President Donald Trump falsely claimed victory and made unfounded allegations of electoral fraud.
US presidential election remained too close to call as America woke up on Wednesday focussed on a handful of key states.
Joe Biden’s camp described the statement as “outrageous.”
Both men still have paths to the White House through winning 270 Electoral College votes.
The key states that helped Trump win in 2016, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, were still too close to call.
Democratic hopes of a landslide were dashed within hours of polls closing as Trump took the lead in Florida, Texas and North Carolina.
However some projected Biden had won Arizona away from the Republicans.
It is still unclear when a result will come, with some vote counting expected to last several more days.
(All times GMT)
15:55 – Donald Trump has taken a further swipe at vote counting, claiming there had been “surprise ballot dumps” in states where he had been leading Joe Biden.
“Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled,” Trump tweeted. “Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted.”
The comments follow Trump’s premature declaration as having won the election.
Biden’s team responded saying Trump faced an embarrassing defeat before the Supreme Court if he asks it to invalidate ballots counted after Election Day.
14:30 – In case you missed it, Arab News US correspondent Ray Hanania discussed on his radio show a short time ago the latest developments in the election with guests Michigan-based pollster Dennis Deno and political consultant Jeff Davis.
14:00 – Things still remain incredibly tight but latest numbers indicate a glimmer of hope for Joe Biden. The Democrat held slender leads in Michigan and Wisconsin – two states that helped Trump to the White House in 2016.
Trump still holds a lead in Pennsylvania – a state he would have to win to return to remain president.
09:00 – Joe Biden’s campaign team have responded to Trumps threat to go to the Supreme Court, stating that it has legal teams standing by if Trump follows through with his threat.
“If the president makes good on his threat to go to court to try to prevent the proper tabulation of votes, we have legal teams standing by ready to deploy to resist that effort,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement.
It’s not surprising that both sides are getting nervous – it’s still a tight race with no clear winner.
08:08 – Biden wins Arizona and its 11 electoral votes, flipping a critical battleground state that Trump won four years ago and that could help determine which candidate wins the presidency
07:21 – Donald Trump speaks at the White House.
Says he will be going to the US Supreme court to stop all vote counting.
Opens with a joke: “This is without question the latest press conference I have ever had.” Tells his supporters that millions voted for him tonight but a “very small minority” have tried to stop that.
“We won’t stand for that,” he pledges.
He goes on to remind supporters what he has won, claiming Georgia before it has been called. He also claims North Carolina.
“We have had such a big night, look at all the states we have won.”
Says Florida was a “tremendous victory.”
Declares the election a “fraud” and says “frankly we have won this election.”
06:39 – News wire Reuters says Donald Trump is expected to speak at 07:00 (GMT)
Meanwhile Twitter has flagged a tweet by Trump alleging an effort to steal the election was potentially misleading.
Facebook also flagged a Trump post which said: “We are up BIG.” The social media company said “final results may be different from initial vote counts as ballot counting will continue for days or weeks.”
06:15 – RESULT: Trump wins Texas and its 38 electoral votes despite a furious push by Democrats to turn America’s biggest red state blue and closing the gap even more between the two candidates.
06:00 – Trump has started to narrow the gap – he’s now at 212 votes compared to Biden’s 223 – it really is anyone’s race at the moment.
05:50 – During his speech Biden, briefly appearing in front of supporters in Delaware, urged patience, saying the election “ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”
“It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won this election,” Biden said. “That’s the decision of the American people.”
05:42 – Biden tells supporters “We feel good about where we are.” He concedes it could be a few days before the final result is called. “We could know the result by tomorrow morning, but it could take a while longer.” But he remains confident of a win: “Keep the faith guys,” he tells supporters.
05:40 – RESULT: Trump wins Florida – that’s an important one for the President
05:21 – RESULT: Ohio is called – Donald Trump wins with 53.5 percent of the vote.
04:20 – Several hundred Biden supporters had rallied near the White House early on Tuesday, but by nightfall the festive atmosphere had given way to nervous tension as people fixed their attention on giant screens showing disappointing early results…
03:50 – We have four more states with closed polls, and it’s four more electoral votes called by Associated Press – Biden winning California, Oregon and Washington; Trump claiming Idaho.
It means the provisional electoral vote running total stands at 209 for Biden and 112 for Trump. The battle for Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin looks like deciding this election.
03:10 – Live footage from the Black Lives Matter Plaza outside the White House…
02:40 – After very promising early results for Joe Biden in key states like Florida and Ohio, and in Republican heartlands of Texas and North Carolina, Donald Trump is fighting back and as of 02:40 GMT has retaken the lead in Florida, Ohio and Texas. North Carolina now in the balance…
02:05 – RESULTS: Various projections calling the states of New York and New Jersey for Biden…
02:00 – Polls are now closing in several states, including the important ones of Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin – the latter two are where Biden was winning in the pre-election polls. The key result of Arizona is expected relatively quickly….
01:30 – RESULT: In one of the least surprising results of the night, Donald Trump picks up another state – the staunchly Republican Arkansas.
