Trump says ‘STOP THE COUNT’ as Ariz., Nev., Pa., N.C. and Ga. continue count

President Trump on Thursday tweeted “STOP THE COUNT” as officials in key battleground states continued to tally legally cast ballots and Biden moved within 17 electoral votes of being able to claim victory. Arizona, Alaska, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada remain uncalled.

In Arizona, Biden’s lead narrowed overnight, leaving the Republican incumbent with a small path to victory there. Meanwhile, Trump’s lead in Georgia shrank, leaving that state in play.

While Biden’s campaign has continued to express confidence, Trump’s reelection campaign attempted to halt vote-counting in Pennsylvania and Michigan, sought a recount in Wisconsin, and challenged the handling of ballots in Georgia.

The latest …

  • Arizona: Biden’s lead narrowed to about 68,000 votes early Thursday as Maricopa County, the state’s largest jurisdiction, released the tallies of more ballots it had counted. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said her state has just under 450,000 ballots left to count.
  • Georgia: Fulton County, home to Atlanta, continued counting ballots overnight. Trump’s lead had narrowed to about 18,500 votes as of early Thursday. Fulton County elections chief Rick Barron said officials will release more vote totals around 11 a.m.
  • Nevada: Updated vote totals will be released around noon Eastern time Thursday, officials said.
  • North Carolina: As of late Wednesday, officials were still counting provisional and absentee ballots. Trump was ahead, but officials said it is likely that the winner will not be known for days.
  • Pennsylvania: Trump maintained a lead of about 164,000 votes, but that was expected to shrink as more ballots were counted in heavily Democratic areas.

Got a burning question about the election, or just something you’re curious about? The Fix team is chatting online at noon.

10:48 AM: Analysis: More states now have paper trails to verify votes were correctly counted

When all the votes are counted this year, Americans should have far more confidence that their votes were tallied correctly than in 2016.

After that contest was impacted by Russian interference, states vastly increased the number of votes that are cast with paper records that can be audited later. More than 90 percent of votes will have a paper record this year, compared with about 80 percent in 2016.

States have also significantly improved how often and how scrupulously they perform post-election audits.

The changes have been especially significant in some of the states still counting ballots and where the Trump campaign has already launched legal challenges.

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By: Joseph Marks

10:19 AM: As officials tally legally cast ballots, Trump tweets, ‘STOP THE COUNT’



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a door: President Trump arrives to sign executive orders regarding trade in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington in March.


© Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post
President Trump arrives to sign executive orders regarding trade in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington in March.

As officials in key battleground states continued to tally legally cast ballots, Trump on Thursday tweeted “STOP THE COUNT!” Several states also showed movement in vote totals in Biden’s direction during tabulation of more mail-in ballots.

Trump’s message seemed to be at odds with that of his senior campaign officials, who told reporters in a phone call Wednesday that they were confident of victory if every legally cast ballot was counted. During a television interview earlier Thursday, Kellyanne Conway, a former senior aide to Trump and his campaign manager in 2016, counseled patience as states continued to count votes.

“They spent three years investigating the president, impeaching the president,” Conway said on Fox News. “We can’t wait three hours, three days, three weeks, to get a result in our great sturdy democracy as to whom the next president will be? What is the rush all of the sudden?”

A little later, Trump returned to Twitter with another all-caps tweet: “ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!”

States set the rules for when mail-in ballots must be received in order to count.

By: John Wagner

10:17 AM: Trump compared to a ‘late Roman emperor’ as contested U.S. election batters America’s global image



A pile of French newspaper Le Monde headlines "Trump-Biden : the United States is tearing itself apart, Editorial : a democracy in danger" about the U.S. presidential elections, at a newspapers stand in Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. The world is watching as millions of Americans cast their ballots for the next president on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)


© Francois Mori/AP
A pile of French newspaper Le Monde headlines “Trump-Biden : the United States is tearing itself apart, Editorial : a democracy in danger” about the U.S. presidential elections, at a newspapers stand in Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. The world is watching as millions of Americans cast their ballots for the next president on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Stock markets around the world held up Thursday despite a looming and potentially prolonged legal battle over the results of the U.S. presidential election. But Trump’s premature victory claim and unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud have been met with deep unease globally over what lies ahead for the U.S. political process — and more than a little glee from America’s traditional adversaries.

Asian and European stock markets disregarded the prospect of a contentious and contested U.S. election result to record further gains Thursday, but America’s global image as a model for other democracies to emulate has taken yet another battering, especially among its allies around the globe. One German newspaper likened the U.S. president to a Roman emperor contemptuous of his citizens.

