It's the Saturday before Election Day

By Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 10:53 p.m. ET, October 31, 2020
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10:33 a.m. ET, October 31, 2020

Roughly 8.3 million people have voted in Florida so far

From CNN's Curt Devine

Voters fill out their ballots in Miami on October 19.
Voters fill out their ballots in Miami on October 19. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

There have been 8,294,115 votes cast in Florida so far, according to state data.

Registered Democrats still lead registered Republicans by about 116,000 votes (116,051). But the margin of Democrats’ lead has steadily plummeted as Republicans have gained through early in-person voting. A week ago, Democrats led by nearly 400,000 votes (386,908).

Some context: The big question is what will happen this weekend on the final two days of early in-person voting in Florida.

Republicans have consistently out voted Democrats through early in-person voting, but some Democratic operatives have expressed confidence that their party could get a boost on Sunday.

The caveat to all of this is that 1.7 million Floridians with no party affiliation have also already voted.

8:41 a.m. ET, October 31, 2020

Key stats about Friday's record breaking Covid-19 day in the US

From CNN’s Haley Brink and Amanda Watts

As the presidential election approaches, the United States recorded 99,321 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University. This is not only a record single day high for the US, but also the globe.

The US average of new cases per day is now at 78,738 – soaring well above the previous high we hit over the summer. This metric is up 24% from the previous week, university data shows.  

The top five all time highest single-days of new cases in the United States have happened in the last week.

On Friday, 14 states reported their record high single-day of new cases ever, according to Johns Hopkins University data: Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

8:10 a.m. ET, October 31, 2020

Here's why early election night results could look very different from the final outcome 

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

Election night will be an unusual experience this year. Early results that pop up shortly after the polls close might look very different from the final outcome, because of unprecedented levels of mail-in ballots and early voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, supporters of Democratic nominee Joe Biden have shown a strong preference for mail-in voting. Most of President Trump's supporters say they want to vote on Election Day. States count these different types of votes in very different ways.

As a result, in some of the most competitive states, early results may look too rosy for former Vice President Joe Biden, before falling back down to Earth and becoming more representative of the true outcome. In other states, Trump could see early leads that slowly narrow as more ballots are counted.

This won't be a sign of fraud or irregularities. Rather, it's just a reflection of how states count votes. Some states process early ballots first, and will report those early in the night, while others save them for last.

Here is a breakdown of what to watch for in the pivotal states:

  • Likely shift from red to blue: Some people call this the "red mirage" or the "blue shift," where early results favor Trump but later ballots even things out and might even put Biden ahead once all the results are tallied. This dynamic is expected in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where they don't process absentee ballots before Election Day. Early waves of results will likely come from ballots cast on Election Day and from outside the state's population centers, which are expected to favor Trump. As absentee ballots get counted late on Tuesday night and bigger cities report more of their votes, or even over the days that follow, the statewide vote count could shift in Biden's direction.
  • Likely shift from blue to red: Some people call this the "blue mirage" or the "red shift." This is when the first waves of results disproportionately favor Biden, only to be followed by more Trump-friendly ballots later on. This is most likely to occur in the states that start processing mail-ballots weeks before Election Day. The most critical states where experts believe this will happen are Florida and North Carolina. Election officials in these states say the first results to become public after the polls close will be large batches of absentee ballots and in-person early votes, which have been quite favorable to Democrats. As the night drags on, Election Day ballots will trickle in, helping Trump's margins. This dynamic is also expected in Texas, Ohio and Iowa, largely for the same reasons. They'll quickly post results from the historic levels of pre-Election Day voting, which likely helps Biden.

Read the full story here