01:10 – RESULTS: Polls are closing thick and fast across the country now, and Associated Press has just called several states – seven for Biden and four for Trump.
BIDEN: Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware and Connecticut.
TRUMP: Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.
01:00 – RESULT: Trump has won the state of South Carolina, according to Associated Press projections, with its 9 electoral votes.
Trump won the state in 2016, and South Carolina has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976.
00:40 – RESULT: Biden hits back with a projected win in Virginia, with Associated Press giving the 13 electorial votes to the Democratic candidate.
00:35 – RESULT: In a heavily expected win, Trump claims West Virginia, giving the him another five electoral votes.
00:25 – Polls have now closed in the crucial battleground states of North Carolina and Ohio, both of which Donald Trump won in 2016, but Biden’s has been playing up his chances of winning North Carolina today.
00:05 – RESULT: Various outlets project Trump wins Indiana and Kentucky – 11 and 8 electoral votes respectively.
Meanwhile, Associated Press has projected a win in Vermont for Biden, worth 3 electoral votes.
23:55 – We’re minutes away from the polls closing in the key battleground states in 2020’s election of Florida and Georgia. We’ll keep you updated as soon as results start to come in.
23:30 – Hundreds of Biden supporters rallied at the White House Tuesday evening, fueling a festive atmosphere with blasting music and dancing activists who voiced faith Democrats could win back the presidency.
The area, recently named Black Lives Matter (BLM) Plaza by the mayor of Washington, was the focal point of opposition to President Donald Trump during racial justice protests over summer.
23:10 – RESULT: The first polls have now closed, in parts of Kentucky and the home state of incumbent Vice President Mike Pence Indiana.
Trump is likely to win both states, which traditionally vote Republican. And in the first result of the night, he wins 68% of the vote in Indiana’s Greene County.
The President’s going to be watching returns tonight with senior aides, with members of the first family from the White House, from the East Wing. He’s excited. We’ve put in the work, we’ve not taken any vote for granted, he’s been out on the trail meeting with voters, doing as many as five events a day, and we’re ready to see these results.
White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah
22:40 – A third of voters listed the economy as the issue that mattered to them most, according to an Edison Research exit poll.
Two out of 10 voters said COVID-19, which has infected more than 9.4 million people in the US this year and killed more than 230,000, was the most important issue to them.
Racial inequality was also cited by 20 percent of voters, while other respondents cited crime and safety and healthcare policy.
Half the voters said it was more important to contain the coronavirus even if it hurts the economy, according to the exit poll.
22:10 – With the polls in the final few hours before closing, Arab News readers took part in a poll of their own and just over half of you said Donald Trump would win re-election to the White House. Read our coverage of the election so far here.
21:55 – In this election, it looks likely that the US is set for the highest voter turnout for more than a century. See more images of the day’s polling here.
21:45 – Biden says he “feels good” about the prospects of re-establishing a “Blue Wall,” adding that while he remains “hopeful” he is superstitious about making any predictions.
We’ll see. If there’s something to talk about tonight, I’ll talk about it – if not, I’ll wait till the votes are counted. There’s so much in play right now, the idea that I’m in play in Texas, Georgia, Florida – I mean, come on.
21:40 – We have seen some heated exchanges between Biden and Trump supporters across the US throughout the day, but despite the partisan nature of the vote the vast majority of gatherings have remained passionate buit peaceful.
21:25 – The Secretary of State for Michigan Jocelyn Benson has spoken to CNN and said the state’s count will be expected sooner than expected — likely to be reported soon after the polls have closed.
“What we’ve seen is such high efficiency and so little problems that I now think we’ll clearly get results much sooner. We anticipate a mix of both in-person voting results and absentee voting results will be part of the results, the first results, you hear out of Michigan.”
21:10 – Joe Biden, still out campaigning in the final few hours before the polls close, was in his hometown state of Philadelphia where he received a rapturous welcome. He had a very familiar message — no red or blue states, just the United States — for the crowds who were chanting “Joe, Joe, Joe.”
21:00 – Reports coming in that the FBI is investigating alleged “robocalls” urging voters to “stay at home to stay safe,” telling some voters they will be allowed to vote tomorrow if queues at polling stations are too long — despite voting ending on Tuesday evening.
A Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency official said: “There were some robocalls that were being reported … robocalls happen every election. We are aware of that. Those calls, the FBI is investigating.
“Robocalls of this nature happen every election and so I think what would be most helpful is repeating that message to the American public that… they happen every election cycle. Be mindful of people that are trying to intimidate you, undermine your confidence, but keep calm, vote on.”
When asked in which states the calls were being received, and who might be behind them, the CISA official said the FBI was “tracking down the issue.”
The fear to rioting and violence after today’s voting really seems to be dominating a lot of coverage of the election.
Our correspondents Ray Hanania and Ephrem Kossaify have been reporting today on those concerns and how Americans have been preparing for unrest.
Deputy US marshals stand ready to respond to violent acts of civil disobedience in any location in the nation.
US Marshals Service
Earlier we mentioned the significance of the Arab American vote, but Arab News has also taken a deep dive into how Arabs outside of the US view the election.
We commissioned a YouGov poll spanning 18 Middle East countries to canvas opinion on the presidential race. The findings were both detailed and at times surprising.
While most said Biden would be better for the region than Trump, they said Biden, who served as vice president to Barack Obama until 2017, should shed the Obama policies towards the Middle East. Obama is often criticized for being too soft on Iran.
READ MORE: Full coverage of the YouGov poll What do Arabs want
Arabs overwhelmingly hope Biden parts ways with Obama legacy: poll
20.00 – Joe Biden addressed supporters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, praising the six of the turnout. He also sent some final fiery jabs in Trump’s direction.
He said the president thinks he can decide who gets to vote. “Well, guess what? The people who are going to decide who gets to be president! Just have to remember who we are, dammit. This is the United States of America!,” he said.
We’re going to have more people vote this year than anytime in American history
19:40 – Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris spoke as she arrived in Detroit, addressing fears of post-election unrest that have overshadowed voting. The 56-year-old vice-presidential nominee will be watched closely whatever the outcome of the election. Many analysts say her relative youth compared with the 77-year-old Biden means it is likely that a Democratic win could eventually see her hold the presidency.
“Have faith in the American people. I do strongly believe that we – whoever we vote for – will defend the integrity of our democracy and the peaceful transfer of power. And that there are certain lines that no matter who you vote for, they won’t cross.”
19:10 – How will Arab Americans vote? This demographic may not pack the voting power of the black and hispanic communities, but they are heavily engaged in US politics. According to a recent story by Arab News correspondent Ray Hanania Arab American voters support both the conservatism of Republicans and the social equity policies of the Democrats.
Biden attempted to energize this Arab American voters with a six-page Plan for Partnership calling for the support and engagement of the community.
READ MORE: Arab American voter activism rallies around Nov. 3 election
18:40 – Donald Trump visited his campaign headquarters in Virginia where he was cheered by dozens of workers there. He said his campaign was doing well in Florida, Arizona and Texas and he mentioned the importance of winning Pennsylvania. The state is seen as key for Trump to win of he is to stay in the White House.
“I think we’re going to have a great night, but it’s politics and it’s elections and you never know.”
18:10 – First Lady Melania Trump cast her vote in Palm Beach, Florida, close to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Her husband voted in person last month during early voting.
Melania Trump has appeared only a handful of times on the campaign trail and laid low for several weeks after she contracted COVID-19, along with her husband, in October.
On Monday she gave a rare speech in which she blasted Joe Biden over law and order.
‘When rioters and looters were burning our cities and wrecking small businesses that belong to hard working families and bring jobs to our communities, where were the Democrats?’
18:00 – While all eyes are on the intense battle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, another key battlefield is the race to control the US Senate. If Democrats can win at least six Republican-held Senate seats, they would take control of the Senate – and gain the upper hand in key votes that can block or reverse many presidential actions and override a presidential veto.
Arab News US correspondent Ray Hanania has written more here on this fascinating battle.
17:35 – Under the US voting system, either Donald Trump or Joe Biden needs to reach 270 of the total 538 Electoral College votes to win. Each state is assigned a certain number of “electors” depending the number of congressional districts. In all but two states, the winner of the popular vote takes all the Electoral College votes.
This explains why across the whole of the US in 2016, Hillary Clinton won more than almost 3 million more votes from individuals than Trump. But she lost the election because Trump managed to win more electoral college votes.
As the results start to come in later today you can keep track of the numbers on our interactive widget available here on our Facebook page or on our main US election page www.arabnews.com/us2020election.
17:00 – Security and fear of violence and rioting have become a major concern as the election reaches its climax. In cities across the US, shops and businesses have boarded up their windows and their have been reports of an increase in gun purchases.
The elections take place against a backdrop of unrest in the US after the killing by police of unarmed black man George Floyd.
Arab News correspondent Ephrem Kossaify reported today from Manhattan where stores, which were vandalised earlier in the year, were preparating for possible rioting of looting.
On Monday, Arab News reported on similar measures being taken in Los Angeles where upmarket shops along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills were also boarding up.
16:30 – Earlier, the two candidates made their final appearances as voting got under way.
Donald Trump appeared on “Fox & Friends,” where he predicted he will win by a larger electoral margin than he did in 2016. Trump said he believes the large crowds at his final rallies are the “ultimate poll.”
Joe Biden started the day visiting a church in Delaware where his late son Beau Biden is buried. He then traveled to his childhood home in Scranton in the swing state of Pennsylvania. “It’s good to be home!” he told supporters.
16:05 – With so many people casting their ballots by post it was unclear how big the queues at polling stations will be. However, with a large turnout expected across the board, many polling stations were busy across the country where they had opened.
15:50 – Arab News correspondent Ephrem Kossaify joined voters at the Queen of Angels Parish Center in New York, which has been converted into a polling station.
Many people had queued for several hours in the morning to vote.
15:30 – Voting has been under way for several hours now across the eastern seaboard of the United States. Wearing masks, voters arrived at polling stations as the day finally arrived after a long and bitter campaign.
Most polls open at 6 a.m. local time with the latest staying open until 9 p.m.