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By: Simon Denyer and Rick Noack

9:57 AM: Pro-Trump rally overshadowed by group seeking to tally every vote in Philadelphia



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Demonstrators march to urge that all votes be counted Wednesday night in Philadelphia, following Tuesday's close of the polls. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)


© Matt Slocum/AP
Demonstrators march to urge that all votes be counted Wednesday night in Philadelphia, following Tuesday’s close of the polls. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

PHILADELPHIA — Mail-in ballots are steadily being tallied in Philadelphia, a blue stronghold in a swing state vital to both presidential hopefuls. As of early Thursday, Biden held 79 percent of the votes vs. Trump’s 20 percent, with 97 percent of the divisions reporting.

Outside the downtown convention center, where workers have been counting votes around-the-clock since Tuesday night, about 100 people were waving signs Thursday that read, “Count every vote.” The mood was gleeful; a DJ played Kenny Gamble and James Brown while activists danced. “We’re out here to bring good vibes,” organizer Nelini Stamp said. “We want to show the masses that we want every vote to be counted.”

Across the street, about a dozen more subdued pro-Trump supporters questioned the legality of mail-in ballots being counted. “We’re very concerned with the integrity of the election,” said Dercy Teixeira, an organizer with FreedomWorks in D.C. “We agree every vote counts, but only every legal vote.”

By: Maura Ewing

9:15 AM: Democrats’ ambitious agenda for 2021 runs into unexpected obstacle — McConnell’s resilience



Mitch McConnell wearing a suit and tie: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks to reporters during a news conference in Louisville on Wednesday.


© Timothy D. Easley/AP
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks to reporters during a news conference in Louisville on Wednesday.

Democrats’ dream agenda of pushing through a large new economic stimulus bill, strengthening the Affordable Care Act and paring back the 2017 tax cuts could face stiff resistance after Republicans greatly outperformed expectations in Tuesday’s elections.

The GOP is on track to keep control of the Senate and gain rather than lose seats in the House — outcomes congressional Democratic leaders did not foresee.

The winner of the presidential race remains uncertain, but even if Biden defeats Trump, a GOP-led Senate would severely constrain Democrats’ ability to achieve significant legislative victories. The only path for Democrats to take control of the Senate at this point would be for Biden to win the presidential race and then have two Democratic candidates win runoff races in Georgia.

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By: Erica Werner

8:40 AM: Counting ends in Pittsburgh area, but officials to review 35,000 ballots



a group of people walking down the street: Dan Beeton, center, brings up the rear as scores of marchers took to the streets in the evening on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Several progressive and union groups joined up near the The Pittsburgh City-County Building and marched and chanted for several blocks with vote counting fairness being one of the major causes for the march.


© Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post
Dan Beeton, center, brings up the rear as scores of marchers took to the streets in the evening on Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Several progressive and union groups joined up near the The Pittsburgh City-County Building and marched and chanted for several blocks with vote counting fairness being one of the major causes for the march.

PITTSBURGH — In Western Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County, where Biden continued to lead Trump by nearly 20 points on Thursday morning, election officials said they have ended their count but intend to review an estimated 35,000 absentee ballots before a final tally is declared.

Three types of ballots will be examined, said Amie Downs, a spokeswoman for the county, which includes Pittsburgh and its suburbs. About 29,000 were cast by voters who initially received ballots that were printed incorrectly — an error detected before Election Day — and who later were issued new ones, Downs said in an email. More than 4,300 ballots were flagged for miscellaneous issues, such as a missing date or an illegible voter declaration. Fewer than 2,300 could not be scanned and will need to be duplicated, she said.

Operations are set to resume Friday, Downs said.

In all, nearly 676,000 votes were cast in Allegheny County, including more than 348,000 mail-in or absentee ballots that were returned, officials said. The last upload of results was made just before 11 p.m. Wednesday.

By: Christine Spolar

8:13 AM: Stocks build on post-election rally as presidential race inches to a finish



a man standing in front of a building: The New York Stock Exchange and a statue of President George Washington on Wall Street in New York on Wednesday.


© Justin Lane/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
The New York Stock Exchange and a statue of President George Washington on Wall Street in New York on Wednesday.

Global markets climbed while stock futures pointed to a third straight day of gains for Wall Street on Thursday as the U.S. election inched closer to conclusion.

