Vote count progresses in biggest-ever US election; Biden takes lead

Police speak to a group of Trump supporters who were campaigning near a polling station on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Honolulu. After several contentious races, including President Donald Trump’s win of Florida, Joe Biden held 214 electoral votes while Trump held 210. Photo courtesy of Marco Garcia / AP Photo.

Counting for the U.S. elections continued from the early hours of Nov. 4 throughout the day. The last polls closed at 1 a.m. EST, though the high proportion of mail-in ballots ensured the vote count would take several days.  

12:45 a.m.: By this point in the evening, many states had been called by the Associated Press using their VoteCast system despite low numbers of votes actually counted. After several contentious races, including President Donald Trump’s win of Florida, Joe Biden held 214 electoral votes while Trump held 210.  

At the local level in Mansfield, Democrat Brian Smith won the 48th House district against the Republican Julie Shilosky. Democrat Gregg Haddad ran unopposed and won the 54th House district. Democrat Max Flexor won the State Senate race for the 29th senatorial district. Democrat Anne Greineder won the seat for Mansfield Registrar of Voters.  

At the state level, all incumbent Connecticut U.S. representatives were projected to hold their seats. Mansfield is part of District 2, which reelected Joe Courtney. There is no U.S. Senate election in Connecticut this year.  

Another notable election in Congress was 25-year-old Madison Cawthorne’s victory in North Carolina’s 11th congressional district to become a US representative. Cawthorne is the youngest person elected to Congress since the 1797 election of William C. C. Claiborne

1:30 a.m.: After a tumultuous start in the state, Trump won Texas. While Texas has elected a Republican every year since 1976, many news outlets and polls predicted Texas to be a toss-up in this election.  

Biden made brief remarks to a crowd before calling a lid, meaning the candidate was not expected to make any more appearances for the remainder of the night. He encouraged a crowd of supporters to “keep the faith.” 

Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts—also known as ‘The Squad’—all won reelection. These representatives are known for their progressive policies and social media followings, as well as for often criticizing the president.  

Amendment 1 in Louisiana passed with 62% of the vote, solidifying in state legislation that abortion is not a right. Earlier in the evening, Colorado defeated Prop 115, which would have banned most abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy.  

President Donald Trump supporters wave a flag during an election watch party Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Chandler, Ariz. AP called Arizona for Biden after the number of uncounted ballots dropped below the number of votes Trump would need to win the state. Photo courtesy of Matt York / AP Photo.

2:50 a.m.: AP called Arizona for Biden after the number of uncounted ballots dropped below the number of votes Trump would need to win the state. Save for Bill Clinton’s win in 1996, Arizona has gone to a Republican in every election since 1952.  

In his remarks to a crowd of supporters, Trump falsely claimed victory in several states, including Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Trump also made false assertions about election fraud.  

10:00 a.m.: By morning, only a few states were left to be counted: Wisconsin, Michigan, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania and one of Maine’s electoral college votes. Biden led Trump 227 electoral votes to 213 electoral votes.  

After Trump made several posts containing false information, both Twitter and Facebook attached warnings to some of his statements

In Texas, Republican Tony Gonzales won the House seat in the 23rd District. Gonzales is set to succeed Will Hurd, the last Black republican in the House. Hurd announced his intention not to run in this election in 2019. The 23rd District is the last remaining Republican district on the southern border. 

In Arizona, Democrat Mark Kelly defeated Republican Martha McSally in a race for the late John McCain’s Senate seat. Many viewed this race as crucial for the democrats to win control of the Senate.  

In Delaware, Sarah McBride won her bid for state representative in Delaware’s first district. McBride is the first openly transgender state senator in the nation

Oregon passed the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act, which legalized the use of all drugs. The act also provides state funding for addiction treatment by using tax revenue from marijuana. Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, and South Dakota all legalized marijuana. Mississippi also legalized marijuana for medical use.  

Prop 22 in California passed, which allows gig economy companies like Uber and Doordash to continue treating their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. This proposition gained media attention after several ridesharing and food delivery startups spent a total of $200 million on advertising to pass the proposition. 

1:50 p.m.: Trump wins an electoral vote in Maine.  

Turnout for the 2020 elections breaks the record for highest ever, with the total vote reaching 140 million. Biden wins most votes out of any electoral candidate in history.  

In Maine, Susan Collins won reelection to her Senate seat. Collins is the only Republican senator on the ballot who has not endorsed Trump. Collins is now the most senior female Republican in the Senate.  

In Oklahoma, Mauree Turner won their race for state representative in House District 88. Turner is the first nonbinary legislator in the nation.  

2:30 p.m.: Trump’s campaign announced intention to call for a recount in Wisconsin. Shortly after, Wisconsin was called for Biden, bringing Biden to a lead of 23 electoral votes.  

Around this time, protesters began to gather in Michigan to oppose the further counting of ballots in Detroit.  

In many cities across the country, protests have broken out on both sides, though widespread unrest is yet to be seen. The national guard was activated to help with election tasks in at least 10 states. These tasks can include assisting with cybersecurity and mail-in ballots.  

4:15 p.m.: Trump campaign filed lawsuits to stop the counting of ballots in both Michigan and Pennsylvania. In a speech to supporters, Trump also spoke of his intention to involve the Supreme Court in the election.  

Shortly after, Michigan was called for Biden. At time of publishing, Biden leads Trump in the electoral college 253 – 214.  

7:45 p.m.: In a show of confidence, the Biden campaign launched a transition website,

After previously saying Nevada would release further results Wednesday night, state officials announced they would be waiting until 9 a.m. on Nov. 5 to release results. Biden has a small lead over Trump in Nevada.  

At the end of the night, results are still not fully tabulated for Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. The Democrats have netted one seat in the Senate, bringing the current election count to 48 Senate seats for Republicans and 48 for Democrats. In the House, Democrats still hold the majority, though Republicans have netted 6 seats.  

Election coverage will be continued over the next few days.   

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