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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8:34 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Trump's lead in Georgia drops below 40,000 votes as ballot counting continues

With approximately 40,000 votes between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Wednesday night that there are still more than 122,000 uncounted ballots in the state.

"Take a look at Georgia right now look how it is narrow so dramatically, Donald Trump leads in the state of Georgia at 95% of the estimated vote is in," CNN's Wolf Blitzer said this evening. "That lead was in the hundreds and hundreds of thousands and now it is at 39,000."
8:54 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

There are now 122,535 uncounted ballots in Georgia, state official says 

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Wednesday evening that there are still 122,535 uncounted ballots in the state.

Some of the counties with outstanding votes told CNN that they will finish counting tonight, while others are expected to stretch into tomorrow.

According to Raffensperger’s office, Georgia has tallied about 26,815 votes in the last 30 minutes.

 CNN's Gary Tuchman reports:

9:00 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

How President Trump's attacks on late Sen. John McCain could impact his chances in Arizona 

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

President Trump's sustained personal attacks on the late Republican Sen. John McCain, even after he died in 2018, may now be hurting his chances in Arizona, a state he may need to keep the White House, said CNN's Jake Tapper this evening. 

Trump's "advisers have been begging him for years, 'just stop attacking and insulting one of Arizona's favorite sons, Sen. John McCain,'" said Tapper. "...Yet he was incredibly ungracious and then he continued to attack him when he died."

Tapper pointed out that the late senator's widow, Cindy McCain, a Republican, endorsed Biden in September, saying Trump had displayed "a lack of character, integrity, a lack of values."

"There must be so many people in the White House right now who are just tearing their hair out watching these Arizona returns, thinking 'I told you not to do that,'" added Tapper.

CNN's Dana Bash added that McCain may be getting a "last laugh" on Trump if in fact Arizona votes for Joe Biden.

"Can you imagine the poetry of that if it happens?" she asked.

CNN's Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Abby Phillip discuss:

8:01 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

It's 8 p.m. ET: This is where the race to 270 stands.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads the race for the presidency with 253 electoral votes. President Trump has 213 electoral votes.

Trump's lead in Georgia has shrunk to about 47,000 votes as more ballots continue to be tallied in Fulton County, home to Atlanta.

Based on these projections, this is where the race to 270 currently stands.

Reminder: Each candidate needs 270 electoral college votes to win the presidency.

8:12 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

There are more than 149,000 uncounted ballots in Georgia, state official says

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger WSB

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Wednesday afternoon that there are still 149,350 uncounted ballots in the state.

Some of the counties with outstanding votes told CNN that they will finish counting tonight, while others are expected to stretch into tomorrow.

According to Raffensperger’s office, Georgia has tallied about 36,000 votes in the last two hours.

The margin between Trump and Biden has now narrowed to 1% with the latest batch, with Trump clinging to a small lead.

“Officials in numerous counties are continuing to count ballots, with strong security protocols in place to protect the integrity of our election” Raffensperger said in news release. “We have long anticipated – and said publicly – that counting would most likely take place into Wednesday night and perhaps Thursday morning. We’re on pace to accomplish that responsibly, ensuring that the voice of every eligible voter is heard. It’s important to act quickly, but it’s more important to get it right.”

CNN's Gary Tuchman reports:

7:55 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Trump has questioned legal efforts in calls with allies

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump offered less-than-enthusiastic endorsement of his team's legal strategy in phone calls with some of his allies on Wednesday, sounding resigned to the plan falling short and questioning why his team hadn’t successfully challenged voting rules before the election even as he remained willing to see it through.

According to a person who spoke to Trump, the President seemed tired after spending the night watching election returns at the White House. Trump spoke to several of his supporters behind closed doors at the White House as his team mobilized to begin the post-Election Day effort. 

The President told one person he was willing to let the legal maneuvering proceed but suggested he did not believe it would be successful in the end. While he said he believes he will win in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia, Trump was skeptical at the lawsuits filed by his team.

Trump hinted at his views in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon: "Our lawyers have asked for ‘meaningful access’, but what good does that do?” he wrote from the White House. “The damage has already been done to the integrity of our system, and to the Presidential Election itself. This is what should be discussed!”

Trump’s campaign has been feverishly soliciting funds for the legal effort on its email list. After Trump’s tweet, one campaign adviser questioned why the President would undercut the effort at the same moment he is seeking new money to support it.

