2020 Latest: International observers see no fraud in US vote

2020 Latest: International observers see no fraud in US vote
FILE - This combination of Sept. 29, 2020 file photos shows President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the presidential campaign (all times local):

9 p.m.

International observers from the Organization of American States say they saw no instances of fraud or voting irregularities in the U.S. presidential election.

The delegation included 28 experts and observers from 13 countries who observed the election process in in Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and the District of Columbia. COVID-19 prevented a broader coalition of experts.

The OAS says the Election Day was peaceful, although there were efforts to intimate poll workers as the votes were counted, and says the country’s mail-in ballots were a secure system.

The report says the OAS supports “the right of all contesting parties in an election, to seek redress before the competent legal authorities when they believe they have been wronged.”

“It is critical however, that candidates act responsibly by presenting and arguing legitimate claims before the courts, not unsubstantiated or harmful speculation in the public media,” the OAS says.

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7:15 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to deliver a speech defending the Obama administration’s signature health care law amid a case before the Supreme Court that could overturn it.

Biden will speak on the Affordable Care Act from Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. He campaigned for months on the law, arguing that President Donald Trump and top Republicans opposed it and therefore wanted to wipe out its mandated health insurance coverage for people with preexisting conditions even though they had no alternative to replace it.

A lawsuit challenging the law is being considered by the Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority after Trump’s appointment of Amy Coney Barrett.

Biden and other top Democrats tried to make last week’s election a referendum on health care, which helped the party have a strong midterm election in 2018. But Democrats failed to win control of the Senate and lost House seats this cycle, despite Biden’s win.

Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president and has promised to build on the law to allow more people to opt into government-sponsored coverage while others can keep their current, employer-based systems.

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5:10 p.m.

Georgia’s secretary of state is firing back at the state’s two U.S. senators for calling on him to resign over the handling of the election, which has President-elect Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump in the state.

Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue took the extraordinary step Monday of calling for Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to step down.

Raffensperger responded, “Let me start by saying that is not going to happen. The voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me.”

He says while he understands their frustration with the outcome of the election — which also saw Loeffler and Perdue forced into runoffs — the way the election was handled was a success.

Raffensperger says, “As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate. I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that.”

The Associated Press hasn’t yet called a winner in Georgia’s presidential election. The state hasn’t gone to a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992.

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4:30 p.m.

Some Republicans are renewing their attacks on President-elect Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia, with Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler taking the extraordinary step of calling for the resignation of the Republican secretary of state.

Republicans laid out a strategy to investigate but still presented no evidence of large-scale voter fraud in the balloting, saying Monday that they were still looking into ways to overturn Biden’s lead of more than 10,000 votes in Georgia.

Georgia is one front in a nationwide scramble by Trump forces to question his national defeat. The Associated Press has not yet called the race for Georgia’s 16 electoral votes.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office is defending the conduct of the elections, saying that while there may be scattered illegal votes, officials are very confident in the overall outcome.

Loeffler and Perdue, who face a pair of Jan. 5 runoffs against Democrats that will determine control of the Senate, blamed Raffensperger for “mismanagement and lack of transparency.”

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2:20 p.m.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is congratulating President-elect Joe Biden on an “apparent victory” but adding that President Donald Trump should be afforded the chance to challenge the results.

Collins won reelection last week over Democrat Sara Gideon. She asked voters who have questions about the results of the presidential election to be patient.

“First, I would offer my congratulations to President-elect Biden on his apparent victory – he loves this country, and I wish him every success,” Collins said in a statement. “Presidential transitions are important, and the President-elect and the Vice-President-elect should be given every opportunity to ensure that they are ready to govern on January 20th.”

Collins added that Trump’s desire to challenge the results should be handled in accordance with existing laws. Trump has so far refused to concede to Biden.

She says, “I understand that the president and others have questions about the results in certain states. There is a process in place to challenge those results and, consistent with that process, the president should be afforded the opportunity to do so.”

1:55 p.m.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it would like to see a major infrastructure bill as the first order of business for a Biden-Harris administration and a new Congress in 2021.

The powerful business lobby group had teamed up with the AFL-CIO and other groups during Donald Trump’s presidency to push for significant new investments in roads, bridges and broadband but could not get legislation over the finish line. How to pay for such investment remains a huge stumbling block.

Neil Bradley, an executive vice president at the business group, says the chamber will continue to push the Trump administration and Congress to get an economic relief bill passed before the end of the year to help businesses survive during the coronavirus pandemic.

He says the economic recovery is “uneven across industries and across communities, and we have to focus on those who will be the last to recover from this pandemic induced recession.”

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1:50 p.m.

The highest-ranking Black member of Congress is urging President Donald Trump to stop challenging the results of the 2020 general election and begin finding ways to work with the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Clyburn said Monday during a media availability that Trump appears to be “hell-bent on destroying the fabric that’s been holding” the country together by alleging unsubstantiated fraud in the vote counting.

Applauding the Biden transition team’s work in setting up a coronavirus task force, Clyburn said he has “absolutely no interest” in a post of his own in the administration. But he did suggest that Jaime Harrison, who recently lost to Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, might be a good pick.

Harrison told The Associated Press on Monday that he would be willing to serve. He says, “If the president-elect asks you to serve, then you serve.” He says he would leave it up to the Biden team to determine what post would be a good fit.

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1:45 p.m.

Political appointees who are looking for job opportunities after President Donald Trump’s election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden should think twice.

A senior administration official says presidential personnel director John McEntee, the president’s former personal aide, has sent word to departments that they should terminate any political appointees seeking new work while Trump has refused to accept the electoral results.

Another official said the warning was not likely to result in any firings but rather meant to reinforce to staff that they should not act counter to Trump while he refuses to concede.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Trump’s term ends at noon on Jan. 20. Several thousand political appointees across the government will see their jobs end by that date.

Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election on Saturday.

— By AP writer Zeke Miller

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1:35 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris while reaffirming the U.S.-U.N. partnership as “an essential pillar of the international cooperation needed to address the dramatic challenges facing the world today.”

The message, delivered Monday by U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, also congratulated the American people “for a vibrant exercise of democracy in their country’s elections last week.”

Dujarric said in response to a question on Harris' historic victory as the first woman to be elected vice president that the secretary-general is always pleased and welcomes a woman getting “to break a new ceiling.”

General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir tweeted his warmest congratulations to Biden, citing his “long history” of supporting the United Nations, and to Harris for her historic election, which he called “a milestone for gender equality.”

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1 p.m.

President Donald Trump has fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, a stunning move on the heels of Trump’s failed reelection bid.

Presidents who win reelection often replace Cabinet members, including the secretary of defense, but losing presidents have kept their Pentagon chiefs in place until Inauguration Day to preserve stability in the name of national security.

Trump announced the news in a tweet, saying that “effective immediately” Christopher Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will serve as acting secretary, sidestepping the department’s No.2-ranking official, Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist.

“Chris will do a GREAT job!” Trump tweeted. “Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.”

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12:50 p.m.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus. Carson is the first member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet known to have tested positive.

The department’s deputy chief of staff, Coalter Baker, said Monday that Carson is “in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery.”

The 69-year-old Carson is among several top Trump administration officials who attended last week’s election night party at the White House. Carson has been a steadfast surrogate for the Republican president, traveling to many of the swing states before Election Day to discuss the administration’s priorities and achievements. Carson attended several events Trump held to appeal to African American voters.

Before joining the Trump administration, Carson had sought the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2016. He served for nearly 30 years as director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

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12:15 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden is imploring Americans to “wear a mask” to help fight the spread of the coronavirus — “no matter who you voted for.”

He says, “We are Americans, and our country is under threat.”

The Democrat said Monday wearing masks could slow the death toll in the COVID-19 pandemic, which he noted could climb by 200,000 before a vaccine is widely available.

Biden said, “Please, I implore you, wear a mask.” He noted masks could save the lives of older people, children and teachers and added: “It could even save your own life.”

Biden notes that he doesn’t take office until Jan. 20 but is assuming a public leadership role in the fight against the pandemic ahead of being sworn in.

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12:05 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden is warning the United States is “still facing a very dark winter” as he unveils plans for addressing COVID-19 pandemic.

Even as hopes of a vaccine lifted stocks, Biden said Monday another 200,000 lives could be lost before it is widely available. Biden implores Americans to “wear a mask.”

Biden says he would be guided by science in laying out the framework of a pandemic response, starting with members of a task force to prepare for his administration’s transition to overseeing it.

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11:20 a.m.

One week after Election Day, Vice President Mike Pence appears ready to take some time off.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Pence is scheduled to travel to Sanibel, Florida, Tuesday through Saturday. Pence has vacationed on the island along Florida’s Gulf Coast several times previously. Pence’s office didn’t immediately comment on the trip on Monday.

The trip comes as President Donald Trump has pledged to continue trying to contest the outcome of the election and as President-elect Joe Biden is ramping up his transition efforts.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are being briefed virtually on the coronavirus pandemic by a task force of experts their transition team announced Monday.

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11:10 a.m.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are being briefed virtually on the coronavirus pandemic by a task force of experts their transition team announced only hours earlier.

The Democratic president-elect and vice president-elect sat at separate, individual socially distanced tables and took notes as the members introduced themselves on Monday.

Biden is also planning to give a speech on his planned response to the pandemic. Then Biden and Harris will hold hours of internal meetings about transitioning to the White House in January.

The task force briefing was at the Queen, a theater in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden’s campaign built a studio and other communications infrastructure and has spent months organizing virtual meetings and speeches.

The first to speak during the briefing was former Food Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler. He is co-chairing the task force with former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale University associate professor and associate dean whose research focuses on promoting health care equality for marginalized populations.

Also part of the group is Rick Bright, a whistleblower who was demoted after criticizing the Trump administration’s pandemic response. Bright had been head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Journalists could watch only about two minutes of the proceedings and heard only the participants introducing themselves.

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7:25 a.m.

President-elect Joe Biden has announced the members of his coronavirus task force, which will put together a blueprint for fighting the pandemic.

The co-chairs are former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, former Food Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale University professor and researcher.

Notable among the task force members is Rick Bright, a vaccine expert and former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Bright filed a whistleblower complaint alleging he was reassigned to a lesser job because he resisted political pressure to allow widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug pushed by President Donald Trump as a COVID-19 treatment.

