Presidential election results 2020

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Melissa Mahtani and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 2:44 p.m. ET, November 23, 2020
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6:30 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Wisconsin county using 20 National Guardsmen to transfer data from misprinted ballots to clean ones

From CNN's Caroline Kenny and Bill Weir

Jackie Lemberger, left, and Maureen Armstrong redo ballots that had a printer error at the Town Center Park on Tuesday, November 3, in Grand Chute, Outagamie County, Wisconsin.
Jackie Lemberger, left, and Maureen Armstrong redo ballots that had a printer error at the Town Center Park on Tuesday, November 3, in Grand Chute, Outagamie County, Wisconsin. Dan Powers/The Post-Crescent/USA Today Network

In Outagamie County, Wisconsin, poll workers are working today to transfer votes from around 13,500 misprinted absentee ballots to clean ballots that won’t jam the electronic tabulating machine, the county clerk told CNN. 

Outagamie is a county in the central part of the state that includes the city of Appleton. 

The Outagamie County Clerk Lori O’Bright told CNN 20 National Guardsmen are on site to assist with the ballot transferring or do whatever else needs to be done. 

O’Bright said there is no way to know the exact number of how many ballots were affected. She added the best guess is 13,500 based on information from the printers and 101 different reporting units. 

“Appleton was greatly affected,” O’Bright said of the county’s largest city. She also predicted that the count in the county won’t be finished until early Wednesday morning. 

Some background: Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declined to take a case that would tell Outagamie County how to deal with the misprinted ballots. The county had to abide by state law, which doesn’t allow clerks to make any changes to ballots, so the only option is to transfer the data from misprinted ballots to clean ones that can be read by the machines.

In Wisconsin, ballots could not be processed until the polls opened at 7 a.m. local time on Election Day, so poll workers were not able to get a head start on this. 

In a release from the Outagamie County clerk’s office after the state Supreme Court denied the petition, the clerk advised that the duplication process will take time and that “it takes approximately four minutes to duplicate a ballot.”

7:46 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Trump is watching election returns from the White House's East Wing

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

President Donald Trump is watching returns from the East Wing of the White House tonight with his senior staffers and family members by his side, according to the White House communications director.

But Trump’s aides are offering mixed messages on what they expect. Though press secretary Kayleigh McEnany maintained this morning that she's not worried about litigating the outcome because she's confident it will be a "landslide," Alyssa Farah said the White House is expecting some delays in results – “especially in Pennsylvania" – and criticized mail-in voting. 

Farah suggested Trump will make a public appearance in some form from the White House tonight regardless of what happens.  

“I don’t want to get ahead of anything, but I think you might end up hearing from him tonight."

6:06 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Biden campaign urgently working to get more people to the polls in final hours of Florida voting

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

Yanitza Martinez wears red, white, and blue as she arrives to vote outside of the John F. Kennedy Library during the general election on Tuesday in Hialeah, Florida.
Yanitza Martinez wears red, white, and blue as she arrives to vote outside of the John F. Kennedy Library during the general election on Tuesday in Hialeah, Florida. Lynne Sladky/AP

Both sides are seeing tremendous Election Day turnout in key battleground states. That, of course, cuts both ways, considering more Republicans have said they preferred to vote today.

At this hour, the Biden campaign is urgently working to get more people to the polls in several places – Florida chief among them, including in the Miami-Dade area, Jacksonville and the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

Those are the parts of the state where a surge in turnout after 5 p.m., when more Democrats have historically voted, could provide a much-needed boost for them in Florida.

The Biden campaign does not need Florida to win, but it would make for a smoother evening ahead.

A Biden adviser believes the Southern battlegrounds – Florida, North Carolina and Georgia – present the biggest challenges tonight. They feel much better about the so-called blue wall states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

6:53 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

How exit polls are measured in early voting

From CNN's Jennifer Agiesta

Exit polling traditionally involves interviews with a randomly selected sample of voters conducted as those voters leave their polling places. Unlike pre-election polling, where voters can only be identified using screening questions or a history of voting on a voter file, meeting voters where they are ensures that those included in the survey have actually cast their ballots.

To make the 2020 survey more representative, Edison Research has made modifications to the methodology it uses to carry out the exit poll for the National Election Pool, a news consortium made up of CNN, ABC News, CBS News and NBC News.

This year's exit poll will still include in-person interviews with voters who cast their ballots on Tuesday. To make sure that both interviewers and voters are safe, interviews will be contactless. Voters will pick up paper questionnaires and single-use pencils from a table rather than taking them directly from the interviewer, and disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will be available for use by both voters and the interviewers manning the table. Interviewers will be masked, and have been instructed to remain at least 6 feet away the voters they ask to participate.

Those interviews are only one piece of the puzzle this year. The share of voters who cast their ballots before Election Day has been growing for two decades, and will rapidly accelerate in this year's election. In 2000, absentee and early voting represented about 16% of the total votes cast. In 2016, that figure was over 40%; this year, it is expected to top 60%.

To account for the large share of early in-person voters in critical states such as North Carolina, Florida and Texas, Edison Research has spent the past month conducting the same type of in-person interviewing that it does on Election Day at a random selection of early voting locations around eight states. The consortium first used this procedure to capture the opinions and vote choices of early voters in 2018 in Nevada and Tennessee. Those voters are answering the same questions that voters will be asked on Election Day.

