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Pennsylvania’s Wolf: 1 Million Votes Uncounted: Election Update

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 11/4/2020 Bloomberg News
a close up of a box: Early voting at the Lansing City Clerk's office on November 02, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. © Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images Early voting at the Lansing City Clerk's office on November 02, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan.

(Bloomberg) -- With counting in many states expected to continue late into the night -- and perhaps beyond -- Americans were poring over the latest vote totals Tuesday night. Across the country, officials reported few technical problems at the polls -- yet an avalanche of early votes and mail-in ballots were complicating the tabulations. In addition to choosing between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Americans are casting votes in U.S. House and Senate races and state and local elections.

Other developments:

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Pennsylvania’s Wolf: 1 Million Votes Uncounted

Pennsylvania has more than 1 million votes left to count, said its Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, in a Twitter posting early Wednesday morning.

“I promised Pennsylvanians that we would count every vote and that’s what we’re going to do,” Wolf said on Twitter. His tweet came after Trump falsely declared victory and complained of “a fraud on the American public” in ongoing vote-counting.

“Let’s be clear: This is a partisan attack on Pennsylvania’s elections, our votes, and democracy,” Wolf said in another Twitter post. -- John Voskuhl

Protest Clashes, Arrests Spread to More Cities (2:16 a.m.)

Protesters were arrested in Minneapolis after marching down city streets, spray painting local buildings, and shooting off fireworks, including some allegedly directed at police. The group also appears to have set nearby fires, said police spokesman John Elder. Thirteen women and one man were arrested for “probable cause riot,” and one of the women was also charged with fourth degree assault.

The group was carrying a sign saying “America is Over” as part of a protest against police brutality before the arrests, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

More than 300 protesters marched through Portland, some of them brandishing what appeared to be rifles and pistols, according to law enforcement authorities. While some chanted anti-Trump slogans, the march appeared to be a continuation of the daily demonstrations that Portland has had since the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May.

In downtown Los Angeles, the LAPD declared an unlawful assembly as demonstrators tried to march onto the 10 Freeway. Authorities responding to a report of shots fired and a possible stabbing found a man with a head wound. He was transferred to a hospital, according to LAPD spokesman Tony Im.

Seattle police had made about eight arrests for pedestrian interference, obstruction, assault on an officer, reckless driving and criminal mischief. Police gave an order to disperse in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. -- Michelle Cortez, Olga Kharif, John Gittelsohn and Dina Bass

GOP’s Luntz Sees a Biden Win, Via Pennsylvania (1:36 a.m.)

Veteran Republican political analyst Frank Luntz predicted that Joe Biden will win the presidential election largely by capturing the battleground state of Pennsylvania. He also anticipates a close result for Senate control, with the potential for a 50-50 count.

“Some of these states -- and Pennsylvania’s going to be one of them -- are going to be so close right now that you’re just going to have to get through all the votes before you’ll be able to make a conclusion,” Luntz said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “In the end, I am still expecting Joe Biden to win Pennsylvania,” sealing the election for him, he said.

It’s still possible for Trump to pull it off, Luntz said before midnight New York time Tuesday, noting his expectation Trump would win North Carolina and Georgia. “But based on the Electoral College and based on Biden winning Arizona, Trump has to take Pennsylvania or he will not be president. And all the indications are that Joe Biden will win Pennsylvania.”

As for the Senate, “it is still way way too close to call. I think in the end we are most likely to have a 50-50 Senate,” Luntz said. -- David Westin and Jeanne Zaino

Trump Tweet Draws Twitter’s ‘Misleading’ Label (1:12 a.m.)

Trump sent a tweet early Wednesday morning repeating his unsubstantiated claim that Democrats would try to steal the election, and implying that votes would be cast after the polls were closed.

Twitter tagged the post within minutes, and blocked users from liking it or commenting. “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process,” Twitter’s label reads.

The social-media company’s policy forbids tweets that are meant to undermine confidence in the election results. That includes “claims that could undermine faith in the process itself, such as unverified information about election rigging, ballot tampering, vote tallying, or certification of election results.” Under the rules, violations made by public figures, like Trump, are typically labeled, but not removed entirely.

Facebook has labeled the same Trump post with a message saying, “Final results may be different from initial vote counts, as ballot counting will continue for days or weeks.” The company also labeled Trump and Biden Instagram posts broadly: “Votes are being counted. The winner of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election has not been projected.”

