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U.S. Election: Biden wins Wisconsin and Michigan, narrowing Trump’s path; Trump also files lawsuit in Georgia


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U.S. Election: Biden wins Wisconsin and Michigan, narrowing Trump’s path; Trump also files lawsuit in Georgia

Americans have cast their votes for President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, selecting a leader to steer a nation battered by a surging pandemic that has killed more than 231,000 people, cost millions their jobs and reshaped daily life.

Here are the latest updates:

10:44 p.m. | The Associated Press: Election officials in several key states furiously counted ballots Wednesday as the nation awaited the outcome of the race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden and braced for possible recounts and legal challenges.

Unlike in previous years, states were contending with an avalanche of mail ballots driven by the global pandemic. Every election, what’s reported on election night are unofficial results, and the counting of votes extends past Election Day. This year, with so many mail ballots and close races in key states, counting every vote was expected to take more time.

Read what was happening Wednesday in six key states via AP’s full story here.

9:53 p.m. | The New York Times: Officials in Arizona’s Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, said they will release another results update after 1 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, followed by an update after 9 p.m. Eastern.

9:11 p.m. | The New York Times: Richard L. Barron, the elections director of Fulton County, Ga., said he expected all votes there to be counted overnight, although it may stretch well after midnight.

8:42 p.m. | Alex McKeen, national reporter: PORTLAND, ORE.—In the West Coast cities that have become synonymous in the last six months with left-wing protest movements fighting racial injustice, President Donald Trump’s attempts Wednesday to halt or challenge vote counting in two key battleground states was met with a clear message.

Not on our watch.

“There’s been a concerted effort by the president to stop the counting of mail-in ballots. It was predicted far before today that he would do something like this,” said Suzie Kassouf, a Portland teacher and one of the organizers of a major protest held in Portland on Wednesday. “And so we’re out here saying we need to count every ballot, we need to count every vote.”

In the late afternoon, a diverse crowd began to form at Revolution Hall in Portland’s east end, including Portland’s famous Raging Grannies, Black Lives Matter protesters, labour unions, and families. Kids distributed signs reading “Count Every Vote.”

Hundreds were expected at the march.

Read the Star’s Alex McKeen’s full story here.

8:16 p.m. | The Associated Press: The Associated Press has not declared a winner in Georgia’s presidential contest because the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is too early to call, with ballots yet to be counted in counties where Biden has performed well.

Trump and Biden are locked in a tight contest to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. Early Wednesday, Trump prematurely claimed he carried Georgia — and several other states that were too early to call.

“It’s … clear that we have won Georgia. We’re up by 2.5%, or 117,000 (votes) with only 7% (of the vote) left” to count, Trump said during an early morning appearance at the White House. He also said he planned to contest the U.S. presidential election before the Supreme Court. It was unclear exactly what legal action he might pursue.

The race is too early to call because an estimated 4% of the vote remains to be counted. That includes mailed ballots from population-dense counties in the Atlanta metro region that lean Democratic. Biden is overperforming Hillary Clinton’s 2016 showing in those counties, including in their more upscale suburban reaches.

8:14 p.m. | Nicholas Keung, immigration reporter: Before the election day, public polls had shown Joe Biden was leading Donald Trump by a margin ranging from six to 12 percentage points. However, through the evening, the race appeared to be a lot tighter than expected.

It had many people going to bed with a sense of a déjà vu, harkening back to the 2016 U.S. election in which Trump defied public polls in an upset against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Many were ready to criticize pollsters for missing the mark again.

But not so fast, say experts and pollsters such as Canseco, who are confident that the high volume of early votes and mail-in votes — most likely from Democrats — in this pandemic election will give Biden the push he needs toward the end of the race.

Read his full story here.

8:03 p.m. | The Associated Press: The United States set another record for daily confirmed coronavirus cases as states around the country posted all-time highs, underscoring the vexing issue that confronts the winner of the presidential race.

The surging cases and hospitalizations reflect the challenge that either President Donald Trump or former Vice-President Joe Biden will face in the coming months over the pandemic, with winter and the holidays approaching.

Public health experts fear potentially dire consequences, at least in the short term.

Trump’s current term doesn’t end until Jan. 20. In the 86 days until then, 100,000 more Americans will likely die from the virus if the nation doesn’t shift course, said Dr. Robert Murphy, executive director of the Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, echoing estimates from other public health experts.

Visit here for all the Star’s coronavirus coverage.

7:56 p.m. | Heather Scoffield, columnist: When we’re done reeling over the stark, pervasive divisions within the American electorate and move on to grappling with what next, perhaps we can put our own appreciation of dignity to good use, and make it work to our advantage — through immigration, Heather Scoffield writes.

Read her full column here.

7:40 p.m. | Douglas Quan, national reporter: Like many Canadians, Victoria Purchase-Carter could barely sleep. Her husband, Roger, got out of bed to check the results at 2 a.m. She got out of bed at 3 a.m. to do the same. They were both up again at 5 a.m.

Come Wednesday morning, the continued uncertainty over the outcome of the U.S. election had her feeling sick to her stomach.

The Newfoundland couple are more than passive observers; they are winter snowbirds who purchased a bungalow in a mobile home park in Florida earlier this year. They’re worried about the potential for violence once the results are known and aren’t sure if they should keep or sell their vacation home.

