Election results updates: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris speak to nation after election win
Joe Biden won key several battleground states like Michigan and Wisconsin. USA TODAY
USA TODAY'S coverage of the 2020 election continues this weekend as Joe Biden wins a bitterly fought presidential election and as states work to finish counting their remaining ballots.
Be sure to refresh this page often to get the latest information on how things are going.
USA TODAY will have live election results from across the country.
President-elect Joe Biden delivered a celebratory message but also a message of healing for the nation in his first remarks Saturday following a bitter and divisive battle for the presidency.
“America has always been shaped by inflections points, by moments in time we’ve made hard decisions about who we are what we want to be,” Biden said at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, where the horns from hundreds of cars and cheers could be heard between his words. “Folks, we stand at an inflection point.”
Biden’s remarks came as President Donald Trump continues to contest the results of the cliffhanger election, arguing without evidence that hundreds of thousands of votes are in question. His address, in addition to setting the tone for a Biden transition and presidency, were a symbol that the Democrat was working to move the nation past the contentious election.
The former vice president sought to drive that message home from the very beginning of his remarks – saying voters had delivered a “clear victory, a convincing victory.”
“Folks, the people of this nation have spoken,” he said.
Reciting one of his slogans from the campaign trail, Biden said he ran for president for all Americans, not just Democrats.
“For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment,” Biden said. “I've lost a couple of times myself. But now let's give each other a chance. It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again."
Biden was introduced by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, wearing all white in nod to the suffragist movement. The first woman vice president, Harris said she wouldn’t be the last.
“Every little girl that’s watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities,” she said.
A poll worker is forced into “hiding” and an issue “involving reporting” have turned the Georgia ballot-counting in Fulton County on its head as the state barrels ahead with its election process in the wake of President-elect Joe Biden’s win over Donald Trump.
Fulton County was down to counting provisional and military ballots going into Saturday. By Saturday night, with new results coming in from DeKalb County and other locations, Biden’s statewide lead had expanded to more than 9,100 votes.
But the state pressed pause when an issue in Fulton County from Friday emerged. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger did not offer specifics, but tweeted Saturday that they are returning to the election site. He wrote:
“Fulton has discovered an issue involving reporting from their work on Fri. Officials are at State Farm Arena to rescan that work. I have a monitor & investigators onsite. Also sent Dep. SOS as well to oversee the process to make sure to secure the vote and protect all legal votes.”
Biden has collected 72.6% of the votes in Fulton County as of Saturday.
– Savannah Morning News
President Donald Trump's campaign is suing Arizona elections officials, alleging Maricopa County poll workers "incorrectly rejected" votes cast in person on Election Day.
The suit — filed along with the Republican National Committee and the Arizona GOP — contends poll workers deviated from procedures meant to ensure voters who make mistakes on their ballots aren't disenfranchised, possibly affecting final vote counts.
It calls for officials to identify and reinspect Election Day ballots from Maricopa County that contain apparent "irregularities in connection with the voter’s selection of a candidate."
Maricopa County tabulation machines are programmed to alert voters when their ballots contain such irregularities — stray markings, for instance, or an "overvote," the marking of more options than is allowed in a particular race. Whenever this happens, a screen pops up detailing the problem and the machine's green "Cast" and red "Return" buttons light up.
The voter then has a choice: “Spoil” the ballot and fill out a new one, or have the machine proceed with the existing ballot after seeing a warning that indicates contests containing problems such as overvotes won't be counted.
A training video for Arizona poll workers emphasizes: "Only voters will press these 'Cast' and 'Return' buttons.”
The lawsuit, however, alleges that poll workers disregarded those instructions by "pressing, or inducing voters to press, the so-called 'green button' on tabulation devices when confronted with alerts signaling apparent defects or irregularities."
Three days before the lawsuit was filed, though, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office — headed by Republican Allister Adel — had repeatedly disputed the idea that any ballots were rejected without voters having a say.
In cases of irregularities, it said in a letter to the Attorney General's Office on Thursday, voters were provided the opportunity to spoil damaged ballots and cast new ones. And "whether voters do so or not" was "entirely up to them."
