Donald claims 'if you look at the legal votes I won' as he breaks 36 ...

STATES STILL IN PLAY

ARIZONA - 11 electoral college votes: Votes still being counted, deadline for result unclear

50.49% BIDEN

48.14%

Fox and the AP gave Arizona to Biden before dawn on Wednesday. On Wednesday afternoon, officials said that there were still 600,000 votes left to be counted which suggested that it could be put back in play. 

The AP is standing by its call, saying the outstanding votes are in Biden strongholds that will not flip back to

PENNSYLVANIA - 20 electoral college votes: Result expected Friday

50.1%  

48.7% BIDEN

GEORGIA - 16 electoral colleges votes: Result expected sometime on Thursday

49.4%

49.2%  BIDEN

NEVADA - 6 electoral college votes: Result expected Friday

49.4% BIDEN 

48.5%   

NORTH CAROLINA - 15 electoral college votes: Result expected some time Thursday

50.09%

48.69% BIDEN 

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President Donald on Thursday claimed if all 'legal votes' were counted he would win the presidential election as he charged Democrats with trying to steal the contest 'corruptly.'

'If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,' he said during a press conference in the White House briefing room.

, whose campaign has launched lawsuits in several battleground states, noted the polls got the election wrong as they 'phony polls' did in 2016.

And there was no 'blue wave,' he added, referring to Democrats failure to win the Senate and add to their majority in the House.

'We won by historic numbers. And the pollsters got it knowingly wrong, they got it knowingly wrong. We had polls that were so ridiculous and everybody knew it at the time. There was no blue wave that they predicted,' said.         

spoke after Biden asked Americans to be patient and calm as they waited for the final ballots in the presidential race to be counted - amid mounting anxiety over the long wait for results, and concern about public order.

'Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well,' the former vice president said from the stage of Wilmington's Queen theater late Thursday afternoon.

'So I ask everyone to stay calm, all people to stay calm. The process is working. The count is being completed and we'll know very soon.'

In the same brief statement, the Democratic nominee assured supporters that he and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, would come out on top.

'We continue to feel, the senator and I, we continue to feel very good about where things stand,' Biden said. 'We have no doubt that when the count is finished Sen. Harris and I will be declared the winners.'

's lead in Pennsylvania is slipping and in Georgia too Biden is creeping up on him, while Biden remains ahead in Nevada and Arizona. Biden needs only Pennsylvania to win, taking him to 273 electoral college votes, or Nevada and Arizona, taking him to 270. In contrast would need to secure North Carolina, Arizona and Pennsylvania to secure 271. 

President Donald has responded to Biden's leads in Arizona and Nevada and his gains in Pennsylvania and Georgia on Twitter, often all in capitals. Several Tweets have been flagged by Twitter as misinformation. 

Biden did not mention 's name Thursday.

But he did make a comment that was clearly aimed at and his campaign team's legal efforts to stall vote-counting and rhetorical efforts to call into question the legitimacy of the election.

'In America, the vote is sacred. It's how people of this nation express their will. And it is the will of the voters, no one, not anything else, that chooses the president of the United States of America,' Biden said. 'So each ballot must be counted.'

Earlier Thursday, Biden was at the Queen to participate in a COVID-19 and also an economic briefing. He also made an appearance at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware Wednesday, where he again told Americans they needed to wait – but that he would win.

The appearance in Delaware was clearly intended to cast Biden as presidential and paint a contrast to .

The plea for calm also spoke to increasing concerns about public order.

Trust me I won: Donald Trump takes to the White House briefing room podium to claim he won

Trust me I won: Donald takes to the White House briefing room podium to claim he won 

Address to America: Joe Biden appeared with running mate Kamala Harris at his side to plead for calm and patience over the vote count

Address to America: Joe Biden appeared with running mate Kamala Harris at his side to plead for calm and patience over the vote count

Public statement: 'We continue to feel, the senator and I, we continue to feel very good about where things stand,' Biden said. 'We have no doubt that when the count is finished Sen. Harris and I will be declared the winners.'

Public statement: 'We continue to feel, the senator and I, we continue to feel very good about where things stand,' Biden said. 'We have no doubt that when the count is finished Sen. Harris and I will be declared the winners.'

In Michigan, Arizona and Nevada, supporters, some of them armed have descended on counting locations.

And in New York there were arrests Wednesday after a pro-Biden 'count every vote' protest descended into violence. 

The president had launched a furious tweet demanding that the count be stopped early Thursday morning then said his campaign would sue in any state where Joe Biden had already been declared a winner.

The election outcome now hinges on five states: Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Nevada, Arizona and Georgia had expected to finish their counts Thursday but then changed expectations. 

The extraordinary focus on the counting in individual states is unprecedented.  

