President Trump continues to mount legal challenges in battleground states even as his campaign loses court rulings in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan. Joe Biden’s lead in Arizona has narrowed but he appears to be closing in on victory.
As Election Day becomes election week in the US, exhausted but determined teams of officials press on to count all ballots in battleground states as Trump and Biden camps prepare for a battle over the final result.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gained more ground on President Donald Trump in the battleground states of Georgia and Pennsylvania on Friday, edging closer to the White House hours after Trump claimed the election was being “stolen” from him without offering any proof.
Biden had a 253 to 214 lead in the state-by-state Electoral College vote that determines the winner, according to most major television networks, and was inching toward securing the 270 votes needed to win the state-by-state electoral college in four undecided swing states. AP projected 264 for Biden, calling Arizona for the former vice president, but Trump was narrowing the margin in the state.
Biden, 77, would become the next president by winning Pennsylvania, or by winning two out of the trio of Georgia, Nevada and Arizona. Trump’s likeliest path appeared narrower – he needed to hang onto both Pennsylvania and Georgia and also to overtake Biden in either Nevada or Arizona.
In Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, Biden cut Trump’s lead to just over 18,000 by the early hours of Friday.
Trump’s deficit in Georgia, which has 16 electoral votes, shrunk to about 460.
Those numbers were expected to continue to move in Biden’s favour, with many of the outstanding ballots from areas that typically vote Democratic, including the cities of Philadelphia and Atlanta.
Biden, meanwhile, saw his lead in Arizona shrink to around 47,000 by early on Friday; he was still ahead in Nevada by only 12,000 votes. Nevada will post more results after 1700 GMT.
Philadelphia police said on Friday they are investigating an alleged plot to attack the city’s Pennsylvania Convention Center, where votes from the hotly contested presidential election are being counted.
Local police received a tip about a Hummer with armed people driving up from Virginia with plans to attack the convention centre, a police representative said.
Police took at least one man into custody and seized a weapon as well as the Hummer about which they had received a tip. No injuries were reported and no further details about the alleged plot were disclosed.
The US Postal Service (USPS) has said about 1,700 ballots had been identified in Pennsylvania at processing facilities during two sweeps on Thursday and were in the process of being delivered to election officials.
In a court filing early on Friday, USPS said about 1,070 ballots, had been found at the USPS Philadelphia Processing and Distribution Center.
About 300 were found at the Pittsburgh processing centre, 266 at a Lehigh Valley facility and others found at other Pennsylvania processing centres.
Ballots must be received by Friday evening in Pennsylvania in order to be counted. The vote for the US president remains extremely close and Pennsylvania is one of the states that remains undecided.
ABC, CBS and NBC all cut away from President Donald Trump on Thursday as he spoke from the White House to make an unfounded accusation that the presidential election was being stolen from him.
Network personalities had sharply criticized Trump after his angry, middle-of-the-night speech following Election Day but aired that talk in full. Trump was more subdued Thursday, yet offered a litany of complaints about “suppression” polls, mail-in voting and fraud that he never specified.