To account for the large number of by-mail voters, as well as early voters in states where in-person early voter interviewing is not possible, the exit polls will also include the results of telephone polls targeted at these voters. Edison Research has conducted such polling for use in exit polls in states with significant shares of absentee and early voters since 2004.

This year, in every state where exit poll results are available on election night, the results of a telephone poll of early and by-mail voters will be incorporated into the results. These voters are also being asked the same questions that will be asked on Election Day.

When all of these pieces are combined, the exit poll results presented on election night will reflect a complete picture of voters all across the country.

6:37 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Voters split on state of the economy, early exit polls show

From CNN’s Grace Sparks

While the economy is strongly positioned as the most important issue for a plurality of 2020 voters, voters are split as to whether the economy is good or poor, according to early exit polls. 

Around half of voters say it is good, while around half say it’s poor.

Around 2 in 5 say they’re better off than they were four years ago; 1 in 5 think they’re worse off, and another 2 in 5 say they’re about the same.

More than half of voters say the coronavirus pandemic has caused them financial hardship.

About this year's exit polls: To account for the large share of early in-person voters in critical states such as North Carolina, Florida and Texas, Edison Research has spent the past month conducting the same type of in-person interviewing that it does on Election Day at a random selection of early voting locations around eight states.  

Read more about exit polls during a pandemic here.

CNN’s David Chalian breaks down the exit polls:

5:58 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

More than 18,000 new voters registered so far today in Michigan

From CNN's Annie Grayer

The number of same-day voter registrations in Michigan is now 18,822, as of 4:30 p.m., Secretary of State spokesperson Tracy Wimmer told reporters.

The places with the highest numbers were Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids.

“It’s quite possible we get up to 25,000 or 30,000” same day voter registrants, Secretary of State Communications and External Affairs Director Jake Rollow said, based on what happened in the March primary, when a wave of new registrations came later in the afternoon.

Some context: This is the first presidential election in Michigan to allow same-day voter registration, after voters passed a ballot initiative in 2018 establishing the practice.

Already, the number of Michiganders who registered today is larger than the number of votes that Donald Trump won the state with in 2016: 10,704 votes.

5:53 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

GOP appeals judge's ruling in Nevada's Clark County on early votes

From CNN's Kara Scannell

In this Oct. 30, 2020 file photo people prepare to vote at a polling place on the final day of early voting, in Las Vegas.
In this Oct. 30, 2020 file photo people prepare to vote at a polling place on the final day of early voting, in Las Vegas. John Locher/AP

Republicans on Tuesday filed an emergency appeal seeking to overturn a Nevada judge’s ruling rejecting the GOP’s effort to halt early voting counting in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, based on its use of a signature-matching computer software and rules governing the observation of vote counting. 

The Trump campaign and Nevada Republican Party have asked the Nevada Supreme Court to expedite its appeal and prohibit the Clark County registrar from duplicating ballots and authenticate ballots using artificial intelligence until its appeal can be heard. 

Lawyers for the Trump campaign sued the clerk claiming that their observers were not given enough access to all aspects of the ballot counting process — from opening the ballots, to machine and manual signature checking and duplicating spoiled ballots. 

A Nevada judge denied the GOP challenge to the early voting process in the heavily Democratic county.

“If this last-minute suit were successful, it would require a major change in how [Nevada] processed absentee [ballots] to determine if the signature on the ballot matched the voter’s prior signature on file,” Richard Pildes, a constitutional law professor at New York University and CNN election law analyst, said. “Courts are typically unwilling to let plaintiffs come in the door so late in the day and ask for major changes to a process that’s already well underway.”

5:45 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

Trump voters are strongly voting for the President rather than against Biden, early exit polls show

From CNN’s Grace Sparks

Supporters of President Trump cheer as passing cars honk their horns near a polling location on Election Day, in Houston.
Supporters of President Trump cheer as passing cars honk their horns near a polling location on Election Day, in Houston. David J. Phillip/AP

Voters who back President Donald Trump are strongly voting for their candidate rather than against his opponent, with around 4 in 5 saying so, early exit polls show.

Some Joe Biden voters are doing the same, but to a lesser extent. Around two-thirds of Biden voters say they’re voting for their candidate, while around one-third say they are voting against Trump. 

One-third of voters want a candidate who is a strong leader, while around one-quarter say they want someone with good judgment. Around 1 in 5 want someone who “cares about people like me,” while another 1 in 5 want someone who can unite the country. 

 

6:06 p.m. ET, November 3, 2020

"No matter how you voted today coronavirus is in your community," CNN's John King says

From CNN's Leinz Vales

CNN's John King says President Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic is on the ballot, adding that "no matter where you live and no matter how you voted today coronavirus is in your community."

"The fall surge now is way in excess of the summer surge," King said during CNN's special election coverage.

King cited President Trump's comments that the United States has "rounded the corner" on the pandemic and the promise of a pending vaccine. 

"Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, his own people have been critical of him in recent days," King said. "With the President trying to sell this in states like Wisconsin, especially, hospitalization spike, death record in the final week of the campaign, you just see this going up."

"Presidential elections are about leadership, the president’s leadership of the pandemic is on the ballot today," King said. "Joe Biden has a completely different approach. No matter where you lived you have lived this for eight plus months now. How important is it when people people vote?"

Watch the moment: