The Trump campaign has released a statement saying it has filed a lawsuit in Michigan asking the state to halt counting until it receives “meaningful access” to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process.
CNN teams in Michigan have not seen evidence that the suit has actually been filed but continue to check.
While the Trump campaign has said that lawsuit has been filed in the Michigan Court of Claims, docket clerk for the Court of Claims, Morgan Adams, told CNN that the court has not received the filing.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told CNN on Wednesday that the state could end up in a recount situation once all the ballots are counted, but it’s not “inevitable.”
“I don’t think it’s inevitable. We are definitely tracking it,” Boockvar told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
President Trump currently leads former Vice President Joe Biden in Pennsylvania by about 458,915 votes with about 80% of the vote reported.
“In Pennsylvania there’s an automatic recount if the race is within 0.5 percent difference between the winner and the person in second. So in 2016, I believe the final results were 0.7 percent, so there was no automatic recount. Today remains to be seen,” she said.
“I think we’ll know more by the end of the day where we see where we are,” Boockvar added.
Watch the moment:
A Trump campaign adviser said the President is the driving force behind nearly all of the rhetoric from the campaign questioning the legitimacy of the election and the ballot counting process.
Aides are encouraging Trump to stay in the fight, but Trump doesn’t really need the nudge, the adviser said. Trump wants to fight it out until the end, the adviser added.
The adviser said the President has been livid watching Biden’s lead increase in states like Michigan and Wisconsin.
“He feels it’s being stolen from him,” the adviser said.
The adviser acknowledged that it is unlikely Trump will close the gaps in Arizona and Wisconsin, not to mention Michigan which is viewed as an even tougher challenge for the President. CNN has projected Biden will win Wisconsin.
The adviser added that campaign officials remain furious with Fox for calling Arizona, saying they believe the race there is very tight and was called too early by Fox.
The margin in the vote count between presidential candidates is substantial enough that it is “highly unlikely” there will be a legal challenge against absentee ballots received after 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night, the Minnesota secretary of state said.
During a Wednesday press conference, Secretary of State Steve Simon said that about 240,000 requested absentee ballots haven’t been received, but that number is most likely inflated. This number could include those who requested a mail ballot but decided to vote in-person, or requested one and didn’t vote at all.
Right now, Biden is leading by approximately 230,000 votes in Minnesota, and the remaining absentee pile would be unlikely to dramatically change his vote count, Simon said. He also noted that there is no new litigation filed against his office as of this morning.
Some background: The absentee ballots that haven’t been received previously played a crucial role since a federal appeals court ruled last week that any ballots received after 8:00 p.m. on election night must be segregated.
As of now, the late ballots will be segregated but included in the total vote count. The Secretary of State’s office would only remove them completely if there was a legal challenge against them, according to Simon.
A new order from Judge Emmet Sullivan instructs USPS to conduct two sweeps for ballots in Texas.
Lawyers for the NAACP asked for the order, which Sullivan granted.
It instructs USPS to conduct two sweeps in all Texas processing plants for ballots postmarked on Election Day or earlier.
The first sweep must start immediately; the second must take place at 4 p.m. ET.
Any ballots postmarked on or before Election Day found in the sweeps must be delivered to election officials by 5 p.m. ET, according to the order.
The order also requires USPS to report on how many ballots were found during those Texas sweeps.
USPS’ Kevin Bray, who is in charge of all mail processing during the 2020 election, told the court that the instructions had already been sent to postal employees in the Lone Star State.
In post offices, the order instructs the USPS to remind all managers that ballots should implement local turnaround, which skips normal processing procedures so that ballots can be delivered immediately.
This order is important because Texas allows for the counting of ballots that arrive by 5 p.m. Wednesday (November 4) as long as they are postmarked on or before Election Day.
Joe Biden will win Wisconsin, CNN projects.
There are 10 electoral votes at stake in Wisconsin. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the 2020 presidential election.
