- Pennsylvania official says several hundred thousand ballots need to be counted
- Biden confident he will win presidency, calls for patience as votes are counted
- Biden extends narrow lead in Nevada
- Poll watchers emerge as a flashpoint in battle over ballots
9: 50 p.m. ET
Poll watchers emerge as a flashpoint in battle over ballots
Election officials in key battleground states pushed back on claims by the Trump campaign that Republican poll watchers were being improperly denied access to observe the counting of ballots, saying Thursday that rules were being followed and they were committed to transparency.
Tasked this year with monitoring a record number of mail ballots, partisan poll watchers are designated by a political party or campaign to report any concerns they may have. With a few reports of overly aggressive poll watchers, election officials said they were carefully balancing access with the need to minimize disruptions.
Poll watchers have been a central element of legal battles that have erupted in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada. While counting was largely finished in Michigan, the work continued Thursday in Pennsylvania and Nevada where a narrow margin separated President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.
– The Associated Press
8: 05 p.m. ET
U.S. postal service to do twice daily sweeps
A judge on Thursday ordered twice daily sweeps at U.S. Postal Service (USPS) facilities serving states with extended ballot receipt deadlines and set a conference for Friday, as votes were still being counted in U.S. election battleground states.
Some states, including still undecided Nevada and North Carolina, are counting ballots that are received after Election Day Tuesday. Plaintiffs lawyers in a lawsuit said the Postal Service delivered roughly 150,000 ballots nationwide on Wednesday despite the extraordinary measures taken to get ballots delivered by Tuesday.
Of those, roughly 8,000 or 9,000, were delivered after Tuesday even though they had been mailed by Sunday.
Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday said the processing centers must perform morning sweeps and then afternoon sweeps “to ensure that any identified local ballots can be delivered that (same)day.”
6: 50 p.m. ET
Trump says ‘if you count the legal votes I easily win’
U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that if “legal” votes are counted he would win the presidential election, in a signal he is in no mood to concede to Democrat Joe Biden.
“If you count the legal votes I easily win,” Trump said in an appearance in the White House briefing room, complaining that ballots still being counted suggest to him that the election is being rigged and stolen from him.
Trump did not back up his claims with any details or evidence. State and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud.
Trump spoke from the White House briefing room on Thursday, unleashing harsh criticism of pre-election polling that showed him trailing Democrat Joe Biden and claiming without evidence that the ballot-counting process is unfair and corrupt. He also renewed his criticism of widespread use of mail-in balloting in the pandemic.
The ballot-counting process across the country has been running smoothly, and the count is ongoing in several battleground states.
– Reuters, The Associated Press
6: 00 p.m. ET
Trump to deliver remarks at 6: 30 p.m. ET
U.S. President Donald Trump is set to make his first public appearance since the early morning hours after Election Day.
The White House says Trump will deliver remarks at 6: 30 p.m. Thursday from the press briefing room. It was unclear if he would take questions.
Trump last appeared in public early Wednesday, when he falsely declared victory over Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential race. Trump has also publicly called for vote counting to stop by citing baseless allegations of fraud and misconduct.
The presidential race has not yet been called because neither Trump nor Biden has yet collected the requisite 270 Electoral College votes.
Biden’s victories in Michigan and Wisconsin have put him in a commanding position to win the presidency, but Trump has showed no sign of giving up.
– The Associated Press
5: 50 p.m. ET
Pennsylvania official says several hundred thousand ballots need to be counted
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said on Thursday that several hundred thousand ballots for the presidential election still need to be counted in the battleground state.
Boockvar also said she was unaware of any recent allegations of voter fraud.
4: 40 p.m. ET
Biden says he will win presidency, calls for patience as votes are counted
Democratic president nominee Joe Biden said on Thursday he had no doubt he would defeat incumbent President Donald Trump and win the U.S. presidency, and asked everyone to stay calm as votes were counted.
“We have no doubt that when the count is finished, Senator Harris and I will be declared the winners. So, I ask everyone to stay calm. … The process is working,” Biden told reporters, referring to his running mate Senator Kamala Harris.
Biden delivered brief remarks Thursday at a theatre in downtown Wilmington, Delaware. He says, “It is the will of the voters – no one, not anyone else – who chooses the president of the United States of America.”
President Donald Trump’s campaign has pursued legal efforts to halt the vote counting in some states and is seeking a recount in Wisconsin.
Biden says that “the process is working” and “we’ll know very soon” the outcome of the election. Biden and his top campaign officials have expressed confidence about the vote but have been carefu