Other members include Luciana Borio, a biodefense specialist; Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and bioethics chair at the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Atul Gawande, a Clinton administration health advisor and surgery expert; Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease expert who has studied HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; Dr. Julie Morita, a pediatric and immunization specialist; Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert and epidemiologist; Loyce Pace, a global health specialist; Dr. Robert Rodriguez, an emergency medicine expert who has researched mental health of COVID-19 responders; and Dr. Eric Goosby, an infectious disease expert who has worked in AIDS/HIV.

6:40 p.m.

A bipartisan group from the last three White Houses is urging the Trump administration to move forward “to immediately begin the post-election transition process.”

The call from the Center for Presidential Transition advisory board comes as the General Services Administration has yet to formally recognize Democrat Joe Biden as the president-elect. That’s a necessary move to free up money for the transition and clear the way for Biden’s team to begin putting in place the transition process at agencies.

“This was a hard-fought campaign, but history is replete with examples of presidents who emerged from such campaigns to graciously assist their successors,” members of the advisory board said in a statement.

The statement was signed by Bush White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and Health and Human Services secretary Michael Leavitt as well as Bill Clinton-era chief of staff Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Obama Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

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12:30 p.m.

Former President George W. Bush says the American people “can have confidence that this election was fundamentally fair, its integrity will be upheld, and its outcome is clear.”

He says in a statement that “no matter how you voted, your vote counted.” And Bush says President Donald Trump has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, with any unresolved issues to be “properly adjudicated.”

Bush says now is the time when “we must come together for the sake of our families and neighbors, and for our nation and its future.”

Bush says he’s spoken with Joe Biden and thanked the president-elect for what Bush says was “the patriotic message” in Biden’s national address on Saturday night after being declared the election winner.

Bush says in a statement that while he and Biden have political differences, the former president says he knows Biden “to be good man who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.”

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11:30 a.m.

Joe Biden began his first full day as president-elect the same way he does nearly every Sunday, heading to church near his home.

Biden entered St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware, shortly after the start of 10:30 a.m. Mass. He typically arrives a bit late and leaves a few minutes early so the presence of Secret Service agents doesn’t bother other attendees.

It felt like any other Sunday, except for a huge swarm of media camped near the church entrance — having anticipated Biden’s arrival.

Biden entered with his daughter, Ashley, and his grandson, Hunter, the son of the president-elect’s late son, Beau, a former Delaware attorney general.

Biden has no other public events on his schedule but is expected to swiftly move to begin appointing key members of his team for the transition to the White House, including a chief of staff.

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11 a.m.

Donald Trump is spending his first day as a lame duck president golfing.

Trump arrived at his Virginia golf club just before 10 a.m. on Sunday for the second day in a row. He was welcomed by several protesters, including one who held a sign that read, “Orange Crushed.”

Trump was also on the golf course Saturday when The Associated Press and other news outlets called the race for his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, because he had won enough votes to deny Trump a second term.

Trump has yet to concede the race and is continuing to baselessly dispute the results even though there is no evidence of widespread fraud.

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10:25 a.m.

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to name former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler as co-chairs of the coronavirus working group he’s launching this week.

Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield announced the two public health experts would lead the task force during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. Murthy and Kessler have been part of a group of experts and doctors that have briefed Biden on the pandemic for months throughout the campaign.

Murthy served as surgeon general during President Barack Obama’s second term, and Kessler was FDA commissioner in the 1990s and now serves as board chair at the Centers for Science in the Public Interest.

Biden said during his victory speech Saturday night that he’d unveil the full COVID-19 task force on Monday. They’ll be tasked with taking the proposals he’s released during the campaign for dealing with the pandemic — which include investments in personal protective equipment and loans for small businesses as well as plans to implement more standardized public health guidelines — and turning them into a “blueprint” that he’ll enact when inaugurated president next January.

Biden made President Donald Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic a central focus of his campaign against the Republican and pledged if elected to make combating the pandemic his top priority.

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10:15 a.m.

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney says that President Donald Trump is within his rights to pursue recounts and legal challenges in close races that decided last week’s election but urged Trump to dial back his rhetoric.

Romney told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he thought it was unlikely that a recount or legal challenges will change the outcome and suggested Trump “be careful in the choice of words.”

The Republican senator, who has been a frequent critic of Trump’s, says when a president says an “election was ‘corrupt’ or ‘stolen’ or ‘rigged,’ that that’s unfortunately rhetoric that gets picked up by authoritarians around the world.”

Romney, who was the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, added that Trump’s language also “discourages confidence in our democratic process here at home.”

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10 a.m.

The highest-ranking Black member of Congress says President Donald Trump should concede the presidency to President-elect Joe Biden, although he says it’s more crucial what the rest of the Republican Party does in the wake of the 2020 election.

U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina told CNN on Sunday that the GOP “has a responsibility here” and that he’s watching to see “whether or not the Republican Party will step up and help us preserve the integrity of this democracy.”

Clyburn also said he sees the United States as “teetering” following Trump’s term, advising that “we had better get a hold of ourselves and this country and stop catering to whims of one person.”

Clyburn also talked about his endorsement of Biden ahead of South Carolina’s early primary, a nod that helped boost Biden to win that contest, gain momentum and ultimately clinch the nomination. Saying the field was full of good candidates, Clyburn said he “came to the conclusion that Joe Biden was our best bet.”

9 a.m.

President-elect Joe Biden will launch an “agency review teams” this coming week. It’s the group of transition staffers that have access to key agencies in the current administration to smooth the transfer of power.

The teams will collect and review information such as budgetary and staffing decisions, pending regulations and other work in progress from current staff at the federal departments.

The teams are meant to lay much of the groundwork so that the thousands of new staffers and appointees who will take over in January will have a road map and guidelines for how to continue the federal government’s work without pause, and how to shift the departments toward Biden’s priorities.

Biden’s campaign launched a transition team in May, and they’ve been working alongside designated staffers in President Donald Trump’s administration on transition planning for months. But the agency review process begins in earnest after a new president is elected. Biden has just over 10 weeks to prepare before he is inaugurated.

On Monday, he plans to announce a team of scientists and experts that will work to craft a coronavirus response plan that can be enacted when he takes office.

Biden’s transition team has also come out with a transition-focused website — BuildBackBetter.com — and is launching transition-focused social media accounts under the username “Transition46.”

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10:40 p.m.

The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit Saturday in Arizona that seeks the manual inspection of potentially thousands of in-person Election Day ballots in metro Phoenix that they allege were mishandled by poll workers and resulted in some ballot selections to be disregarded.

The legal challenge against Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs centers on instances in which people are believed to have voted for more candidates than permitted.

When tabulators detect such an “overvote,” poll workers should give voters a choice to fix the problem, but the workers instead either pressed or told voters to press a button on the machine to override the error, leaving the devices to disregard the problematic ballot selections, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed hours after the dismissal of another Arizona election lawsuit that contested the use of Sharpie markers in completing Election Day ballots in Maricopa County. Even though election officials have said voting with a Sharpie would not invalidate a ballot, many social media users in the controversy known as #Sharpiegate have falsely claimed their ballots had been invalidated because they were told to use the markers.

Hobbs spokeswoman Sophia Solis said the secretary of state’s office is still reviewing the lawsuit, but added that the latest lawsuit “is seemingly a repackaged ‘Sharpiegate’ lawsuit.”

While the Trump campaign’s lawsuit doesn’t mention Sharpies, it focuses on how ink splotches on a ballot are handled by electronic tabulators and raises the possibility of overvotes.

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9:10 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris brought their entire families on-stage with them to close out their victory party on Saturday night.

After delivering speeches outside of the Chase Center in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, the two were joined by their families to watch as red white and blue fireworks exploded in the sky. A collection of drones spelling out “USA” and outlining Biden’s logo flashed in the sky, prompting the Democrat to gaze at the sky with his mouth wide in delight. Biden’s wife Jill, seven grandkids, his son Hunter and daughter Ashley all gathered around him as the family enjoyed the display.

Harris, meanwhile, was joined by her sister Maya, her niece Meena and her husband, Doug Emhoff, as well as her two stepchildren. Harris wrapped her arms around a younger grand-niece as they watched the celebration, with more than 1,000 supporters dancing and waving American flags and Biden campaign signs. It was a celebratory ending to a day that was otherwise largely spent by the two Democrats waiting and watching as final returns rolled in.

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9:05 p.m.

Joe Biden will unveil a group of scientists and experts to help him craft a plan to tackle the coronavirus pandemic on Monday.

Biden announced his plans to launch the COVID-19 task force during remarks at his victory party Saturday night. He said those advisers would help him take the proposals he’s released during the campaign for dealing with the pandemic — which include investments in personal protective equipment and loans for small businesses as well as plans to implement more standardized public health guidelines — and turn those proposals into a “blueprint” that he’ll enact when inaugurated president next January.

Biden said the plan would be “built on bedrock science” and “constructed out of compassion, empathy and concern.” Biden made President Donald Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic a central focus of his campaign and pledged that his top priority as president would be managing the virus.

Biden said that “our work begins with getting COVID under control” , adding Americans “cannot repair the economy, restore our economy or relish life’s most precious moments” without doing so.

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9 p.m.

In his first speech after securing the White House, President-elect Joe Biden is making an appeal to supporters of President Donald Trump.

Biden said Saturday night in Wilmington, Delaware, that “this is the time to heal in America” and pledged to be a president to represent even those who didn’t support him.

Noting"I’ve lost a couple times myself," Biden said, “now, let’s give each other a chance.”

Trump has not conceded the race to Biden, pursuing legal challenges over ballot counts in several states.

Biden said “it’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again,” saying of his political opponents, “they are not our enemies. They are Americans.”

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8:55 p.m.

Joe Biden is pledging to be a president “who seeks not to divide but to unify.”

Biden is delivering his first remarks as president-elect at a victory party in Wilmington, after he was officially declared the winner of the presidential election on Saturday. Biden jogged onto the stage wearing a black suit, black mask and light blue tie. He pointed and waved at the screaming crowd gathered to hear him speak.

Echoing his campaign stump speech, Biden promised to be a president who “doesn’t see red states or blue states, only sees the United States,” and said he would work “with all my heart” to win the confidence of all Americans.

Biden touted the fact that he’s won more votes than any presidential ticket in history, calling his win “a convincing victory, a victory for the people.” He also said he was “surprised” by seeing the celebrations and an “outpouring of joy” in the wake of his win nationwide.

