US election results 2020: Georgia heads to recount after tight margin — live

US election results 2020: Georgia heads to recount after tight margin — live

FT reporters

Donald Trump made unsubstantiated claims about vote fraud during the US presidential election and threatened to press on with lawsuits in battleground states on Friday as his lead slipped away in the biggest prizes left on the electoral map.

Here is the latest on the legal challenges that Mr Trump is mounting in some of the key swing states.

Pennsylvania (20 votes): The Trump campaign launched its most vigorous legal challenges in Pennsylvania, seeking to stop the vote count and to demand Republican observers gain better access to the tallying centres in Philadelphia.

Mr Trump’s team touted a legal victory in Philadelphia on Thursday, but the ruling simply paused the count in Pennsylvania’s largest city. By the evening, a judge had dismissed the suit after Democrats and Republicans agreed to allow 60 observers into counting centres.

The Trump campaign has sought permission to take part in pending Supreme Court litigation over how long the state can collect postal ballots. The US high court has previously declined to strike down an extension of the deadline for such ballots, although the case remains live.

Georgia (16 votes): The president’s campaign announced a lawsuit in Georgia state court questioning whether election officials were improperly counting mail-in ballots that had arrived after an election-day deadline. Mr Biden narrowly snatched the lead from Mr Trump on Friday with the race still too tight to call.

On Thursday a Georgia judge dismissed the case, saying the campaign lacked enough evidence that any ballots had arrived late.

Nevada (6 votes): The Trump campaign announced on Thursday it would file a lawsuit claiming authorities in Nevada were improperly counting votes cast by people who lived outside the state.

In the run-up to election day, his legal team had sought to halt the processing of some mail-in ballots in Clark county in an emergency appeal.

A lower state court rejected the challenge to how the county verifies signatures on postal ballots, as well as the “duplication” process it uses to ensure ballots can be fed into counting machines.

Wisconsin (10 votes): Election officials in Wisconsin have said their count is complete, and Associated Press has called the state for Mr Biden with a 20,517-vote margin.

But even before the vote was finished, Bill Stepien, Mr Trump’s campaign manager, said in a statement that the president’s team would immediately request a recount.

Scott Walker, the former Republican governor of Wisconsin, wrote that 20,000 votes may be a “high hurdle”, noting that previous recounts had changed the final tally by, at most, a few hundred votes.

Michigan (16 votes): Before Michigan was called for Mr Biden on Wednesday evening, the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit to halt the counting of votes in the state, alleging it had not been given “meaningful access” to observe the count in several locations.

Mr Stepien said in a statement that the lawsuit filed in state court sought to halt the count until they were given access, as well as a “review” of ballots already counted.

But a Michigan state judge dismissed the suit on Thursday, saying it had come too late and questioning its claims.

North Carolina (15 votes): The question of ballot deadlines is also being contested in North Carolina, a “new South” state that was always seen as a bit of a long shot for Mr Biden.

The state elections board has said in a court-approved settlement that mail-in ballots could arrive up to six days after November 3. The US Supreme Court last week declined to issue an injunction against the extension, but the case remains live in the lower courts.

Read more on the Trump campaign escalating the legal offensive here

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