The legal devices being used by Republicans to challenge election results

Michigan - stop votes being counted and review ballots

Called for Biden with 99 per cent of ballots counted 

Donald yesterday filed a lawsuit in the battleground state of Michigan seeking to halt vote-counting and review counted ballots.

Campaign manager Bill Stepien said Republicans had not been given 'meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process'.

He claims this violates state law.

Georgia - secure and account for late mail-in ballots

Too early to call. ahead by 0.5 points with 98 per cent of ballots counted 

President and the Georgia Republican Party have filed a lawsuit against election officials in Chatham County, asking a judge to order all late ballots be secured and accounted for. 

It was filed after a Republican observer claims to have witnessed mail-in ballots which arrived after the 7pm deadline added to a pile of lawful votes to be counted.

Sean Pumphry, a registered GOP poll-watcher, said he saw 53 unprocessed ballots added to processed ones. 

Wisconsin - recount the ballots

Called for Biden with 99 per cent of ballots counted 

The campaign last night announced it would demand a recount of ballots in Wisconsin after an ultra-tight race. 

Biden only edged a victory in the state, leading by just 0.53 per cent of the vote.

Wisconsin state law allows campaigns to pay for a recount if the margin of defeat is less than 1 per cent. 

Pennsylvania - multiple legal challenges

Won't know until Friday. Biden ahead by three points with 89 per cent of ballots counted

Supreme Court  

The campaign yesterday said it will wade into a case currently before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, over whether late mail-in ballots can be counted.

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar ruled ballots that arrived up to three days late could be counted, which is currently being challenged by state Republicans.

's lawyers now plan to 'intervene' in this case.  

Stop counting until transparency guarantees 

Like in Georgia, he also said would be suing to stop 'Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing' from GOP poll-watchers.

He claimed that Republican observers in Philadelphia were ordered to stand 25 metres away from counting staff, making it impossible to watch.

And like in Michigan, the campaign is suing to halt vote counting until 'meaningful transparency' is guaranteed.

Voter ID challenge

has accused Pennsylvania's Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar of unilaterally extending the deadline by which mail-in voters whose voter ID was missing to provide proof.

Under state law, first-time mail-in and absentee voters must provide identification.

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The wafer-thin margins in each state mean that every ballot now counts to the result. In a normal year, the states' results would have been called quickly by television networks and the Associated Press and the count gone on quietly in the background.

But this time, with unprecedented numbers of mail-in ballots fueling a record turnout, the calls were not made and instead it is official counts which regularly take days or even weeks to be completed, certified and declared which have become the focus of public attention. 

In each state:

Nevada: 63,000 ballots remain to be counted but late-arriving mail-in ballots are still arriving and will do until Tuesday November 10. And the result may not be known until Thursday November 12, officials said, when all provisional ballots will be resolved after going through a validation process.' Biden is ahead by 11,500 votes. Pennsylvania: Counting stopped then restarted in Philadelphia as 's campaign sued claiming they are not being allowed to watch the count, winning their case first. And in Pittsburgh, 35,000 votes cannot be legally counted until Friday. But the Secretary of State hinted that a result could come Thursday, suggesting  Arizona: The Secretary of State says counting of the 450,000 outstanding votes there will not be completed until Friday, stretching out the agonizing wait for an overall election result after a night of chaos which saw Biden's lead shrink considerably and put the state possibly back in play for Biden is ahead in Arizona but only by about 67,000 votes after his majority shrank overnight. Of the 450,000 remaining votes there, 300,000 are in Maricopa County where Biden holds a two point lead, and where he is expected to win.  Georgia: State is down to its final 50,000 ballots but has still to say when that will be completed. And Friday is the deadline  North Carolina: There is no indication of when the result will be finalized. 


The Associated Press has awarded Biden 264 electoral votes - including in Arizona, a state not all news organizations have called and that the campaign is arguing they can win when all votes are counted.

Nevada's six electoral votes would put Biden exactly at 270 in the AP's count - handing him the presidency. 

Nevada released another tranche of votes Thursday that expanded Biden's lead to 12,000. 

Georgia also released additional votes counts that resulted in 's lead going down to about 13,500 votes. The state has about 50,000 absentee ballots left to be counted - along with provisional ballots, military ballots, and votes from Americans living overseas.

, with 214 electoral votes, faces a much higher hurdle to 270. He would need to win all four remaining battleground states: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada. 

The campaign expressed confidence the president will get a second term in the White House.

'By end of tomorrow – Friday – it will be clear that President and Vice President Pence will serve another term in the White House,' campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told reporters in a press call on Thursday morning. 

The Biden campaign expressed similar confidence.

'Our data shows that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States,' Dillon said. 