She wasn’t alone in describing a nagging, palpable sense of dread, a feeling that no matter what the outcome — whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden finally wins — Canada has never felt so apart from the U.S.

Read the full story from the Star’s Douglas Quan here.

7:18 p.m. | The Associated Press: President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Georgia Republican Party have filed a lawsuit against the Chatham County Board of Elections asking a judge to order the county to secure and account for ballots received after 7 p.m. on Election Day.

State party chair David Shafer said in a statement Wednesday night that they planned to sue in a dozen counties.

The lawsuit alleges that a Republican observer watched a poll worker take unprocessed absentee ballots from a back room and mix them into processed absentee ballots waiting to be tabulated.

In Georgia, ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day in order to count. Chatham County contains Savannah and leans Democratic.

A woman who answered the phone at the Chatham County Board of Elections offices declined to comment.

Georgia is among a handful of states that The Associated Press has not called. In the race to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, Democrat Joe Biden currently has 264 while Trump has 214.

6:00 p.m. | The Associated Press: Democrat Joe Biden has carried Michigan and its 16 electoral votes, further dismantling Donald Trump’s Rust Belt wall of support that helped deliver him the presidency four years ago.

The flip from red back to blue was a huge blow to Trump, whose victories in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in 2016 sent him to the White House. Biden also carried Wisconsin, though Pennsylvania hasn’t been called yet.

Biden’s victory in Michigan pushes him to 264 Electoral College votes, six short of the 270 needed to win the White House. Trump is at 214 electoral votes. Nevada, which has six electoral votes, is among the states Democrat Hillary Clinton won in 2016 that hasn’t yet been called.

Biden’s campaign had particularly focused on turning out Black voters in Detroit, who failed to show up for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the numbers that Barack Obama received during his two presidential bids.

Despite needing to win Michigan, Trump took frequent swipes at the state’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, who was the target of an alleged kidnapping plot that was foiled by federal law enforcement. Chants of “Lock her up!” toward Whitmer echoed at Trump’s rally, and he railed against the governor on Twitter for her cautious approach to the coronavirus pandemic.

5:23 p.m. | The Associated Press: The top elections official in Nevada’s most populous county says more results will be released Thursday morning that include mail-in ballots received on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that he did not yet know how many ballots had been received but uncounted in the Las Vegas area.

Early results showed Democrat Joe Biden with a slim lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada, but it was too early to declare a winner in the race Wednesday with a large number of ballots yet to be counted.

The Nevada secretary of state’s office initially said a new batch of results would be released Thursday morning. But Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Wayne Thorley said in a text message that the state would likely release some additional results Wednesday afternoon but that he did not know how many would be included.

Gloria said he would be holding daily 10 a.m. news conferences until all ballots were counted, including provisional ballots that were cast by voters taking advantage of same-day registration, electronic ballots sent to overseas voters or ballots for disabled voters.

5:20 p.m. | The Associated Press: The Associated Press has not yet declared winners of the presidential contests in Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina or Michigan.

President Donald Trump, however, has prematurely declared that he has carried the states.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that he has “claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead.”

“Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact,” he says, “there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!”

Trump has been trying for months to undermine public confidence in the election if he does not win.

Trump’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, currently has 248 electoral votes, while Trump has 214. It takes 270 to win the presidency.

5:00 p.m. | The Associated Press: President Donald Trump’s campaign has accused a Michigan election official of failing to ensure that challengers and bipartisan observers watch the processing of absentee ballots.

The Republican campaign filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to stop the count, which was mostly centred in Detroit, until Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson allows more inspectors. There was no immediate response from a Court of Claims judge.

The Associated Press has not yet called Michigan.

Trump’s allies chanted, “Stop the count!” inside TCF Center, where ballots were being handled. The Detroit elections department was expected to finish counting absentee ballots by Wednesday evening.

Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel says, “Michigan’s elections have been conducted transparently, with access provided for both political parties and the public, and using a robust system of checks and balances to ensure that all ballots are counted fairly and accurately.”

More than 3 million absentee ballots were cast in Michigan in the first major election since a new law made them available to any voter. But local election clerks couldn’t start counting them until after polls closed Tuesday.

5:00 p.m. | Laura Armstrong, sports reporter: Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry is an American citizen but said Tuesday he preferred being in Canada while Donald Trump has presided over the United States.

“I’m glad I’m American. I love my country and everything about it,” Lowry told the Washington Post on Tuesday in an interview from his hometown of Philadelphia. “But to be led by a person like that, I’d rather be in a country (like) Canada and do my job and kind of speak from a sense of being an outsider looking in.

Lowry voted in his hometown on Tuesday after a morning workout. As of Wednesday afternoon, Pennsylvania remained a battleground between Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the yet-to-be-called American election. Lowry was a one of a number of NBA and WNBA players and staff to speak to the Post about flexing their political clout before the polls closed on Tuesday night.

This is not the first time Lowry has condemned the American president. In January 2017, he called a travel ban issued by Trump on seven countries with large Muslim populations “absolute bullshit.”

“Our country is a country that’s the home of the free and for that to happen, I think it’s bulls-t,” Lowry told reporters at the time.

Lowry also marched in a massive anti-Black racism protest in his hometown back in June, alongside fellow NBA players Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle and Elton Brand of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Raptors organization is considered to be among the NBA leaders in the fight for social change.

