Election 2020 presidential results

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya, Fernando Alfonso III, Veronica Rocha and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 1020 GMT (1820 HKT) November 6, 2020
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11:59 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Trump campaign observers can stand closer while watching ballot processing in Philadelphia, court rules 

From CNN's By Katelyn Polantz 

A Pennsylvania court ruled that Trump campaign observers could stand closer to watch ballot processing in Philadelphia—a relatively inconsequential ruling that Trump campaign associates quickly touted as being a massive win. Votes that could decide the state are still being counted there. 

No court has found wrongdoing in the ballot-counting process in Philadelphia.

“It allows their observers to stand a little closer, but it is not an order that will have any impact on the outcome of the election,” law professor and CNN elections analyst Franita Tolson said Thursday, noting that the decision was “not massive at all.”

12:44 p.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Pennsylvania's Allegheny to pause counting remaining ballots until Friday

By Kate Bolduan, Scott Glover and Kelly Mena

Allegheny County will not count any more ballots until tomorrow because of a court order over some 29,000 disputed ballots, according to county officials.   

But the county will still be preparing for a resumption tomorrow of the counting.  

"They’re processing them. No one has the day off. They’re working,” Fitzgerald told CNN.

There are approximately 36,000 ballots left to count, according to Allegheny Executive Rich Fitzgerald. Beyond the court ordered pile, the county has some 2,800 that were partially damaged and another 4,000 that need to be evaluated because of issues like missing dates or signature problems. 

In addition, 500 ballots arrived yesterday that were mailed before the election.

Fitzgerald said the county was told by the governor’s office that statewide there are probably 10,000 ballots that were received on Wednesday after the election.

The order stems from a legal challenge over misprinted ballots that had to be reissued to some voters. The county agreed not to count the potential pool of reprinted ballots until Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. local time, the deadline for receiving mail-in that were sent by election day.

Allegheny County poll workers will not be counting today because the bulk of the remaining pool of ballots in the county are the disputed pile.  Allegheny Executive Rich Fitzgerald said they would be continuing to process ballots on Thursday but they might not be scanning them.

County Council member Bethay Hallam said that the county should put more information out about what is going on.

 Hallam added that “there is nothing malicious going on here.” “It is frustrating that there isn’t more information of what they are actually doing today.”  

“The Elections Division staff will be using the day to do administrative work,” according to an internal county communication obtained by CNN. They will resume counting on Friday.

UPDATE: This post has been updated with additional details from county officials.

12:38 p.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Pennsylvania attorney general: Americans can expect “a better sense” of the result by "the end of the day"

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

As vote counting continues in Pennsylvania, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Americans may get a better sense of the result “by the end of the day.”

He said he’s basing this off the secretary of state’s earlier comments where she said the “vast majority of these ballots would be counted by the end of the day today.”

Shapiro also asserted that the mail-in ballots are “every bit as legal as the ballots that were cast on election day.”

The ballots were mailed or dropped at a dropbox at a local government office building “because someone was afraid of Covid and didn't want to stand in line at the polls,” he said, adding that these ballots were processed and are now being counted. “We will follow the law. We're not going to get into any kind of back and forth on the rhetoric or politics. As I said before, the campaign is over. Now it's time to count the votes.”

Workers will “secure, protect and count all these votes,” he assured, adding that regardless of the outcome, the will of the people will be respected.

“Whoever gets more votes in that election will be deemed the winner by the commonwealth. And we will respect the will of the people. That's the law, that's how the process works.”

Why this matters: Pennsylvania is one of the key states CNN is yet to project a winner in. Each candidate needs 270 electoral college votes to win the presidency. Based on CNN's projections so far, Joe Biden leads the race for the White House with 253 electoral votes. President Trump has 213 electoral votes.

11:36 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Trump's lead in Georgia narrows as mail-in votes continue to be counted

Written by CNN's Maureen Chowdhury / Analysis by CNN's John King

Democratic and Republican representatives review absentee ballots in Atlanta on Novmeber 4.
Democratic and Republican representatives review absentee ballots in Atlanta on Novmeber 4. John Bazemore/AP

President Trump's lead in Georgia continues to narrow as votes are counted. An election official said that more than 60,000 mail-in ballots are still uncounted during a brief press conference.

Joe Biden has been making up ground in areas where there are the most outstanding votes like Fulton County and Clayton County, CNN's John King said.

"We have seen a clear and consistent pattern in Georgia, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, that when they count these mail-in ballots, Joe Biden is doing at least as good if not better than how he's been performing in the country overall," King said.

In Fulton County, where there are several thousand votes outstanding, Joe Biden has been receiving nearly 73% of the mail-in ballots cast, King reported.

In Clayton County, where there are also several thousand votes, Biden is getting 85% of the vote in this county. 

"It doesn't guarantee that when they count the mail-in ballots, Joe Biden is going to get 85% of those but.... your assumption there, Anderson, is that Biden is going to make-up some ground there," King explained.

The question still remains if Biden can overcome Trump's current lead of about 18,000 votes.

"As we've watched this lead shrink, the President's lead in Georgia shrink, it is because Democrats disproportionately did vote by mail," King said.

Watch John King's full analysis here:

11:50 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Georgia's Fulton County is "close to being done" with counting, elections director says

By Jason Kurtz


As the President's lead in Georgia slims, one of the state's largest remaining blocks of uncounted votes says they are nearing completion.