Biden said that “once again, America’s bent the arc of the moral universe more toward justice.”

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8:50 p.m.

Vice president-elect Kamala Harris is paying tribute to Black women who “so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy.”

Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, is the first woman to be elected to the vice presidency.

Harris noted her ascension to the role comes 100 years after the 19th Amendment was ratified and 55 years after the signing of the Voting Rights Act, which expanded who could participate in American democracy.

She praised Joe Biden for having “the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exist in our country” by selecting a woman as his running mate.

“Every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a county of possibilities,” Harris said.

The remarks were some of the most direct she has delivered about her history-making role as Biden’s running mate.

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8:45 p.m.

Vice president-elect Kamala Harris says voters have “ushered in a new day for America.”

Harris is speaking Saturday in her first address to the nation since she and Joe Biden were declared the winners of the presidential election.

Harris says voters chose hope, unity, decency, science and truth in choosing she and Biden over President Donald Trump.

Harris, the first woman to be elected vice president, wore a white pantsuit in tribute to women’s suffrage. She also opened her remarks with a tribute to the late Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a Civil Rights icon, who said democracy is not a state but an act. Harris will also be the first Black woman to serve as vice president.

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8:30 p.m.

Hundreds of cars filled the parking lot outside the Wilmington convention center in Delaware for a drive-in rally to celebrate Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race.

With temperatures mild Saturday night, more than 1,000 people sat on the roofs of their cars or milled around in small groups nearby, many cheering and waving American flags or Biden campaign signs. The smell of grilling meat hung in the air not unlike a football tailgate, and some of the attendees danced and sang, sweating through facemasks that appeared to be nearly universally worn.

The campaign set up cranes with towering American flags, an American-flag lined stage and projected a 10-story tall Biden-Harris logo over a digital American flag on the side of a hotel beside the convention center. Blue and red lights illuminated state flags perched on the roof of another nearby building.

Organizers first erected the stage on Tuesday night, expecting to hold a Biden Election Night party. As vote counting continued and no winner was declared, the campaign kept the stage intact and the parking lot remained surrounded by high security fences with police controlling all access in and out.

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8:15 p.m.

“The President will accept the results of a free and fair election.”

That’s the message from a White House official Saturday, even as President Donald Trump is refusing to concede after losing to Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump has insisted he will contest the results and his campaign has launched a flurry of legal action in a handful of states trying to overturn Biden victories.

But the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the Trump administration is following all statutory requirements that govern government transitions.

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6:20 p.m.

The #Sharpiegate controversy may be over now that the attorneys who challenged the use of the markers to complete Election Day ballots in metro Phoenix told a court they’re dismissing their legal challenge.

Roopali Desai, an attorney for Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, said she received notice Saturday from the court that the lawyers who filed the lawsuit are now ending the case.

A copy of the dismissal notice provided to The Associated Press doesn’t specify a reason for dismissing the case, and Alexander Kolodin, one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, declined a request for comment.

Arizona election officials have said voting with a Sharpie would not invalidate their ballot. But many social media users have falsely claimed their ballots had been invalidated because they were told to use the markers to fill out their ballots.

The lawsuit alleged tabulation equipment was unable to record a voter’s ballot on Tuesday because she completed it with a Sharpie. One of the remedies sought by the lawsuit was for voters who used Sharpies to be present to watch workers count ballots, a proposition that the judge expressed skepticism about.

Election officials say votes wouldn’t be canceled if ink from a Sharpie bleeds through the back side of ballots and that there is a process that would keep the ballots from being canceled out if problems arise.

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6:15 p.m,

News of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory on Saturday set off celebrations and protests as jubilant supporters and frustrated opponents took to the streets in California’s major cities. Supporters of President Donald Trump rallied outside the state Capitol in Sacramento and marched in Beverly Hills demanding a recount of votes. Meanwhile, people threw block parties in Oakland as they expressed hometown pride in Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her history-making turn as the first Black woman elected to the second-highest office in the United States. Similar scenes played out in San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities where people danced on the street and honked their car horns.

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3:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump has returned to the White House and a very different Washington, D.C., after losing his reelection bid.

Trump’s motorcade returned from his golf club in Virginia via roads largely cleared of other cars and people Saturday afternoon.

But as he approached the White House, he was welcomed home with boos and raised middle fingers. Chants of “Loser, loser, loser” and profanities were also heard as his motorcade drove by.

Trump has so far refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden and is promising legal challenges. He is the first president to lose reelection since George H.W. Bush in 1992.

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3:05 p.m.

Joe Biden has spoken to Barack Obama, reaching out to the former president with one of his first calls as president-elect.

Biden’s campaign confirmed the phone call Saturday with Obama, whom Biden served under as vice president for eight years, but offered few details on what was said.

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama took to Twitter to say that she was “beyond thrilled” that Biden had been elected president and that his running mate, Kamala Harris, is “our first Black and Indian-American woman” as vice president.

In a series of tweets, the former first lady said the pair would “restore some dignity, competence, and heart at the White House.”

But Michelle Obama also warned supporters that voting in elections for candidates who win “isn’t a magic wand.”

“Let’s remember that tens of millions of people voted for the status quo, even when it meant supporting lies, hate, chaos and division,” she tweeted, in a swipe at President Donald Trump. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to reach out to these folks in the years ahead and connect with them on what unites us.”

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2:55 p.m.

Republicans on Capitol Hill are giving President Donald Trump and his campaign space to consider all its legal options after his election defeat by President-elect Joe Biden. That’s according to one Republican who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.

It’s a precarious balance for Trump’s allies as they try to be supportive of the president but face the reality of the vote count. Trump is so far refusing to concede.

On Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had not yet made any public statements.

Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist in Kentucky allied with McConnell, said, “I’m not sure his position would have changed from yesterday -- count all the votes, adjudicate all the claims.”

Jennings added, ""My sense is there won’t be any tolerance for beyond what the law allows. There will be tolerance for what the law allows."

It was a view being echoed by several other Republicans neither supporting nor rejecting the outcome. Said retiring GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who is close with McConnell: “After counting every valid vote and allowing courts to resolve disputes, it is important to respect and promptly accept the result.”

___

2:35 p.m.

Several hundred people have gathered outside President Donald Trump’s Virginia golf club after his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.

The crowd includes dozens of Biden supporters celebrating his win, singing, “Hey hey hey, goodbye” and chanting, “Lock him up!” — a chant frequently heard at Trump rallies, directed at people he doesn’t like.

There are also dozens of Trump supporters, many waving large Trump flags and chanting, “We love Trump!” A convoy of trucks festooned with pro-Trump and American flags has been driving up and down the street, with one driver jeering at the gathered press.

There’s horn honking, cowbell ringing, whistle-blowing and plenty of cheering.

Trump was golfing when a flurry of media outlets, including The Associated Press, declared Saturday morning that Biden had won the election.

He is now on his way back to the White House.

___

2:15 p.m.

The secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is welcoming the election of Joe Biden, calling him “a strong supporter of NATO and the transatlantic relationship.”

Jens Stoltenberg said Saturday in a statement that he looks forward to working with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris “to further strengthen the bond between North America and Europe.”

He added that “US leadership is as important as ever in an unpredictable world.”

President Donald Trump had been a ferocious critic of NATO during his 2016 campaign and repeatedly threatened to pull the U.S. from the alliance upon assuming office.

Trump pressed members of the alliance to boost their defense spending – a priority of his predecessors as well — in furtherance of collective defense. He also pushed the alliance to turn its focus from Russia to emerging threats from China and terrorism.

___

2:10 p.m.

Congressional Republican leaders have been notably silent on President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, but several GOP allies of President Donald Trump are disputing the outcome.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri tweeted Saturday: “The media do not get to determine who the president is. The people do.” He added, “When all lawful votes have been counted, recounts finished, and allegations of fraud addressed, we will know who the winner is.”

Other rank-and-file Republican lawmakers took a similar approach, insisting on waiting for some other verification of the results.

“Voters decide who wins the election, not the media,” tweeted Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma. “I fully support President Trump as he continues to fight for every legal vote to be counted.”

Trump has so far refused to concede and is promising legal challenges. He is the first president to lose reelection since George H.W. Bush in 1992.

___

2 p.m.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who found himself at the center of President Donald Trump’s impeachment, is congratulating Trump’s replacement, President-elect Joe Biden.

In a Saturday tweet, Zelenskiy said “Ukraine is optimistic about the future of the strategic partnership with the United States.” He added that the two countries “have always collaborated on security, trade, investment, democracy, fight against corruption. Our friendship becomes only stronger!”

A 2019 call from Trump to Zelenskiy, in which he asked the new Ukrainian leader to investigate Biden and the Democratic National Committee, sparked an intelligence community whistleblower complaint that resulted in Trump’s impeachment last year.

Trump was eventually acquitted by the Republican-led Senate.

___

1:40 p.m.

Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, is congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The Utah Republican tweeted Saturday that he and his wife know Biden and Harris “as people of good will and admirable character.” He says, “We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead.”

Romney, President Donald Trump’s most vocal critic within the Republican Party, said Friday that Trump was “damaging the cause of freedom” and inflaming “destructive and dangerous passions” by claiming, without foundation, that the election was rigged and stolen from him.

Trump has so far refused to concede and is promising unspecified legal challenges.

Romney had said earlier in the year that he wasn’t voting for Trump. He didn’t say for whom he did vote, however.

1:25 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer jointly called President-elect Joe Biden to congratulate him on a “tremendous” victory.

That’s according to a senior Democratic aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.

The aide described it as a “happy call.” Biden’s wife, Jill, also joined the conversation Saturday.

The aide says Pelosi and Schumer look forward to working with the new Democratic administration to achieve “great things” for the American people. The two did not get along with President Donald Trump.

Another senior Democratic aide says Schumer was celebrating on the streets of Brooklyn during the call and held up his phone so Biden could hear the crowds cheering for his “historic victory.” The aide also spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private call.

1:20 p.m.

The highest-ranking Black member of Congress says he specifically advised President-elect Joe Biden to pick a Black woman as his running mate if he wanted to win the White House.

House House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn told CNN on Saturday, “I said to him in private that I thought that a lot of the results would turn on whether or not there would be a Black woman” on the ticket.

Of selecting California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, Clyburn said, “I think it cemented his relationship to the Black community.”