Read more on Kyle Lowry’s thoughts in Dave Feschuk’s latest column.

4:30 p.m.: Joe Biden says he’s not ready to declare victory as vote counting continues in the presidential election, but he says, “When the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.”

The Associated Press hasn’t called the presidential race. Biden currently has 248 electoral votes, while President Donald Trump has 214. It takes 270 to win the presidency.

Biden addressed reporters Wednesday afternoon from Wilmington, Delaware, alongside his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Biden says, “Every vote must be counted.” He added, “We the people will not be silenced.”

Biden also tried to sound like a president-elect, promising to reach out to political opponents and insisting that the presidency “itself is not a partisan institution.”

Biden did not take questions. President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Michigan as ballots continue to be counted in both states.

3:48 p.m. | The Associated Press: Republican Devin Nunes wins reelection to U.S. House in California’s 22nd Congressional District.

3:44 p.m. | The Associated Press: President Donald Trump’s campaign says it’s suing to temporarily stop the vote count in Pennsylvania, claiming lack of “transparency.”

Justin Clark, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, said in a statement Wednesday that the campaign is “suing to stop Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing from our Republican poll observers.” He said the campaign wants “to temporarily halt counting until there is meaningful transparency and Republicans can ensure all counting is done above board and by the law.”

Clark also said the campaign would seek to intervene in an ongoing Supreme Court case involving the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots.

There have been no reports by law enforcement of fraud or any type of ballot concerns out of Pennsylvania. The state had 3.1 million ballots mailed out that take time to count, and an order allows them to be counted up until Friday if they are postmarked by Nov. 3.

The Associated Press has not yet called Pennsylvania. Democrat Joe Biden currently has 248 electoral votes, while Trump has 214. It takes 270 to win the presidency.

3:40 p.m. | Podcast: The Matters: In a year like no other, an election like no other, in a haze of disinformation and bogus claims, ‘This Matters’ parses through the facts of the U.S. election.

Edward Keenan, Toronto Star’s Washington bureau chief, joins Adrian Cheung to break down what we know after election night, what we’re still waiting to find out, the fallibility of the polls, and what Canadians should make of an election they have no hand in.

Listen to the episode here.

3:37 p.m. | Gilbert Ngabo, reporter: Canadians living in battleground states where U.S. President Donald Trump emerged victorious say it was disappointing to wake up and find their state coloured red on news channel maps — but not necessarily surprising.

“While I was encouraged about several polls putting Texas as a toss-up, those happened so late in the game. And Texas never trended blue, just a toss-up,” said Megan Dias, a Canadian who lives in the city of Austin and is a PhD student in political sciences at the University of Texas.

“My Texan friends were very skeptical of the possibility of a blue wave, which made me doubtful.”

Read the full story from the Star’s Gilbert Ngabo.

2:36 p.m. | The Associated Press The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Michigan state court demanding access to locations where ballots are being counted in one of the undecided states that could determine whether President Donald Trump gets another four years in the White House.

The campaign said it is calling for a temporary halt in the counting until it is given “meaningful access” in numerous locations and allowed to review ballots that already have been opened and processed. Trump is running slightly behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Michigan.

The campaign also said it would ask for a recount in Wisconsin, a state The Associated Press called for Biden on Wednesday afternoon. Campaign manager Bill Stepien cited “irregularities in several Wisconsin counties.”

The actions came as elections officials counted votes in several undecided states that are crucial to the outcome of the presidential election.

The former vice-president’s campaign meanwhile welcomed the ongoing vote count and a Biden campaign attorney said they are ready for any legal fight. And Michigan Democrats said the suit was a longshot.

Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, a liberal advocacy group, said Trump only filed the suit to stop The Associated Press and other media outlets from calling the race for Biden.

“This is a Hail Mary,” he said.

2:20 p.m. | The Associated Press Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump in battleground Wisconsin, securing the state’s 10 electoral votes and reclaiming a key part of the blue wall that slipped away from Democrats four years ago.

The Associated Press called Wisconsin for Biden after election officials in the state said all outstanding ballots had been counted, save for a few hundred in one township and an expected small number of provisional ballots.

Trump’s campaign has requested a recount. Statewide recounts in Wisconsin have historically changed the vote tally by only a few hundred votes; Biden leads by .624 percentage points out of nearly 3.3 million ballots counted.

The victory for Biden bumps him up to 248 electoral votes, while Trump has 214. It takes 270 to win the presidency.

In 2016, Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes, a breakthrough that along with wins in Michigan and Pennsylvania helped hand him his first term in the White House. Democrats were determined to reclaim Wisconsin, a state that before Trump hadn’t gone for a Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

2:09 p.m. | The Associated Press President Donald Trump’s campaign says it has filed a lawsuit trying to halt the vote count in battleground Michigan.

The latest counts gives Trump’s Democratic challenger Joe Biden a small lead, but the race is still too early to call.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien says in a statement Wednesday that the campaign “has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law.”

He says a suit was filed Wednesday in the Michigan Court of Claims “to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted.”

Michigan is a critical battleground state that helped deliver Trump the presidency four years ago, along with Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Neither Wisconsin or Pennsylvania has been called yet.

2:02 p.m. | The Associated Press Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine has won the hardest-fought race of her career, turning back a challenge by Democrat Sara Gideon and surviving to serve a fifth term.

