With the US presidential race too close to call, President Donald Trump has claimed victory in states that are still being counted. Washington's seat of power, the Senate, appears to still be with Republicans.

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden have spent the last few days making their case to voters in critical battleground states.
President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden have spent the last few days making their case to voters in critical battleground states. (TRTWorld)

American voters have watched in confusion as President Donald Trump called for "voting to be stopped" on election night as he vowed to ask the Supreme Court to weigh in on the inconclusive election. 

No major US news organisations or pollsters have declared a winner in the presidential race.

Trump appeared before supporters at the White House on Wednesday morning and cried foul over the election results, calling the process "a major fraud on our nation." His own administration's officials said earlier on Election Day that things were going as expected and that there was 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 that Trump needs if he is to win the electoral college against Democrat Joe Biden.

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

Trump said, "We’ll be going to the US Supreme Court – we want all voting to stop." In fact, there is no more voting – just counting.

Biden leaned into his victory but stopped short of calling one. In an address in Delaware, he said the people will decide who becomes the next president and all votes need to be counted for that. 

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LIVE updates for November 5, 2020

*All updates are in GMT


Police arrest protesters in Portland, New York

Police in the city of Portland make arrests and seize fireworks, hammers and a rifle after late night demonstrations as Oregon Governor Kate Brown activated the state's National Guard in response to "widespread violence" on the night after voting in the US presidential election.

Portland Police said it arrested ten people in the demonstrations after declaring riots in the city's downtown area while the New York Police Department said it made about 50 arrests in protests that spread in the city late on Wednesday.

Demonstrations were also seen in a few other US cities on Wednesday night as activists demanding that vote counts proceed unimpeded rallied in several cities, including Atlanta, Detroit, New York and Oakland.

Earlier on Wednesday, about 100 people gathered for an interfaith event before a planned march through downtown Detroit, in the battleground state of Michigan, to demand a full vote count and what they called a peaceful transition of power.

Local partners of Protect the Results - a coalition of more than 165 grassroots organizations, advocacy groups and labor unions - have organised over 100 events planned across the country between Wednesday and Saturday.


Trump backers converge on vote centres in Michigan

Dozens of angry supporters of President Donald Trump have converged on vote-counting centres in Detroit and Phoenix as the returns went against him in the two key states.

The protests came as the president insisted without evidence that there were major problems with the voting and the ballot counting, especially with mail-in votes, and as Republicans filed suit in various states over the election.

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Biden vows to rejoin Paris climate deal on first day in office

Joe Biden has vowed that the US would rejoin the Paris climate accord on his first day in the White House, hours after the withdrawal ordered by Donald Trump took effect.

"Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it," Biden tweeted as returns from Tuesday's election showed him in a strong position to defeat Trump.

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Trump campaign sues in third state, Georgia

President 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 pm (0000GMT) on Election Day.

State party chair David Shafer said in a statement on 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.


Peaceful protests in New York as tensions rise in Detroit

Thousands of Biden supporters have marched in New York to demand every vote in the tight presidential election be counted, as some Trump supporters protested in Detroit demanding a halt to ballot counting in the key state of Michigan.

New York demonstrators were peaceful and spanned generations, with marchers heading from Fifth Avenue towards Washington Square Park in the heart of Manhattan's Greenwich Village.

In New York's Democratic stronghold demonstrators were hopeful but wary of calling it for their candidate Biden just yet.

The Detroit protest outside a ballot processing centre were far more tense, according to an AFP photographer and clips on social media.

Cries of "stop the count!" rang out in the city in Michigan as Trump's campaign announced a lawsuit to try and suspend the vote count, claiming its team was denied proper access to observe vote counting.

November 4, 2020


Biden wins Michigan, nears 270 electoral votes

Democrat Joe Biden has carried Michigan and its 16 electoral votes, further dismantling President 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.


Biden leans into victory but refrains from calling it

Democrat Biden has said he expects to win the presidential election, and that he believes it is clear his campaign is winning enough states to win the presidency.

"After a long night of counting, it's clear that we're winning enough states to reach 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency," Biden said. 