Clyburn’s pivotal endorsement of Biden ahead of South Carolina’s early Democratic primary, the first in which Black voters played an outsize role, helped Biden develop the momentum that propelled him to successes in other primary and caucus contests, and ultimately to the Democratic nomination.

___

1:15 p.m.

Leaders of the United States' traditional Western allies are offering their congratulations to the incoming Joe Biden administration.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement Saturday that the U.S. is the United Kingdom’s “most important ally” and added that he looks “forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”

Johnson also singled out Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for “her historic achievement” as the first woman, first Black woman and first person of South Asian descent to win national U.S. office.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that “we have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”

And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’s eager to start “tackling the world’s greatest challenges together.”

All three men have had complicated and at times strained relationships with President Donald Trump.

Biden comes to the presidency with extensive foreign policy experience and said throughout his campaign that he’d immediately work to shore us U.S. relationships with traditional allies.

___

1:10 p.m.

Former President Barack Obama says he “could not be prouder” to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

In a statement Saturday, Obama says Biden has “got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way,” because he will enter the White House facing “a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has.”

Acknowledging that the election revealed the nation remains bitterly divided, Obama said, “I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote.”

He adds: “I encourage every American to give him a chance and lend him your support.”

Biden served as Obama’s vice president for two terms.

___

1 p.m.

Two former Democratic presidents are offering their congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Bill Clinton tweeted that “America has spoken and democracy has won.” The 42nd president also predicted Biden and Harris would “serve all of us and bring us all together.”

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, said in a statement Saturday that he and his wife, Rosalynn, are “proud” of the Democrats' “well-run campaign and seeing the positive change they bring to our nation.”

Neither Clinton nor Carter mentioned President Donald Trump in their congratulatory remarks.

Biden was a young Delaware senator when Carter served as president from 1977 to 1981. Biden had risen in the ranks to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman by Clinton’s presidency in the 1990s and led confirmation hearings for Clinton’s two Supreme Court nominees: Justice Stephen Breyer and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

___

12:50 p.m.

The Trump administration has yet to formally begin the transition to President-elect Joe Biden.

A spokesperson for the General Services Administration said early Saturday afternoon that the administrator, Emily Murphy, has not formally ascertained that Biden is the “apparent winner” of the race. The Associated Press declared Biden the victor of the race late Saturday morning.

The formal ascertainment frees up millions of dollars and opens doors at federal agencies to Biden transition staffers to begin implementing transition plans.

The spokesperson says, “GSA and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law.”

For his part, President Donald Trump is not conceding the race and is promising unspecified legal challenges seeking to overturn the outcome of the race

___

12:45 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to address the nation on Saturday night.

His presidential campaign announced that Biden and his wife, Jill, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff will appear at a drive-in rally outside the convention center in Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden clinched the White House over President Donald Trump late Saturday morning with a victory in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born. He later added Nevada to his column for a total of 290 electoral votes with three states uncalled.

The outdoor stage in Wilmington features projections of the Biden-Harris logo, colored lights and a line of towering American flags. Outside the security fence, people were already arriving with Biden campaign signs and chanting, “Joe! Joe!” and yelling, “We did it!” Cars in the area honked.

___

12:30 p.m.

Across the country, there were parties and prayer after Democrat Joe Biden won the presidency.

In New York City, spontaneous block parties broke out Saturday. People ran out of their buildings, banging on pots. They danced and high-fived with strangers amid honking horns.

People streamed into Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House, waving sings and taking cellphone pictures.

In Lansing, Michigan, Donald Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter demonstrators filled the Capitol steps.

The lyrics to “Amazing Grace” began to echo through the crowd, and the Trump supporters put their hands on a counterprotester and prayed.

___

12:25 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is congratulating the “history making ticket” of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris upon their victory over President Donald Trump.

Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016, called the election “a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America.”

Harris will become the first woman to hold national office. Clinton was the first woman to be a major party nominee for president. She won almost 3 million more votes than Trump but fell short in key battleground states to lose the Electoral College.

The Biden-Harris ticket was able to flip several of those states, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

___

12:15 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump is a “mandate for action.”

The Democratic leader said in a statement Saturday: “Today marks the dawning of a new day of hope for America.”

Pelosi called Biden’s vote tally a “historic victory.” She says President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will have a strong Democratic House majority “by their side.”

Biden clinched the White House with a victory in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born. He also won Nevada on Saturday.

___

12:13 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won Nevada, adding to his Electoral College victory over President Donald Trump.

Biden clinched Nevada on Saturday afternoon, shortly after he won the presidency by taking Pennsylvania.

Trump had made a strong play in Nevada, holding several rallies there in the final stretch of the campaign. Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly won Nevada in 2016, and Republicans saw an opening to expand their electoral map.

The pandemic has pummeled Nevada’s tourism-dependent economy, especially, hampering Trump’s ability to make inroads in the state.

Nevada is also home to a large Hispanic population, a voting bloc that typically leans Democratic.

The last Republican presidential candidate to win Nevada was George W. Bush in 2004.

___

12:10 p.m.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris says she and President-elect Joe Biden have a lot of work to do.

Harris made the comments in a tweet Saturday, shortly after Biden clinched the presidency by winning Pennsylvania.

She says, “This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”

The California senator makes history with her election as vice president. She is the first woman, the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the office.

___

11:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is not conceding to President-elect Joe Biden, promising unspecified legal challenges seeking to overturn the outcome of the race for the White House.

Trump said in a statement that “our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”

Trump was at his Virginia golf course when the presidential race was called for Biden on Saturday. Biden clinched his victory with a win in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born.

In recent weeks, Trump has alleged — without evidence — widespread fraud and misconduct in the election.

His comments have drawn bipartisan rebuke from election officials and lawmakers as dangerous attempts to undermine public confidence in the vote.

___

11:25 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won Pennsylvania, surpassing the 270 electoral vote threshold to take the White House and become the 46th president of the United States.

Biden also carried Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan on his path to the presidency, flipping states that President Donald Trump won in 2016.

Pennsylvania was a must-win state for Trump.

The 77-year-old Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and sought to contrast his working-class roots with the affluent Trump’s by casting the race as “Scranton versus Park Avenue.”

Biden’s victory came after more than three days of uncertainty as election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes that delayed the processing of some ballots.

Trump is the first incumbent president to lose reelection since Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992.

___

10:45 a.m.

States are still counting votes in the presidential election, Democrat Joe Biden is on the verge of victory and President Donald Trump is at his Virginia golf club for the first time since the end of September.

Trump left the White House on Saturday morning and had on golf shoes, a windbreaker and a white hat.

The White House isn’t immediately responding to questions about the president’s possible golfing partners.

There were a few people with Biden flag banners outside the club entrance when Trump arrived.

Trump also has spent the morning tweeting about his unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud and illegal voting. Twitter hid four of the president’s tweets behind a warning label that they may contain disputed or misleading statements about the election.

___

11:05 p.m.

Joe Biden says he is already preparing to assume the presidency even though he has not been declared the winner in his race against President Donald Trump.

“I want people to know we’re not waiting to get the work done,” he said late Friday in remarks to the nation.

Biden said he and his running mate, Kamala Harris, have held briefings on the coronavirus and the economy this week as the U.S. records record daily cases.

He noted nearly 240,000 people have died from the pandemic and said he wants those families to know they aren’t alone.

He also addressed the millions of Americans who remain out of work and are struggling to pay rent or buy food.

“We don’t have any more time to waste on partisan warfare,” he said.

The Associated Press has not yet declared a winner in the race between Biden and Trump because neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to carry the White House.

___

10:50 p.m.

Joe Biden projected confidence Friday that he would win the presidential election, citing his lead in votes in key states like Pennsylvania.

The Associated Press has not yet declared a winner in the race between Biden and President Donald Trump because neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to carry the White House.

Biden noted he has already won the most votes in history for any presidential candidate.

He said a record number of Americans “chose change over more of the same.”

He told the nation that the political parties may be opponents, but they are not enemies.

“Let’s put the anger and the demonization behind us,” he said.

__

8:05 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump is growing in battleground Pennsylvania.

By Friday evening, the Democrat held a lead of over 19,500 votes out of more than 6.5 million ballots cast. That’s an edge of about 0.29%. State law dictates that a recount must be held if the margin between the two candidates is less than 0.5%.

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the state.

The Pennsylvania secretary of state’s website said Friday that there were 102,541 more mail ballots that needed to be counted, including many from Allegheny County, a Democratic area that is home to Pittsburgh, and the Democratic stronghold of Philadelphia County.

Additionally, there are potentially tens of thousands of provisional ballots that remain to be tabulated, though an exact number remained unclear. Those ballots will be counted after officials verify their eligibility to be included.

Pennsylvania is among a handful of battleground states that Trump and Biden are narrowly contesting as they seek the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

___

8 p.m.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has ordered county elections officials in Pennsylvania to keep separate mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day. The state’s top elections official already had ordered those ballots be kept apart.

The order came Friday night in response to a plea from the state Republican Party as Democrat Joe Biden inched ahead of President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania in the presidential race.

Alito, acting on his own, said he was motivated in part by the Republicans' assertion that they can’t be sure elections officials are complying with guidance issued by Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat.

The justice handles emergency appeals from Pennsylvania. He ordered a response from the state by Saturday afternoon and said he has referred the matter to the full court for further action.

The order is related to an ongoing Republican appeal to the Supreme Court to try to keep ballots received in the mail after Election Day from being counted. The state’s top court granted a three-day extension, and the Supreme Court refused to block it.

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the state.

___

6:40 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada has grown slightly, putting the former vice president ahead by 22,657 votes in the battleground state.

The results Friday afternoon were mail-in ballots from Democrat-heavy Clark County, which include Las Vegas and three-quarters of Nevada’s population.

Biden had 632,558 votes, and Trump had 609,901. Vote counting in the state — and several other battlegrounds — is continuing.

The fresh batch of results was among 63,000 mail ballots that Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria said Friday morning that his workers were starting to process. He expected the bulk would be processed by Sunday.

Gloria has an additional 60,000 provisional ballots to be processed later.

___

6:05 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is adding to his lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia.

As of early Friday evening, Biden had overtaken Trump by 4,235 votes in the battleground state, which Trump must win to have a shot at reelection.

The Democrat first surpassed Trump in the state vote count on Friday morning as votes continue to be counted.

The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call.