Collins, one of four candidates on the ballot, won a majority of first-place votes. That meant no additional tabulation rounds were necessary under Maine’s ranked choice voting system.

Gideon has conceded, telling supporters on Wednesday that she called Collins and congratulated her on the win.

Collins long touted herself in the fiercely independent state as a bipartisan centrist who’s willing to work with both parties to get things done. But opponents accused her of being an enabler of President Donald Trump, citing her votes to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and for tax cuts that critics said favored the rich.

1:47 p.m. Joe Biden will address the election results Wednesday afternoon, even as it remains too early for The Associated Press to call the presidential race.

The Democratic presidential candidate will issue a televised address in Wilmington, Delaware. He’s been watching the returns come in with family from his home there.

Biden’s campaign manager expressed confidence in an eventual win for Democrats during a call with reporters earlier Wednesday, pointing to their projections of the outcome in Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

But the AP is not calling the presidential race yet because neither candidate has secured the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory. The AP called Arizona for Biden, but several key states remain too early to call: Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Nevada.

As it stands, Biden has 238 electoral votes, while Trump has 214.

1:24 p.m. President Donald Trump has won one of Maine’s four electoral votes, just as he did in 2016.

Trump carried the state’s 2nd Congressional District, the more rural and conservative of Maine’s congressional districts.

While Democrat Joe Biden easily carried the state itself, Maine is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes.

Biden won the 1st Congressional District and the statewide tally, good for three electoral votes. Trump’s victory in the 2nd Congressional District means he wins one electoral vote.

Maine split its electoral votes four years ago, awarding three to Democrat Hillary Clinton and one to Trump.

2016 marked the first time in state history that Maine divided its electoral votes.

In the race to the 270 electoral votes needed to win, Biden has 238 while Trump has 214.

1:23 p.m. | The Associated Press California voters have approved a measure to expand a digital privacy law that was passed two years ago.

Proposition 24 includes provisions to triple the fines for companies that violate kids’ privacy and will create a dedicated state agency to enforce the law that was passed in 2018.

With more than 11 million votes tallied, the measure had more than 56% support Wednesday.

Proponents of the measure said it would strengthen California’s privacy law and help hold big business accountable.

Opponents argued that the 52-page initiative was too complicated for voters and that it was too soon to rewrite a law that just took effect.

1:21 p.m. | The Associated Press California voters have rejected an attempt to reinstate affirmative action programs in public hiring, contracting and college admissions, keeping a 1996 ban on the government granting preferential treatment based on race and gender.

Supporters of Proposition 16 had hoped to overturn the ban amid a national reckoning over racism following the deaths of Black Americans and other people of colour by police.

They say affirmative action programs would expand opportunities for people who still face systemic racism and sexism in education and at work.

Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris backs the effort. Opponents say the government should treat every person equally, and never use race, ethnicity or gender to promote or discriminate against an individual.

1:18 p.m. | The Associated Press Four years of partisan discord and a tumultuous election have left U.S. voters deeply divided on everything from public health, racial justice and the economy to whether votes would be counted fairly, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate.

President Donald Trump for months has sought to sow doubts about how the vote-counting — especially of mail-in ballots, which take longer to count and tend to favour Democrats —claiming without evidence that the process was ripe for fraud and that Democrats would try to steal the election.

The survey suggest his voters were listening.

Trump supporters were more likely to distrust the vote-counting process, though voters for both candidates had their doubts. About 7 in 10 voters were confident that votes would be counted accurately, though only about a quarter of voters were “very confident.” Almost 8 in 10 Biden voters were confident, compared with about 6 in 10 Trump supporters.

Trump voters felt more confident about another democratic institution that has already played a role in this year’s election — the Supreme Court. The high court, along with lower courts, handled lawsuits in recent weeks about the count of mail-in ballots in several states. That was before conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett filled her seat on the Supreme Court after the Republican-controlled Senate sped through her confirmation just before the election.

About 9 in 10 Trump voters were at least somewhat confident in the high court to be fair and impartial in its decisions, compared with about half as many Biden voters.

1:14 p.m. | The Los Angeles Time Transfixed by a U.S. presidential vote that failed to swiftly yield a clear winner, a watching world responded Wednesday with a mixture of worry, disbelief and, in some quarters, scorn.

Many foreign allies weighed in with precisely the kind of counsel that U.S. diplomats and officials for generations have handed down whenever shaky democracies stood at a political crossroads: Let the voting process play out, and let’s hope it’s a fair one.

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In much of the world, ordinary people and governments alike had already internalized the prospect that this divisive electoral contest might drag on for days or even weeks.

Traditional U.S. allies in Europe, who watched the erosion of trans-Atlantic ties under Trump with trepidation, had already signaled a willingness to work with whoever emerged victorious, saying that longtime strategic alliances overrode political personalities.

But a few senior government officials, noting Trump’s demands that vote counting be halted and his false claim to have won the election, expressed open dismay over the tense aftermath of the balloting. German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, speaking on ZDF television, called the situation “explosive.”

“It is a situation of which experts rightly say it could lead to a constitutional crisis in the U.S.,” she said. “That is something that must certainly worry us very much.”

12:45 p.m. | The Associated Press President Donald Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien says the president plans to “immediately” request a recount in the battleground state of Wisconsin, where the race remains close.

In Wisconsin, if a race is within 1 percentage point, the trailing candidate can force a recount.

