Joe Biden elected president

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

Updated 10:29 a.m. ET, November 8, 2020
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6:07 p.m. ET, November 7, 2020

Here's a timeline of what will happen between now and Inauguration Day

Analysis by Zachary B. Wolf and Will Mullery

We've sketched out the legal mechanisms that lead from Election Day to Inauguration Day. 

Here's a timeline of what happens after Election Day:

  • Nov. 3: While many millions of Americans cast their ballots in the weeks leading up to Election Day, either by mail or as an in-person absentee voter, US law says Election Day occurs on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Votes were counted across the country on Election Day.
  • Nov. 4 — 23: Mail-in ballots had to be postmarked by Nov. 3 in every US state, but they can be received late and still counted in many states.
  • Nov. 10 – Dec. 11: States certify election results.
  • Dec. 8: Under the Electoral Count Act, this is the date by which states are meant to have counted votes, settled disputes, and determined the winner of their electoral college votes. Governors are supposed to create certificates of ascertainment listing the winner of the election and the slate of electors.
  • Dec. 14: Electoral votes are cast. In law this date is the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. This year it falls on Dec. 14.
  • Dec. 23: The electoral votes must arrive in Washington. The certified electoral votes have nine days to get from their states to Capitol Hill.
  • Jan. 3: Members of the House and new members of the Senate take the oath of office at noon. This is the official start of the 117th Congress.
  • Jan. 6: Members of the House and the Senate all meet in the House chamber. The President of the Senate (that’s Vice President Mike Pence) presides over the session and the Electoral votes are read and counted in alphabetical order by two appointees each from the House and Senate. They then give their tallies to Pence, who announces the results and listens for objections. There are 538 electoral votes — one for each congressman and senator plus three for Washington, DC. If no candidate gets 270, the 435 members of the House decide the election. The House has until noon on January 20 to pick the President. If they can't, it would be the vice president or the next person eligible in the line of presidential succession.
  • Jan. 20: A new president takes the oath of office at noon on Inauguration Day.

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

Boston crowd sings "We Are the Champions" at rally

From CNN’s Christina Zdanowicz

A crowd sings "We Are the Champions" on Saturday in Boston, Massachusetts.
A crowd sings "We Are the Champions" on Saturday in Boston, Massachusetts. Andrew Brinker/The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College student journalist Andrew Brinker captured the mood as crowds sang “We Are the Champions” at Boylston and Charles streets in Boston. 

“A lot of people saying they’re feeling relief after the last four years,” Brinker wrote to CNN. “Tons of young people in this crowd. At one point we had at least 1,000 people here. Also to note, lots of folks saying they don’t have to worry now about having a president that’s attacking their fundamental human rights.”

5:24 p.m. ET, November 7, 2020

How Biden's popular vote margin has grown

From CNN's Jennifer Agiesta

If you want to put some numbers around how Joe Biden’s popular vote margin is growing, here’s an interesting way to slice it. As of 6 a.m., Wednesday, the national popular vote looked like this:

  • Biden: 68,084,882 votes, 50.1%
  • Trump: 65,634,738 votes, 48.3%

Everything that has been counted since 6 a.m., Wednesday looks like this:

  • Biden: 6,414,007 votes, 55.4%
  • Trump: 4,709,002 votes, 40.6% 

That’s with about 147 million votes cast, so there are likely around 10 million more to count.

5:34 p.m. ET, November 7, 2020

Family says historic Biden-Harris win prompted them to join DC celebration with their daughters

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

A family speaks with CNN’s Vivian Salama at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington DC, on Saturday.
A family speaks with CNN’s Vivian Salama at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington DC, on Saturday. CNN

A family said they were motivated to bring their two small daughters to celebrate the projected win of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. 

“We’re excited to be here to celebrate democracy today. And we brought our half-Indian girls here. They’re too young to vote, but they can be part of the process and they can see that a woman can make it to the White House — and a half-Indian woman can make it to the White House,” their mother told CNN’s Vivian Salama at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington DC. 

Harris is America's first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president-elect.  