As the count dragged on, expressed confidence he will win the election but said his campaign will sue in the battleground states Joe Biden won, a sign his team is not confident the vote tallies will come out in his favor.

'All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud. Plenty of proof - just check out the Media. WE WILL WIN! America First!,' wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning. 

Additionally, has demanded the nation stop counting votes in the presidential election.

He also launched a barrage of litigation.

In Nevada, which could hand Biden the presidency should he win its six electoral votes, he claimed non-residents were being allowed to vote.

The campaign had a legal victory in Pennsylvania on Thursday when a judge ruled ballot observers can watch officials count ballots within six feet. Representatives of both campaigns were in the room to watch the counts but at a further distance because of the coronavirus. A county judge agreed with the campaign, but Democrats appealed to the state Supreme Court. 

The Biden campaign accused the team of using the court system to delay the inevitable. 

'What we're seeing on these legal suits are that they are meritless and nothing more than an attempt to distract and delay what is now inevitable – Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States,' campaign manager Jennifer O'Malley Dillon told reporters Thursday morning. 

'STOP THE COUNT!,' the president tweeted Thursday as state officials continued to make their way through the legally cast votes. has spent the past few days holed up in the White House, speaking to advisers about the race.

If state officials stop counting now and the election were called on the current tallies as the president seems to be demanding - Biden would win. The president needs to make up vote gaps in Arizona and Nevada in order to win the election - in other words he needs officials there to keep counting the ballots. 

later added this tweet: 'ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!'

The president was likely referring to Pennsylvania, where officials are counting any mail-in ballot received by Friday as long as it is post marked by Election Day. currently leads in the state but Biden is slowing making up ground as the mail-in votes are counted. More Democrats than Republicans used the mail-in voting option.

However he did not state the law as it exists. The state was in the process of counting ballots that did not come in after Election Day. And the change to allow ballots that come in for three days after was upheld by the state supreme court in a decision the U.S. Supreme Court let stand. The camp could try to challenge the post-election day ballots again later in the process. 

Twitter put a warning on several of the president's tweets. 

And the campaign released a statement from the president to clarify his tweets: 'IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTES, I EASILY WIN THE ELECTION! IF YOU COUNT THE ILLEGAL AND LATE VOTES, THEY CAN STEAL THE ELECTION FROM US!' 

The situation in Pittsburgh is complicated by about 30,000 outstanding ballots, where a vendor sent the wrong ballots to voters and had to reissue new ballots with the correct races. 

Poll workers now have to examine these ballots to make sure that people don't vote twice, or, if they sent in the wrong ballot, they didn't vote in races they aren't eligible for. 

They cannot legally be counted until Friday when Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh sits, swears in a special board to examine these ballots, as required by law.

 Biden has been closing the gap with in Pennsylvania as mail-in ballots are counted. 

And in Chatham County, Georgia, where Savannah is located, a judge ruled against the campaign's legal challenge to some absentee ballots. The judge declared officials took the proper precautions to ensure it was legal ballots that were counted.  's lead in Georgia fell to fewer than 20,000 votes as more vote totals were released.   

 

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Chaos hit the election count center in a crucial Arizona county on Wednesday night after a large group of Trump supporters gathered outside to protest, some carrying weapons as the chanted for the vote to continue

Chaos hit the election count center in a crucial Arizona county on Wednesday night after a large group of supporters gathered outside to protest, some carrying weapons as the chanted for the vote to continue

Trump campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski speaks outside the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, amid lawsuits by the campaign in the state

campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski speaks outside the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, amid lawsuits by the campaign in the state

NEVADA: President Trump supporters protest the Nevada vote in Clark County

NEVADA: President supporters protest the Nevada vote in Clark County

MICHIGAN: Supporters of President Donald Trump chant slogans as they gather outside the room where absentee ballots for the 2020 general election are being counted

MICHIGAN: Supporters of President Donald chant slogans as they gather outside the room where absentee ballots for the 2020 general election are being counted

Video from outside the count center showed the angered crowd as they shouted that the vote was being suppressed

Video from outside the count center showed the angered crowd as they shouted that the vote was being suppressed

As President offers unsubstantiated charges of election fraud, pro- demonstrators have showed up at vote counting centers in Nevada, Arizona, and Detroit demanding that all votes be counted.  

The results of the election remain unclear but Biden is inches towards victory as mail-in ballots are tallied.

has falsely claimed these votes are illegitimate because they are being counted after the election. The votes were legally cast before Election Day but the process to count mail-in ballots takes longer as they have to be checked against voter rolls to confirm it's a legal ballot from a registered voter – just as when someone who votes in person has to confirm their identity with a poll worker before receiving a ballot. 

In Arizona overnight, armed pro- protesters descended on a counting center in Maricopa County, after Biden's commanding 200,000-vote lead was slashed to just 68,000 as ballots continued being tallied.  

