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The latest on vote counts in 4 critical states

Election officials are still counting ballots in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, with former Vice President Joe Biden leading in all four states. But the margins appear to be narrow enough for uncertainty, and some states are expecting recounts. Judy Woodruff gets the latest updates from Daniel Bush in Philadelphia, Miles O’Brien in Atlanta and Stephanie Sy in Phoenix.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    And now we want to turn to the critical state of Pennsylvania.

    Our Daniel Bush is still in Philadelphia, where the vote counting is taking place.

    So, Dan, tell us where things stand right now with the count and also with the lawsuits.

  • Daniel Bush:

    Well, Judy, right now, Pennsylvania is looking at counting roughly 100,000 or so ballots to go; 6.7 million have already been cast.

    We do know that a majority of the ballots that are still being counted are here in Philadelphia, as well as in Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh. Those are two areas that are expected to do — vote in large numbers for Joe Biden.

    We also do know that, of these outstanding ballots, the majority of them are mail-in ballots, and those have been breaking heavily for Joe Biden as well. He has a lead right now of roughly 14,000 or 15,000 or so votes. That margin is expected to grow as these final votes are counted.

    Officials here are being very careful about when they think this counting might conclude. They said earlier in the week it could be as early as tonight or even Friday. Now they're cautioning it could take a little bit more time.

    You're right about the lawsuits. There have been many here in Pennsylvania in the weeks and days after the election. As well, there's been a lot of legal interest here, with Republicans looking at provisional ballots in court and whether or not some of those could be challenged, looking at these votes that came in after Election — excuse me — before Election Day up until 8:00 p.m., but are now being processed, because, under the law, they can be counted if they're received by that point.

    So, there's a lot going on here, Judy. But, again, officials are urging patience here because it will take some time.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    But, Dan, given that it's still unresolved, what are you hearing about how the two sides plan to move forward in Pennsylvania?

  • Daniel Bush:

    Well, Judy, this state is so divided.

    And if you just look at the map right now, there are these blue islands both in Pennsylvania and across many states. Joe Biden has done very well in cities, in some suburbs. Donald Trump has done very, very well in rural parts of the state, as well as some suburbs.

    And there's just a very big divide, Judy. I have been in both of those parts of the state. And conservative voters, progressive voters, just they see very different realities. They disagree on the pandemic. They disagree on President Trump's first term, how he's handled the economy. They disagree on race and policing.

    And we're seeing that divide continue to play out even after Election Day, as the vote counting concludes. And you can see behind me there's a lot of activity. This is sort of the center action for Philadelphia here.

    And just on opposite sides of the street, there are Trump supporters and Biden supporters, dueling rallies, dueling protests every single day. And tensions are high, are very high, as they wait for a final count here.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    We can certainly hear them not too far from where you are.

    Dan Bush standing his ground in Philadelphia.

    Thank you, Dan.

    Now, in one of the more surprising turns, Joe Biden is now leading in the state of Georgia, albeit narrowly.

    And that is where we find our Miles O'Brien.

    So, Miles, this is a state that we know is most narrow of all the margins out there. Tell us what you know of the latest on the count, how that's going, the timing of all this. And what's happening with the military ballots and other ballots outstanding?

  • Miles O’Brien:

    Judy, I'm in Gwinnett County. This is the most diverse county in all of Georgia. It's very blue, about an 18-point margin for Joe Biden here.

    Behind me, they still have a lot of work to do. Take a look. We're going to pan over to my right. In that corner over there, workers are going through ballots that either need to be cured, meaning there's a problem with a signature. There are military ballots to be counted, overseas military ballots. And there are provisional ballots, which also require them to do some research.

    The ballots make their way behind me. In some cases, they have to actually copy them over, because someone might have voted in the wrong precinct. And they have to vote on their home precinct ballot.

    All of that amounts to about 900 military, 800 cured ballots, about 1,000 provisional.

    Now, earlier in the day, they finished up their absentee ballot work, their mail-in ballot work. They sent in a tranche of about 7,000 ballots. And that changed the numbers significantly here in Georgia. It was about a 1,500-point margin — 1,500-person margin for Joe Biden. At about 3:00 p.m. today, after Gwinnett turned in that tranche of ballots, it's now a 4,200-vote margin between the two candidates.

    But we're talking about nearly five million ballots cast. So that is point 0.08 percent difference between the two of them. That is as razor-thin as it gets.

    And that is why people here in Georgia are not making any statements about any firm confirmation of who won here for quite some time. We might get some numbers out of here tonight or even into tomorrow morning. But the counties have until November 13 to certify. And then the state has until November 20.

    In between that time, they will run an audit on all of the ballots to see if they have an accurate count. And it's, of course, all but a certainty that, after the 20th, there will be a recount here in Georgia.

    This is the slimmest of all margins in the nation right now. And it's still very dynamic, Judy.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    No question about it. We have been listening to some of the state officials today stress how long this is going to take, and then the recount.

    All right, Miles O'Brien in Gwinnett County in Georgia.

    Thank you, Miles.

    Now, there are two unresolved contests out West.

    Our Stephanie Sy is in Phoenix to walk us through what we know about Arizona and Nevada.

    So, Stephanie, we know the AP did call a couple of days ago Arizona for Joe Biden, but the votes are still being counted. So, what's the latest?

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Yes, they are still being counted. Here in Maricopa County, they're counting right behind me in this building.

    And Biden has maintained his edge over President Trump since election night in Arizona. But to the Trump supporters gathered behind me, Arizona is still very much in play.

    Now, here is where the count stands. Earlier today, there were some 200,000 ballots statewide that had yet to be counted; 115,000 of them are in Maricopa County. In general, this county has been mixed. But, right now, Biden is ahead in Maricopa County. And we expect to get a count from here in about two hours.

    The remaining ballots in Arizona are in other counties in Arizona, and they are more conservative.

    And, obviously, they're taking advantage of the fact that I'm going live, but I will try to continue.

    Want to move…


  • Man:

    … guy who is not wearing a mask.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Can you help me out, so that I can just finish this report, please? Thank you.

  • Man:

    You want me to put on a mask, or no?

  • Stephanie Sy:

    No, you're good. You're good.

    OK. So, in neighboring Nevada, Judy, there's actually a very similar situation. Biden has less than a 2 percent lead in Nevada. And that's only about 20,000 votes.

    The focus in Nevada is on Clark County. That includes Las Vegas and its surrounding areas. As of this morning in Nevada, Judy, there were 63,000 outstanding mail-in ballots in Clark County. That's out of 100,000 ballots statewide. And we do expect to get an update from them in about an hour.

    The other thing about Nevada, Judy, that's different than Arizona is, by their state law, any ballots postmarked by Election Day can still be received up to 10 days after November 3. So, for example, they received about 260 votes today. So, not only are they still counting in Nevada, but they are still receiving ballots.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And just quickly, Stephanie, yes, we see protesters very close.

    And you have also been talking to voters. Can you sum up what you're hearing?

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Well, yes, I mean, one woman said she's mad as hell, and she's mad at the media. She's even mad at FOX News, which also-called Arizona for Biden on election night.

    They feel like they are not being heard. And what you hear the most consistently is anecdotes about voting discrepancies that they hear repeated through the news outlets that they consume here.

    And so a lot of voters here feel like they do not trust the voting process, both here in Arizona and in other states. And when I push them on whether, if Biden were to win the presidency, they would accept that result, a lot of people here feel that this is not a legitimate process.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Well, disturbing, disturbing to hear that, something that, if he's declared the winner, something he's going to have to deal with.

    Stephanie Sy reporting from Phoenix.

    Thank you, Stephanie.

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