Stepien says in a statement Wednesday: “The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”

The fate of the United States presidency is hanging in the balance, with Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, battling for three familiar battleground states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House.

In the race to the 270 electoral votes needed to win, Biden has 238 while Trump has 213.

12:42 p.m. | The Associated Press Democrats had a disappointing night in the battle for Senate control, but it was too soon for Republicans to take a victory lap Wednesday, although they brushed back multiple challengers to protect their now teetering majority.

Key races in North Carolina, Maine and Michigan remained undecided, and at least one in Georgia was headed to a January runoff.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said President Donald Trump’s campaign helped his GOP allies, but it’s still to soon to declare victory as state election officials count ballots.

“We’re waiting — whether I’m going to be the majority leader or not,” McConnell said at a press conference in his home state of Kentucky.

In a delicate pushback against Trump’s own premature claims of victory over Joe Biden in the presidential race, the GOP leader said: “Claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”

While Democrats picked up must-win seats in Colorado and Arizona, they suffered a setback in Alabama, and Republicans held their own in one race after another — in South Carolina, Iowa, Texas, Kansas, and Montana, dramatically limiting Democrats’ hopes to make inroads.

12:36 p.m. | Star Ottawa Bureau reporters Alex Boutilier and Alex Ballingall: Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said out loud the question on a lot of Canadian progressives’ minds Wednesday morning.

“How come the American people support so much a man who openly lies, avoids paying his taxes, carries and shares prejudice against so many people? Why do the American people still support so strongly that man?” Blanchet asked.

“Democrats, the media, the institutions should ask themselves this troubling question.”

The final vote tally in the 2020 U.S. presidential election is not yet known, but it appears President Donald Trump has outperformed pundits and pollster expectations — retaining Florida, stamping on Democrats’ dreams of flipping Texas and some swing states, and finishing strong enough to deny Joe Biden a clear election night victory.

In the days and weeks to come, Canadian political parties will sift through the electoral tea leaves to determine if there any lessons about the mood of the U.S. electorate that can be applied north of the border.

Read the full story: As the U.S. presidential vote plays out, Canadian politicians look for lessons

12:33 p.m. | Star Washington Bureau Chief Ed Keenan

The thing about President Donald Trump is that after four years, when he does something shocking, it is not surprising.

Still, even by his standards, getting up to declare victory in the election while votes are still being counted, and suggest that counting the remaining votes is an attempt to “disenfranchise” his supporters and steal victory from him is shocking.

“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said at the White House in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Then he invoked the Supreme Court to which he had just recently rushed to appoint a new justice (specifically, he had said, because they might have to rule on the election). “We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.” To be clear, all voting has already stopped. It’s the counting of legitimately cast ballots that continues. As it does in every U.S. election for days and even weeks after Election Day.

Trump’s speech was tinpot dictator stuff. Transparently so.

Read the full article: As votes are counted, Donald Trump tries the tricks of a tinpot dictator

12:17 p.m. | The Associated Press Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is discounting President Donald Trump’s early claim that he’d already won the election, saying it’s going to take a while for states to conduct their vote counts.

The Kentucky Republican and Trump ally said Wednesday that “claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”

McConnell also says he is untroubled by Trump’s vows to contest the vote count in key states, telling reporters in Louisville that “you should not be shocked that both sides are going to have lawyers there.”

He added that “the courts will decide disputes. That’s the way we do it in this country.”

Early Wednesday, Trump said, “We will win this, and as far as I’m concerned we already have won it.”

But the outcome is still unclear in key states Trump would need if he is to win against Democrat Joe Biden.

11:41 a.m. | The New York Times The Postal Service said Wednesday morning that it had completed Election Day sweeps of 12 districts that were ordered by a federal judge who was concerned that some ballots might have slipped through the cracks. “We did complete the sweeps last night,” Dave Partenheimer, a spokesperson for the Po…

The Postal Service said Wednesday morning that it had completed Election Day sweeps of 12 districts that were ordered by a federal judge who was concerned that some ballots might have slipped through the cracks.

“We did complete the sweeps last night,” Dave Partenheimer, a spokesperson for the Postal Service, said an email. He said the agency would provide more detail to the judge later Wednesday.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the District of Columbia has scheduled a noon hearing to discuss the status of the search for ballots in districts where performance of on-time mail delivery had been lagging.

Sullivan had ordered an immediate sweep of certain districts Tuesday afternoon after the Postal Service said in court that some 300,000 ballots it had received had not been scanned for delivery. He said he was particularly concerned about ballot delivery in postal districts where there has been slow processing of ballots for days, including central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Detroit.

The dramatic Election Day order came as record numbers of Americans voted by mail this year

11:37 a.m. | The New York Times President Donald Trump promised early Wednesday morning to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in the election. “We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,” he said. “We want all voting to stop.”

The first statement was premature. The second did not make sense.

The Supreme Court decides actual disputes, not abstract propositions, and then only after lower courts have made their own rulings. While there have been countless election cases filed around the nation, it is not clear which of them might reach the court in the coming days.

But one candidate is already on the court’s docket. Last month, the court refused to put a case from Pennsylvania on a fast track, but three justices indicated that the court might return to it later if need be.