They faced off with police and security outside the counting center, chanting that every vote should be counted with the result in the balance. At least one person made it inside, forcing the center to close with staff locked in.   

 

Why the deciding votes are taking SO long to count: Sluggish tallying of mail-ins, fixing ballots one-by-one, ink shortages and printer errors have drawn out the process for days as America and the world wait

As Americans sit on tenterhooks waiting for five key states to finally crown a victor in the presidential election, one question is on everyone's minds: What is taking so long? 

Election officials in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina have pleaded for patience as they continue chipping away at mountains of hundreds of thousands of uncounted ballots.  

The paramount reason tallying has been sluggish is because of a record number of mail-in ballots, which take significantly more time to process than in-person ballots because they have to be verified and scanned via a system with multiple steps where things can, and have, gone awry.  

Voting centers around the US have reported issues with ink shortages, ballots printed on the wrong paper and faulty machinery - exacerbating an already arduous process. 

The states that still haven't been called as of Thursday are facing yet another challenge: Unprecedented pressure to make sure the results are right when the margin is razor-thin. 

President Donald on Thursday promised to mount legal battles in all battleground states won by his rival Joe Biden as he continued issuing fevered demands to stop counting in states that haven't been called yet. 

and Republicans have been waging a war against mail-in ballots for months, charging that they would lead to widespread voter fraud. 

Now that mail-in ballots have led to delays, Republicans are arguing that the counting process is stacked against them as well - even in states where their own party makes the rules.  

Meanwhile Biden and the Democrats have urged Americans to be patient and insisted that every vote be counted, especially since they expect the bulk of mail-in ballots to go in their favor.  

With the eyes of the nation blaring down at them, election officials in the states still up for grabs are doing just that, making sure results are bulletproof in preparation for legal action by the campaign. 

Two days after the election, hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots remain uncounted across Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina - prompting many to question why it's taking so long to reach a result. Pictured: Fulton County election workers examine ballots while vote counting at State Farm Arena on Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia

Two days after the election, hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots remain uncounted across Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina - prompting many to question why it's taking so long to reach a result. Pictured: Fulton County election workers examine ballots while vote counting at State Farm Arena on Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia

The states still counting as of Thursday afternoon:

Pennsylvania (20  Arizona (11)   Nevada (6)   Georgia (16)  North Carolina (15)

Not knowing the winner of the presidential election two days after the polls closed is understandably unsettling for Americans, who are used to seeing a result the night of. 

But in fact the counting process has always taken several days or weeks, continuing well after media outlets project the winner based on partial counts. 

Each state has its own certification deadline to hand down an official count, ranging from two days after the election in Delaware to more than a month after in California.

Why mail-in ballots take so long to count

Experts have been predicting for months that counting votes would take much longer than in previous years because of an unprecedented number of voters sending ballots by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Absentee ballots are considerably more time-consuming to process than in-person ballots. 

When you vote in person, the ballot typically goes straight into the machine, where it is processed and counted almost immediately. 

There are a couple more steps with mail-in ballots. The first step is processing, which in most states sees an election worker verify the signature on the exterior of the envelope against voter rolls. 

A worker then takes time to carefully open the envelope and flatten out the ballot before it can be scanned into a system - a simple yet lengthy process in large numbers - at which point it is counted.  

Technical snags and snafus in several jurisdictions across the US slowed the process further this week.

Absentee ballots are considerably more time-consuming to process than in-person ballots. Pictured: Mail-in ballots are processed, flattened and scanned by poll workers in the Philadelphia Convention Center in Pennsylvania on November 3

Absentee ballots are considerably more time-consuming to process than in-person ballots. Pictured: Mail-in ballots are processed, flattened and scanned by poll workers in the Philadelphia Convention Center in Pennsylvania on November 3

In Georgia, for example, a burst pipe caused delays in counting up to 60,000 absentee ballots in Fulton County, which includes part of Atlanta and leans Democrat. 

In another Georgia county, there was a corrupt memory card on one scanner which meant 400 had to be recounted. Officials in some counties are also using paper ballots for the first time in 20 years because they voted earlier this year that machine voting was not secretive enough.  

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And in Wisconsin, absentee ballot results in and around Green Bay, a Democratic stronghold, were delayed after vote-counting machines ran out of ink and a batch of more than 60,000 ballots had to be reprinted.

While some states were able to get ahead by counting mail-in votes as they came in over the past two months, officials in three Midwestern battlegrounds - Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania - were not allowed to begin counting mail-in votes until on or just before Election Day.  

Republican-led state legislatures in those three states had opposed changing laws to allow earlier preparations as other states did. 

States can predict how many mail-in ballots they will receive based on how many

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