Watch the moment:

5:11 p.m. ET, November 7, 2020

Gates opening now for the Biden drive-in rally tonight

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

A Joe Biden supporter waits outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 7, 2020.  
A Joe Biden supporter waits outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 7, 2020.   Gabriella Demczuk for CNN

The cars have started to arrive in the parking lot of the Chase Center for the biggest show in Wilmington, Delaware, tonight: A drive-in rally for the victory rally for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

“Welcome, welcome,” an advance staffer in a blue Biden-Harris mask, said to the first few cars. “Thank you for being here!”

It’s a hometown crowd, with longtime supporters and top contributors given preference. But most people were urged to watch from home, given the pandemic.

Biden is expected to deliver a call for unity in the face of the nation’s challenges. But there will be fireworks. A truck filled with the festive explosives has been parked all week at a neighboring baseball field. A light show from drones is also expected. And a confetti cannon, aides say.

The show is scheduled to begin around 8 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, Biden’s eldest granddaughter Naomi Biden tweeted a photo showing the President-elect being embraced by his family. The caption reads “11.07.20.”

 

CNN's Arlette Saenz contributed to this post.

4:59 p.m. ET, November 7, 2020

Here's what could happen to Kamala Harris' Senate seat

Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee on June 16 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee on June 16 in Washington, DC. Jonathan Ernst/AFP/Getty Images

With Kamala Harris projected to be the next vice president-elect of the United States, her Senate seat will soon become vacant.

Here's what it means for the Senate and the state of California:

Under California law, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom would have the sole power to appoint a replacement for Harris. That appointee would serve until 2022, when Harris' term expires — at which point he or she would have to run for a full term in their own right.

CNN's Chris Cillizza looked at the potential candidates who could replace Harris. Here's the list he came up with:

  • Rep. Karen Bass
  • Attorney General Xavier Becerra
  • San Francisco Mayor London Breed
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis
  • Secretary of State Alex Padilla
  • Rep. Katie Porter
  • Rep. Adam Schiff

4:30 p.m. ET, November 7, 2020

CNN Projection: Trump wins 1 electoral vote in Maine

President Trump will win one of Maine's four electoral votes, CNN projects, while Joe Biden will win three electoral votes.

Maine allows electoral votes to be split. In Maine, two of four electoral votes go to the statewide winner and one electoral vote goes to the winner in each of the two congressional districts.

CNN projected earlier that Biden has won the presidency after he carried Pennsylvania.

Who won in 2016: Former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton carried the state with three electoral votes. President Trump received one electoral vote.

4:14 p.m. ET, November 7, 2020

Here's a look at how people are celebrating Biden's win across the US

From California to New York, people are celebrating President-elect Joe Biden's projected win today.

Here's what those celebrations looks like:

California

People celebrate in Oakland, California.
People celebrate in Oakland, California. Noah Berger/AP

Delaware

Biden supporters celebrate outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden was scheduled to speak later on November 7.
Biden supporters celebrate outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden was scheduled to speak later on November 7. Gabriella Demczuk for CNN

Florida

People celebrate in Miami on November 7.
People celebrate in Miami on November 7. Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

New York

People react to the news in New York's Central Park.
People react to the news in New York's Central Park. Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

Pennsylvania

People celebrate in Philadelphia after Joe Biden was projected to win the presidential election on Saturday, November 7.
People celebrate in Philadelphia after Joe Biden was projected to win the presidential election on Saturday, November 7. Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Washington, DC

People gather at the Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, after Biden's victory was announced.
People gather at the Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, after Biden's victory was announced. Alex Brandon/AP

4:04 p.m. ET, November 7, 2020

DACA recipient calls Biden's victory a moment of "hope"

Ambar Pinto, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipient, celebrated Joe Biden's victory with scores of others in Washington, DC, this afternoon.

"It's a moment of a lot of emotion and a lot of hope," Pinto told CNN. "We took Trump out of office and now there's hope and a future for immigrants."

Some context: In early August, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told lawmakers he stands by the Trump administration decision to limit the DACA program following the Supreme Court's decision in June.

"In no way did the Supreme Court decision tell the department to process new DACA applicants," Wolf told the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Legal experts have opposed that argument, saying that the decision allowed for new applicants and a Maryland judge eventually directed the administration to take new applications.

In July, Wolf issued a memo saying that new applications for DACA, the Obama-era program that shields certain undocumented immigrants from deportation, would not be accepted and renewals would be limited to one year instead of two amid an ongoing review.