Who won in 2016: President Trump carried the state and won the general election.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and John King report:
It’s past 2:00 p.m. on the East Coast, and votes are still being counted in several key states where CNN is yet to project a winner. President Trump and Joe Biden are battling to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
Here’s where things stand this afternoon:
- The Secretary of State said approximately 100,000 ballots are waiting to be counted.
- Kalamazoo County still has 21,000 absentee ballots left to count, with those results expecting to be done soon.
- Wayne County, which includes the city of Detroit, has counted 55% of its votes, the clerk told CNN this morning.
- “Millions of ballots” are left to be counted, according to the Secretary of State as of 11:00 a.m.ET
- In Luzerne County, President Trump was leading Joe Biden by at least 27,598 votes with 20,066 remaining to be counted. Trump flipped the county in 2016.
- Pennsylvania counties have counted nearly 50% of their mail-in ballots so far.
- The Secretary of State reiterated guidance about segregating and counting the late-arriving mail ballots.
- The GOP challenge of 93 absentee ballots in Montgomery County, which is near Philadelphia, might not have a ruling until Friday.
- In Pima County, a Democratic stronghold, approximately 90,000 are left to count.
- In the Republican-leaning GOP-leaning Pinal county, 62,000 ballots remain to be counted.
- In Maricopa County – the state’s largest county – the recorder’s office said it still has to count about 248,000 early ballots it received from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. Additionally, there are 160,000 to 18,000 early mail-in ballots that were dropped off by voters at polling locations on Tuesday, as well as 19,000 provisional ballots.
- Fulton County, where the city of Atlanta is located, resumed counting at 8:30 a.m. this morning, hoping to publish all results by 9:00 p.m. All early votes have been counted, but there are still about 64,000 absentee ballots left as of 12:55 p.m.
- Gwinnett County has issues with about half the absentee ballots. Officials said they were either improperly filled in or victim of a software issue.
- Dekalb County, which leans left, had about 24,000 ballots left to count as of 11:00 a.m.ET
- The Secretary of State’s office says no more results will be issued until Thursday, Nov. 5 at 12:00 p.m. ET.
- Mail ballots received on Election Day, mail ballots that will be received over the next week and provisional ballots still need to be counted.
- If ballots are postmarked by Nov. 3, they will be counted as long as they arrive before Nov. 10.
- There are about 117,000 outstanding ballots as of this morning.
- Updated numbers likely to come from a news briefing by the North Carolina State Board of Elections at 2:30 p.m. ET this afternoon.
The US Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest business lobbying group, is urging patience and trust in the democratic system and pledging to “work with” the winning candidate.
The US Chamber of Commerce’s CEO Thomas J. Donohue called for faith in “our systems” and trust in the “local officials who oversee the elections in their communities,” according to a statement on Wednesday.
“Democracy will do its work—and we will be ready to do ours,” said Donohue in a statement.
“While the final outcome of the Presidential race remains undetermined, voters are demanding action and the work that lies ahead is very clear,”Donohue said in the statement. “The Chamber worked hard to maintain a pro-business Senate and is very well positioned to break through the gridlock and work with whomever occupies the White House and a divided Congress to restore public health, revitalize our economy, and help rebuild American lives and communities.”
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said that the majority of the ballots in her state could be counted “significantly sooner” than Friday. Boockvar told reporters earlier today that there are “millions of ballots” in the state still to be counted.
“The closer the race, the longer it takes to know a winner, but I think, as I’ve been saying all along, I think the overwhelming majority of ballots could be counted by Friday and actually at this point it’s looking like it’s going to be significantly sooner that that,” Boockvar told CNN’s Erin Burnett.
When asked if there is a priority to get the vote count done quick in larger population areas like Philadelphia, Boockvar said:
“As you know Pennsylvania is a commonwealth, right, and each county is running these elections and running them incredibly well. Philadelphia, like every other county in the state, has staffed up, has gotten equipment, it has best practices in place and are really working furiously to get these votes done.
So, obviously a county that has hundreds of thousands of ballots is going to have more staffing equipment than a county with a couple thousand ballots. But, I want every single voter, every single qualified voter’s voice to be heard and ballots to be counted, I don’t care where they live in the commonwealth.”
Watch the exchange: