Election 2020 presidential results

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

Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT) November 7, 2020
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7:14 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Why CNN hasn't called the election yet

On-air analysis from CNN's David Chalian / Written by CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

There's a team of dedicated statistical analysts that helps decide when CNN can make a call on election results, CNN's political director David Chalian explains.

"All they do is, every single time vote comes in from one of these states, they plug it into their models and their formulas, trying to ascertain a very high level of confidence," in the results so that whoever is the number two person in these contests doesn't have a real possibility to overtake the number one person, Chalian said.

The reason why CNN is not projecting the results in states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona, "it's because of the math and getting to the highest level of confidence before any projection is made," Chalian added.

Watch CNN's David Chalian breakdown the unique circumstances involved in calling the 2020 presidential election:

8:15 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Arizona secretary of state anticipates 235,000 outstanding ballots to be completed over the weekend

From CNN's Leinz Vales

An election official counts ballots inside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office on November 6 in Phoenix, Arizona.
An election official counts ballots inside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office on November 6 in Phoenix, Arizona. Matt York/AP

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Friday that there is approximately “235,000 outstanding ballots” statewide with about 135,000 in Maricopa County.

“We’re not sure how many of those are provisionals, but of the regular ballots they anticipate being done this weekend,” Hobbs told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. 

“In Arizona, counties have five business days after the election to resolve provisional ballots," Hobbs said. "Any of those ballots that are provisional they won’t be able to count until Wednesday. I don’t know how many of the Maricopa ballots are provisional ballots. It’s a small number, I’m sure.”

Remember: CNN is yet to project a winner in Arizona. There are 11 electoral votes at stake in the state. Neither Biden nor Trump have received the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. According to CNN’s latest projections, Biden has 253 electoral votes to Trump’s 213.


7:13 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Arizona's Pima County reports more than 7,200 ballots with a slight lean toward Trump

From CNN’s Bob Ortega

Arizona's Pima County, home of the city of Tuscon, has reported an additional 7,264 ballots in its final update for the day, making a slight dent in former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead in Arizona.

The latest batch included 3,640 votes for President Trump and 3,352 votes for Biden.

Some context: Pima is the second most populous county in Arizona, and leans Democratic. The county still has about 19,000 ballots remaining to process, most of them provisional.

The county’s communications director, Mark Evans, said they expect to keep working on the provisional ballots through the weekend. Evans said they won’t process those ballots until they have several thousand ready to report, which could be anywhere from Saturday to Monday. 

7:09 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Why are we talking about Senate runoffs in Georgia?

From CNN's Alex Rogers

The control of the Senate will likely come down to two runoff races in Georgia. 

CNN has yet to project winners in a couple Senate races, but with Democrats falling short in several contests, their best path to claiming the majority is likely winning the White House and flipping the two Georgia Senate seats.

Runoffs would happen because both Georgia races featured more than two candidates. In the regular Georgia Senate race, Democrat Jon Ossoff and Libertarian Shane Hazel look to be holding GOP Sen. David Perdue under 50% of the vote, although CNN has not projected the race yet. If Perdue does not receive a majority of the vote, the top-two vote-getters – Perdue and Ossoff — will advance to a runoff on Jan. 5.

CNN has already projected a runoff in the special Senate election, where Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, will also face off on Jan. 5. The 20-person race for the special election almost guaranteed that no candidate would receive a majority of the vote.

Late last year, Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler to replace Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned over health concerns. The winner of the special election will serve until 2022, when Isakson's term would’ve ended. 

7:08 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Georgia's Fulton County expects to upload more provisional and overseas ballots

From CNN's Brad Hodges and Elizabeth Joseph

Fulton County, Georgia – home to Atlanta and the state’s largest population center —expects to upload approximately 3,612 provisional ballots and 900 ballots received from overseas this evening, Richard Barron, the county's elections director, said Friday.

Provisional ballots had to be cured by 5 p.m. ET and overseas ballots – from expats and military personnel – had to be postmarked by Election Day and received by 5 p.m. ET Friday in order to be counted. 

