Nation Braces for a Long Wait, With Key States Undecided

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A North Dakota man who died from the coronavirus last month won a seat in the state legislature, according to results.


David Andahl, a 55-year-old cattle rancher, died last month, after being hospitalized with the coronavirus, the Bismarck Tribune reported. Mr. Andahl’s mother, Pat Andahl, told the newspaper that her son, a Republican who in June defeated a longtime incumbent in the primary vote, had been looking forward to joining the state legislature.

“He had a lot of feelings for his county and his country and wanting to make things better, and his heart was in farming,” Ms. Andahl told the Tribune. “He wanted things better for farmers and the coal industry.”

Mr. Andahl, who won 36 percent of the vote, and Dave Nehring, who won 41 percent of votes, were elected to represent North Dakota’s eighth state house district.

Because mail-in voting began in the state on Sept. 18, Mr. Andahl’s name could not be removed from the ballot after his death, North Dakota’s secretary of state, Alvin Jaeger, said.

Mr. Jaeger, who has held his position since 1993, said he did not recall any other time that a candidate in North Dakota had died while balloting was underway.

On Wednesday, Gov. Doug Burgum said that he had appointed Wade Boeshans, the president and general manager of BNI Energy, to fill the seat won by Mr. Andahl.

The move came as a surprise to some officials. In mid-October, North Dakota’s attorney general, Wayne Stenehjem, said that Mr. Andahl’s seat, if he were elected, should be filled the same way as a vacancy following the retirement or death of lawmaker. In those cases, the district committee of the political party of the deceased person holds a meeting within 21 days of the vacancy and appoints someone to fill it.

But Mr. Burgum, a Republican, said that he believed only he had the power to fill the empty seat.

“After extensive research, it became clear that the only legal and constitutionally viable way to fill the District 8 seat is through gubernatorial appointment,” he said in a statement.

Soon after, Mr. Stenehjem, also a Republican, released a statement saying the governor’s appointment was improper.

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In shot at Trump, Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign minister, said it would be unwise to claim victory before all votes counted. His U.K. counterpart, Dominic Raab, said the vote would provide a “definitive result.”

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Lisa Lerer in Orlando, Fla.

Biden pulled ahead in Michigan, as another batch of votes rolled in from Wayne County, where Detroit is located. That heavily Democratic area is currently reporting about 70% of returns.

See Michigan results

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Biden has won Pennsylvania absentee ballots by an overwhelming margin so far. If he carried the remaining absentee ballots by a similar margin, he would win the state.

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Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

The 2020 election brought victory to all four congresswomen often called “the Squad” — Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, underscoring their popularity among their constituents.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who sailed to victory over a first-time Republican challenger, said in a tweet that fighting for working-class families in Congress had been the “greatest honor, privilege & responsibility” of her life. Ms. Pressley posted an uplifting message to her constituents: “I believe in the power of us. And we’re just getting started.”

The foursome, who have collective achieved a level of political celebrity, have often found themselves in the spotlight since Democrats swept to power in the House. President Trump told the group of four minority congresswomen to “go back” to the countries they came from in 2019.

But despite their own victories, at least two of the four congresswomen had their eyes fixed on the undecided presidential election.

“Count every ballot,” Ms. Tlaib said in a Twitter post.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez took her comments a step further, slamming President Trump’s premature assertion that he had won the election as “illegitimate, dangerous and authoritarian.”

Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Time

MADISON, Wis. — Joseph R. Biden Jr. pulled into a narrow lead in Wisconsin early Wednesday after absentee ballots were counted from the cities of Milwaukee and Green Bay.

Mr. Biden’s lead in the state is about 11,000 votes statewide out of more than three million cast — though absentee ballots remain to be counted and reported from Kenosha, a Democratic city with an absentee electorate expected to skew Democratic.

Green Bay’s counting had been delayed by slow ballot-counting machines, and one machine ran out of ink early Wednesday, further delaying the process until more could be brought from City Hall.

Credit…Bridget Bennett for The New York Times

Nevada, where Joseph R. Biden Jr. held a narrow lead early Wednesday, will not announce any new updates on election results until 9 a.m. Pacific time on Thursday, state election officials said.

So far, all in-person votes and all mail-in ballots through Nov. 2 have been counted, the election division of the secretary of state’s office said in a tweet on Wednesday morning. Mail-in ballots received on Election Day, mail-in ballots received over the next week and provisional ballots still need to be counted.