A second tweet, in which Trump predicted “A big WIN!” hadn’t been tagged. -- Sarah Frier and Kurt Wagner

Pennsylvania Polls Had Quiet Day, Official Says (12:44 a.m.)

Despite fears of voter intimidation or confrontations at the polls after President Donald Trump urged his supporters to watch them closely, there were no reports of violence at Pennsylvania’s polling stations, Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar said.

There was a report of a Democratic volunteer being shot by a paintball gun from a moving vehicle. Also, officials said someone who shot himself accidentally, and some voters felt threatened in some locations -- Common Cause said there were armed constables in certain polling locations -- but nothing significant, Boockvar said at press conference in Harrisburg.

Aside from the standard issues of long lines at the polls, some counties running low on ballots and other glitches, there were “no major or widespread events to report,” she said. -- Mark Niquette

Protests Bring D.C. Assault, Detentions in L.A. (12:29 a.m.)

A demonstrator assaulted a Trump supporter after a heated back and forth at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C.

The man was apparently affiliated with a Black Bloc of protesters who marched down K Street NW before turning down 16th Street toward the White House. He climbed atop a bus stop and yelled below at a woman who was wearing gear expressing support for President Trump. After shouting at her to vacate the street, he threw a U-shaped bike lock at the woman, jumped down and physically attacked her. A reporter witnessed the incident.

In Los Angeles, police declared an unlawful assembly due to a large and unruly crowd outside Staples Center, home arena of the Los Angeles Lakers that was serving as a voting station. “Several people” were detained after being ordered to disperse, said Officer Tony Im, a department spokesman. Im declined to say how many people were in the gathering or what, if any, group they represented. Footage on Citizen App showed police helicopters hovering over the arena where police lined sidewalks and dozens of civilians milled around.

A few blocks south, police and firefighters moved to intercept about 100 demonstrators who were trying to march onto the I-10 Freeway, KABC News reported.

Two protest marches in Seattle were moving across the neighborhoods that ring the city’s downtown commercial district -- the South Lake Union home of Amazon and the Capitol Hill neighborhood that was the site of an autonomous zone set up by protesters this summer -- according to the Seattle Police’s Twitter account. Police gave multiple public safety warnings to the second of the two groups, and made one arrest. -- Kriston Capps, John Gittelsohn and Dina Bass

Nevada Officials Expect Full Results Next Week (11:53 p.m.)

Nevada officials expect to post initial results from the state beginning around 12:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, said Jennifer A. Russell, a spokeswoman for Nevada’s secretary of state. But they don’t anticipate a full outcome for some time.

“Clerks have until Nov. 10 to receive mail ballots and until Nov. 12 to count them,” Russell said. Initial tallies will include early voting, some Election Day voting in the smaller counties and whatever mail counts are ready, she said.

But with Nevada still accepting new mail-in ballots that are post-marked as late as Election Day, getting a full picture of the count could take some time. “We’re still getting mail ballots — if you put it in the mail today we don’t have it yet,” said Dan Kulin, the spokesman for the Election Department of Clark County, which includes Las Vegas. “We’ll be updating into the next week.” - Sarah Holder and Laura Bliss

GOP’s South Florida House Wins Show Strength (11:41 p.m.)

Republicans have captured two key seats in the U.S. House from South Florida districts, another sign of the party’s surprising strength in a traditional bastion of Democratic Party votes.

Carlos Gimenez, the current mayor of Miami-Dade County, won his race over Democratic House member Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, according to the Associated Press. Maria Elvira Salazar, a television personality, also won her race against Democratic Congresswoman Donna Shalala, a former secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton, AP reported.

The Republican pickups come as President Donald Trump appeared to have made major inroads in Miami-Dade, Florida’s biggest county. Although Joe Biden appeared bound to win the county, the margin is far narrower than the one in 2016 when Trump faced Hillary Clinton. -- Jonathan Levin

North Carolina: Uncounted Votes on Each Side (11:35 p.m.)

North Carolina’s election remained tight and fluid Tuesday night, with few precedents to guide observers. About a third of the precincts in Democratic-leaning Wake County had yet to be tallied and Granville County, which Hillary Clinton won narrowly in 2016, had reported nothing. GOP-leaning areas such as Union County near Charlotte had many votes left to be counted as well.

