Election Night in the US

By Brian Ries, Veronica Rocha, Meg Wagner, Sophie Tatum, Maegan Vazquez and Jessie Yeung, CNN

Updated 1:29 PM ET, Wed November 7, 2018
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2:05 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

Biden casts his vote, says he'll decide early next year on a 2020 run

From CNN's Arlette Saenz

After voting in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden told reporters he still doesn't know if he'll run for president in 2020, but that he'll be making a decision early next year.

Biden said he would make a decision with his family after the first of the year, but he won’t necessarily make a formal announcement by then. He would not say when he would eye an announcement, noting it would “depend on the circumstances and a whole lot of things.”

Biden campaigned in 13 cities, including a dozen rallies, over the last week.

“I wouldn’t announce even if I were going to run that early. It would be too early to get started,” he said.  

Over the past few months, Biden has endorsed more than 130 candidates and traveled to roughly two dozen states for rallies, fundraisers and other stops to support 65 candidates. As of last week, Biden's PAC, American Possibilities, had disbursed nearly $600,000 directly to candidates' campaigns, an aide to Biden said.

Here's video of Biden at a campaign stop in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania:

1:54 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

Why America's voting today, a Tuesday in November

From CNN's Holly Yan

Voters in Chestertown, Maryland, cast ballots in Maryland's early voting on Oct. 25.
Voters in Chestertown, Maryland, cast ballots in Maryland's early voting on Oct. 25. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Why are federal elections always in November, and always on Tuesdays? It all comes down to weather, harvests and worship.

Back when voters traveled to the polls by horse, Tuesday was an ideal day because it allows people to worship on Sunday, ride to their county seat on Monday and vote on Tuesday — all before market day, Wednesday.

And the month of November fit nicely between harvest time and brutal winter weather (which can be especially bad when you're trudging along by horse and buggy).

The tradition stuck, even though many voters now travel by horsepower instead of live horses.

4:50 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

Chicago will petition to extend voting in some precincts

From CNN's Paul Murphy

In Chicago's 19th Ward, some voters said that their precincts received the wrong ballots and they were unable to vote.   

Jim Allen, Chicago Board of Elections spokesman, refused to comment to CNN on the allegations that a precinct did not have the correct ballots. He said they would hold a conference call later in the day to discuss the allegations. 

So what happens now? Although he did not address the specific allegations, Allen did say they would go to court later today to extend voting in some precincts.   

Meanwhile, in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, there are allegations on social media that partial ballots were being handed out.   

Allen did confirm that some precincts — "not many" — only handed out the standard ballot, which included the candidates running for office. The precincts did not hand out the second ballot, the judicial retention section.  

1:16 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

This Democratic senator went to the polls — and then the grocery store

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Tim Kaine is going about his day – even though he is on the ballot for another six-year term in the Senate.

Kaine, whose race against Republican Corey Stewart is considered a safe Democratic win, was seen shopping at a local grocery store in Virginia and buying bread and some potato chips.

According to Ian Sams, Kaine’s spokesman, the senator stopped by the store on his way home from visiting polling places to buy supplies to make his parents sandwiches for lunch.

So, today is just another day for the Virginia senator.

1:01 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

A step-by-step guide on what to do if you're told you can't vote

From CNN's Christina Maxouris and AJ Willingham

A man prepares ballots on Oct. 25 during early voting in Potomac, Maryland.
A man prepares ballots on Oct. 25 during early voting in Potomac, Maryland. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Here's something scary: Even if you have the legal right to vote and have done everything to prepare yourself for Election Day, you could still be turned away at the polls.

In recent years, almost two dozen US states have implemented laws that impose new restrictions on voting, which critics say disproportionally affect minority voters.

So, what if you are told your registration didn't go through, or you don't have the required documents? Even if your registration is pending or your voter application has been wrongly purged, you are still allowed to vote.

Or, if you did forget your ID at home or have been removed from the registration system, you can cast a provisional ballot -- a right all voters are entitled to by federal law.

Here's a handy tip sheet on steps to take if you're turned away from the polls:

Read more on what to do if you're told you can't vote here.

12:46 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

On her way to vote, she saw a memorial for the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims: "Wish they were here to participate in our democracy"

From CNN's Gianluca Mezzofiore

Fiza Pirani
Fiza Pirani

Fiza Pirani was heading to the polling station, a synagogue in Marietta, Georgia, early this morning when she saw the chairs.

Each one, featuring a name of a victim of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and a collection of flowers, was placed in a circle outside the entrance.

Pirani told CNN: “Got to the polls around 6:45 a.m. before the morning rains drenched the flowers. The chairs were situated right outside the entrance of the East Cobb synagogue.”

“It honestly felt surreal, and painful. Wish they were here to participate in our democracy.”

“I wasn't the only one who stopped to snap a photo, and I was wondering what was on everyone's minds, whether and how seeing something so powerful might influence their decisions."

Pirani, a Shi'a Muslim who remembers "rampant discrimination" in Saudi Arabia, where she's from, said the memorial also reminded her of the United States' "dedication to religious freedom -- one of the primary reasons my family and I immigrated here.”

Pirani said she has voted in every election since becoming a U.S. citizen in 2012. “I just feel like it’s my duty as an American,” she said.

“It took me nearly two hours of waiting in line, despite getting to the polls 10 minutes before they opened, but I did the thing,” she tweeted after casting the ballot.

12:04 p.m. ET, November 6, 2018

At least 33.1 million early votes have been cast in major increase over 2014

From CNN's Aaron Kessler and Annie Grayer

At least 33,166,611 votes have been cast early or by mail nationwide as of early Tuesday morning, according to data collected by Catalist. 

In the 2014 midterm election, by comparison, at least 20.6 million early votes were cast by the same point.

In the entire 2014 election when all was said and done, about 22.2 million early votes were ultimately cast that cycle, according to Catalist.

11:58 a.m. ET, November 6, 2018

Georgia voters report long lines and malfunctioning machines

From CNN's Gianluca Mezzofiore and Paul P. Murphy

Voters wait amid delays at Annistown Elementary in Gwinnett County, Georgia.
Voters wait amid delays at Annistown Elementary in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Ontaria Woods

James Herndon in Decatur, Georgia, tells CNN: "Lines are long. So that’s great! But, they are extremely delayed. Up front they are having trouble verifying lots of people. People who live here and vote here whenever possible."

Herndon said his wife "put the card in the machine and it shot it out and said 'error' when she turned it in and asked what was up."

A polling worker there told her that it showed she had “already voted" and said “that has been happening this morning” -- but didn’t explain why that machine was still being used or why her card went back in the stack to be used again.

They gave her a provisional ballot and told her it would be counted, asking her to write what happened on the back.

Elsewhere, Ontaria Woods of Gwinnett County tells CNN she has been waiting in line to vote at Annistown Elementary since 7 a.m.

She told CNN:

"So ballot machines are down. They are unable to print our ballots on the card. They’ve brought in new machines and now they’re about to try to bring in new cards. I’ve been here since 7AM." 

She posted on Twitter videos and pictures of long lines of people waiting to cast their ballots. "People who are here to vote have gone to Walmart using their money to provide water, juice and crackers," she added.

"Voters are highly upset and they feel like this has not been handled properly. We’ve been offered paper and provisional ballots and nobody feels safe using them. Most people refuse to leave and are determined to vote."

11:38 a.m. ET, November 6, 2018

Beto O'Rourke says he thinks he'll win Texas Senate race

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke cast his ballot in El Paso Tuesday morning, telling reporters he expects to snag Republican opponent Ted Cruz’s seat, even though he doesn’t have a poll or a pollster suggesting he’ll win.

Asked if he thinks he’ll win, he said, “Yeah.”

“I just – don’t have a poll, don’t have a pollster, just have traveled to every single county in Texas, listened to everybody, have so many amazing volunteers who we are working with, knocking on millions of doors, making human (to) human connection(s) that we are in such desperate need of in this moment of division in the country, bringing people together,” O’Rourke added. “I feel it and so, yeah, it feels good.”