As far as voting is concerned, it stopped on Election Day. But some states allow votes cast by mail on or before Election Day to be counted if they are received up to several days afterward. In Pennsylvania, for instance, the state Supreme Court extended the deadline for receiving ballots from Election Day to three days later.

Should the vote in Pennsylvania have the potential to determine the outcome in the Electoral College and should those late-arriving ballots have the potential to swing the state — two big ifs — the U.S. Supreme Court might well intercede.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ordered a three-day extension for ballots clearly mailed on or before Election Day and for those with missing or illegible postmarks “unless a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that it was mailed after Election Day.”

11:25 a.m. | The Associated Press Scattered protests took place from Washington, D.C. to Washington state in the hours after polls closed, but there were no signs of widespread unrest or violence linked to the U.S. election.

The outcome of the hard-fought contest for the presidency remained undecided Wednesday, stirring worries that prolonged uncertainty could yet spark conflict.

But overnight demonstrations in cities including Seattle, Washington and New York remained largely peaceful.

In Washington, more than 1,000 people protesting President Donald Trump converged on Black Lives Matter Plaza on Tuesday night, just a block from the White House, while hundreds more marched through downtown, sometimes blocking traffic and setting off fireworks.

Protestors shouted “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “If we don’t get no justice, they don’t get no peace!”

Hundreds of people marched in anti-Trump demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, with several arrested.

11:23 a.m. | The Associated Press Stocks are pushing higher again on Wednesday, but only after spinning through an election night dominated by surprises and sharp swings.

After rallying early this week amid hopes that Election Day’s arrival could clear the uncertainty that’s been weighing on markets, Treasury yields and U.S. stock futures swung up, down and back again overnight as early results showed a race that’s still too close to call between President Donald Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden. It’s unclear when a winner can emerge.

The S&P 500 was 2.8% higher, as of 11:05 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 585 points, or 2.1%, at 28,065, and the Nasdaq composite jumped 3.8%.

Investors see cause for optimism if either candidate wins, but much is at stake pending the results. They include prospects for the big economic stimulus effort, tax rate increases and tighter regulations on businesses that investors saw coming if Democrats swept the elections. Such a “blue wave” looks less likely, though, after Republicans held onto Senate seats considered vulnerable.

11:16 a.m. | Star reporter Jenna Moon The future president of the United States is hinging on the decisions of three key swing states.

Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are experiencing neck-in-neck races between incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. With a combined 46 electoral college votes, the outcome of the election likely lies at the feet of voters in these states.

The delayed results are largely the result of a greater than average number of mail-in ballots due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike other states that changed election rules to accommodate for the crush of mail-in votes, Republican law makers in these states opposed new laws to accelerate mail-in voting. As a result, officials in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin could not legally process absentee ballots until on or just before election day.

Read the full story: Why are Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania proving to be so difficult to decide? What’s happening in these crucial states

11:02 a.m. | The Associated Press Disappointed Democrats drove Wednesday toward extending their control of the House for two more years but with a potentially shrunken majority as they lost at least seven incumbents and failed to oust any Republican lawmakers in initial returns.

By midmorning on Wednesday, Democrats’ only gains were two North Carolina seats vacated by GOP incumbents after a court-ordered remapping made the districts more Democratic. Though they seemed likely to retain House control, their performance was an unexpected disappointment for the party, which hoped for modest gains of perhaps 15 seats.

After decades of trying, Republicans defeated 15-term Rep. Collin Peterson from a rural Minnesota district that backed President Donald Trump in 2016 by 31 percentage points, Trump’s biggest margin in any Democratic-held district. Peterson, who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, opposed Trump’s impeachment and is one of the House’s most conservative Democrats. He was defeated by Republican Michelle Fischbach, the former lieutenant governor.

10:50 a.m. | The Associated Press Republican state Rep. Ashley Hinson has defeated Democratic incumbent Abby Finkenauer to win a northeastern Iowa congressional seat.

Hinson is a former television news anchor. She won the U.S. House seat after a race in which she stressed the need for lower taxes, smaller government and border security.

Finkenauer lost in her first bid for reelection following her victory in 2018 over Republican Rod Blum. During her freshman term, Finkenauer devoted much of her time to ensuring disaster relief to her district after a damaging 2020 wind storm. She also supported legislation designed to help small businesses, aid governments amid the coronavirus pandemic and expand the Affordable Care Act.

10:13 a.m. | The Canadian Press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is carefully watching the political drama unfolding in the United States today.

The U.S. presidential race remains too close to call with millions of votes still be counted in battleground states including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and North Carolina.

U.S. President Donald Trump has secured 213 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to win, while former vice-president Joe Biden sits at 224. There are 101 college votes left to be confirmed.

In the wee hours of this morning, Biden preached patience and said everyone must wait for the ballots to be counted. Not long after that, Trump essentially declared himself the winner and said he would take his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Trudeau briefly spoke to reporters as he arrived on Parliament Hill Wednesday morning, continuing his weeks-long effort to say little on the U.S. presidential election until it is decided.

“As everyone knows there is an electoral process underway in the United States. We are of course following it carefully and we will continue to as the day and days unfold,” he said.

10:02 a.m. | The Associated Press Republican Lauren Boebert has won the Colorado House seat held by five-term GOP Rep. Scott Tipton.

Boebert is the owner of Shooters Grill, an open carry “family friendly” restaurant. Boebert defeated Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state lawmaker and Routt County commissioner.