"I'm not here to declare that we've won, but I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners."

Biden addressed reporters from Wilmington, Delaware, alongside his running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris.

Biden said: "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. 


Trump allegations on vote 'harm public trust' – observer

The head of an international observer mission to the US elections has criticised President Trump's allegations of cheating, saying he undermined trust in democracy.

"Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions," said Michael Georg Link, who led an observer mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which monitors elections throughout Western nations and the former Soviet Union.


Trump campaign says suing to halt Pennsylvania vote count

President Trump's campaign has said it was suing to halt the counting of votes in Pennsylvania, after mounting similar challenges in fellow crucial election states of Michigan and Wisconsin.

The Trump campaign accused electoral officials of prohibiting its "observers" from approaching closer to 7.6 metres to vote counters in Pennsylvania.

"We are also suing to temporarily halt counting until there is meaningful transparency and Republicans can ensure all counting is done above board and by the law," deputy campaign manager Justin Clark said in a statement.


Biden leads in pivotal Wisconsin

Democrat Joe Biden has held a narrow lead in Wisconsin after officials completed their vote count in the pivotal state, a major boost in his quest to win the US presidency from Donald Trump despite the Republican incumbent's false claim of victory and unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud.

Wisconsin officials finished their tally at around midday after an all-night effort, showing Biden with a lead of just over 20,000 votes, or 0.6%, according to Edison Research. The Trump campaign immediately said it would seek a recount, which is permitted under state law when the margin is below 1 percent.

A Biden victory in Wisconsin would significantly narrow Trump's path to a second four-year term, though the outcome remained in doubt with Michigan and other closely contested states including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina still counting votes. Trump won Wisconsin and Michigan in his 2016 election victory.


Maine Republican Collins holds US Senate seat in blow to Dems

Republican US Senator Susan Collins of Maine has won the hardest-fought race of her career, turning back a challenge by Democrat Sara Gideon and surviving to serve a fifth term.

Collins, one of four candidates on the ballot, won a majority of first-place votes. That meant no additional tabulation rounds were necessary under Maine’s ranked choice voting system.

Gideon has conceded, telling supporters on Wednesday that she called Collins and congratulated her on the win.


Trump campaign sues to stop ballot count in Michigan

The campaign of President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit in Michigan to stop the counting of ballots in the presidential election.

"We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted. We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access," the campaign said in a statement. 


Trump's campaign manager says will ask for recount in Wisconsin 

President Donald Trump's campaign will immediately request a recount of votes in Wisconsineven though the state's presidential election results have yet to be finalised and Biden leads by a margin of less than one percent.

"There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties, which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results," campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement, without providing details of any reports. "The president is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so."


Judge says USPS will have to answer questions regarding ballot sweep under oath

The US Postal Service (USPS) disclosed it had found just 13 undelivered ballots in Pennsylvania after it completed required sweeps of mail processing facilities late Tuesday in about a dozen states.

USPS earlier on Tuesday had said it could not meet a 2000GMT (3 pm EST) deadline that day to complete the checks under a ruling by US District Judge Emmet Sullivan. 

Sullivan had ordered the sweep in response to lawsuits by groups including Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates, but the USPS told Sullivan it was not logistically possible to meet his deadline.

Sullivan said at a status conference that the US Postmaster General will have to answer questions under oath on why USPS failed to comply with the court order on meeting the deadline to complete checks.


US Senate leader McConnell says wants coronavirus aid bill by year's end

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has cited the need for Congress to approve a new coronavirus aid bill and to do so by the end of 2020 as lawmakers return to work following Tuesday's elections.

Saying he hoped that partisanship over such a stimulus bill will subside with voting for president and members of Congress now over, McConnell said that there was a "need to do it by the end of the year." 

He also noted the "possibility" that such a bill "will do more for state and local governments," a key Democratic demand.


USPS says it completed ballot sweeps required by judge

The US Postal Service (USPS) had completed required sweeps of mail processing facilities late Tuesday in about a dozen states after it had earlier said it could not meet an afternoon deadline to complete the checks, a spokesperson for the agency said.

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan had earlier on Tuesday ordered the sweep.

Sullivan is holding a 1700GMT (12 pm local) status conference on the lawsuits. USPS data showed as of Sunday about 300,000 ballots that were received for mail processing did not have scans confirming their delivery to election authorities.


Audiences around the world tune in for results

People in the United States and around the world are waiting anxiously, and sometimes in confusion, for a winner to be declared in the American presidential election.

In the absence of an immediate winner between President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden, the guessing game of trying to figure out which of them would end up in the White House, and how, quickly turned global.

From Europe, in particular, came appeals for patience and a complete tally of votes. In Slovenia, the birthplace of first lady Melania Trump, the right-wing prime minister, Janez Jansa, claimed it was “pretty clear that American people have elected Donald Trump,” but he was a lonely voice among leaders in jumping ahead of any firm outcome.


Philadelphia officials vow to count every vote, give no deadline

City officials in Philadelphia are hard at work post-election night with an "avalanche" of mail-in ballots that still need sorting and counting.

Officials caution it could take days.

"When half of the votes in the city are cast by mail and half of the votes are at the polling place, counting votes cast by mail – if you're gonna do it right and you're going to do it accurately because there's no other choice – takes a little bit of time," said Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt.


Only 0.01 percent difference after 89 percent votes tallied in Michigan

After 89 percent of expected votes were tallied in Michigan. results show only a 0.01 percent difference between Joe Biden with 49.2 percent of votes and Donald Trump with 49.1 percent, according to Edison Research.


Biden in narrow lead in Wisconsin, 97 percent votes tallied

In Wisconsin, 97 percent of expected votes have been tallied that show Joe Biden in a narrow lead with 49.5 percent of votes and Donald Trump with 48.8 percent, according to Edison Research.


How did Bellwether states vote?

Missouri has been picking the winning presidential candidate consistently since 1904, with the exception of 1956.

Ohio was essential for Donald Trump's victory in 2016. The state has been voting for the winning presidential candidate between 2000-2016.

Florida is famous for nail-bitingly close election results, perhaps the most famous in 2000 between Republican George W Bush and Democrat Al Gore. Its voters have picked the winner in 18 of the past 20 presidential elections.

What about a very prescient county? 

Notorious bellwether Valencia County in New Mexico has been picking presidents since Dwight D Eisenhower in 1952. 

In 2020, this small county is voting for Trump.


Biden's campaign says Trump Supreme Court remarks 'outrageous'

Biden's campaign says it will fight any efforts by Trump's campaign to go to the US Supreme Court to prevent ballots from being tabulated.

In a statement sent before 0900 GMT (4 am local), Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon called Trump's statement that he will “be going to the US 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.”


Protesters arrested in Seattle

Police have arrested at least eight people in Seattle after late night demonstrations and marches in the city on US Election Day.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or that the protests were linked to the US election, but some demonstrators carried "Black Lives Matter" banners, Q13 Fox Seattle television reported.

The Seattle Police Department said the arrested people included one who put nails in a road and another who drove over a barricade and into a police bike lane.

"Eight arrests this evening for pedestrian interference, obstruction, assault on an officer, reckless driving, and criminal mischief", Seattle Police said on Twitter.


Biden wins 3 of 4 Maine electoral votes

Democrat Joe Biden has won at least three of Maine’s four electoral votes.

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.


Biden wins Arizona, flipping state for Dems

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.


Without citing evidence, Trump says ‘sad group of people’ seeks to disenfranchise supporters

Trump, without providing evidence, said “a very sad group of people” is trying to disenfranchise millions of his supporters who voted for him.

“A very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise” the millions of people who voted for Trump, the Republican president said in a statement at the White House.

“Frankly, we did win,” Trump told supporters at the White House.

But election results from some battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Georgia, were still not clear and projections from major networks and Edison Research showed Trump still short of the 270 electoral votes needed to win re-election.

Biden is expected to get between 220 to 236 electoral votes at this time.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies