Arizona‘s Secretary of State says counting of the 450,000 outstanding votes there will not be completed until Friday, stretching out the agonizing wait for an overall election result after a night of chaos which saw Biden’s lead shrink considerably and put the state back in play for Trump.
Biden is ahead in Arizona but only by about 67,000 votes after his majority shrank overnight. Of the 450,000 remaining votes there, 300,000 are in Maricopa County where Biden holds a two point lead, and where he is expected to win.
The AP and and Fox News both called Arizona early on Wednesday morning, claiming there was no possible way for Trump to claw it back from him – a move which is now being called into question.
Arizona holds 11 crucial electoral college votes which, when giving them to Biden now, poises him for the White House with 264 of the 270 that he needs. He would only need to win Nevada, Georgia, or North Carolina to claim victory if his Arizona lead holds.
Nevada holds 6 electoral college votes and will be announced at noon EST. Georgia holds 16 and will be announced later.
If Biden loses Arizona to Trump, Trump goes from 214 electoral college votes to 225. He would then only need Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania – all states in which he is leading – to claim victory.
Nevada – which carries 6 electoral college votes – would give Biden victory on Thursday if his Arizona lead holds too.
Scroll down for video
Vote counting in Arizona is likely to continue until Friday, stretching out the excruciating wait for a result by even longer
Your browser does not support iframes.
As the excruciating wait dragged on on Thursday morning, Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s Secretary of State, said the process would simply take as long as it takes.
Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s Secretary of State, said the process would simply take as long as it takes
‘There are just under 300,000 votes left to count in Maricopa County which is two thirds of the voting population. Statewide, just under 450,000 votes left to count so we’re getting there, we have said from the beginning this take’s time. We’re going to focus on making sure every valid vote counts.
‘I haven’t gotten an estimate from Maricopa County about how long it’s going to take them to get through the ballots. It’s not looking like today – probably closer to tomorrow that we’ll be looking at getting through those ballots,’ she told Good Morning America.
Nevada will announce a result at 12 EST and Georgia is expected some time around then too. North Carolina has not said when it will announce and Pennsylvania will announce on Friday.
Trump is calling foul on the entire election, claiming that votes are being counted improperly and demanding recounts.
He has filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan asking that the counting be halted, and he is also demanding a recount in Wisconsin.
A recount in Arizona is not likely. The rules there mean that only a margin of 200 votes or fewer allow it. It’s unclear if the Trump campaign will try to question the results in Arizona. They have not yet taken any action against it.
STATES STILL IN PLAY
ARIZONA – 11 electoral college votes: Votes still being counted, deadline for result unclear
Fox and the AP gave Arizona to Biden before dawn on Wednesday.
On Wednesday afternoon, officials said that there were still 600,000 votes left to be counted which suggested that it could be put back in play.
The AP is standing by its call, saying the outstanding votes are in Biden strongholds that will not flip back to Trump.
Biden’s lead in Arizona has shrunk to about 68,000 votes.
Maricopa is the largest county in Arizona, home to Phoenix and 62% of the state’s 7.28 million residents. A candidate cannot win the state without it
Counting will resume Thursday. Maricopa county will next report Thursday evening, local time
GEORGIA – 16 electoral colleges votes: Result expected sometime on Thursday
NEVADA – 6 electoral college votes: Result expected 12 EST Thursday
NORTH CAROLINA – 15 electoral college votes: Result expected some time Thursay
PENNSYLVANIA – 20 electoral college votes: Result expected Friday
Hobbs said she didn’t know what option Trump had to call it into question.
On Wednesday night, dozens of protesters descended on a counting center – forcing it to close. They were Trump supporters.
‘I don’t understand what these protesters are interested in. We’re going to keep counting ballots. If they’re supporting the president they should want us to continue counting. I just don’t know what their goal is. Absolutely they are not disrupting what we’re doing,’ she said.
Several members of the group AZ Patriots did successfully manage to make their way inside the building, one wearing a military vest, where they argued that the pens in the count had been changed to Sharpies, before they were kicked out of the building.
Media crews were escorted from the center at around 12.30am and some staff were also escorted from the building at the end of their shifts as the shouts of the crowd grew louder. There have been no reports of violence although several members of the press claimed they were threatened.
Inside, the count continued, with the center vowing that it would continue until the last update of the night.
The President on Thursday morning tweeted: ‘Stop the count!’
Joe Biden, meanwhile, has been relatively quiet on Twitter.
On Wednesday, he gave a confident press conference with his running mate Kamala Harris, saying he felt ‘good’ about his chances at victory and that he’d likely win enough seats to take the White House eventually, but that he would wait until all the votes had been counted to claim it.
Meanwhile in Michigan, Trump protesters also surrounded an election center in Detroit where they called on the count to be stopped as the state was declared for Biden.
Republicans have also filed a lawsuit in Michigan demanding that all vote counting stop because Trump’s people weren’t giving proper access to voting sites and couldn’t oversee the counting process to ensure it was fair.
In Georgia, the lawsuit claims that a GOP poll observer witnessed 53 late absentee ballots added to a pile in Chatham County while two additional actions in Pennsylvania claim a Senator there has given Biden back-door votes to try to push Trump out.
And in Wisconsin, the campaign is demanding a recount, despite Biden winning by more than 20,000 votes which represents around 0.6 percent of the vote.
The figure falls within the state’s recount rules which allows for anything within a one-point margin to qualify for a a recount.
Trump on Thursday demanded that the entire count stop. If it did right now, Biden would have more votes
In Pennsylvania, where a result is unlikely before Friday, Rudy Giuliani – Trump’s personal lawyer – and Trump’s son, Eric, arrived to spearhead ‘critical legal actions’ in the state.
The Trump campaign has announced that it will wade into a case currently before the Supreme Court which challenges state law that allows for mail-in ballots that arrive up to three days after election day.
Deputy Trump Campaign Manager Justin Clark said the campaign will be suing to stop ‘Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing’ from GOP poll-watchers.
He claimed that Republican observers in Philadelphia were ordered to stand 25 meters away from counting staff, making it impossible to watch.
Video from outside the count center showed the angered crowd as they shouted that the vote was being suppressed
MICHIGAN: Supporters of US President Donald Trump chant slogans as they gather outside the room where absentee ballots for the 2020 general election are being counted
Chaos hit the election count center in a crucial Arizona county on Wednesday night after a large group of Trump supporters gathered outside to protest, some carrying weapons as the chanted for the vote to continue