Today in one sentence: There was no conclusion to the U.S. presidential election (so far); Biden currently leads in several undecided states but votes continue to be counted in Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona; Biden remains six electoral votes away from 270; Trump’s campaign pushed officials in Arizona to ensure all ballots were counted but sued in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia to stop the counts; Biden urged Americans “to stay calm” and reiterated that “every vote must be counted,” while Trump, after a 14-hour Twitter silence, tweeted that states must “STOP THE COUNT!” and at a press conference later in the day repeated his false declaration that he won the election and falsely claimed that “they” are trying “to steal the election”; and, oh by the way, the U.S. reported more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time.
1/ Trump demanded that vote counting be stopped in states where he’s leading and demanded that the tallies continue where he’s losing. In a pair of all-caps tweets, Trump made multiple false claims about the remaining ballots left to be counted and contradicted his campaign’s own strategy. “STOP THE COUNT!” Trump tweeted, followed by “ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!” A number of states, including Pennsylvania, allow ballots to arrive for days after the election as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. Ballots often take longer to arrive from service members deployed overseas and election officials have pledged to count every valid vote.
2/ In Arizona, the Trump campaign sent a team to ensure that the remaining mail-in ballots are counted. Campaign manager Bill Stepien said the team believes the ballots will favor Trump and flip the state back to his column. The Associated Press and Fox News both called Arizona for Biden, who currently leads by about 60,000 votes. The state will release another round of counts around 9 p.m. Eastern.
3/ Trump’s campaign filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia to stop counting or disqualify ballots, and said it would demand a “recount” in Wisconsin. A judge in Georgia, however, denied Trump’s effort to disqualify ballots that a Republican poll watcher claimed had arrived after the deadline on Election Day. In court, the poll watcher offered no evidence that the ballots had arrived late, and county election officials testified that they had arrived on time. In Michigan, a judge denied the Trump campaign’s request to stop the counting of votes, saying the request made little sense since counting had essentially finished and Biden was ahead by about 150,000 votes. Trump’s lead in Georgia, meanwhile, has slipped to about 3,600 votes with roughly 42,000 ballots left to be counted. In Pennsylvania, Trump’s lead dropped to under 65,000 and is expected to shrink as more ballots are counted. Pennsylvania Secretary of State said it was possible they’d know the state’s presidential winner tonight.
4/ In Nevada, the Trump campaign said it was filing a federal lawsuit seeking to block alleged “illegal votes” from thousands of people, including those who became non-residents during the coronavirus pandemic and “dead voters.” At a news conference at the Clark County elections department headquarters, former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt and other Trump campaign surrogates, including former administration official Richard Grenell, claimed without evidence that ballots belonging to deceased people had been counted, and that “thousands” of people had voted despite moving out of the county. When pressed for evidence of those alleged illegal ballots, Grenell refused to answer questions and chided reporters for asking questions, saying, “Listen you’re getting information […] do your job, it’s pretty easy.” Biden is currently leading Trump by about 11,438 votes with 190,000 ballots to be counted. About 90% are from Clark County.
5/ Trump – again – falsely declared victory and repeated his baseless claim that “if you count the legal votes, I easily win.” There is no evidence support the claims and Trump did not provide evidence. Nevertheless, Trump added: “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.” Trump spoke for 17 minutes and did not take any questions. ABC, CBS, and MSNBC all stopped broadcasting Trump’s remarks.
6/ Biden, meanwhile, said he had “no doubt” his campaign had won the election, but urged Americans to “stay calm” while the remaining votes are counted. “Each ballot must be counted, and that’s what we’re going through now,” Biden said. “Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well.” He added: “Stay calm. The process is working. The count is being completed. And we’ll know very soon.”
Dept. of This Is What Democracy Looks Like?
7/ More than 150,000 ballots were not processed and delivered on Election Day by the U.S. Postal Service. The number of mailed ballots not delivered by Election Day is expected to grow as more data is released in the coming days. (Washington Post)
8/ An international delegation monitoring the U.S. election said there is no evidence to support Trump’s allegations of mail-in voter fraud. Michael Georg Link, a German lawmaker who heads an observer mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said “we couldn’t see any violations” and that he was “very surprised” by Trump’s claims about fraud. Wisconsin election officials, meanwhile, rejected the Trump campaign’s unsubstantiated claims that there were irregularities in the voting process, reassuring voters that there are “no dark corners or locked doors in elections” and the state’s voting process was transparent. The Biden campaign characterized the Trump campaign’s call for a recount in Wisconsin as “pathetic” and “fruitless attempts,” pointing out that when Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016, he called the victory a “landslide.” (Associated Press /ABC News / NPR)
- The Office of Special Counsel opened an investigation into allegations that the Trump campaign’s use of the White House as an Election Day command center violated the Hatch Act. Rep. Bill Pascrell, who filed the complaint, said the Special Counsel’s office said that it “was not consulted [by the Trump campaign or White House] on the decision to use space inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building as a campaign ‘war room,’” and that “[o]ur Hatch Act Unit has opened an investigation into these allegations to determine if the Hatch Act was violated.” (Reuters / InsiderNJ)
9/ The Justice Department told federal prosecutors that the law allowed them to send armed federal officers to polling locations to investigate potential voter fraud. While a law prohibits stationing armed federal officers at polls on Election Day, the department interpreted the statute to mean that they could send armed federal officers to locations where ballots were being counted anytime after that. The memo sent early Wednesday as the polls closed. (New York Times / USA Today)
10/ The control of the Senate hinges on Georgia, where at least one – and possibly both – of the state’s Senate races will go to a January runoff. Under Georgia law, if no candidate gets more than 50%, the two top vote-getters compete in a runoff to be held on Jan. 5, 2021. Incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue was at 49.98% with about 47,000 ballots still to be count. If that holds, he would face off against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Meanwhile, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler is already headed to a runoff against Democrat Raphael Warnock. (Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)
11/ The United States reported 102,831 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time, breaking the previous record set last week. Over the past seven days, the U.S. averaged about 85,000 new cases per day – a 20% increase from the week before – and 23 states have recorded more cases in the past week than in any other seven-day stretch. COVID-19 hospitalizations, meanwhile, reached all-time highs in 16 states and at least 1,097 deaths were reported Wednesday. (New York Times / NBC News / Axios / The Atlantic / CNN / NPR / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Associated Press /
😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”
Global: Total confirmed cases: ~48,581,000; deaths: ~1,232,000
U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~9,601,000; deaths: ~235,000
Source: Johns Hopkins University
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has prepared a letter of resignation. (NBC News)
An apartment management company owned in part by Jared Kushner submitted hundreds of eviction filings in court against tenants with past due rent during the pandemic. Westminster Management has been sending letters to tenants threatening legal fees and then filing eviction notices in court despite both a state and federal moratorium on evictions. (Washington Post)
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.