2020 Latest: Pa. judge rejects GOP case on provisional votes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the presidential campaign (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

A statewide appellate court judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed a request from Republicans to stop the state or counties from counting provisional ballots that were cast by voters whose mail-in ballots were disqualified by a technicality.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s state elections bureau last month gave guidance to counties that a voter could use a provisional ballot if they “did not successfully vote” with the mail-in or absentee ballot they were issued, or if their ballot was rejected and they believe they are eligible to vote.

The Democratic National Committee, which had sought to oppose the case in court, said Republicans wanted to “throw out lawfully cast provisional ballots.”

Wolf’s top elections official, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, has insisted that the practice is legal and not prohibited by law.

Regardless, she said there aren’t “overwhelming” numbers of voters who cast a provisional ballot after their mail-in ballot was disqualified, but she has not given an exact figure.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

Democrat Joe Biden is pushing closer to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to carry the White House, securing victories in the battlegrounds of Wisconsin and Michigan and narrowing President Donald Trump’s path.

Read more:

— Trump predicts a ‘lot of litigation’ to decide the White House race

— ANALYSIS: Trump delivers a diatribe that’s both shocking and unsurprising

— EXPLAINER: States still in play and what makes them that way

— Trump and his Republican allies made significant inroads with Latino voters

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

2 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden has increased his lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada to 20,137 votes.

Results released Friday from Democrat-heavy Clark County, which includes Las Vegas and three-quarters of Nevada’s population, along with two rural counties, put Biden at 627,104 votes and Trump at 606,967.

Biden’s lead nearly doubled from Thursday, when he was leading Trump by about 11,000 votes.

The Associated Press has not called the presidential race. Votes are still being counted in several battleground states.

Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria says his county has an additional 63,000 mail ballots to be processed over the next few days and 60,000 provisional ballots to be processed later.

Gloria said Clark County would release more results Friday afternoon but he said he did not know exactly how many ballots could be included in that release.

The state has said it will provide an update later Friday on how many ballots are yet to be counted statewide. On Thursday, they reported that number at 190,150.

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1:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he “will never give up fighting for you and our nation” as he is on the cusp of losing his bid for reelection.

Trump is spending Friday at the White House tweeting, watching results come in and continuing to cast unfounded doubt over the integrity of the election.

He says in a statement released by his campaign: “We believe the American people deserve to have full transparency into all vote counting and election certification.” And he adds that, “This is no longer about any single election. This is about the integrity of our entire election process.”

There is no evidence that any votes cast illegally are being counted or that the process is unfair and corrupt. Indeed, the ballot-counting process across the country largely has been running smoothly, if slowly, because of the increase in mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Trump is nonetheless threatening continued legal action, saying: “We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government.”

Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden, has opened up narrow leads over Trump in the critical battlegrounds of Georgia and Pennsylvania.

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12:55 p.m.

Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, says President Donald Trump is “damaging the cause of freedom” and inflaming “destructive and dangerous passions” by claiming, without foundation, that the election was rigged and stolen from him.

Romney lost to President Barack Obama in 2012 but was gracious in defeat. He is Trump’s most vocal critic within the Republican Party and voted to convict him in Trump’s impeachment trial early this year.

The Utah Republican offered his assessment Friday on Twitter, saying that Trump is well within his rights to challenge the results through the legal remedies available to him. But Romney says Trump is “wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt, and stolen from him — doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world.”

Democrat Joe Biden is on the cusp of winning the presidency as he opens up narrow leads over Trump in several critical backgrounds.

The Associated Press has not called the presidential race. Votes are still being counted in states including Pennsylvania and Georgia.

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12:40 p.m.

Joe Biden’s campaign says he will give a speech during prime time Friday.

The Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign announced that he would be making an address but did not say where or what he plans to say.

Biden is on the cusp of winning the presidency as he opens up narrow leads over President Donald Trump in several critical backgrounds.

The Associated Press has not called the presidential race. Votes are still being counted in states including Pennsylvania and Georgia.

He has urged the public to be patient as vote counting continues. He was spending Friday at home in Wilmington, Delaware.

A stage set up since election night for a victory party outside the city’s convention center remained intact and has been secured for days by security personnel using high fencing and car barriers.

Biden campaign staffers who arrived in Wilmington for a victory party earlier in the week have been told to hold onto their hotel rooms until early next week.

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11:50 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

By Friday morning, Biden overtook Trump in the number of ballots counted in the state, which Trump must win to have a shot at reelection. Biden leads by more than 9,000 votes. The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call. Votes in the state are still being counted.

Trump’s lead dwindled after Election Day when state officials began processing mail-in ballots, a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor. Trump spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

If there is less than a half percentage point difference between Biden’s and Trump’s vote totals, state law dictates that a recount must be held.

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8:50 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is now leading President Donald Trump in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

By Friday morning, Biden overtook Trump in the number of ballots counted in the state, which Trump must win to have a shot at reelection. Biden now holds a nearly 6,000-vote advantage.

The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call. Votes in the state are still being counted.

Trump’s lead dwindled after Election Day when state officials began processing mail-in ballots, a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor after Trump spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

If there is less than a half percentage point difference between Biden’s and Trump’s vote totals, state law dictates that a recount must be held.

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4:40 a.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is now leading President Donald Trump in the battleground state of Georgia.

By Friday morning, Biden overtook Trump in the number of ballots counted in the battleground, a must-win state for Trump that has long been a Republican stronghold. Biden now has a 917-vote advantage.

The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call. Thousands of ballots are still left to be counted — many in counties where the former vice president was in the lead.

An AP analysis showed that Biden’s vote margins grew as counties processed mail ballots cast in his favor.

There is a potential that the race could go to a recount. Under Georgia law, if the margin between Biden and Trump is under half a percentage point of difference, a recount can be requested.

Categories: National News