About 62% of the state’s voters cast ballots before Election Day. Those could be counted and reported as soon as the polls closed. More registered Democrats voted early than Republicans, but one-third of the electorate is unaffiliated with either major party.

Same-day voting, which is expected to skew Republican, is likely to be counted later. At 10:30 p.m., with nearly 90% of the precincts reporting, Trump led 50%-49%, or by about 53,000 votes.

The election board was expecting about 1 million votes to be cast Tuesday in addition to the early ballots. That would leave 300,000 yet to be counted. -- Andrew Ballard

Pennsylvania’s Timing? It’s ‘OK to Go to Sleep’ (11:27 p.m.)

Pennsylvania state and Philadelphia city officials offered no firm estimate Tuesday night of how much longer it will take to finish the mail-in and absentee ballots needed to determine the presidential winner in the battleground state.

It’s “going to take some time,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar, who’s been predicting that the final count will come “within days.”

Heavily Democratic Philadelphia reported the first 75,755 of more than 400,000 expected mail-in ballots counted and expects to give one more update Tuesday night before resuming reporting in the morning, said Kevin Feeley, a spokesman for city commissioners.

The Philadelphia Inquirer ran an editorial headlined: “Polls are closed in Pennsylvania, and it’s OK to go to sleep tonight.” -- Mark Niquette

Record Voting in Detroit Slows Michigan’s Count (11:14 p.m.)

Michigan officials will probably not have final results until Wednesday evening, said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in a news conference at Ford Field in Detroit. The city of Detroit had a 55% turnout, which equates to more than 250,000 votes. The city plans to have the votes counted by Wednesday evening.

That will stall final results. The number of votes cast is a record for the city, Benson said.

Other Michigan counties will be reporting in the coming hours, which could give election watchers an idea of where the state is leaning. Benson said that 3.3 million absentee ballots have been received and are currently being tabulated and another 2 million to 2.5 million people voted at the polls today. -- David Welch

Wisconsin’s Big Cities May Count Until Morning (11:06 p.m.)

Some larger jurisdictions in Wisconsin are expected to be counting ballots into the morning, said Meagan Wolfe, the state’s Elections Commission administrator.

Wisconsin’s elections system is highly decentralized, with 1,850 municipal clerks who administer elections, and smaller municipalities may finish first, Wolfe said during a call with reporters on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, the director of the Milwaukee election commission said absentee ballots from the state’s biggest city would likely be finished at around 4 a.m. Because none of those approximately 169,000 ballots will be added to the total until all are counted, that means it’ll be hard to get a clear picture of the city’s results until then. -- Amanda Albright and Monte Reel

Protests Flare in D.C. as Top Race Stays Close (10:55 p.m.)

With the presidential race too close to call, protests remained muted across the U.S. Tuesday night.

A smattering of violence marked otherwise peaceful demonstrations near the White House. A man was arrested about 5:15 p.m. for crossing a police line, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. The arrest took place just south of Lafayette Square and the White House. Just before 10 p.m., an assault was reported in the same area, which the city dedicated as Black Lives Matter Plaza after protesters clashed with police this summer. But the Metropolitan Police Department had no record of an arrest.

Hundreds of demonstrators were still milling around the plaza as polls neared closing on the West Coast. As the night progressed, the police presence grew more pronounced.

In Portland, a group of demonstrators marched near Revolution Hall accompanied by drummers, according to social-media posts. In New York City, about 20 people gathered at Union Square Park -- and about the same number at Federal Plaza in Chicago. -- Kriston Capps and Olga Kharif

Ohio’s Seesaw Vote Count Expected to Run Late (10:45 p.m.)

A nail-bitingly close race for Ohio’s 18 electoral votes is going into the late hours of the night -- or perhaps later -- as the state’s largest counties struggle to provide rapid counts.

After an initial lead due to a rush of absentee ballot reporting, Biden began to trail Trump by roughly 300,000 votes starting around 10 p.m. as in-person voting was reported across the state. “That was to be expected,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said, and Democrats believe Biden will claw his way back as larger counties report their results and mailed-in ballots trickle in over the coming days.

Two Democratic strongholds -- Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) and Franklin County (Columbus) -- were reporting only 50% of votes cast around 10:30 p.m. Meanwhile, many smaller rural counties were reporting at or near 100% of their votes, allowing Trump to rack up points in Appalachian Ohio, where he has strong support from white working-class voters.