7:56 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Trump campaign files lawsuit to stop vote counting in Georgia

From CNN's Jim Acosta and Kaitlan Collins

A Fulton County Board of Elections official, center, speaks to lawyers and representatives for the Democratic and Republican parties at the Fulton County Registration and Election warehouse in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday, November4.
A Fulton County Board of Elections official, center, speaks to lawyers and representatives for the Democratic and Republican parties at the Fulton County Registration and Election warehouse in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday, November4. Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Trump campaign is filing a lawsuit to stop vote counting in Georgia, a campaign official said. It is unclear whether the suit will be successful.

"President Trump and his team are fighting for the good of the nation to uphold the rule of law, and Georgia’s law is very clear: to legally count, mail ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. That’s still the law, even after Democrats sued earlier this year to extend the deadline and delay Election Day—President Trump and Republicans fought to uphold Georgia law, and we won," Trump Deputy Campaign Manager Justin Clark said in a statement.

Clark went on to say that "a Republican poll observer in Georgia witnessed 53 late absentee ballots illegally added to a stack of on-time absentee ballots in Chatham County. We will not allow Democrat election officials to steal this election from President Trump with late, illegal ballots. President Trump and the Georgia Republican Party have filed suit to require all Georgia counties to separate any and all late-arriving ballots from all legally cast ballots to ensure a free, fair election in which only legal, valid ballots count." 

Separately, David Shafer, the chairman of the Georgia state GOP, tweeted a short time ago, "I have authorized lawyers for the Georgia Republican Party to file an emergency petition against the Chatham County Board of Elections to enforce election laws and prevent the unlawful counting of absentee ballots received after the election."

Trump advisers are nervously watching the final returns in Georgia, and have been taken aback by Biden's performance in what was thought to be a GOP stronghold. Both Trump advisers said African American turnout in Georgia for Biden are exceeding their expectations, resulting in a very tight race. 

Still, both advisers believe Trump has a better chance of closing the gap in Arizona than Biden has in Georgia.   

CNN's Kaitlin Collins reports:

8:04 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

An inside look at mail-in vote counting in Georgia

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

At the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, counters and adjudicators are in heavy presence as absentee ballot vote counting is underway.

This is how the process works:

Adjudicators look at ballots that may be controversial because they may be signed incorrectly or they may not properly indicate the intent of the voter. They decide if that vote in question should be counted.

The workers sort the ballots, they then count the ballots, and then elsewhere in the room, the adjudicators — the Republican, the Democrat and the independent —look out for mistakes. 

“The most typical mistake they see on a ballot is a mistake that's done on purpose. And that is people sign Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck in the write-ins,” CNN’s Gary Tuchman reports. “That's a more common thing that we see in some of these counties.”

In the neighboring DeKalb County, they had groups of four adjudicators. They worked together — one Republican, one Democrat, two independents. They then vote on whether a ballot is OK, that its intent can be ascertained. The vote is usually unanimous but if it’s 2-2, they call an election supervisor in the room to break the tie but that’s rarely an issue.

Where the race stands: President Trump is leading in Georgia but his lead has decreased through the day as more absentee ballots get counted.

“There is a mathematical chance that with the 235,000 votes that need to be counted that something could change in the race. As you know, you have to be very careful with making that assumption,” Tuchman reported.

CNN's Gary Tuchman explains the process and takes viewers behind the scenes:

7:53 p.m. ET, November 4, 2020

Only 4,400 mail ballots outstanding in Gwinnett County, Georgia

From CNN's Jason Morris

Here’s what we know about the remaining votes in Georgia's Gwinnett County, a suburban county northeast of Atlanta. 

  • Biden is currently winning the pre-Election Day vote in this county, 60.2% to 38.7%, according to CNN data. 
  • There are 4,400 mail ballots that arrived on Election Day and still haven’t been counted.
  • There are an additional 1,000 provisional ballots that need to be scrutinized to determine whether they were cast by valid voters and should count. 
  • There was an incident at one in-person voting precinct in Gwinnett County affecting vote totals.
  • A scanner had a corrupt data card, and the votes on that card have not been counted yet. It’s unclear how many votes exist on that card, Gwinnett officials told CNN. The card will be rescanned tomorrow morning and it is unclear when those votes will be reported.