Arizona and Maricopa County elections officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
– The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com
Biden, who shares a close relationship with his grandchildren, reportedly learned the news that he had been named president-elect from them on Saturday.
According to NBC and CNN, Biden and his wife, Jill, were on their patio enjoying the weather when his grandchildren rushed to share the news, saying: “Pop, Pop! We won!”
The president-elect’s granddaughter, Naomi Biden, shared a photo of the celebration on Twitter:
– Savannah Behrmann
After spending much of the afternoon at his golf club in Sterling, Virginia, President Donald Trump returned to the White House, where just outside the compound the street filled with people celebrating his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
Throngs of people flooded the street in front of Lafayette Park, situated just north of the White House, and spilled into nearby Black Lives Matter Plaza. Crowds broke into chants and hoisted up "Biden Harris 2020" signs as cars honked in celebration.
The traffic, however, did not snarl the president's arrival. Trump's motorcade arrived just after 3 p.m. EDT, traveling up 15th Street and into the South entrance of the White House complex. The president was spotted entering the White House at a side entrance on West Executive Avenue, avoiding most of the festivities just outside.
"Both Lafayette Park and Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House remained empty as construction workers prepared to build grandstands for the inaugural parade of his successor.
– Courtney Subramanian and David Jackson
Joe Biden’s ascension to the White House holds special significance to Scranton, the northeast Pennsylvania city where the former vice president grew up and which helped tilt the Keystone State in Biden’s favor.
“The whole city is buzzing with energy, and for the past three days, it’s been incredibly stressful for everybody,” said David Connors, 32, speaking from his Scranton home. “It’s been a huge release.”
The city, he said, is protective of those it calls its own - and Biden fits into that category.
“For so many in Scranton, this feels like a local win,” he said. “We know this guy. We know Joe.”
Shortly after the race was called for Biden on Saturday morning, supporters started gathering outside Biden’s childhood home in the city’s Greenridge section, snapping selfies.
Among the group was Connors’ niece Quinn Hemphill, 22, a Scranton-native who was there within an hour of the race being called. She said a group of about 15 were there wearing Biden-Harris t-shirts and kids holding signs reading “Scranton Loves Joe.” The group had grown to roughly 40 by the time she left.
“It’s inspiring to be able to drive 10 minutes to his childhood home that raised an eventual president,” she said.
In Wilmington, Kelly Callahan, 43, has been in the packing lot outside the Chase Center since Tuesday. She found out that CNN had called the race from a member of the foreign press.
“We got the chills, crying, screaming, and then we just screamed and jumped on the back of the truck and screamed, ‘We won!’ And then everybody started screaming, ‘oh my god, oh my god we won,’” she said. “It was quite a scream when it did go up. It was pretty neat.”
She had a sign, reading “Congratulations Mr. President-Elect & Madame Vice President-Elect,” waiting in her car since Election Day — and was finally able to display it on the windshield of her car.
Zach Rossetti, 25, a native of Scranton, Pa., who had also been waiting in the parking lot all week, had “actually given up.” He was on the highway on his way home when his mom called him and told him to turn around. Now, he’s dancing around the parking lot with a Biden flag wrapped around his shoulders. “This is the best moment of my life,” he shouted.
Former President Barack Obama quickly weighed in on his former No. 2’s White House win.
“I could not be prouder to congratulate our next president, Joe Biden, and our next first lady, Jill Biden. I also couldn’t be prouder to congratulate Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff for Kamala’s groundbreaking election as our next vice president,” Obama said in a statement Saturday.
Obama said Biden’s “got what it takes” to deal with the unprecedented challenges facing the country.
“We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be president and already carries himself that way. Because when he walks into the White House in January, he’ll face a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming President ever has – a raging pandemic, an unequal economy and justice system, a democracy at risk, and a climate in peril,” the former president said. “ I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote.”
To the volunteers and activists who helped Biden’s campaign, Obama had this message:
“Your efforts made a difference. Enjoy this moment.”
— Deidre Shesgreen
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was not with President-elect Joe Biden when they got the news that they were heading to the White House.
But she shared the moment when she told the former vice president of their win to her to 8.5 million followers on Twitter.