Trump’s lead dwindled after Election Day when state officials began processing mail-in ballots, a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor after Trump spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

If there is less than a 0.5 percentage point difference between Biden’s and Trump’s vote totals, state law dictates that a recount must be held. Biden currently holds a lead of about 0.08 percentage points.

A Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992.

___

5:25 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris is expected to deliver remarks Friday alongside Joe Biden.

Biden has scheduled a prime-time address on the presidential contest as votes continue to be counted in several battleground states. Biden is on the cusp of victory as he opened narrow leads over President Donald Trump in Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Harris has appeared alongside Biden during his remarks in recent days but has not made any public comments herself on the state of the race. A campaign official confirmed she will speak Friday night before Biden does.

The California senator has been at a hotel in Wilmington, Delaware, with her family since Tuesday night.

The Associated Press has not yet declared a winner in Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Alaska.

___

3:30 p.m.

Top Republican officials in Georgia say they are confident the secretary of state will ensure that ballots are properly counted.

The statement Friday from GOP Gov. Brian Kemp and others came a day after President Donald Trump alleged without any details or evidence that election officials are trying to “steal the election” from him.

Trump said Thursday that the “election apparatus in Georgia is run by Democrats,” even though the top election official is a Republican whom he endorsed.

Democrat Joe Biden was leading Trump in Georgia by about 1,500 votes midday Friday. The Associated Press has not called the race for either candidate yet.

___

3:10 p.m.

The federal agency that oversees U.S. election security is pushing back at unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud without mentioning that President Donald Trump is making unfounded allegations about the vote count.

A new statement from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency notes that local election offices have detection measures that “make it highly difficult to commit fraud through counterfeit ballots.”

CISA, a component of the Department of Homeland Security, published the statement Friday on a section of its website devoted to dispelling rumors. It said it was countering a rumor about the role of DHS and CISA in the printing of ballots and auditing of results. Neither agency has a role in printing or auditing ballots. CISA principally helps local and state election departments protect themselves against cyberattacks.

CISA also put out a statement noting that the systems and processes used to tabulate votes and certify results “are protected by various safeguards that help ensure the accuracy of election results.”

The agency has been urging the public for weeks to be patient during the counting of results, which was slower this year in large part because of COVID-19 and a large number of mail-in ballots. It has made no comment on Trump saying without evidence that the ballot-counting process is unfair and corrupt.

___

2:50 p.m.

Pennsylvania Republicans are turning to the U.S. Supreme Court to ask for an order that mail ballots arriving after Election Day in the battleground state be segregated. The state’s top elections official already had ordered those ballots be kept apart.

The emergency request Friday came as Democrat Joe Biden inched ahead of President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania.

The plea is part of an ongoing Republican appeal to the Supreme Court to try to keep ballots received in the mail after Election Day from being counted. The state’s top court granted a three-day extension, and the Supreme Court refused to block it.

But Democratic Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told local officials to keep the ballots separate because the high court hasn’t ultimately decided whether to step in.

Republicans presented no evidence that counties are not adhering to Boockvar’s orders, but said, “It is unclear whether all county boards are following them in the post-election chaos.”

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the state.

___

2:30 p.m.

A statewide appellate court judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed a request from Republicans to stop the state or counties from counting provisional ballots that were cast by voters whose mail-in ballots were disqualified by a technicality.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s state elections bureau last month gave guidance to counties that a voter could use a provisional ballot if they “did not successfully vote” with the mail-in or absentee ballot they were issued, or if their ballot was rejected and they believe they are eligible to vote.

The Democratic National Committee, which had sought to oppose the case in court, said Republicans wanted to “throw out lawfully cast provisional ballots.”

Wolf’s top elections official, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, has insisted that the practice is legal and not prohibited by law.

Regardless, she said there aren’t “overwhelming” numbers of voters who cast a provisional ballot after their mail-in ballot was disqualified, but she has not given an exact figure.

___

2 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has increased his lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada to 20,137 votes.

Results released Friday from Democrat-heavy Clark County, which includes Las Vegas and three-quarters of Nevada’s population, along with two rural counties, put Biden at 627,104 votes and Trump at 606,967.

Biden’s lead nearly doubled from Thursday, when he was leading Trump by about 11,000 votes.

The Associated Press has not called the presidential race. Votes are still being counted in several battleground states.

Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria says his county has an additional 63,000 mail ballots to be processed over the next few days and 60,000 provisional ballots to be processed later.

Gloria said Clark County would release more results Friday afternoon but he said he did not know exactly how many ballots could be included in that release.

The state has said it will provide an update later Friday on how many ballots are yet to be counted statewide. On Thursday, they reported that number at 190,150.

___

1:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he “will never give up fighting for you and our nation” as he is on the cusp of losing his bid for reelection.

Trump is spending Friday at the White House tweeting, watching results come in and continuing to cast unfounded doubt over the integrity of the election.

He says in a statement released by his campaign: “We believe the American people deserve to have full transparency into all vote counting and election certification.” And he adds that “This is no longer about any single election. This is about the integrity of our entire election process.”

There is no evidence that any votes cast illegally are being counted or that the process is unfair and corrupt. Indeed, the ballot-counting process across the country largely has been running smoothly, if slowly, because of the increase in mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Trump is nonetheless threatening continued legal action, saying: “We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government.”

Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden, has opened up narrow leads over Trump in the critical battlegrounds of Georgia and Pennsylvania.

___

12:55 p.m.

Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, says President Donald Trump is “damaging the cause of freedom” and inflaming “destructive and dangerous passions” by claiming, without foundation, that the election was rigged and stolen from him.

Romney lost to President Barack Obama in 2012 but was gracious in defeat. He is Trump’s most vocal critic within the Republican Party and voted to convict him in Trump’s impeachment trial early this year.

The Utah Republican offered his assessment Friday on Twitter, saying that Trump is well within his rights to challenge the results through the legal remedies available to him. But Romney says Trump is “wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt, and stolen from him — doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world.”

Democrat Joe Biden is on the cusp of winning the presidency as he opens up narrow leads over 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.

___

12:40 p.m.

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.

___

11:50 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

By Friday morning, Biden overtook Trump in the number of ballots counted in the state, which Trump must win to have a shot at reelection. Biden leads by more than 9,000 votes. The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call. Votes in the state are still being counted.

Trump’s lead 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 spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

If there is less than a half percentage point difference between Biden’s and Trump’s vote totals, state law dictates that a recount must be held.

___

8:50 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is now leading President Donald Trump in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

By Friday morning, Biden overtook Trump in the number of ballots counted in the state, which Trump must win to have a shot at reelection. Biden now holds a nearly 6,000-vote advantage.

The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call. Votes in the state are still being counted.

Trump’s lead dwindled after Election Day when state officials began processing mail-in ballots, a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor after Trump spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

If there is less than a half percentage point difference between Biden’s and Trump’s vote totals, state law dictates that a recount must be held.

___

4:40 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is now leading President Donald Trump in the battleground state of Georgia.

By Friday morning, Biden overtook Trump in the number of ballots counted in the battleground, a must-win state for Trump that has long been a Republican stronghold. Biden now has a 917-vote advantage.

The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call. Thousands of ballots are still left to be counted — many in counties where the former vice president was in the lead.

An AP analysis showed that Biden’s vote margins grew as counties processed mail ballots cast in his favor.

There is a potential that the race could go to a recount. Under Georgia law, if the margin between Biden and Trump is under half a percentage point of difference, a recount can be requested.

_____

THURSDAY

7:55 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden says, “No one is going to take our democracy away from us.” His comment came after President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims that Democrats were trying to “steal” the presidential election from him.

In a Thursday evening tweet, Biden says, “America has come too far, fought too many battles, and endured too much to let that happen.”

The nation is waiting to learn whether Biden or Trump will collect the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the presidency. Biden’s victories in Michigan and Wisconsin have put him in a commanding position, but Trump has shown no sign of giving up.

Speaking earlier Thursday from the White House, Trump did not back up his claim about Democrats with any details or evidence. State and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud.

The ballot-counting process across the country has been running smoothly, and the count is ongoing in several battleground states.

___

7:10 p.m.

A federal judge has denied a bid by President Donald Trump’s campaign to stop the vote count in Philadelphia over observer access, urging the two sides to instead forge an agreement.

U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond suggested each party be allowed 60 observers inside a hall at a downtown convention center where the final ballots are being tallied. As the hearing unfolded Thursday evening, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden were locked in a tight battle for the 20 electoral votes in Pennsylvania.

Diamond, an appointee of President George W. Bush, chastened the lawyers as both sides bickered about who was following the rules and reminded them they are officers of the court.

“Really, can’t we be responsible adults here and reach an agreement?” the exasperated judge asked. “The whole thing could (soon) be moot.”

Republicans went to court Thursday afternoon to complain that election officials in the Democratic-led city were ignoring a state court order they’d won earlier in the day to give them a closer view of ballot processing.

___

7:05 p.m.

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the presidential race, with a number of battleground states still too early to call.

But President Donald Trump is renewing his unfounded claims that Democrats are trying to “steal” the election from him. He did not back up his claim with any details or evidence. State and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud.

Trump spoke from the White House briefing room on Thursday, unleashing harsh criticism of pre-election polling that showed him trailing Democrat Joe Biden and claiming without evidence that the ballot-counting process is unfair and corrupt. He also renewed his criticism of widespread use of mail-in balloting in the pandemic.

The ballot-counting process across the country has been running smoothly, and the count is ongoing in several battleground states.

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6:15 p.m.

A legal effort in Nevada by President Donald Trump’s campaign and state Republicans to try to stop the count of mail ballots in Las Vegas is over.

A document submitted in an appeal pending before the state Supreme Court says the campaign, state GOP, Democrats and attorneys for the state have reached a settlement requiring Clark County election officials to supply “additional observation access” at a ballot processing facility in Las Vegas.

The state high court declined on Election Day to stop the count based on an appeal of a state judge’s decision not to stop processing mail ballots in Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County -- a Democratic stronghold in an otherwise red GOP state.

In an order released Monday, Judge James Wilson Jr. in Carson City said he found neither the state nor Clark County had done anything to give one vote preference over another.

Nevada Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to suppress voting in the state’s most diverse area.

Trump campaign representatives said Thursday that they intended to file another complaint in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas to try to stop the counting of what state campaign co-chair Adam Laxalt called “improper votes.” That lawsuit was not immediately filed.

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6 p.m.

President Donald Trump is set to make his first public appearance since the early morning hours after Election Day.

The White House says Trump will deliver remarks at 6:30 p.m. Thursday from the press briefing room. It was unclear if he would take questions.

Trump last appeared in public early Wednesday, when he falsely declared victory over Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential race. Trump has also publicly called for vote counting to stop by citing baseless allegations of fraud and misconduct.

The presidential race has not yet been called because neither Trump nor Biden has yet collected the requisite 270 Electoral College votes.

Biden’s victories in Michigan and Wisconsin have put him in a commanding position to win the presidency, but Trump has showed no sign of giving up.

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5:50 p.m.

The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee have asked an Arizona judge to let them join a lawsuit that alleges vote tabulation equipment in metro Phoenix was unable to record a voter’s ballot because she completed it with a county-issued Sharpie pen.

They argued that anecdotal accounts of potential tabulation errors resulting from Sharpies demands further review and that they should be allowed to participate in the lawsuit because it will likely affect their interests in the tabulation of votes.

The lawsuit seeks a court order for all Maricopa County voters whose ballots were rejected as a result of using a Sharpie to be given a chance to fix their ballots. It also asks for such voters to be able to be present while election officials count their ballots.

The Arizona Democratic Party earlier asked to join the lawsuit, arguing that Democratic voters could be disenfranchised if the woman who filed the lawsuit was able to challenge a voter’s intent in making ballot choices without knowing the applicable standards.

A judge is holding a hearing Thursday in Phoenix in the lawsuit by Phoenix-area voter Laurie Aguilera, who also alleged ink from the marker bled through the back side of her ballot and that poll workers refused her request for a new ballot.

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4:30 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden says he feels “very good” about the outcome of the presidential election and is telling his supporters to “stay calm” as votes continue to be counted.

Biden delivered brief remarks Thursday at a theater in downtown Wilmington, Delaware. He says, “It is the will of the voters — no one, not anyone else — who chooses the president of the United States of America.”

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

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

Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, stood next to him as he spoke.

The Associated Press has not called the presidential race yet because neither Biden nor Trump has secured the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory. Several key states remain too early to call — Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada.

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3:35 p.m.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered the U.S. Postal Service to perform twice daily sweeps of processing centers 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.

Elections officials in key battleground states are continuing presidential vote counting. Democrat Joe Biden is urging patience, while President Donald Trump is pursing his legal options.

Several key states are too early to call — Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada.

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2:25 p.m.

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.

___

2 p.m.

The Arizona Democratic Party has asked a court to let it participate in a lawsuit that alleges vote tabulation equipment in metro Phoenix was unable to record a voter’s ballot because she completed it with a county-issued Sharpie pen.

A judge is holding a hearing Thursday in Phoenix in the lawsuit by voter Laurie Aguilera, who also alleged that ink from the marker bled through the back side of her ballot and that poll workers refused her request for a new ballot.

Aguilera is seeking a court order for all Maricopa County voters whose ballots were rejected as a result of using a Sharpie to be given a chance to fix their ballots. She also is asking for such voters to be able to be present while election officials count their ballots.

The Democrats say the lawsuit is based on the unconfirmed account of one voter and her request to monitor ballot processing could throw the processing of ballots in Arizona’s largest county in disarray.

In a court filing, the party says Democratic voters could be disenfranchised if Aguilera and others were able to challenge a voter’s intent in making ballot choices without knowing the applicable standards.

Arizona election officials have said voting with a Sharpie would have no impact on the votes being recorded by a tabulation machine.

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1:55 p.m.

As the nation awaits results from 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.

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

Gloria says 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 U.S. 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.

He says, “That’s a number that I can’t give you. I can’t predict to you what’s going to come through the U.S. mail.”

Gloria says the fact that Nevada’s six electoral votes could push Democrat Joe Biden beyond the 270 electoral vote threshold needed to win the presidency reaffirmed the need to not rush the count.

He said the last day to count ballots is Nov. 12.

___

1:30 p.m.

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.

___

11:45 a.m.

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.

___

11:40 a.m.

Joe 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 Thursday 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.

The Associated Press is not calling the presidential race yet because neither candidate has secured the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory. Several key states were too early to call — Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada.

___

10:38 a.m.

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

The AP says it is monitoring that vote count as it comes in. The AP has called the presidential race in Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden.

AP executive editor Sally Buzbee says: “The Associated Press continues to watch and analyze vote count results from Arizona. 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.

___

9:40 a.m.

With Joe Biden edging closer to unseating him from the White House, President Donald Trump says he wants to put a halt to vote counting.

The extraordinary statement by an incumbent president to voice support for ceasing the count of legally cast votes came in a Thursday morning tweet, saying only: “STOP THE COUNT!”

Elections are run by individual state, county and local governments. Trump’s public comments have no impact on the tallying of votes across the country.

So far, the vote count across the country has been conducted efficiently and without evidence of any misconduct, despite Trump’s public complaints.

Trump’s comments come as his campaign has filed legal action in several states to try to stop vote counting, claiming a lack of transparency. Still, Trump’s campaign has held out hope that continued counting in Arizona could overcome a Biden lead in the state.

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WEDNESDAY

9:12 p.m.

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

The 61-year-old Peters continued 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.

Peters is a low-key former congressman, state lawmaker, lottery commissioner and investment adviser who served in the Navy Reserve. He ran by emphasizing his bipartisan work and by criticizing James' support for President Donald Trump.

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7:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Georgia Republican Party have filed a lawsuit against the Chatham County Board of Elections asking a judge to order the county to secure and account for ballots received after 7 p.m. on Election Day.

State party chair David Shafer said in a statement Wednesday night that they planned to sue in a dozen counties.

The lawsuit alleges that a Republican observer watched a poll worker take unprocessed absentee ballots from a back room and mix them into processed absentee ballots waiting to be tabulated.

In Georgia, ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day in order to count. Chatham County contains Savannah and leans Democratic.

A woman who answered the phone at the Chatham County Board of Elections offices declined to comment.

Georgia is among a handful of states that The Associated Press has not called. In the race to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, Democrat Joe Biden currently has 264 while Trump has 214.

___

5:56 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has carried Michigan and its 16 electoral votes, further dismantling Donald Trump’s Rust Belt wall of support that helped deliver him the presidency four years ago.

The flip from red back to blue was a huge blow to Trump, whose victories in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in 2016 sent him to the White House. Biden also carried Wisconsin, though Pennsylvania hasn’t been called yet.

Biden’s victory in Michigan pushes him to 264 Electoral College votes, six short of the 270 needed to win the White House. Trump is at 214 electoral votes. Nevada, which has six electoral votes, is among the states Democrat Hillary Clinton won in 2016 that hasn’t yet been called.

Biden’s campaign had particularly focused on turning out Black voters in Detroit, who failed to show up for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the numbers that Barack Obama received during his two presidential bids.

Despite needing to win Michigan, Trump took frequent swipes at the state’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, who was the target of an alleged kidnapping plot that was foiled by federal law enforcement. Chants of “Lock her up!” toward Whitmer echoed at Trump’s rally, and he railed against the governor on Twitter for her cautious approach to the coronavirus pandemic.

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5:20 p.m.

The top elections official in Nevada’s most populous county says more results will be released Thursday morning that include 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 know how many ballots had been received but uncounted in the Las Vegas area.

Early results showed Democrat Joe Biden with a slim lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada, but it was too early to declare a winner in the race Wednesday with a large number of ballots yet to be counted.

The Nevada secretary of state’s office initially said a new batch of results would be released Thursday morning. But Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Wayne Thorley said in a text message that the state would likely release some additional results Wednesday afternoon but that he did not know how many would be included.

Gloria said he would be holding daily 10 a.m. news conferences until all ballots were counted, including provisional ballots that were cast by voters taking advantage of same-day registration, electronic ballots sent to overseas voters or ballots for disabled voters.

___

5:15 p.m.

The Associated Press has not yet declared winners of the presidential contests in Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina or Michigan.

President Donald Trump, however, has prematurely declared that he has carried the states.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that he has “claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead.”

“Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact,” he says, “there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!”

Trump has been trying for months to undermine public confidence in the election if he does not win.

Trump’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, currently has 248 electoral votes, while Trump has 214. It takes 270 to win the presidency.

___

4:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign has accused a Michigan election official of failing to ensure that challengers and bipartisan observers watch the processing of absentee ballots.

The Republican campaign filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to stop the count, which was mostly centered in Detroit, until Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson allows more inspectors. There was no immediate response from a Court of Claims judge.

The Associated Press has not yet called Michigan.

Trump’s allies chanted, “Stop the count!” inside TCF Center, where ballots were being handled. The Detroit elections department was expected to finish counting absentee ballots by Wednesday evening.

Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel says, “Michigan’s elections have been conducted transparently, with access provided for both political parties and the public, and using a robust system of checks and balances to ensure that all ballots are counted fairly and accurately.”

More than 3 million absentee ballots were cast in Michigan in the first major election since a new law made them available to any voter. But local election clerks couldn’t start counting them until after polls closed Tuesday.

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4:20 p.m.

Joe Biden says he’s not ready to declare victory as vote counting continues in the presidential election, but he says, “When the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.”

The Associated Press hasn’t called the presidential race. Biden currently has 248 electoral votes, while President Donald Trump has 214. It takes 270 to win the presidency.

Biden addressed reporters Wednesday afternoon from Wilmington, Delaware, alongside his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Biden says, “Every vote must be counted.” He added, “We the people will not be silenced.”

Biden also tried to sound like a president-elect, promising to reach out to political opponents and insisting that the presidency “itself is not a partisan institution.”

Biden did not take questions. President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Michigan as ballots continue to be counted in both states.

___

3:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign says it’s suing to temporarily stop the vote count in Pennsylvania, claiming 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 seek to intervene in an ongoing Supreme Court case involving the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots.

There have been no reports of fraud or any type of ballot concerns out of Pennsylvania. The state had more than 3.1 million mail-in ballots that take time to count, and an order allows them to be counted up until Friday if they are postmarked by Nov. 3.

The Associated Press has not yet called Pennsylvania. Democrat Joe Biden currently has 248 electoral votes, while Trump has 214. It takes 270 to win the presidency.

___

2:16 p.m.

Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump in battleground Wisconsin, securing the state’s 10 electoral votes and reclaiming a key part of the blue wall that slipped away from Democrats four years ago.