Boebert closely allied herself to Trump, assailing Democrats on everything from what she called job-killing proposals on fossil fuels to coronavirus restrictions to unrest in Democratic-led cities. She voiced praise for the QAnon conspiracy theory during the primary but has since distanced herself from it.

She pledged to protect gun rights and appeared at her rallies with a Glock pistol strapped to her hip.

9:59 a.m. | The Los Angeles Times: The nation awoke to uncertainty Wednesday, as Joe Biden captured a slim lead in Michigan and began slowly closing the gap with President Trump in other key battlegrounds as election officials warned it could be days before the outcome of the presidential race is clear.

As the vote count resumes under the specter of an exhausting legal brawl, the fate of the election rests on a couple million uncounted ballots in a handful of states including Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia.

Hours after Trump tried to declare victory in the early morning by falsely claiming that he had built an insurmountable lead, the slow counting of mail votes and in-person ballots in Democratic Party strongholds showed the race in those places is very much a toss-up.

Michigan and Wisconsin officials expressed confidence that most of their count would be completed Wednesday, but in other states, including the key battleground of Pennsylvania, the tallying could stretch on for days.

In Michigan, Biden captured a slim lead of approximately 10,000 votes as tallies were updated from the state’s major metropolitan areas, which were believed to lean Democratic. Election officials said hundreds of thousands of outstanding ballots from the state’s largest cities would likely be reported by the end of the day.

Wisconsin was another toss-up, with Biden amassing a lead of 20,000 votes by early morning and state Democratic Party leaders expressing optimism the lead would only grow.

9:56 a.m. | Star Reporter Jenna Moon As a whirlwind presidential election continues to unfold, it’s possible you’ve had your eyes glued to a screen for any sign of who will be America’s next president and missed some other key decisions that have played out across the U.S. over the past 18 hours.

The Squad holds steady in congress

All four members of the Squad — Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — all held on to their seats in the U.S. Congress.

All four women saw landslide victories over their Republican counterparts.

$15 minimum wage increase coming in Florida:

Voters in Florida have approved a wage increase that will see minimum wage rise to $15 per hour, up from the current $8.56, by 2026.

Florida will be the eighth state to implement a $15 wage.

Read the full story: First transgender state senator elected and The Squad stays strong: A few votes you may have missed during the U.S. election

9:04 a.m. | The New York Times As of 6 a.m. ET Wednesday, eight states that will decide the next president remained uncalled, as did a handful of Senate races that will determine who controls the chamber.

Here’s where things stand:

In the presidential race, as of 6 a.m., we did not yet know who won Alaska (3 electoral votes), Arizona (11), Georgia (16), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), North Carolina (15), Pennsylvania (20), Wisconsin (10) or Maine’s 2nd Congressional District (1).

Joe Biden has 227 confirmed electoral votes and would need 43 more to win. President Donald Trump has 213 confirmed electoral votes and would need 57 more to win.

Six Senate races were uncalled in five states: Alaska, Georgia, Maine, Michigan and North Carolina.

Georgia has two races, both involving Republican incumbents whom Democrats hope to unseat. One, between Sen. David Perdue and Jon Ossoff, might be decided in the next few days or might go to a runoff in January, depending on whether a Libertarian candidate gets enough votes to keep both major-party candidates below 50 percent. The other race will require a runoff between the incumbent, Kelly Loeffler, and Raphael Warnock, a Democrat.

9 a.m. | Star Reporter Steve McKinley Vote tabulations typically continue after Election Day in any election, but in races that are not as close as this one, a projected winner can be declared, based on Election Day vote totals. But 2020’s flood of mail ballots means that decision will have to be delayed somewhat.

Each state has different laws on how votes are counted and reported, so the length of that delay remains uncertain.

In Wisconsin, full results may be available on Wednesday, while in Michigan it could reportedly take until Nov. 6.

Several states — including Pennsylvania — accept late-arriving mail ballots arriving, as long as they were postmarked by Election Day. In Pennsylvania, ballots may be accepted until Nov. 6, though that date might be challenged by Republicans.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf tweeted that his state had over 1 million ballots to be counted and that he “promised Pennsylvanians that we would count every vote and that’s what we’re going to do.”

In the early morning hours on Wednesday, however, Trump took to the airwaves from the White House to make the extraordinary claim that those votes should not be counted.

Read the full story: So what happens now? Here’s what remains to be decided in the U.S. election

8:59 a.m. | Star Reporter Akrit Michael

A nail-biting election night in the United States came to an unsatisfactory end Wednesday morning as neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden were able to get to 270 electoral college votes by dawn.

The Times of India’s Chidanand Rajghatta suggested that Trump is reaching out for for judicial approval in an electoral and political coup attempt:

“The U.S. presidential elections are on the verge of turning into a chaotic farce worthy of a banana republic after President Donald Trump claimed he has won before a full counting of votes and said he would approach the country’s Supreme Court to stop a ‘fraud’ on the American people.

In a nightmare scenario some commentators had anticipated based on Trump’s own pronouncements over weeks, the U.S. President threw a wrench into an already shambolic election process, accused Democrats of trying to steal the election, and demanded all counting votes be stopped after 4 a.m.”