“We did it. We did it, Joe. You're gonna be the next president of the United States,” Harris said with a laugh in a phone call to the former vice president. Harris, wearing sunglasses, a sweatshirt and leggings, was outside when making the call.
Biden was called as the winner of the 2020 presidential election on Saturday.
The video on Harris' Twitter account has been retweeted more than 200,000 times and has been liked more than 800,000 times.
— Rebecca Morin
When news outlets called the presidential race for Joe Biden on Saturday, President Donald Trump was at his golf course in northern Virginia, just a few miles from the White House.
The president left the White House around 10 a.m. EDT with golf-appropriate shoes, a windbreaker and a white Make America Great Again hat. His motorcade drove by groups of the president’s supporters as well as people holding pro-Biden signs, including one that read “Good Riddance.”
He arrived at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, at 10:39 a.m. The race was called roughly an hour later.
The Associated Press snapped a photo of the president and his golf group.
President Donald Trump's attorney dismissed a question about whether the president will concede the presidential race on Saturday, arguing that there are hundreds of thousands of ballots in question.
"Obviously he’s not going to concede when at least 600,000 ballots are in question," Giuliani said in a press conference in Philadelphia.
Giuliani's remarks came less than an hour after Democrat Joe Biden was projected to win the race. He offered no evidence to back up the claim that 600,000 ballots are in question.
— John Fritze
From Scranton to the White House: Joe Biden’s home state of Pennsylvania pushed him past the 270 electoral vote to become the 46th president of the United States.
For days, mail-in ballots were being counted in key Democratic strongholds of the state like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. And with each ballot counted, the former vice president’s lead over President Donald Trump continued to grow.
Biden was sitting at 264 electoral votes, awaiting results from Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina. Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes pushed him over the mark.
The day of the general election, Biden stopped at his childhood home in Scranton’s North Washington Avenue, where he signed the living room wall.
“From This House to the White House, with the Grace of God,” the former vice president wrote, along with his signature and the date, 11-3-2020.
— Rebecca Morin
Trump revives baseless claims of election fraud
President Donald Trump refused to concede the election to Democrat Joe Biden Saturday morning, contending the contest is “far from over.” Trump issued the statement minutes after Biden was declared the victor in Pennsylvania, cementing the electoral college victory he needed to become the 46th president of the United States.
“Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,” the president said in a three-paragraph statement issued by his campaign.
Trump cited Pennsylvania as one example where the campaign believes it has a legal case, claiming “our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process.”
Trump said he plans to take his fight to the courts.
“I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands,” he said.
— Ledyard King
Celebrations across the country following Biden's win
Nationwide, people took to the streets in celebration of President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 elections, after he reached the 270 vote minimum to beat President Donald Trump.
Pennsylvania was called for Biden by the Associated Press at around 11:30 a.m. EST, and the response immediately after was swift.
Cheers and car horns honking were heard throughout the streets of America's major metropolitan cities, including New York City, Los Angeles and Philadelphia — which was crucial in clinching the Biden win. Some even busted out bubbly beverages outside.
Biden wins Nevada
Democratic nominee Joe Biden won Nevada despite President Donald Trump’s repeated campaign visits there.
Nevada was called after the presidential race was already called for Biden, who will become the 46th president.
Nevada -- one of the nation’s fastest-growing states -- has become increasingly Democratic in recent elections, a trend that in part has relied on an increase in left-leaning Hispanic voters. With just six electoral college votes, the state had received outsized attention from the presidential candidates.
While Trump played defense in most battlegrounds, he went on offense in Nevada and Minnesota in an effort to take those states away from Democrats.
— Bart Jansen, Anjeanette Damon and James DeHaven
Kamala makes history
California Sen. Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman elected vice president, now that Joe Biden won enough states to capture the White House.
Biden beat Donald Trump four years after Hillary Clinton came up short in her bid to be the first female president.
Harris, 56, was the first African American woman and the first Asian American person on a major party's presidential ticket.
- HISTORICAL WIN: Harris breaks glass ceiling as first female vice president
Trump issues statement following Biden's win
“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor. In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated. The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots. This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election. It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters. Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room – and then fight in court to block their access.