The Associated Press called Wisconsin for Biden after election officials in the state said all outstanding ballots had been counted, save for a few hundred in one township and an expected small number of provisional ballots.

Trump’s campaign has requested a recount. Statewide recounts in Wisconsin have historically changed the vote tally by only a few hundred votes; Biden leads by .624 percentage points out of nearly 3.3 million ballots counted.

The victory for Biden bumps him up to 248 electoral votes, while Trump has 214. It takes 270 to win the presidency.

In 2016, Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes, a breakthrough that along with wins in Michigan and Pennsylvania helped hand him his first term in the White House. Democrats were determined to reclaim Wisconsin, a state that before Trump hadn’t gone for a Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

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2:02 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign says it has filed a lawsuit trying to halt the vote count in battleground Michigan.

The latest counts gives Trump’s Democratic challenger Joe Biden a small lead, but the race is still too early to call.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien says in a statement Wednesday that the 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.”

He says a suit was filed Wednesday in the Michigan Court of Claims “to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted.”

Michigan is a critical battleground state that helped deliver Trump the presidency four years ago, along with Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Neither Wisconsin or Pennsylvania has been called yet.

___

1:30 p.m.

Joe Biden will address the election results Wednesday afternoon, even as it remains too early for The Associated Press to call the presidential race.

The Democratic presidential candidate will issue a televised address in Wilmington, Delaware. He’s been watching the returns come in with family from his home there.

Biden’s campaign manager expressed confidence in an eventual win for Democrats during a call with reporters earlier Wednesday, pointing to their projections of the outcome in Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

But the AP is not calling the presidential race yet because neither candidate has secured the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory. The AP called Arizona for Biden, but several key states remain too early to call: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Nevada.

As it stands, Biden has 238 electoral votes, while Trump has 214.

___

1:24 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won one of Maine’s four electoral votes, just as he did in 2016.

Trump carried the state’s 2nd Congressional District, the more rural and conservative of Maine’s congressional districts.

While Democrat Joe Biden easily carried the state itself, Maine is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes.

Biden won the 1st Congressional District and the statewide tally, good for three electoral votes. Trump’s victory in the 2nd Congressional District means he wins one electoral vote.

Maine split its electoral votes four years ago, awarding three to Democrat Hillary Clinton and one to Trump.

2016 marked the first time in state history that Maine divided its electoral votes.

In the race to the 270 electoral votes needed to win, Biden has 238 while Trump has 214.

___

12:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien says the president plans to “immediately” request a recount in the battleground state of Wisconsin, where the race remains close.

In Wisconsin, if a race is within 1 percentage point, the trailing candidate can force a recount.

Stepien says in a statement Wednesday: “The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”

The fate of the United States presidency is hanging in the balance, with Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, battling for three familiar battleground states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House.

In the race to the 270 electoral votes needed to win, Biden has 238 while Trump has 213.

___

12:10 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is discounting President Donald Trump’s early claim that he’d already won the election, saying it’s going to take a while for states to conduct their vote counts.

The Kentucky Republican and Trump ally said Wednesday that “claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”

McConnell also says he is untroubled by Trump’s vows to contest the vote count in key states, telling reporters in Louisville that “you should not be shocked that both sides are going to have lawyers there.”

He added that “the courts will decide disputes. That’s the way we do it in this country.”

Early Wednesday, Trump said, “We will win this, and as far as I’m concerned we already have won it.”

But the outcome is still unclear in key states Trump would need if he is to win against Democrat Joe Biden.

___

4 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden’s campaign says it will fight any efforts by President Donald Trump’s campaign to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent ballots from being tabulated.

In a statement sent before 4 a.m. Wednesday, Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon called Trump’s statement that he will “be going to the U.S. Supreme Court” and that he wants “all voting to stop” “outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect.”

O’Malley Dillon says the Biden campaign has “legal teams standing by ready to deploy to resist that effort.” And she says, “They will prevail.”

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the presidential race. There are still hundreds of thousands of votes left to be counted, and the outcome hinges on a handful of uncalled battleground states.

___

3:06 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won at least three of Maine’s four electoral votes in his bid to unseat President Donald Trump.

Biden won the statewide tally and the 1st Congressional District, good for three electoral votes. Trump, meanwhile, hoped to claim one electoral vote in a win in the 2nd Congressional District. The 2nd Congressional District hasn’t yet been called.

Maine split its electoral votes four years ago, awarding three to Democrat Hillary Clinton and one to Trump, who won the more rural and conservative of Maine’s congressional districts.

It marked the first time in state history that Maine divided its electoral votes.

Maine is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes. The other is Nebraska.

In the race to the 270 electoral votes needed to win, Biden has 238 while Trump has 213.

___

2:52 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won Arizona and its 11 electoral votes, flipping a critical battleground state that Donald Trump won four years ago and that could help determine which candidate wins the presidency.

The victory by Biden was a huge blow to Trump’s chances for reelection. Arizona has backed a Democratic presidential candidate only once in the last 72 years.

Biden’s campaign had focused on Arizona as part of its expanded battleground map through the Sun Belt, citing demographic changes, new residents and realignment away from Republicans among key suburban voters.

Arizona is among the more than half a dozen states that will help determine which candidate gets the 270 electoral votes to capture the White House.

Biden’s massive advantage in campaign cash allowed him to put Trump on defense across the country and work to build an unstoppable lead in the Electoral College.

___

2:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump is vowing to ask the Supreme Court to weigh in on the inconclusive election. The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the presidential race.

Trump appeared before supporters at the White House early Wednesday morning and cried foul over the election results, calling the process “a major fraud on our nation.” But there’s no evidence of foul play in the cliffhanger.

The night ended with hundreds of thousands of votes still to be counted, and the outcome still unclear in key states he needs if he is to win against Democrat Joe Biden.

Nevertheless, he has cast the night as a disenfranchisement of his voters. He said: “We will win this and as far as I’m concerned we already have won it.”

Trump says: “We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court — we want all voting to stop.” In fact, there is no more voting — just counting.

___

1:55 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won at least one of Maine’s four electoral votes in his bid to unseat President Donald Trump.

Biden won the state’s 1st Congressional District, good for one electoral vote.

Maine’s statewide vote, which is worth two electoral votes, and the state’s 2nd Congressional District haven’t yet been called.

Maine split its electoral votes four years ago, awarding three to Democrat Hillary Clinton and one to Trump. Trump won the 2nd Congressional District, the more rural and conservative of Maine’s congressional districts.

It marked the first time in state history that Maine divided its electoral votes.

Maine is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes. The other is Nebraska.

___

1:27 a.m.

President Donald Trump has won four of Nebraska’s five electoral votes, while Democrat Joe Biden has won one electoral vote from the state.

The 1st Congressional District was called for Trump early Wednesday. He also won the 3rd Congressional District earlier, as well as the statewide vote. Trump gets one electoral vote for each congressional district, plus two electoral votes for winning the statewide vote.

Biden’s win in the 2nd Congressional District, which includes Omaha, is a flip from 2016, when Trump narrowly won it against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

While Trump easily carried the state itself, Nebraska is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes.

In 2016, Trump won all five of Nebraska’s electoral votes.

___

1:22 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Omaha. That flips a district that Donald Trump won in 2016.

Nebraska, one of two states that divides its electoral votes, has five total electoral votes up for grabs. On Tuesday, Trump won the statewide vote, which is good for two electoral votes. He also won the 3rd Congressional District, which nets him a third vote.

Biden earns one electoral vote for winning Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District hasn’t yet been called.

In 2016, Trump narrowly won Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

___

1:12 a.m.

Twitter is hiding an election-related post by President Donald Trump, warning that its content is disputed and could be misleading.

Trump stated without evidence early Wednesday that Democrats were trying to “steal” the election. He also falsely said votes cannot be cast after polls are closed.

States allow voters to cast ballots if they are in line when polls close. Some states also allow mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day but received later to be counted.

Trump’s tweet came after his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, delivered remarks as the race was too early to call in key battleground states.

Biden told his supporters to be patient while all the votes are counted.

Twitter says placing a warning on the tweet is in line with its “Civic Integrity Policy.” The tweet is still visible after clicking through the warning.

___

1:06 a.m.

President Donald Trump has won Texas and its 38 electoral votes despite a furious, late push by Democrats to turn America’s biggest red state blue.

An avalanche of early votes fed Democrats' high hopes of ending decades of losses in Texas, where polls showed Joe Biden running unusually close. But Trump carried Texas for a second straight year.

Trump won Texas by 9 percentage points in 2016 and all but took a win here for granted. He didn’t swing through Texas for campaign rallies or swamp television airwaves, and his conservative allies on the ground scoffed at Biden’s chances as a far reach.

Trump sought to make an issue out of Biden’s answer during their final presidential debate that Biden would “transition away from the oil industry” if elected president. Texas is among the swing states with voters who depend on the oil industry to make a living.

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1:03 a.m.

More than 1,000 people protesting President Donald Trump have descended on Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House.

Hundreds more are marching through parts of downtown Washington early Wednesday, sometimes blocking traffic and setting off fireworks.

Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are in a tight battle for the White House. Many of the battleground states have yet to be called, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

So far, Trump won Florida, Iowa and Ohio, while Biden carried New Hampshire and Minnesota.

It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

Elsewhere, scattered protests took place from Seattle to New York City, but across the U.S. there were no signs of serious violence or widespread unrest in the hours immediately after the polls closed.

___

12:59 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won at least one of Maine’s four electoral votes in his bid to unseat President Donald Trump.

Biden won Maine’s 1st Congressional District, good for one electoral vote. The statewide vote, which is worth two electoral votes, and the 2nd Congressional District, which is worth one electoral vote, still have not been called.

Maine split its electoral votes four years ago, awarding three to Democrat Hillary Clinton and one to Trump, who won the more rural and conservative of Maine’s congressional districts.

It marked the first time in state history that Maine divided its electoral votes.

Maine is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes. The other is Nebraska.

___

12:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’s planning to make a statement early Wednesday morning as the race remains too close to call.

Neither Trump nor Democrat Joe Biden has reached the 270 Electoral College vote threshold.

Trump is insisting by tweet that “Votes cannot be cast after the Poles are closed!” even though, in multiple states, ballots can be counted if they arrive after Election Day.

Many of the battleground states have yet to be called, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

Trump won Florida, Iowa and Ohio, while Biden carried New Hampshire and Minnesota. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

___

12:51 a.m.