Dow Jones industrial average futures pointed to an opening gain of 403 points, or 1.5 percent. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures predicted 1.8 percent and 2.6 percent gains, respectively, as investors flocked back to tech after recent sell-offs. Both indexes notched their best post-election day performance on Wednesday.

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By: Taylor Telford

8:01 AM: Democratic Senate candidate in Georgia debuts new ad as focus turns to a January runoff

Reverend Raphael Warnock: ‘Get Ready’ | Campaign 2020

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While campaigning is over in most places, that’s not the case in Georgia, where there will be at least one — and maybe two — Senate runoffs in January.

On Thursday morning, Democrat Raphael Warnock debuted a new ad as he prepares to face Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) in a runoff in a special election. The ad warns of negative attacks he could face from Loeffler in the coming weeks by playfully suggesting that he eats pizza with a fork, steps on cracks on the sidewalk and doesn’t like puppies.

On Tuesday, Warnock finished atop a crowded field of both Democrats and Republicans; Loeffler finished second. With some votes still being counted, Warnock had 32.7 percent to Loeffler’s 26.1 percent.

In Georgia’s other Senate race, Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) leads Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, 50 percent to 47.6 percent. If Perdue’s total drops below 50 percent, that race would head to a runoff as well.

By: John Wagner

7:45 AM: Analysis: Democrats’ down-ballot misery continues with state legislative battles



a stop sign in front of a building: The Pennsylvania Capitol. (Julio Cortez/AP)


The Pennsylvania Capitol. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Heading into Election Day, Democrats had hoped to pick up a half-dozen or more state legislative chambers to get a foot in the door when many state politicians get to redraw congressional maps next year, lines that will last for the next decade and help determine which party controls Congress.

Instead, it’s possible Democrats end up with no new chambers, and it will be Republicans who leave 2020 with wins. Republicans picked up the New Hampshire House and Senate, giving them total control over governing in that state because they also kept the governor’s mansion. Republicans won another trifecta, as it is called when one party holds the state legislature and governorship, after their victory in the Montana’s governor race.

Arizona’s state House and state Senate are still outstanding and could be Democratic pickups. There’s a long-shot chance that Democrats take the Pennsylvania House. But those are all ifs, and they are far from the only victories Democrats had hoped to be talking about right now.

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By: Amber Phillips

7:18 AM: Neither Trump nor Biden advertises public appearances for Thursday



a group of people sitting at a picnic table: Members of the media gather outside of the White House on Wednesday.


© Oliver Contreras for The Washington Post
Members of the media gather outside of the White House on Wednesday.

With the counting of ballots continuing, neither Trump nor Biden has advertised a planned public appearance on Thursday.

Trump fired off election commentary on Twitter on Wednesday but did not appear in public after an early-morning event at the White House at which he prematurely declared victory. He and his team also initiated legal actions on several fronts.

According to the White House, neither Trump nor Vice President Pence has any public events planned on Thursday.

Biden’s campaign has not advertised any appearances, either, although that could change.

On Wednesday, Biden added an afternoon appearance in Wilmington, Del., to his schedule. During his remarks, he urged that every vote be counted.

“No one’s going to take our democracy away from us,” he said. “Not now, not ever.”

By: John Wagner

6:47 AM: Race tightens in Georgia, with Trump clinging to narrow lead as more mail-in ballots tallied



a person wearing a hat: In the pre-tabulation room, Mary Alice Phillips opens absentee ballots and prepares them for scanning at the Dekalb County Voter Registration and Elections Office in Atlanta.


© Kevin D. Liles/For the Washington Post
In the pre-tabulation room, Mary Alice Phillips opens absentee ballots and prepares them for scanning at the Dekalb County Voter Registration and Elections Office in Atlanta.

The race in Georgia continued to narrow, largely because more ballots are being counted in Democratic-leaning Fulton County and other populous counties in the Atlanta metro region.

As of 6:30 a.m., Trump led Biden by just 18,540 votes out of more than 4.8 million cast in Georgia.

Fulton County elections officials were close to completing the processing and counting of the last of about 140,000 absentee-by-mail ballots, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Elections officials worked into the dawn hours Thursday on the final stacks of ballots, the publication said.

In Fulton County, mail-in ballots favored Biden by nearly 80 percent, according to election officials.

DeKalb and Gwinnett counties, two others in the Atlanta region where Biden is leading, also neared completion of their ballot processing Thursday morning, according to the Journal-Constitution.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a radio interview Thursday morning that “in the range of 50,000″ ballots remain to be counted statewide.