“So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.”
- President Donald J. Trump
Biden defeats Trump in presidential election
Joe Biden, the former vice president and longtime fixture of national politics, is projected to win the state of Pennsylvania, multiple news organizations declared Saturday.
That means Biden will have the required 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency.
"I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris," Biden said in a statement after the projections were announced.
"In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America. With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation," he said. "It’s time for America to unite. And to heal."
Biden won a bitterly fought contest for president after vowing to usher in a robust response to the once-in-a-century pandemic and a renewed focus on civility that has been largely absent during four years of chaos and division under President Donald Trump.
Biden’s projected election victory, which was not decided until long after some Democrat and pollsters had predicted, would put the nation on an entirely different course after voters selected one of the most unconventional presidents in history to shake up Washington just four years earlier.
The Democrat, making his third run at the White House this year, campaigned on a promise of expanding access to health care and investing in middle-class jobs while combating the COVID-19 pandemic with a more vigorous response from the federal government. He promised to restore international relations with allies in Europe and Asia whom Trump bickered with, while confronting adversaries he argued Trump coddled in Russia, China and North Korea.
But by far the biggest difference between the two men was stylistic: Biden had run largely on his character and temperament, offering it as a contrast to the bombastic, unconventional approach Trump has taken to the presidency for the past four years. Biden essentially proposed to rebuild a functioning federal government based on his experience as vice president under President Barack Obama and his 36 years in the Senate representing Delaware.
He contrasted his approach with Trump’s lack of a national plan to address the coronavirus pandemic, and the president’s inability to broker a compromise with Democrats in Congress to deliver additional stimulus to millions of Americans who were left jobless by the pandemic.
Throughout the course of the campaign, Trump tried to frame Biden as far left – a “socialist” in his words – despite the former vice president’s long career as a centrist in Washington and the fact he ran to the right of more liberal candidates in the primary, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Biden never embraced a “Medicare for All” system of health care or the so-called Green New Deal for the environment backed by liberals.
– Bart Jansen
New vote totals show Trump gaining on Biden in Arizona
President Donald Trump is gaining on Democratic challenger Joe Biden in Arizona but it might not be enough.
The latest batch of votes released around 11 a.m. EDT showed Trump getting 26,992 and Biden receiving 19,513, which dropped the former vice president’s lead to 20,573 out of nearly 3.3 million cast.
This is the last large release of results expected from Maricopa County, which has 70% of the state's population.
Arizona had about 171,000 votes entering Saturday. with roughly 123,000 votes left to count. that means Trump will have to win about 60% of the remaining votes to catch Biden.
– Ledyard King and The Arizona Republic
Pennsylvania expected to update vote count Saturday morning
Pennsylvania is set to release its latest batch of newly tabulated votes as the presidential count creeps into its fifth day.
Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in the Keystone State by 28,877 out of more than 6.6 million votes cast. A little more than 89,000 ballots remain to be counted, according to the State Department website.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald told CNN that Pittsburgh still has about 20,000 mail ballots to count – and about 17,000 provisional ballots. He said both of those ballot categories are trending about 80% for Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
If the margin holds or expands, that would give Biden the 20 electoral votes he needs to reach 270 and win the presidency.
Pennsylvania is one of five states that have yet to be called.
Biden has secured 264 electoral votes and President Donald Trump has won 214 electoral votes. Biden could reach the threshold with a win in one of these states: Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania or North Carolina. Trump would need wins in all of those states.
– Ledyard King, USA TODAY and Scott Fisher, USA TODAY Network Pennsylvania Capitol Bureau
Where the presidential election stands as of Saturday morning
Georgia: Biden’s lead has grown to slightly more than 7,000 votes with provisional ballots still to be counted. Regardless, the state is headed to a mandated run-off under its election rules.
Nevada: The Silver State has counted about 87% of its vote, with results still coming in from Clark County, the state's most populous county that leans Democratic. Biden has been leading in the state by nearly two percentage points, over 22,600 votes. Updates are expected around noon EST Saturday.