Joe Biden is asking his supporters to “keep the faith” and urging them to “be patient” as the counting goes on in the drawn-out U.S. presidential election.

The Democratic presidential candidate emerged Wednesday after midnight to speak on the election results that have left the outcome in the balance. He spent the evening watching the returns come in from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, then drove downtown by motorcade to make his statement outside the Chase Center.

He told a gathering of supporters that his hopes for victory remain high despite the uncertainty and cautioned them that it could take a day or longer to know who won.

He told them: “Your patience is commendable.”

Hours after the polls have closed across America, however, the result is up in the air.

A number of key states still have hundreds of thousands of ballots outstanding, after a large influx of mail ballots have slowed down the count in states across the nation.

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12:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump has won Florida and its 29 electoral votes, the biggest prize among the perennial battlegrounds and a state crucial to his reelection hopes.

A victory in Florida means reelection is within Trump’s grasp. A loss in the state would have made it nearly impossible for Trump to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to retain the White House.

Democrat Joe Biden’s campaign had hoped the devastating toll of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly among older adults, would put him in a strong position in a state popular with retirees.

Trump moved his official residence to his Palm Beach estate Mar-a-Lago from New York last year.

Trump narrowly beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016.

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12:25 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden will speak shortly on the election results, as many of his key states remain too close to call.

The Biden campaign gathered the press pool that covers him in Wilmington, Delaware, for an early Wednesday morning statement but offered no further guidance.

Biden has spent the night watching the returns come in from his home, while reporters waited near the Chase Center in downtown Wilmington for potential remarks.

Biden began his day early Tuesday with a handful of campaign stops across the all-important state of Pennsylvania as voters went to the polls.

Hours after the polls have closed across America, however, the result of the presidential election remains unclear. A number of key states still have hundreds of thousands of ballots outstanding, after a large influx of mail ballots have slowed down the count in states across the nation.

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12:21 a.m.

President Donald Trump has won Iowa and Montana.

The Republican nominee on Wednesday was awarded six electoral votes from Iowa and three electoral votes from Montana.

Trump won Iowa by more than 9 percentage points four years ago against Democrat Hillary Clinton, but his support eroded significantly over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the overall direction of the country.

Trump rallied in Iowa in the final stretch of the campaign, going so far as to announce he would be awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Iowa wrestling legend Dan Gable. In an appeal to the state’s farmers, he told them he was responsible for $28 billion in aid designed to help offset damage stemming from his trade war with China.

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12:19 a.m.

President Donald Trump has won Ohio and its 18 electoral votes, holding on to a battleground state where the race against Democrat Joe Biden had tightened in recent months.

The Republican nominee comfortably carried the Midwestern state four years ago, but polls heading into the final weeks showed Biden well within range, forcing the president to spend more time in the state than anyone expected.

In 2016, Trump saw notable support from blue-collar manufacturing and mining communities disenchanted with his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, and buoyed by the Republican’s promise to bring back jobs to their hard-hit communities.

Biden saw the gap as overly daunting early on but seized an opening in the closing months amid Trump’s softening support among college-educated suburban women. The campaign responded with a summer ad blitz and string of in-person campaign appearances.

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12:13 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has carried Minnesota, turning back a strong push by President Donald Trump and holding on to a state narrowly won by Democrat Hillary Clinton four years ago.

Biden was awarded the state’s 10 electoral votes on Tuesday.

Biden made up for his campaign getting a late start in Minnesota compared with Trump, who held several campaign rallies in the state this election cycle. The former vice president took advantage of anti-Trump sentiment and organizing efforts by the state’s Democrats, who stressed COVID-19 and health care issues.

Trump came within 1.5 percentage points of carrying Minnesota in 2016 and made winning the state this time a personal priority. Republicans invested time and money in building a field organization to boost GOP turnout, focusing on conservative rural Minnesota and suburban areas that were once mostly Republican but have become swing territory.

The last Republican presidential candidate to capture the state was Richard Nixon in 1972.

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TUESDAY

11:15 p.m.

Several hundred people have gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza, just one block from the White House, holding signs and chanting about democracy.

It was a generally festive atmosphere Tuesday night as election results came in, with a few scuffles along the edges.

There were fears of widespread unrest connected to the election, and authorities around the country were on alert in their communities.

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11:08 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won the state of Utah.

The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its six electoral votes.

Utah hasn’t supported a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

Trump won Utah in 2016, but independent candidate Evan McMullin had a strong showing in the state owing to widespread distaste of both Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. McMullin captured more than 20% of the vote.

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11 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won California, Oregon and Washington state, while President Donald Trump has won Idaho.

California, Oregon and Washington are all liberal states, while Idaho is conservative.

California has 55 electoral votes, the biggest haul of any state. It’s also the home of Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris. She served as the San Francisco district attorney and the state’s attorney general before winning election to the Senate in 2016.

Biden nets 74 electoral votes for the three Western states, while Trump takes four electoral votes from Idaho.

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10:54 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won New Hampshire and its four electoral votes, holding on to a state that President Donald Trump only narrowly lost in 2016.

The state was considered a 2020 battleground despite not going for a Republican presidential candidate since George W. Bush in 2000.

Four years ago, Democrat Hillary Clinton won the small state over Trump by roughly 2,700 votes. That’s less than 1% of the 732,000 ballots cast, and it was the second-closest margin of victory in the country.

Biden didn’t fare as well in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation Democratic primary in February. He finished a dismal fifth, behind Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. But his candidacy took off after a commanding win later that month in the South Carolina primary, leading to the exits of several of his competitors.

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10:31 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won the state of Missouri.

The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its 10 electoral votes.

In 2016, Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the state by 18 percentage points.

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10:15 p.m.

Republicans and President Donald Trump’s campaign got no quick decision from the Nevada Supreme Court on an appeal aimed at stopping the count of mail-in ballots in the Las Vegas area.

The state high court did not stop election night counting, calling instead for written filings to be completed Monday, Nov. 9, in a case that could affect the vote tally in Clark County, a Democratic stronghold in an otherwise red GOP state.

Trump campaign officials say they want transparency.

State Democrats say Republicans are trying to undermine the election.

Nevada is a presidential battleground state with six electoral votes at stake. Democrat Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016.

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9:59 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won the state of Kansas.

The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its six electoral votes.

In 2016, Trump coasted to victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton by 20 percentage points in the state.

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9:37 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won the state of Colorado.

He was awarded its nine electoral votes on Tuesday.

The state, which went for Democrat Hillary Clinton four years ago, has trended sharply to the left since President Donald Trump’s 2016 election.

The state also has a competitive Senate race between Republican incumbent Cory Gardner and the state’s former governor John Hickenlooper. Gardner is considered one of the nation’s most vulnerable senators.

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9:27 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won the District of Columbia.

He was awarded its three electoral votes on Tuesday.

District voters have been allowed to cast presidential ballots since 1964 and have always voted overwhelmingly Democratic. Hillary Clinton’s win in the District over Republican Donald Trump in 2016 was the widest margin ever.

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9 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won Louisiana, Nebraska, Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, while Democrat Joe Biden has won New Mexico and New York.

Nebraska, one of two states that divides its electoral votes, has five total electoral votes up for grabs. Trump won the statewide vote, which is good for two electoral votes. He also won the 3rd Congressional District, which nets him a third vote.

Nebraska’s 1st and 2nd congressional districts haven’t yet been called.

Trump nets 20 electoral votes from his wins in Louisiana, Nebraska, Nebraska’s 3rd, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, while Biden takes 34 electoral votes for winning New Mexico and New York.

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8:52 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won the state of Indiana.

The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its 11 electoral votes.

Indiana is the home state of Trump’s running mate, Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump won Indiana by 19 percentage points in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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8:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won the state of Arkansas.

The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its six electoral votes.

Arkansas is a reliably Republican state that hasn’t gone for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1996.

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8:20 p.m.

A judge in Nevada has ordered 30 Las Vegas-area voting sites to remain open for an extra hour after President Donald Trump’s campaign and Nevada Republicans cited reports that some locations did not open on time.

Clark County District Court Judge Joe Hardy Jr. in Las Vegas heard immediate arguments in an Election Day lawsuit filed to extend voting times to 8 p.m. for 22 specified sites, which had been scheduled to close at 7 p.m.

Hardy added eight additional sites at the request of attorneys for Democrats.

Clark County has 125 voting centers in and around Las Vegas. The judge ordered that anyone in line at the 30 sites at 8 p.m. will be allowed to cast a ballot.

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8 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee, while Democrat Joe Biden has won Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

The results were not a surprise. Biden is very strong in the states that went for him, just as Trump is strong in the states he won.

Trump takes 33 electoral votes for winning those four states, while Biden adds 69 electoral votes to his total for winning seven states.

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7:56 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won the state of South Carolina.

The Republican nominee on Tuesday was awarded its nine electoral votes.

Trump handily won the state in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Clinton. South Carolina hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Joe Biden’s victory in the South Carolina primary in February started a wave of wins that helped cement his status as Democrats' presidential nominee. South Carolina Republicans didn’t hold a primary, an early sign of their support for Trump’s reelection.

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7:36 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has won the state of Virginia.

He was awarded its 13 electoral votes on Tuesday.

Democrat Hillary Clinton won Virginia over Republican Donald Trump in 2016, helped in part by her choice of running mate: Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

Virginia has grown increasingly liberal over the last four years, and as a result of the 2019 elections, Democrats now control every branch of government in the state.

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7:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump has coasted to victory in West Virginia, taking its five electoral votes.

The Republican nominee defeated Democrat Joe Biden on Tuesday in a reliably conservative state.

The last Democrat to win a presidential race in West Virginia was Bill Clinton in 1996.

Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in West Virginia four years ago by 42 percentage points, one of his highest margins of victory in the nation. Many in the state credit him for his conservative populism and promises to help the declining coal industry, even as few expected he could bring back jobs in a dying field.

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7 p.m.

President Donald Trump has won Kentucky, and Democrat Joe Biden has carried Vermont.

They are the first two states called in the 2020 presidential election.

Kentucky is reliably conservative, while Vermont is considered one of the most liberal states.

Trump wins eight electoral votes from Kentucky, while Biden takes three for winning Vermont.


HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

It’s Election Day in America. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are competing for the White House. Arizona, Iowa, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin are among the states that will help determine which candidate gets the 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.