President Donald Trump continues to mount legal challenges in battleground states even as his campaign loses court rulings in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Joe Biden’s lead in Arizona is narrowing but he appears to be closing in on an overall win.
As Election Day becomes election week in the US, exhausted but determined teams of officials press on to count all ballots in battleground states as the Trump and Biden camps prepare for a battle over the final result.
US President Donald Trump has vowed to continue his legal fight, as his Democratic rival Joe Biden edged closer to securing enough votes to win the presidency and was expected to give a prime-time televised address Friday night.
"We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government. I will never give up fighting for you and our nation," Trump said in a statement released by the White House on Friday evening.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gained more ground on President Donald Trump in the battleground states of Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania on Friday, edging closer to the White House hours after Trump claimed the election was being “stolen” from him without offering any proof.
Biden had a 253 to 214 lead in the state-by-state Electoral College vote that determines the winner, according to most major television networks, and was inching toward securing the 270 votes needed to win the state-by-state electoral college in four undecided swing states. AP projected 264 for Biden, calling Arizona for the former vice president, but Trump was narrowing the margin in the state.
Biden, 77, would become the next president by winning Pennsylvania, or by winning two out of the trio of Georgia, Nevada and Arizona. Trump’s likeliest path appeared narrower – he needed to hang on to both Pennsylvania and Georgia and also to overtake Biden in either Nevada or Arizona.
In Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, Biden overtook Trump’s lead by 19,532 votes by Friday evening.
A close margin and a large number of outstanding votes are what’s making the Pennsylvania contest between Trump and Biden too early to call.
The Democrat opened a lead of more than 9,853 votes on Friday morning over Trump, of more than 6.5 million votes cast – a lead of about 0.15 percent. State law dictates that a recount must be held if the margin between the two candidates is less than 0.5 percent. There are tens of thousands of votes left to count.
Additionally, about 85,000 provisional ballots from 56 counties were outstanding.
Those ballots will be counted after officials verify their eligibility to be included.
Trump’s deficit in Georgia, which has 16 electoral votes, shrunk to about 3,911.
Those numbers were expected to continue to move in Biden’s favour, with many of the outstanding ballots from areas that typically vote Democratic, including the cities of Philadelphia and Atlanta.
Biden, meanwhile, saw his lead in Arizona shrink to around 43,779 by Friday morning and to 36,835 by evening.
He was pulled further ahead in Nevada with 22,657 votes.
LIVE updates for November 6, 2020
Biden says he will win White House
Joe Biden has projected confidence that he would win the presidential election, citing his lead in votes in key states like Pennsylvania.
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 demonisation behind us,” he said.
He said he would waste no time in addressing the Covid pandemic upon taking office.
"I want everyone, everyone to know on day one we're going to put our plan to control this virus into action," Biden said.
Supreme Court denies immediate halt of Pennsylvania count
A US Supreme Court justice has denied a request by Pennsylvania's Republicans to immediately halt the counting of ballots arriving after Election Day – referring the challenge to the full court for a ruling on Saturday.
Samuel Alito ordered Pennsylvania in the meantime to continue keeping the late-arriving ballots separate, affirming a decision already made by the state's top elections official.
The last-ditch petition for an emergency injunction – filed as Democrat Joe Biden solidified his lead and was poised to defeat President Donald Trump – targeted thousands of ballots.
Most are believed to favour Biden, and Republicans say they should be disqualified under Pennsylvania state law.
Georgia officials say there will be recount
Georgia's state secretary has said there will be a vote recount as the state's final tally will have "huge implications for the country."
Election officials in the state said the battleground state remains too close to call with a margin of some 1,500 votes.
Arizona margin narrows further
Biden's margin in Arizona narrows further, to 41,302 with some 93 percent votes counted as yet.
Twitter flags 'president-elect Biden' posts as premature
Twitter flagged as premature posts referring to Biden as "president-elect."
Tweets referring to the former vice president with the victor's title and his running mate Kamala Harris as "vice president-elect" were tagged with messages saying counts were not yet final.
