Election 2020 presidential results

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya, Jessica Estepa, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 7:32 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020
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5:18 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

If Biden wins Arizona and Nevada, he wins the election, CNN's John King says

If Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden maintains his lead in Nevada and Arizona, he will secure the 270 electoral votes needed to take the presidency, CNN's John King said this afternoon.

"Nevada and Arizona are not called but Joe Biden is leading and Wolf [Blitzer] made the point if Joe Biden protects the lead in Nevada and Arizona and he gets to 270 electoral votes even if he doesn't win the commonwealth of Pennsylvania," King said.

Drilling down into the Arizona numbers: The state still has more than 600,000 ballots remaining to be counted, officials tell CNN. 

Between 615,000 and 635,000 ballots, possibly more, remain to be counted in Arizona, according to the officials. 

Biden currently leads Trump by about 93,000 votes statewide, 51% to 47.6%, according to CNN’s latest count. According to informal estimates, Trump would need to win approximately 58% of the outstanding vote to overcome Biden’s lead. 

CNN's John King breaks down the map:

5:08 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Here's where things stand in Arizona

From CNN's Bob Ortega

Maricopa County elections officials and observers watch as ballots are tallied, Wednesday, November 4, at the Maricopa County Recorders Office in Phoenix.
Maricopa County elections officials and observers watch as ballots are tallied, Wednesday, November 4, at the Maricopa County Recorders Office in Phoenix. Matt York/AP

Arizona still has more than 600,000 ballots remaining to be counted, officials tell CNN. 

Between 615,000 and 635,000 ballots, possibly more, remain to be counted in Arizona, according to the officials. 

Biden currently leads Trump by about 93,000 votes statewide, 51.% to 47.6%, according to CNN’s latest count. According to informal estimates, Trump would need to win approximately 58% of the outstanding vote to overcome Biden’s lead. 

Roughly two-thirds of the remaining votes to be counted come from Maricopa County, home of Phoenix, which Trump won four years ago 49% to 46% over Hillary Clinton, but where Biden currently holds a lead of about 99,000 votes.  

Maricopa elections officials say they have between 428,000 and 446,000 ballots still to count. This includes 248,000 mail ballots that were returned in the last three days before the election; between 160,000 and 180,000 mail ballots returned on Election Day; and 18,000 provisional ballots, according to the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. County officials said they expect to release updated count numbers around 9 p.m. ET. But they have not said when final results will be released. 

The next biggest share of votes come from blue-leaning Pima County, home of Tucson, which has just under 91,000 ballots left to count. 

Of Arizona’s 13 other counties, five have not posted information about their number of remaining votes to count. Seven of the remaining eight were counties that Trump won over Clinton in 2016; but, all told, they account for about 12% of the known remaining ballots to be counted. 

CNN's Kyung Lah reports:

4:53 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Arizona's Maricopa County will release two batches of poll results tonight

From CNN's Kyung Lah

Arizona's Maricopa County, the most populous county that includes Phoenix, will release two batches of voting results Wednesday night, according to Megan Gilbertson from the Maricopa County Elections Department. 

Here's when they numbers will be released:

  • The first batch will come at 9 p.m ET / 7 p.m. MT
  • The second will come at 12:30 a.m. ET / 10:30 p.m. MT

There is no estimate on how many ballots each batch will contain.

Among the first ballots counted today are the 248,000 early ballots that were not processed before Election Day. Those ballots will go more quickly as more of them have been taken out of envelopes and signature verified already. 

The roughly 160,000 to 180,000 early ballots dropped off on Election Day have not been removed from envelopes or signature verified—these will take time to process.

4:50 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Ballots marked with Sharpies will be counted in Arizona, election officials say 

From CNN's Bob Ortega, Ashley Fantz and David Williams

Election officials in Arizona are tamping down viral claims online that voters who used Sharpie pens on their ballots wouldn’t have their votes counted.  

The confusion, fueled largely on social media, has prompted Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to tweet: “IMPORTANT: If you voted a regular ballot in-person, your ballot will be counted, no matter what kind of pen you used (even a Sharpie).” In Maricopa County, officials said Sharpies are actually the preferred method of marking ballots.

But the state attorney general’s office said it will look into “hundreds of voter complaints regarding Sharpies at polling locations.”

Some more context: In one video viewed more than a million times on Twitter– and shared widely on Facebook and Instagram – an unidentified woman claims without proof that poll workers tried to force her to use a Sharpie and that she insisted on using an ink pen, to make sure her vote would count. The video was shot outside the Communiversity at Queen Creek polling site in Maricopa County by Marko Trickovic, who can be heard asking her: “So What they’re doing is they’re telling people to use Sharpies – that way those votes aren’t counted?” She responds, “Yes.” 

The woman says four different polling places between “Queen Creek and the edge of Gilbert,” which is near the border with Pinal County, insisted that voters use Sharpies instead of pens. At one point, Trickovic asks her to confirm whether poll workers were “yanking” pens from voters hands. She says, “Yes, they tried to do that to me.”  

State Attorney General Mark Brnovich tweeted that, “We have received hundreds of voter complaints regarding Sharpies at polling locations. Accordingly, we sent this letter to Maricopa County election officials. Let's get some answers.”

The letter asks the Maricopa County Elections department several questions, including what voting sites used Sharpies and how many ballots were rejected. 

Maricopa County officials said poll workers were actually trained to require voters to use Sharpies at voting sites. 

5:22 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Biden calls for unity: It is time "to come together as a nation"

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

As Joe Biden gets closer to the 270 electoral votes to win the presidential election, he talked about how he would be a leader for everyone – not just the people who voted for him – in an address calling for unity and bipartisanship on Wednesday.

"We are campaigning as Democrats, but I will govern as an American president," Biden said. "The presidency, itself, is not a partisan institution. It's the one office in this nation that represents everyone and it demands a duty of care for all Americans and that is precisely what I will do."

He talked about the anxiety and division that many Americans feel, saying that although there are opposing views across the country "we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies."

"We are not enemies. What brings us together as Americans is so much stronger than anything that can tear us apart," Biden said.

"It's time for us to do what we have always done as Americans – to put the harsh rhetoric of the campaign behind us, to lower the temperature, to see each other again, to listen to one another, to hear each other again and respect and care for one another. To unite, to heal, to come together as a nation," he added.

4:27 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

CNN Projection: Biden wins Michigan

Joe Biden will win Michigan, CNN projects.

There are 16 electoral votes at stake in Michigan. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the 2020 presidential election.

Who won in 2016: President Trump carried the state and won the general election.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer and John King report:

4:34 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Biden: "I am here to report when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners"

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden acknowledged the historic nature of the election and how more than "150 million people cast their votes" this year during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware.

"More Americans voted this election than ever before in American history. Over 150 million people cast their votes. I think that is just extraordinary. And if we had any doubts, we shouldn't have any longer about a government of, by and for the people. It is very much alive, very much alive in America," Biden said.

Biden added: "Now after a long night of counting, it's clear that we are winning enough states to reach 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. I'm not here to declare that we have won, but I am here to report when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners."

Watch the moment:

4:15 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Biden speaking now from Delaware

Pool
Pool

Joe Biden is speaking now from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, the same place he accepted the Democratic nomination in August.

"Here, the people rule. Power can't be taken or asserted. It flows from the people," Biden said. "And it's their will that determines who will be president of the United States and their will alone."

"And now after a long night of counting, it's clear that we are winning enough states to reach 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency," Biden continued.

4:13 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Trump campaign files Michigan lawsuit demanding vote count be halted statewide

From CNN's Ariane de Vogue and Jessica Schneider

he fate of the United States presidency hung in the balance Wednesday morning, as President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden battled for three familiar battleground states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
he fate of the United States presidency hung in the balance Wednesday morning, as President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden battled for three familiar battleground states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Carlos Osorio/AP

The Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit in Michigan state court demanding the vote count be halted statewide until representatives from the campaign are provided meaningful access to observe mail-in ballots being opened and processed.

Lawyers for the campaign say the secretary of state is violating the Michigan Constitution and Michigan election law by “allowing absent voter ballots to be processed and counted without bipartisan teams and without allowing challengers to observe the process.”

Michigan law provides that poll challengers can monitor officials’ administration of an election to assure that the election complies with Michigan’s Constitution and Election Code. 

Ryan Jarvi, press secretary for Attorney General Dana Nessel, responded:

“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.”