"We're close to being done, I think within 2,000 at this point," Fulton County, Georgia, elections director Richard Barron told CNN's Erin Burnett.

Factoring in provisional ballots, including overseas and military votes, Barron noted that the county's overall count of unknown ballots is just shy of 5,000.

"The provisional ballots are being researched and processed now. Then we will tabulate those tomorrow," he told Burnett.

With about 61,000 ballots still to be tabulated statewide, President Trump holds a lead of about 18,000 votes.

Georgia's Fulton County is home to the large city of Atlanta, a region of the state that has trended towards former Vice President Joe Biden to this point.


11:36 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

USPS processed over 305,000 ballots on Nov. 4

From CNN's Paul Murphy

According to data submitted Thursday in federal court filings, the United States Postal Service processed 305,184 ballots the day after Election Day.

In analyzing the data, 3.8% of the ballot – or 11,676 ballots – were processed in states where ballots are not accepted if they arrive after Election Day.

This data does not tell us if the ballots were postmarked by or on Election Day, or if they were delivered yesterday.  

The overwhelming majority of the ballots processed on Wednesday were in California. Those ballots, if properly postmarked, are counted if they arrive by November 20.

These figures do not include ballots being returned through what USPS calls "local turnaround." That's the process USPS says some post offices have implemented, where ballots are being delivered directly to local boards of election – they are postmarked, but don't go through normal mail processing. 

They also do not include data on ballots that don't have barcodes.

USPS has reiterated that the delays are largely due to staffing shortages due to Covid-19.  

To fix the issues, USPS has provided "multiple layers of operational oversight,” is coordinating closely with the USPS inspector general, and has been holding daily troubleshooting calls with problem areas.

11:30 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Georgia election official: Unclear how many provisional ballots still need to be counted

From CNN’s Jason Morris and Wes Bruer


Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling said state election officials are trying to determine how many outstanding provisional ballots still need to be counted. He added that he hopes there will be a resolution by the end of the day. 

“We are working with the counties to try and get a full understanding of how many provisionals might be available,” Sterling said.

“There are absentee ballots from our overseas military voters that if they are postmarked by Tuesday have to be accepted by Friday. There are provisional ballots that need to be verified by Friday, and if you have an absentee ballot with an issue like missing a signature or something, you have until Friday to cure those.”

If the vote tally between the two candidates is very close towards the end of the counting, Sterling said there is anticipation military ballots, curable ballots, and provisional ballots may play a role in the outcome, so the final count “may take a minute.”

The election in Georgia “is going to be an extremely close margin, especially in the presidential election,” he added. 

11:19 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

Trump campaign remains optimistic about holding Pennsylvania lead

From CNN's Betsy Klein and Maegan Vazquez

Workers prepare mail-in ballots for counting, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, at the convention center in Lancaster, Pa., following Tuesday's election. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Workers prepare mail-in ballots for counting, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, at the convention center in Lancaster, Pa., following Tuesday's election. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Julio Cortez/AP

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien continued to project confidence in the President's path to winning Pennsylvania and securing 270 electoral votes on a Thursday morning campaign strategy call with reporters -- even as Donald Trump's lead in the commonwealth continues to shrink.

Saying that he is basing his statements on “numbers and data not gut or spin,” Stepien criticized “the media and the insiders in this city” who have been “trying to count Donald Trump out for years,” from his primary to his impeachment.  

“Donald Trump is alive and well,” Stepien said.  

Stepien noted that Trump is “cutting into the Democrats’ lead” in Arizona and the race “is getting closer and closer.” He said that Trump is “still leading” in Georgia and North Carolina, and continued to suggest Trump will win Pennsylvania.  

“We still have confidence in Pennsylvania. Our data tells us that we are winning by more than 200,000 votes,” Stepien said, suggesting that votes will come from both Philadelphia and “Trump counties.”

He added, “We will win Pennsylvania.” 

At this point, Trump cannot lose Pennsylvania and still secure enough electoral votes to win the presidency. And despite the Trump campaign's confidence about winning Pennsylvania, his lead has been shrinking as mail-in votes in the commonwealth were being counted.

The Trump campaign is pursuing several legal disputes over the electoral process in Pennsylvania, including a lawsuit claiming that Democratic election officials are not being transparent about the ballot counting process and hiding the process from Republican poll observers.

Meanwhile, a senior Biden campaign adviser told CNN Thursday that the campaign expects to win Pennsylvania by a “sizable” margin. 

11:16 a.m. ET, November 5, 2020

USPS processed thousands of ballots yesterday in battleground states

From CNN's Paul Murphy 

According to data submitted today in federal court filings, the USPS processed thousands of ballots Wednesday in critical battleground states. If properly postmarked, those could be counted in accordance with state laws.  

This data does not tell us whether the ballots were postmarked by or on Election Day, or if they were delivered Wednesday.   

Here's a look at the processed ballots:

  • In the Nevada Sierra district, which covers most of Nevada, 9,037 ballots were processed by USPS.  
  • In the Greensboro and Mid-Carolinas districts, 5,915 ballots were processed. These districts split North Carolina, and small parts of Virginia and South Carolina.
  • In Pennsylvania, USPS processed 6,877 ballots across the state: 3,494 in the Central Pennsylvania district, 1,667 in the Philadelphia Metro district (this district does cover some parts of New Jersey and Delaware), and 1,716 in Western Pennsylvania.

Remember: CNN has not yet projected a winner in the presidential race. Six states remain too close to call, and both Trump and Joe Biden have pathways to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.