“We need to make sure every ballot is counted,” Pepper said in a conference call with reporters. Election offices in Cuyahoga and Franklin counties didn’t immediately return requests for comment about how long it would take to report the bulk of their votes. -- Alex Ebert

Trump’s Party Is Set Up in the East Room (9:57 p.m.)

President Donald Trump’s Election Night party was being held in the White House’s East Room and the first floor of the residence, according to several people familiar with the event. Trump attended the gathering briefly but later moved upstairs in the residence with his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and family members, the people said.

Attendees included U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and National Economic Director Council Larry Kudlow.

A podium and flags are set up in the East Room for Trump in case he chooses to speak. -- Jennifer Jacobs

Georgia’s Largest County Cites Delay Over Water Leak (8:49 p.m.)

Georgia’s Fulton County said it will be able to report 86,000 of its 130,517 absentee-by-mail ballots tonight, along with in-person early voting and Election Day Results.

The county may not be able to report the rest of the mailed ballots because of a water leak at the State Farm Arena where they were being counted. The leak was repaired within two hours causing a “brief delay” in tabulating absentee ballots.

The leak occurred at 6 a.m. and scanning resumed at 9:30 a.m, according to elections board member Mark Wingate. Fulton County, the home of Atlanta, is the biggest county in Georgia. -- Margaret Newkirk

Nevada Judge Extends Las Vegas Voting (8:49 p.m.)

A Nevada judge ruled in favor of President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Nevada Republican Party, which sued to extend voting hours in parts of Clark County. The county includes Las Vegas and is the state’s most populous region.

The ruling in Clark County District County will allow polls to stay open an extra hour, until 11 p.m. EST, on account of technical difficulties Tuesday morning that delayed the openings of several polling locations.

The decision came as in-person turnout was falling short of expectations set by early voting in the state, likely to the detriment of Republicans. -- Sarah Holder

Milwaukee Suburb’s High Turnout: ‘It’s Been a Zoo’ (8:49 p.m.)

Polling locations in Waukesha, a suburb of Milwaukee in the battleground state of Wisconsin, reported strong turnout Tuesday.

“It’s been a zoo,” said Rose Bernhardt, the chief election inspector at a polling station inside a Waukesha Rotary Club. “I’ve been working elections since 2011, and this has been one of the busiest, even though we had so many people who voted early.”

John Helling, the election inspector at another polling station in Waukesha, said that of 2,110 registered voters in his three wards, 1,753 ballots -- or 83 percent of all potential ballots -- already had been cast by 2 p.m. Polls close in Wisconsin at 9 p.m. New York time.

Racial Tensions Flare at North Carolina Confederate Monument (8:05 p.m.)

Hundreds of marchers in Graham, North Carolina, walked the mile from Wayman Chapel AME Church to the Alamance County Courthouse on Tuesday evening to encourage voting and call for racial justice just days after many were pepper sprayed at the same place.

The Reverend Greg Drumwright of nearby Greensboro shepherded the demonstrators through the streets, carefully obeying crosswalks, avoiding blocking traffic and in relative silence. At the courthouse, under a monument to the Confederate dead, they sang the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.”

“I do believe that change is coming and I do believe that monument is coming down,” Drumwright said in an interview.

The marchers were met by a few dozen pro-Trump demonstrators, some with Confederate flags.

“Change ain’t coming. Go back to Durham,” at least one counter-protester shouted, referring to a city 30 miles to the east that has the area’s most significant Black population.

Sheriff’s deputies oversaw the scene. On Saturday, the last day to vote early or register to vote in North Carolina, deputies used a chemical agent to move people attending Drumwright’s event from the street where some had paused. Participants said they were sprayed directly, while police said a “mild chemical irritant” was sprayed at their feet of participants to avoid the use of force.

The state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union called Saturday’s incident voter intimidation. -- Andrew Ballard

Trump, Biden Supporters Sing ‘God Bless America’ Together (8:01 p.m.)

Michigan’s secretary of state shared video of a hopeful moment in Warren, Michigan. The city is in Macomb County, home of the so-called Reagan Democrats. Trump won there in 2016, but Democrat Barack Obama won there in 2012 and 2008. -- Gabrielle Coppola and Jeff Green

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