“Ballots outstanding is difficult to estimate in Nevada because every voter was sent a mail ballot,” the election division wrote. “Obviously, not all will vote.”

As of the most recent update on Wednesday, Mr. Biden held a narrow lead in the state, one of the most contested in the presidential race. It has been shading blue in recent elections as its electorate becomes more diverse, but President Trump has fought hard to flip the state. Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016 by just over 2 percentage points, 10 points less than Barack Obama’s margin of victory in the state in 2008.

Democrats hope that their efforts in recent years to better reach Latino voters in the state will help them win there again. But the coronavirus pandemic has hammered Nevada’s economy, crippled its tourism industry and sent its unemployment rate soaring, and some Democratic strategists worry that would-be Democratic voters will be more focused on immediate concerns, like feeding their families, than voting.

Isabella Grullón Paz and Sydney Ember contributed reporting.

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Trump leads by nearly 700,000 votes in Pennsylvania. Biden’s chances there depend on whether he can win a large percentage of more than 1.4 million uncounted absentee ballots.

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Credit…Todd Heisler/The New York Times

As of 6 a.m. 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.

The eight states are Alaska (3 electoral votes), Arizona (11), Georgia (16), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), North Carolina (15), Pennsylvania (20), Wisconsin (10) and Maine’s Second Congressional District (1).

Joseph R. Biden Jr. has 227 confirmed electoral votes and would need 43 more to win. President 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 Senator 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.




Election 2020: The Votes Are In. Now Comes the Wait.

After a smooth and largely uneventful Election Day, Americans are now waiting for results in key states. Both major-party presidential candidates addressed supporters overnight and foreshadowed a wait — and, potentially, a fight.

[cheering] [truck honking] [cars honking] “Move back! Move back!” “… can’t stop the revolution!” “You can’t stop the revolution!” [cars honking] “We knew this was going to go long. But look, we feel good about where we are. [cheering] We really do. [cheering and cars honking] I’m here to tell you tonight we believe we’re on track to win this election.” “Yes.” [cheering and cars honking] “We knew because of the unprecedented early vote and the mail-in vote that it’s going to take a while. We’re going to have to be patient until we — the hard work of tallying the votes is finished. And it ain’t over till every vote is counted.” [cheering] “Thank you. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list, OK? [clapping] It’s, it’s a very sad — it’s a very sad moment. To me, this is a very sad moment. And we will win this.” “My fellow Kentuckians, you’ve given me the honor of a lifetime. I’ll always be grateful.” “And just as I have for the last six years, I will spend the next six years working every single day to live up to the honor that you have given me as your United States senator.” “It’s time to put the poisonous politics of this era behind us and come together to move forward.” “Here’s the message I got: People like what I’m doing, and I’m going to keep doing it.” [cheering] [laughs] “I have — came down so early that I was the first person in line to vote.” “I know people who’ve passed away from the virus. We need to get our arms around it, get a vaccine.” “It’s Election Day, so I wanted to come here to vote today, on Election Day.” [cheering] “It’s good to be home.” [cheering] [cars honking] “I feel very good. After doing that many rallies, the voice gets a little bit choppy, I think. [crowd laughs] God did not design — design it for that much, but it, you know, look, we did a lot of them.” [applause] “It’s going to be a big red wave coming in today. Hopefully, Donald Trump wins.” “I’m 18 and I finally voted for the first time, so —” “Today is a day that many of us have been waiting for for four years. Who would have known we were this patient?” [cheering] “I really feel that this election is very important, very vital to the country.”

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After a smooth and largely uneventful Election Day, Americans are now waiting for results in key states. Both major-party presidential candidates addressed supporters overnight and foreshadowed a wait — and, potentially, a fight.CreditCredit…Brittany Greeson for The New York Times

Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

For Joseph R. Biden Jr., it has always been about Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. From the start of his presidential campaign until the final day of the race, Mr. Biden maintained his bet that winning the White House would come down to rebuilding the Democrats’ once-solid “blue wall” in those three states that crumbled in 2016.

As of early Wednesday, Mr. Biden had the edge in Arizona and he remained competitive in Georgia. But even if he wins both of those states, he would still need to prevail in at least one of the blue-wall states.

Final returns in all three states are expected to take days, and President Trump tried early Wednesday to set the narrative that Democrats were trying to “steal the election” — a groundless assertion. But the Biden camp wasn’t about to take the bait.

“We believe that we are well-positioned in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin,” Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, said on Monday in a briefing about election night. “We know those states in particular are coming in later, but we think we’re going to win those states. That is our clearest path to victory.”

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Alicia Parlapiano in Washington

Nevada’s election division announced that no more results will be given until noon Eastern on Thursday. Remaining votes include mail ballots received on Election Day.

See Nevada results

Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s team on Wednesday described as “outrageous” President Trump’s stated desire to stop the counting of votes before several key states had delivered final results.

“It is a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens,” Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, said in a statement. She added that the president’s comments were “unprecedented” because never before had a commander in chief sought to strip Americans of their voice in an election.

In a speech early Wednesday, Mr. Trump asserted without evidence that the election was being taken from him and that he wanted to put the outcome in the hands of the Supreme Court. He also falsely said that he had already won the election, claiming victory in states like North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan that are still counting votes. Ms. O’Malley Dillon said the count would continue and that if Mr. Trump made good on his threat to go to court, the Biden campaign had legal teams on standby.

“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will stand for the right of all Americans to have their votes counted — no matter who they voted for,” she said. “And we remain confident that when that process is completed, Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States.”

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Reid Epstein in Madison, Wis.

The absentee ballot results in Green Bay, Wis., are delayed because one of the vote-counting machines ran out of ink. An elections official had to return to City Hall to get more.

See Wisconsin results

Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

In his remarks early Wednesday, President Trump asserted without evidence that the election was being taken from him and said he would go to the Supreme Court, but it was unclear what sort of Supreme Court challenge he had in mind.

“We want all voting to stop,” said Mr. Trump, who has argued for weeks that every ballot should be counted by midnight on election night, even though that is not possible.

There is no legal argument to compel states to stop counting ballots that were properly filled out and submitted on time. Because of the high volume of mail-in ballots this year, the counting of votes may not be completed for several days, including in some battleground states. Lawyers with both parties had been expecting a possible move by the Trump campaign or allied Republicans to renew a bid to get the Supreme Court to stay a decision by Pennsylvania’s high court to allow election workers to count all ballots postmarked on Nov. 3 or earlier for three days after Election Day. That had not happened as of Tuesday night.

Republicans had also filed suits in state and federal court on Tuesday challenging Pennsylvania election officials’ move to allow counties to contact voters whose mail-in ballots were rejected because of mistakes to give them the opportunity to fix those ballots or cast provisional, replacement ballots. State and federal judges were scheduled to hear arguments on Wednesday, as well as complaints from Mr. Trump’s campaign that its elections observers were not being given enough access to the counting process for potential challenges to Democratic votes.

As of early Wednesday, it was unknown how many such votes may have been cast, and whether it could be significant enough to affect the outcome in Pennsylvania.

But Democrats were prepared for other legal maneuvers from Republicans. Mr. Trump’s campaign has planned its legal strategy for months, and it was always devised to address the very scenario that emerged overnight Tuesday — one in which election night returns showed Mr. Trump winning in states in which mail ballots threatened to tip the balance to Joseph R. Biden Jr.

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Reid Epstein in Madison, Wis.

After the city of Milwaukee reported its 169,000 absentee and early votes, Joe Biden pulled to a narrow lead in Wisconsin. Green Bay’s early votes remain outstanding.

See Wisconsin results

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I don’t think people have fully internalized how Democratic these mail and absentee ballots will be in MI/PA/WI. It’s close, but these ballots will be overwhelmingly blue.

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This is vaguely reminiscent of 11 p.m. in 2016 … but in reverse (and in slow motion): Biden’s the narrow favorite in PA, WI, MI, AZ, NV, GA, and it could take a while.

Credit…Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Television news networks spent a demanding election night reporting state-by-state results with prudence and context.

Then President Trump got involved.

In an appearance at the White House early Wednesday, Mr. Trump claimed — without evidence — that the election was being taken from him by “a very sad group of people.” The baseless remarks had anchors worked up at major networks, some of which cut away from his speech before he was finished.

“This is an extremely flammable situation, and the president just threw a match on it,” the anchor Chris Wallace told viewers on Fox News.

Referring to Mr. Trump’s false claims that he had won states like Georgia and North Carolina, neither of which had finished counting votes, Mr. Wallace said: “He hasn’t won these states. Nobody is saying he’s won the states. The states haven’t said that he’s won.”

Every major network carried Mr. Trump’s remarks live around 2:30 a.m. Eastern time. NBC and MSNBC did not wait for him to conclude before breaking in.

“We are reluctant to step in, but duty-bound to point out that when he says, ‘We did win this election, we’ve already won,’ that is not based in the facts at all,” Brian Williams said on MSNBC.

CBS aired Mr. Trump’s appearance with a graphic on the screen declaring: “CBS NEWS IS NOT PROJECTING A WINNER IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE.” The anchor Norah O’Donnell later told viewers that Mr. Trump was “castrating the facts” with his unfounded claims.

Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor, said on ABC: “It’s a bad strategic decision. It’s a bad political decision.”

Credit…Lukas Coch/EPA, via Shutterstock

In Australia and Indonesia, crowds gathered around televisions in restaurants and cafes, trying to get a glimpse of American states turning red or blue. In Iran, the hashtag #Elections_America was trending on Persian Twitter, while in Japan, Fuji Television spent a good portion of Wednesday morning covering the election with graphics that mixed old-school cardboard cutouts with video-game-like avatars.

All over the world, as results trickled in across the American electoral map, it made for confounding, fascinating must-watch drama. The stakes are global, and so was the audience, glued to the sort of blanket news coverage most often reserved for elections closer to home.

“It’s kind of like the World Cup finals,” said Moch Faisal Karim, an international relations professor at Binus University in Indonesia.

The intense worldwide interest reflects the still-considerable power of America and the unpredictability that has shaped the last four years. President Trump has been a global disrupter in chief, seeking to redefine relations with American allies in Europe and Asia, working to blunt the rise of China and cozying up to autocrats in North Korea and Russia.

After surprise upon surprise during his first term, much of the world is desperate to know if the Trump era will continue, or if the United States will shift back toward the more traditional course that Joseph R. Biden Jr. has promised.

But while many viewers would have liked nothing more than a quick resolution, there instead was uncertainty and angst.

Credit…Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

HARLINGEN, Texas — The empty chairs and uneaten red-white-and-blue cupcakes at the barbecue restaurant where Republicans in Cameron County, Texas, hosted their poll watching party may have reflected the devastation that the coronavirus has wrought in this region — one of the worst-hit in the nation — but not President Trump’s performance on Tuesday night.

In this reliably left-leaning slice of South Texas, nestled against the border with Mexico, Mr. Trump saw far more support than he did in 2016, when he garnered only 18 to 32 percent of the vote in the four counties that make up the Rio Grande Valley.

As results rolled in after midnight on Wednesday, it appeared that support for Mr. Trump’s re-election had grown by as much as 12 percentage points in some areas. And in a conservative state where Democrats have made steady gains, South Texas Republicans were hoping to take their community in the opposite direction — and having some success.

“More people are waking up,” said Kelly Gonzalez, who attended the Republicans’ party with her husband, Marco Cantú, her 1-year-old daughter, Hevyn, and her 7-year-old son, Noah. All were clad in Trump gear from head to toe.

“Everyone here is born and raised a Democrat,” Ms. Gonzalez said. But her opinion of liberals — particularly young ones — had changed in the past four years. “It’s like, ‘Give me this, give me that,’ and they don’t want to work for it.”

The support that the president saw in the Rio Grande Valley mirrored his performance among Latinos elsewhere, though the group is still only a minority of voters.

“We’ve seen the Latinos come out in a very strong way,” said Minerva Simpson, a district leader for the Texas Federation for Republican Women, one of the hosts of the party. “I’ve never seen a movement like that in my culture, and it’s all for Trump.”

“We were silent,” she added, “and now nobody’s being silent.”

Some attendees pointed to the response of the Democratic nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr., to rioting and looting during nationwide protests this year, or his support of transgender rights, as reasons they could not support him.

They also said they liked President Trump’s focus on business, and on providing people with equal opportunities for advancement. Many said they supported a moderate immigration platform — one that included a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and either citizenship or legal permanent-resident status for longtime undocumented immigrants.

But they said they felt some security on the border, near where they live, was in order. Janie Majors, a retired administrative assistant, said she became a Republican in her 20s after researching the party, rather than going along with what she had been taught.

“That’s how I broke free,” she said.




‘Let’s Get to Work,’ Mark Kelly Says

Mr. Kelly, an astronaut and retired Navy, captain defeated Senator Martha McSally, Republican of Arizona, in a special election.

Now, some of you watching tonight did not vote for me. And that’s OK. I’m going to be your senator, too, because our state doesn’t need a Democrat senator or a Republican senator — we need an Arizona senator, a senator like John McCain, who I looked up to as a young Navy pilot. Because this mission does not end when the last vote is counted. It is only the beginning. Now, when I was at NASA, we were trained for two years for a space shuttle mission, two years of being in the space shuttle simulator and flying and training and two years of focusing on the details. Two years before we were on the launch pad, ready to go. And then the work started. Now the work starts. And we desperately need Washington to work for Arizona. There is nothing, nothing that we cannot achieve if we set our minds to it and work together — so let’s get to work, Arizona, and let’s do it together. Thank you very much, everybody.

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Mr. Kelly, an astronaut and retired Navy, captain defeated Senator Martha McSally, Republican of Arizona, in a special election.CreditCredit…Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

Mark Kelly, an astronaut and retired Navy captain, defeated Senator Martha McSally, Republican of Arizona, on Tuesday, as voters rejected Ms. McSally’s bid for a Senate seat in what has been a traditionally conservative state for the second consecutive election cycle.

Democrats now have a net gain of one additional Senate seat, having flipped Colorado but lost Alabama to Republicans. The party still has a path to a majority in the chamber, but it has narrowed considerably over the course of election night.

Mr. Kelly, who built a national profile as a gun safety advocate after the shooting of his wife, former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, ran as a pragmatic outsider. At the center of his campaign was the bet that he could appeal to voters in the rapidly changing state — especially the crucial voting blocs Ms. McSally had alienated, including women, younger voters and Latinos, who have become increasingly powerful parts of the Arizona electorate in recent years.

Ms. McSally, who lost her first bid for the Senate in 2018, had been appointed to the seat that had been held by Senator John McCain, who had died that year. But she tied herself directly to President Trump and abandoned the centrist reputation she had carefully built as a congresswoman, leaving voters to once again reject her political ambitions.

Because he won a special election, Mr. Kelly could be sworn in as early as Nov. 30. State election law stipulates a final canvass of the balloting be completed by the end of November, barring legal challenges. The McSally campaign did not concede defeat, and instead issued a statement earlier in the evening that charged Fox News was “irresponsible” for calling the race.

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Alicia Parlapiano in Washington

Results are coming in from Alaska, but the only votes reported will be from in-person early voting and Election Day voting. No mail ballots will be counted for about a week.

See Alaska results

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Michael Grynbaum in New York

Chris Christie, who worked with Trump on debate prep, criticized the president’s White House speech on ABC: “It’s a bad strategic decision. It’s a bad political decision.”

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Michael Grynbaum in New York

Chris Wallace, on Fox News, reacted to Trump’s speech by saying: “This is an extremely flammable situation and the president just threw a match into it. He hasn’t won these states.”

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Emily Cochrane in Bangor, Maine

Steve Bullock conceded the Montana Senate race to Senator Steve Daines. “I am sufficiently idealistic enough to believe that Washington could work a lot better,” Bullock said.

See Montana results

Credit…Nitashia Johnson for The New York Times

Despite spending millions of dollars in Texas and fashioning it as the center of their offensive campaign to expand their majority, Democrats failed to make significant gains in the state.

In multiple districts where Democrats had hoped to flip a seat and make inroads toward the goal of making Texas more competitive, Republican incumbents and candidates in open seats were able to beat back their challengers. Most House Democrats in the state, however, were able to hold on to their seats.

Senator John Cornyn, one of the state’s two Republican senators, easily defeated M.J. Hegar, a former Air Force pilot, despite Democrats’ pouring money into the race and singling it out as a possible target for regaining the Senate majority.

Representative Chip Roy, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, successfully held off a challenge from Wendy Davis, a Democrat who gained national attention in 2013 for filibustering an anti-abortion bill and later ran for governor.

In the Houston suburbs, where Representative Pete Olson’s retirement led to a competitive race, Sheriff Troy Nehls of Fort Bend County, a Republican, defeated Sri Preston Kulkarni, who narrowly lost to Mr. Olson in 2018.

It was still possible for one Democrat to pick up a seat in the state early Wednesday: Candace Valenzuela, a Democratic school board member who would be the first Afro-Latina member of Congress, is running in the 24th Congressional District.

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