By: John Wagner

6:26 AM: Biden’s lead in Arizona narrows to about 68,000 votes

Biden’s lead in Arizona narrowed to about 68,000 votes early Thursday as Maricopa County, the state’s largest jurisdiction, released the results of more ballot-counting.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said during an interview that on NBC that her state has just under 450,000 ballots left to count, and analysts said Trump would need to win about 57 percent of those to catch Biden and claim the state’s 11 electoral votes.

That’s about the percentage Trump won in the latest batch from Maricopa, but some of the batches remaining will come from Democratic-leaning counties in which Biden had sizable leads.

On Wednesday, Biden’s lead in the state was about 90,000 votes. More than 2.8 million ballots have been counted so far.

The ballots that remain to be counted include a mix of those that arrived in the mail before Election Day, early ballots dropped off at the polls on Election Day, and provisional ballots that voters cast because they did not have the right form of identification or went to the wrong polling place.

The Biden campaign continued to express confidence that its ticket would have the votes needed to carry Arizona, a state Trump won by nearly four percentage points four years ago. On Wednesday, the Trump campaign predicted that the president would prevail by about 30,000 votes.

By: John Wagner

6:12 AM: Trump and his allies boost bogus conspiracy theories in a bid to undermine vote count

Republicans react to Trump’s false claim of victory and allegations of fraud

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Trump, his son and top members of his campaign advanced a set of unfounded conspiracy theories on Wednesday about the vote-tallying process to claim that Democrats were rigging the final count.

Eric Trump tweeted a video, first pushed out by an account associated with the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, that purported to show someone burning ballots cast for his father. The materials turned out to be sample ballots, and Twitter quickly suspended the original account that circulated the misleading clip.

Trump’s son and others, including White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, claimed falsely in tweets later hidden by warning labels that the president had won Pennsylvania — even though no such determination had been made. And the campaign’s spokesman, Tim Murtaugh, claimed without evidence that crowd control at a processing center in Detroit was an effort to thwart Trump’s chances of reelection.

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By: Isaac Stanley-Becker, Tony Romm, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Drew Harwell

6:10 AM: Hispanic voters in Miami-Dade helped sink Biden in Florida

With about 636,000 registered Democrats and nearly a half-million nonpartisan voters, Florida’s Miami-Dade County was supposed to be friendly terrain for Biden — a bastion of ethnic diversity that might have helped propel him to victory in a must-win state for Trump.

Instead, by Wednesday, Democrats were taking stock of a devastatingly disappointing performance.

Biden drew far fewer Hispanic voters than Democrats expected, carrying Florida’s most populous county of Miami-Dade by only seven percentage points, compared with the 30-point margin boasted by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. To top it off, the Republican surge in Miami-Dade sent shock waves down the ballot.

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By: Beth Reinhard and Lori Rozsa

6:09 AM: Black voters could save Biden’s campaign once again



a man standing in front of a building: Kelan Gilbert, 11, watches Black Voters Matter staff visit his rural neighborhood to speak to and support Georgia voters in Blakely on Monday.


© Melina Mara/The Washington Post
Kelan Gilbert, 11, watches Black Voters Matter staff visit his rural neighborhood to speak to and support Georgia voters in Blakely on Monday.

For the second time in Biden’s presidential bid, his campaign is on the brink, as razor-thin margins separate him and Trump in battleground states where votes are still being counted.

And for the second time this election cycle, it could be Black voters who propel the Democrat to victory — just as they resuscitated Biden in the South Carolina primary.

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By: Amy B Wang, Vanessa Williams and Reis Thebault

6:08 AM: Democrats lose ground with Latino voters in Florida and Texas



a person standing on a stage: Supporters of President Trump line Calle Ocho in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood to celebrate his apparent victory in the battleground state of Florida on Tuesday.


© Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Supporters of President Trump line Calle Ocho in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood to celebrate his apparent victory in the battleground state of Florida on Tuesday.

The nuanced and sometimes dissonant political preferences shown by Latino voters in the 2020 presidential election have sparked bewilderment and soul-searching among Democrats, as the party lost significant ground with Latinos in Florida and Texas over the past four years.

The preliminary results underscored the extent to which the broad range of Latino communities, from Cuban Americans in South Florida to Mexican Americans in Nevada, have been often taken for granted and misunderstood by the Democratic political establishment.

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By: Jose A. Del Real and Arelis R. Hernández

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