"Here in Fulton County, the fat lady has almost sung. All early votes have been counted, all day-of votes have been counted, all absentee ballots have been counted," said Robb Pitts, chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.

6:55 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Biden's lead in Philadelphia grows to 80% of ballots counted

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden's lead in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has grown to 555,833 votes, which represents 80.78% of the votes counted thus far, according to data from the city's election office.

President Trump currently has 125,897 votes, which represents 18.3% of the ballots counted so far.



6:33 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Here's what you need to know about provisional ballots

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc

Provisional ballots are cast when there's a question about a voter's eligibility, and are specially held for counting until officials are certain the vote should be accepted. If a voter, for example, forgets their ID at home, or isn't showing up in the voter rolls, they can cast a provisional ballot.

Under federal law, any US resident should always be able to cast a provisional ballot at a polling place, even if their registration status is not clear. That allows officials to accept the ballot but hold it aside while any questions are worked out.

Once cast, election officials determine whether the voter was eligible to vote. If they were, the vote will be counted just like any other.

Why these ballots take longer to count: Different states handle provisional ballots in different ways.

Generally, though, these ballots are kept separate from all other ballots while they are investigated by election officials and are counted last.

Here's how the National Conference of State Legislatures describes the investigation process once a provisional ballot has been cast:

"This process entails verifying the voter's identity and eligibility to vote, and may require the voter to provide further information. If the identity of the voter and the voter's eligibility can be established through reviewing the voter rolls or verifying a signature, all or a portion of the ballot will be counted. If their eligibility cannot be established, the ballot will not be counted."

As a result, voters often need to be their own biggest advocate when it comes to provisional ballots — following up with local elected officials to confirm they have looked into their qualifications and have counted their vote.

Read more about provisional ballots here.

7:17 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Provisional ballots in Pennsylvania historically track the state's overall results, attorney general says

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro speaks with CNN on Friday, November 6.
Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro speaks with CNN on Friday, November 6. CNN

Pennsylvania's Democratic attorney general Josh Shapiro addressed questions over outstanding provisional ballots in the states, saying he's unsure how many there are but that historically they tend to reflect overall results in the state. 

As of 5:45 p.m. ET Joe Biden leads President Trump in Pennsylvania 3,315,745 to 3,301,204 with 96% of the vote counted. 

"Historically, provisional ballots tend to track the overall vote, because these are ballots that are sort of random throughout the state based on someone who arrived who had a need to fill out a provisional ballot," said Shapiro. 

"Logic dictates that they would tend to follow the vote or of that region or of that state," he said.

Shapiro said he did not know how many such ballots exist but Republican speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Bryan Cutler has said there are about 100,000, and CNN has reported there are at least 69,000.

Shapiro reminded the audience that the delay in counting the provisional ballots is due to a state law which did not permit their counting until 5 p.m. ET today. He added that the state will not declare a winner until all of those ballots have been added to the total count.

"They're working hard, moving as quickly as they can, and they'll get the results out soon," he told CNN's Erin Burnett. "...We're working carefully and diligently and following the law, and it takes some time."


6:14 p.m. ET, November 6, 2020

Las Vegas voter discusses the process of curing their vote

On-air reporting from CNN's Sara Sidner / Written by CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

A Las Vegas voter waiting in line outside of the Clark County Election Center told CNN's Sara Sidner that she was there to cure her vote.

The voter said she was there to correct her identification. She brought with her three forms of identification, including a passport, registration and an ID.

Clark County requires voters show two forms of identification and a document that proves that the voter lives in the county, Sidner said.

She told Sidner she recently moved to Las Vegas from Texas and found out she needed to correct her identification after being contacted by election officials. "They called ... and they paid a well check at my home," the voter said.

The voter said officials told her they needed to make sure her ID was correct and to also confirm her identify.

She said she voted for Joe Biden because she "believes in him."

Asked if she had any reason to doubt that her vote or anyone else's won't be counted, the voter said:

"This is why we're here today, to make sure the right thing is done and they are doing the right thing."