Janet Daley of the United Kingdom’s Telegraph called this the worst possible outcome and suggested that the public’s reaction could very soon begin to look like “civil war:”

“If Donald Trump barricades himself into the White House and drags the whole thing into the courts, the battle will break out in the streets as well and this will begin to look like civil war. He is already challenging the legitimacy of the process – as indeed he began to do weeks ago in anticipation of precisely this outcome.”

Read the full story on the world’s reaction: ‘Chaotic farce.’ Some reaction from international news outlets while world awaits outcome of U.S. election

8:40 a.m. | The Associated Press Despite fears of clashes at polling places, chaos sparked by the coronavirus pandemic and confusion due to disinformation and swiftly-changing voting rules, millions across the U.S. cast ballots in a historically contentious election with few problems.

About 103 million votes were cast before Election Day, an early voting push prompted by the pandemic. That took some of the pressure off polling places on Tuesday, which generally saw short or no lines as coronavirus cases were on the rise. Daily confirmed cases were up 43 per cent over the past two weeks in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Every Election Day comes with problems as millions of people try to cast ballots simultaneously in 50 states. But experts were relieved they were relatively rare at a time when partisan battles over voting reached a fever pitch.

“We were bracing for the worst, and we’ve been pleasantly surprised,” said Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.

Though the casting of ballots was relatively tranquil, legal storm clouds hang over the counting of those votes. Both parties had fought a massive battle in the courts trying to shape the contours of the election, and that seemed likely to continue beyond Tuesday.

8:30 a.m. | The New York Times Perhaps no state is staring down a longer counting period than Pennsylvania. As of early Wednesday morning, 5.3 million votes had been counted in Pennsylvania, which represented roughly 65% of the estimated vote total in the state.

The state Legislature refused to allow election officials to begin processing absentee ballots until 7 a.m. on Election Day, and officials across the state were laboring through the tedious process of counting ballots.

In Philadelphia, only 76,000 absentee ballots out of more than 350,000 were processed in the first 14 hours that officials were allowed to count ballots. Though Philadelphia election officials were working around the clock on the absentee ballots, the pace indicated that the count could last into Thursday.

8:30 a.m. | The New York Times In Wisconsin, early returns were inconclusive Tuesday evening, with the key population center of Milwaukee yet to report vote tallies. But early Wednesday, a large vote count from that city was announced, and Biden edged ahead of Trump based on roughly 90% of estimated votes statewide.

Democrats in the state are looking to replicate the political coalition of Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the Democrat who won in 2018 by energizing her party’s constituencies while limiting losses in the suburbs and rural regions.

In an interview on Election Day, Baldwin said she believed Biden would be successful.

“They figured out a way to be here virtually, even if they weren’t here in person,” she said. “We’ve learned a lot of lessons about how we conducted 2016, from the party all the way on down.”

8:30 a.m. | The New York Times Though a glance at the top-line numbers appeared to show Michigan largely accounted for and trending toward Trump, some of the state’s major population centers had hundreds of thousands of ballots yet to be counted as of early Wednesday. And these could easily tip the state to Biden, as Democrats have said they expect.

Polls taken before the election showed the former vice president considerably ahead, outside the margin of error.

Trump’s lead so far reflects his advantage in the Election Day vote — not the early vote, which is a larger share of the overall ballots cast in the state and favors Biden.

In Detroit, the city clerk had counted only about half of what was expected. The clerk’s office reported having 125,000 votes tallied just after 2 a.m.

For comparison purposes, Detroiters cast 248,000 ballots in 2016, when turnout was low. This year, election officials have said they expect turnout to easily surpass that, potentially exceeding 2008 and 2012 when President Barack Obama was on the ballot.

Biden is expected to easily get 90% of the vote in Detroit.

7:37 a.m.| The Associated Press Democrat Joe Biden’s campaign says it will fight any efforts by President Donald Trump’s campaign to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent ballots from being tabulated.

In a statement sent before 4 a.m. Wednesday, Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon called Trump’s statement that he will “be going to the U.S. Supreme Court” and that he wants “all voting to stop” “outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect.”

O’Malley Dillon says the Biden campaign has “legal teams standing by ready to deploy to resist that effort.” And she says, “They will prevail.”

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the presidential race. There are still hundreds of thousands of votes left to be counted, and the outcome hinges on a handful of uncalled battleground states.

6:37 a.m.| The Associated Press: The Associated Press has not declared a winner in Wisconsin’s presidential contest because the race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden is too early to call. Trump, who is locked in a tight battle with Biden to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win, prematurely claimed early Wednesday that he was “winning” the state.

6 a.m. | Bloomberg The U.S. presidential election remained unsettled Wednesday morning as key states continued counting ballots. After a relatively untroubled day at U.S. polling places, unprecedented numbers of early and mail-in votes complicated counts across the country. By early Wednesday morning, both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden retained potential paths to victory.

4:14 a.m. | The Associated Press: Democrat Rashida Tlaib wins reelection to U.S. House in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District.

3:52 a.m. | The Associated Press: Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Jacobs has won a full term representing a district in western New York, beating the same Democrat he defeated in a special election five months ago.

Jacobs won a special election in June to serve out the remainder of the term of fellow Republican Chris Collins, who was convicted of insider trading. Now he’s beaten Democrat Nate McMurray again in the general election.

3:15 a.m. | The Associated Press: Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Stephanie Bice has defeated Democratic congresswoman Kendra Horn and taken back the only Democratic-held seat in the state’s congressional delegation.

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