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WORLD | 04-11-2020 13:03

How long it may take: Where the US election stands in key states

The US election remains up in the air with the futures of Donald Trump and Joe Biden hinging on key battleground states that remain too close to call.

The US election remains up in the air with the futures of Donald Trump and Joe Biden hinging on key battleground states that were too close to call and which may take until at least midday Wednesday to resolve.

With no “blue wave” for Democrats on Tuesday night, Trump and Biden are bracing for a more drawn out process as ballots continued to be counted. Early Wednesday morning in the United States, Biden won Arizona, flipping the first state to the Democrats compared to 2016, when Trump beat Hillary Clinton.

Here’s the state of play and when we might get clear results from the states set to determine this year’s winner:

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania was long expected to be under scrutiny in a close race, with both campaigns aggressively courting voters in the final days before the election.

Trump led Biden by about 657,000 votes as of Wednesday morning, but there were at least 1.4 million uncounted mail-in and absentee ballots that will determine the outcome, according to the Department of State.

The department reported almost 1.1 million mail ballots were counted statewide, with 77 percent for Biden and 22 percent for Trump. By contrast, there were 3.9 million votes cast on Election Day, with 66 percent for Trump and 33 percent for Biden.

Pennsylvania has tallied 44 percent of mail-in ballots across the commonwealth, according to a department dashboard. The outstanding ballots are expected to favour Biden because Democrats dominated the requests. Of the 2.55 million ballots reported returned as of Tuesday, registered Democrats accounted for 65 percent and Republicans 24 percent, data show.

In Philadelphia, the commonwealth’s most populous county where 76 percent of registered voters are Democrats, 141,523 of an expected 350,000 to 400,000 mail-in ballots have been reported counted as the processing and counting continues.

Allegheny County, the second most-populous, is reporting about half of its almost 350,000 mail-in ballots counted, according to the dashboard.

Bottom Line: Philadelphia is expected to report additional mail-in votes on Wednesday morning. State officials say a final result should be ready “within days.”

Wisconsin

Biden had a small lead in Wisconsin, which has 10 electoral votes, after several metropolitan areas submitted their absentee ballot counts early Wednesday morning, overturning the lead that Trump had maintained since the polls closed.

Although Biden was ahead by almost 21,000 votes as of Wednesday morning, no major network had yet called the state. With the two candidates within a percentage point of each other, the loser when the final precinct’s numbers are in has the right to request a recount. Meanwhile, the state’s election commission said that clerks will be randomly selecting five percent of reporting units for voting-equipment audits. The process for official certification of results doesn’t start until Nov. 10.

Bottom Line: Biden is penciling in a win, but the state may still be in play.

Michigan

Michigan – a state Trump narrowly won in 2016 – expects to complete most of its ballot counting by the end of the day, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told CNN Wednesday morning.

Ballots from Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Warren and Sterling Heights were still being recorded. The state likely won’t have final results until later in the day because Detroit is the largest precinct and had a record turnout this year, with a large swath of absentee ballots that take longer to count than in-person votes.

Benson, who has scheduled an update on the counting process later Wednesday morning, did say that other Michigan counties will be reporting in the coming hours, which could give election watchers an idea of where the state is headed. Biden started pulling ahead Wednesday morning as more absentee ballots were tabulated.

Benson said that 3.3 million absentee ballots have been received and are being tabulated and another 2 million to 2.5 million voted at the polls Tuesday.

Bottom Line: “We’ll know much more in the hours to come and we’ll have a much more complete picture of Michigan later today,” she said.

Georgia

All but one of Georgia’s counties had completely reported vote totals as of Wednesday morning. But in Fulton County, which includes most of the Democratic stronghold of Atlanta, only about 77 percent of the estimated vote has been counted.

Fulton, the largest county in Georgia, suffered a setback earlier Tuesday in counting mail-in ballots, after a water leak forced officials to stop tallying and tens of thousands of ballots were left uncounted.

Trump led Biden by about 102,000 votes on Wednesday morning, though the remaining ballots are likely to break heavily for Biden.

Bottom Line: Wednesday should bring more clarity on the Peach State’s results.

North Carolina

North Carolina’s race was tight on Wednesday morning, with Trump leading by about 77,000 votes.

About 62 percent of the state’s voters cast ballots before Election Day. More registered Democrats voted early than Republicans, but one-third of the electorate is unaffiliated with either major party.

The state Board of Elections said that 100 percent of precincts have reported Election Day votes, but that the state still had to count about 25 percent of the total ballots cast, or roughly 1.9 million votes.

Democrats took some solace in Governor Roy Cooper winning re-election, but it’s not clear if that’s a signal Biden can flip the traditionally Republican state.

Bottom Line: The state has as long as nine days to count mail-in ballots sent before Election Day.

Nevada

A final count in Nevada isn’t expected for several days as it awaits ballots mailed as late as Election Day to arrive, though it isn’t clear how many people waited that long to vote. With about 82 percent of votes counted, Biden was holding a lead of less than one percentage point.

“Clerks have until November 10 to receive mail ballots and until Nov. 12 to count them,” said Jennifer Russell, a spokeswoman for Nevada’s secretary of state.

Bottom Line: The state began posting partial results late Tuesday, with Biden holding a slim lead over Trump. That count, which included early and Election Day voting, will continue to trickle in on Tuesday.

by Bloomberg News

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