection, but Catholic voters split almost evenly between him and Democratic opponent Joe Biden, according to AP VoteCast.
Trump’s strong hold on white evangelical voters illustrates the GOP’s enduring success with a bloc of religious conservatives who have been a linchpin of the president’s political base since his 2016 victory. The president’s path to a second term has grown narrower, however, amid a divide among Catholics between Trump and Biden, a lifelong member of the faith.
AP VoteCast showed 50% of Catholics backing Trump and 49% favoring Biden, reflecting the faith’s longstanding role as a closely contested vote in presidential elections — particularly in Rust Belt battleground states such as Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump won both of those states by less than 1 percentage point in 2016, but Biden prevailed in both this year. The survey of more than 110,000 voters nationwide was conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.
Ahead of the election, the rival campaigns targeted Catholics with fervent appeals to vote based on their faith. Trump supporters said faithful Catholics should not vote for Biden because of his support for abortion rights, while Biden backers said Trump is too divisive and has failed to elevate social justice issues that are part of Catholic teaching.
How recounts work in Georgia, Wisconsin and other key states
With votes still being tallied in multiple states, the presidential race remained too close to call. Former Vice President Joe Biden was leading in electoral votes, but several key states had still not been called.
Thin margins could open up the possibility of recounts. The Trump campaign has already signaled it would request a recount in the critical state of Wisconsin, where Biden was declared winner. And the secretary of state in Georgia, where no winner has yet been declared, has said that state will have a recount, PBS NewsHour's Yamiche Alcindor reported Friday morning.
As the results continue trickling in, here’s what we know about the rules for recounts in hotly contested states.
Counties with worst virus surges overwhelmingly voted Trump
An Associated Press analysis reveals that in 376 counties with the highest number of new coronavirus cases per capita, the overwhelming majority — 93% of those counties — went for Trump, a rate above other less severely hit areas.
Most were rural counties in Montana, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Wisconsin — the kinds of areas that often have lower rates of adherence to social distancing, mask-wearing and other public health measures, and have been a focal point for much of the latest surge in cases.
Stephen Colbert briefly breaks down, says Trump’s claims of fraud ‘cast a dark shadow on our most sacred right’
CBS’s “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert has spent the past four years skewering President Donald Trump, sometimes with jokes and sometimes with serious monologues. But he seemed to reach his breaking point Thursday night, as he became visibly choked up delivering an emotional speech about Trump’s attempts to cast doubt on the election with evidence-free claims of fraud.
Colbert filmed the show shortly after Trump’s White House address, which The Washington Post called “a speech of historic dishonesty” and “a litany of falsehoods and grievances, with some baseless conspiracy theories thrown in for good measure.” The three major broadcast networks all cut away from the briefing not long after it started.
The late-night comedian was not in a joking mood, as he started off standing next to his desk and was dressed in all black clothing.
“We’re taping this just a little while after Donald Trump walked into the White House briefing room, actually, and tried to poison American democracy. That’s why I’m not sitting down yet. I just don’t feel like it yet,” he said in a video that started to make the rounds on social media early Friday morning. “That’s also why I’m dressed for a funeral. Because Donald Trump tried really hard to kill something tonight.”
Georgia plans recount, PBS NewsHour reports
Georgia's secretary of state says "there will be a recount" there of ballots cast in the presidential election, PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor reported Friday morning.
Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden took a razor-thin lead in Georgia on Friday morning over President Donald Trump.
He also took a lead overnight in Pennsylvania. A victory there would seal the presidency for Biden even if he loses Georgia. But Pennsylvania remains too early to call for either candidate.
Why AP hasn’t called Pennsylvania
A close margin and a large number of outstanding votes are what’s making the Pennsylvania contest between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden too early to call.
Biden opened a lead of about 6,000 votes Friday morning over Trump, of more than 6.5 million votes cast — a lead of less than one-tenth of a percentage point. State law dictates that a recount must be held if the margin between the two candidates is less than half a percentage point. There are tens of thousands of votes left to count.
Twitter bans Steve Bannon for video suggesting violence against Fauci, FBI Director Wray
If President Donald Trump wins reelection, former chief strategist Steve Bannon said in a video posted Thursday that he should quickly eliminate Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious-disease expert, and FBI Director Christopher Wray — by means of medieval execution.
“I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England. I’d put the heads on pikes,” Bannon said during a live taping of his online show, “War Room: Pandemic.”
Twitter permanently suspended Bannon’s @WarRoomPandemic account on Thursday after he posted the clip, a spokeswoman told The Washington Post, citing the service’s prohibition on “the glorification of violence.” The move makes Bannon one of the most high-profile political figures to be banned.
Facebook, YouTube and Spotify also removed video clips and audio from the episode.
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.
Biden takes lead in Pennsylvania and Georgia
WASHINGTON — Democrat Joe Biden overtook President Donald Trump in the vote count in Pennsylvania and Georgia Friday morning, closing in on a presidency that hinges on the outcome of tight contests in key battleground states.
Both states remained too early to call with votes still being counted. Neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House, though Biden has the advantage after eclipsing Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan, two crucial Midwestern battleground states. Biden leads Trump by nearly 6,000 votes in Pennsylvania and just over 1,000 in Georgia.
Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania dwindled after Election Day when state officials began processing mail-in ballots, a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor. Trump has spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.
Trump must win Pennsylvania to have a shot at reelection. Biden now holds a nearly 6,000-vote advantage there. If there is less than a half percentage point difference between Biden’s and Trump’s final vote totals in Pennsylvania, state law dictates that a recount must be held.
Catch up on the past 24 hours
The presidency hinges on tight contests in crucial states. More results are expected this morning and will appear here. While we're waiting, see the status of those key states. Trump is promising "a lot of litigation," but he might have to persuade the Supreme Court to set aside votes in two or more states to keep his job.
After President Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of fabricated accusations yesterday in an attempt to undermine the election's legitimacy, fact-checkers are setting the record straight. Major TV networks cut away from Trump as he spoke and sharply criticized his words. Some GOP lawmakers raised their voices, too, calling Trump's comments "insane" and "dangerous." Former Washington state 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, referring to Trump's tweets and speeches demanding a halt to vote counts in states where later ballots are trending for Biden.
Facebook has banned a "STOP THE STEAL" group that Trump allies were using to organize protests against vote counting. As some of the commentary in the group veered into planning for armed conflict, the company said it was trying to "protect the integrity of the vote."
More than 150,000 ballots were caught in U.S. Postal Service processing facilities and not delivered by Election Day, including more than 12,000 in key swing states, the agency says.
Police detained two men last night after receiving a tip that a Hummer carrying several people with AR-15 rifles was heading to a Philadelphia vote-counting location.
Twin Senate runoffs in Georgia could shape a Biden presidency, with control of the chamber at stake. If both races go into round 2, expect a campaign on an almost national scale in January, with tens of millions of dollars spent by both sides.
How did the polls go sideways yet again? The underestimation of Trump’s support in many places left Democrats "operating in a reality that wasn’t reality." This raises new questions about the widely held belief that campaigns can divine public opinion before the votes are counted, if they throw enough money and talent at the effort.
City leaders in Republic, Ferry County, say 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 governor. 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.
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