"Official sources may not have called the race when this was tweeted," read a message below a post from Democratic Coalition co-founder and podcaster Scott Dworkin using the two titles for Biden and Harris.
The notice came with a link to information about the status of the election.
Twitter and Facebook have been scrambling to flag, mask and limit the spread of premature claims of victory or false attacks on the voting process since the polls closed late Tuesday.
Biden's lead narrows in Arizona, expands in Nevada
Biden's lead in Arizona has narrowed from 47,052 to 43,779 votes with 90 percent of the vote counted.
However, the former vice president is pulling further ahead of Trump in Nevada as he expanded his lead to 22,076.
There will be a recount in Georgia
A recount in Georgia has been confirmed by the state secretary as the margin between the candidates is too narrow.
Brad Raffensberger made the announcement at a press briefing in the afternoon. Currently, Biden leads Trump by 1,579 votes. With only some 4,000 ballots left to be counted, the state does not expect a clear margin with which to call an election.
Ex-Trump aide Bannon sanctioned by platforms over violence call
Twitter has said it permanently banned an account created by former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon which had called for the execution of federal officials during this week's post-election social media turmoil.
The @WarRoomPandemic account was "permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules, specifically our policy on the glorification of violence," a statement from the social media platform said on Friday.
Before the account was blocked, it included a call by Bannon to cut off the heads of FBI director Christopher Wray and top pandemic official Anthony Fauci.
Bannon tweeted that he would "put the heads on pikes" of the officials, in a reference to Tudor-era England as "a warning to federal bureaucrats."
A video with the same message was also removed from YouTube, the Google-owned platform said.
Trump: Election not over
Trump's campaign said that "this election is not over" as his challenger edged closer to victory in the cliffhanger White House race.
The statement came after Biden overcame the president's lead in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, putting him in position to win its 20 electoral votes.
A win in Pennsylvania would give Biden the presidency, as he currently holds at least 253 of the 270 electoral votes needed.
"This election is not over," campaign general counsel Matt Morgan said in the statement, making further allegations of irregularities.
"The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final."
Biden takes lead in Pennsylvania
Biden is now leading in Pennsylvania, the state in play with the most electoral college votes.
If Biden cements his lead there, the 20 votes from Pennsylvania will be his route to the White House.
Biden overtakes Trump in battleground state of Georgia by 1,097 votes
Biden has pulled ahead in the battleground state of Georgia by 917 votes, CNN reported, as the tallying of votes continues in the state.
Biden is locked in a tight election race with President Donald Trump in which no candidate currently has enough Electoral College votes to be declared the winner.
Philadelphia police probe alleged plot to attack vote counting venue
Philadelphia police have said they are investigating an alleged plot to attack the city's Pennsylvania Convention Center, where votes from the hotly contested presidential election are being counted.
Local police received a tip about a Hummer with armed people driving up from Virginia with plans to attack the convention centre, a police representative said.
Police took at least one man into custody and seized a weapon as well as the Hummer about which they had received a tip. No injuries were reported and no further details about the alleged plot were disclosed.
US Postal Service says 1,700 ballots found in Pennsylvania facilities
The US Postal Service (USPS) has said about 1,700 ballots had been identified in Pennsylvania at processing facilities during two sweeps on Thursday and were in the process of being delivered to election officials.
In a court filing early on Friday, USPS said about 1,070 ballots, had been found at the USPS Philadelphia Processing and Distribution Center.
About 300 were found at the Pittsburgh processing centre, 266 at a Lehigh Valley facility and others found at other Pennsylvania processing centres.
Ballots must be received by Friday evening in Pennsylvania in order to be counted. The vote for the US president remains extremely close and Pennsylvania is one of the states that remains undecided.
Major news channels take Trump off air to fact-check the president
ABC, CBS and NBC all cut away from President Donald Trump on Thursday as he spoke from the White House to make an unfounded accusation that the presidential election was being stolen from him.
Network personalities had sharply criticized Trump after his angry, middle-of-the-night speech following Election Day but aired that talk in full. Trump was more subdued Thursday, yet offered a litany of complaints about “suppression” polls, mail-in voting and fraud that he never specified.