North Carolina: Biden trails Trump by more than 70,000 votes, but as many as 150,000 more absentee ballots have yet to be counted. Most analysts expect Trump to win.
Alaska, with three electoral votes, also has yet to be called. And Arizona, which the Trump campaign still believes is in play, is expected to provide an update around 11 EST from Maricopa (Phoenix), its largest county.
Biden in a speech on Friday said he was on the verge of winning.
"We don't have a final declaration, a victory yet, but the numbers tell us a clear and convincing story: We're going to win this race," the Democratic nominee said in a speech Friday night.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is pursuing a number of legal challenges as updated vote totals in several states point to a narrowing path to victory.
– Ledyard King
Trump campaign legal fund also used to pay down debt
Over the last four days, the Trump campaign, as well as the Republican National Committee, have sent a flurry of text messages and emails urging supporters to contribute to the president's court challenges.
But a disclaimer on the website states that 50% of any donation will go toward the campaign's general election debt retirement and the other half toward the campaign's recount account, The Wall Street Journal first reported.
A separate fundraising effort by the "Trump Make America Great Again Committee" states that 60% of contributions will go toward campaign debt while 40% goes to the RNC.
"President Trump is FIGHTING BACK to defend the integrity of this Election, but he can't do it alone," one email reads. "He needs YOU to step up and join him by contributing to our critical Election Defense Fund."
Joe Biden's campaign has also launched a fundraising effort in anticipation of a drawn-out legal battle. While the fine print does not include any disclaimer about retiring campaign debt, it does indicate that a portion of the donation would go toward the Democratic National Committee and the remainder would benefit the former vice president's recount account.
USA TODAY has reached out to both campaigns for comment. The RNC and DNC typically play a key role in supporting election litigation efforts.
– Courtney Subramanian
Biden remains close to required electoral college votes
Democratic nominee Joe Biden is still in need of six or more electoral college votes to push him to the required threshold of 270 needed to win the presidency.
As it stands, Biden has secured 264 electoral votes from presidential races in states that have been called, and President Donald Trump has won 214 electoral votes. Biden could reach the threshold with a win in one of these states: Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania or North Carolina. Trump would need wins in all of those states.
"We don't have a final declaration, a victory yet, but the numbers tell us a clear and convincing story: We're going to win this race," the Democratic nominee said in a speech Friday night.
Which states haven't been called yet?
While there are several states still counting ballots, eyes are on a few battleground states that remain uncalled: Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Alaska also has not been called but is more likely than not to go for Trump.
In Georgia, Biden gained the lead over President Donald Trump early Friday morning. Over 4,000 votes currently separate the two candidates, or about 0.1%, as of 4 a.m. EST Saturday. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said Friday morning the state would have a recount because of the slim election margin.
Nevada, meanwhile, has counted about 87% of its vote, with results still coming in from Clark County, the state's most populous county that leans Democratic. Biden has been leading in the state by nearly two percentage points, over 22,600 votes. Updates are expected throughout the weekend.
Pennsylvania sees Biden leading by a margin of 0.4%, more than 28,800 votes. He surged ahead of Trump on Friday as results were updated with mail ballot counts that heavily favored the former vice president.
North Carolina, where Biden still trails by more than 70,000 votes, remains uncalled as election officials prepare to count late-arriving absentee ballots over the coming days. The outcome might not be final for another week as election officials count what could be more than 150,000 more absentee ballots.
Trump seeks to undermine Biden's lead with uncertain legal strategy
Trump's tweets on Friday showed he sees the courts as his best path forward to reelection, but experts say his campaign's lawsuits in battleground states lack a discernible strategy.
"I had such a big lead in all of these states late into election night, only to see the leads miraculously disappear as the days went by," Trump tweeted, reiterating a claim that has been widely debunked for days. "Perhaps these leads will return as our legal proceedings move forward!"
Trump's new campaign: Flurry of election lawsuits in search of strategy
Trump's early lead was reversed in key states because officials counted in-person, day-of votes first, and those favored Trump. But after the president spent months pushing baseless claims that mail-in voting leads to widespread fraud, record numbers of mail ballots were enough to give Biden the lead in most of the remaining battlegrounds.