04 November 2020 08:32
The world is waiting for the result of the US presidential election, but it is looking increasingly likely that we will not know tonight. A majority of states have officially closed their polls and started counting. President Donald Trump and rival Joe Biden are eyeing off the 270 electoral votes needed to take the White House, and while some results are coming back, a decision in this year's race could take a while. That's due to an unprecedented number of mail-in and early in-person votes. But what do we know so far, and when will we know more?
All times are listed in Australian Eastern Daylight Time. Are we going to find out who won tonight? Watch Duration: 1 minute 56 seconds 1 m 56 s Antony Green runs through what would happen in a scenario of electoral college deadlock. It doesn't look like we'll know who has won any time tonight. ABC election analyst Antony Green has been calling results, and just before 7:00pm he called 213 votes for Mr Trump with 227 for Mr Biden. After a busy afternoon, the frequency of updates has begun to slow. "So still a long way to go … it's quite likely that nobody will get to 270 tonight," Green said. Green said the gap between Mr Trump and Mr Biden was not large. "[Trump] still needs to win one of Michigan, Wisconsin or Arizona," he said. "That's why I think the President and his staff have objected to people calling Arizona for the Democrats because if Arizona is won by the Democrats he needs Pennsylvania and another state. "There's a lot more counting to come in some of those states. As I said, that doesn't mean that Donald Trump is a long way behind. Once you add Texas that, gap closes very quickly." Just after 5:30pm, Green called Texas for Mr Trump. The President has retained many states he won in 2016 and the race now seems to rest on the three northern industrial states where Trump most surprised the Democrats four year ago: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. A number of key states still have hundreds of thousands of ballots outstanding. What have the candidates said? Watch Duration: 2 minutes 20 seconds 2 m 20 s Planet America's John Barron explains the US electoral college. Mr Biden briefly addressed supporters in Delaware. He said he was feeling good and was confident of turning around Arizona for a win, while announcing his team had claimed victory in Minnesota. "We are going to have to be patient," he told the crowd. "We are feeling good about where we are. "Keep the faith, guys. We are going to win this. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your patience is great." Mr Biden also said he would win the much-watched state of Pennsylvania. Watch Duration: 3 minutes 39 seconds 3 m 39 s Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden addresses his supporters in his home state of Delaware on election night. And those remarks seem to be all that we will hear from Mr Biden tonight. He has told journalists following his campaign there will not be any more speeches to cover tonight. Mr Trump tweeted just before 5:00pm he would be making a big statement, then tweeted again that his opponents were trying to "steal" the election. Loading He addressed supporters at the White House at 2:30am local time, declaring that "frankly we did win the election" and calling any remaining uncertainty a "fraud". "Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight and a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people, and we won't stand for it. We will not stand for it," he said in his opening remarks. After running through several critical states including Texas and Arizona, talking about voting margins, he said he had predicated his opponents would go to court before promising to do that himself. "We did win this election. So our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation, this is a very big moment, this is a major fraud on our nation. "We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we'll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don't want them to find any ballots at 4:00 in the morning and add them to the list, OK?" Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. Watch Duration: 42 seconds 42 s Trump claims the election is fraudulent while claiming victory. Depending on the scenario delivered, we could be waiting weeks for a result. Experts have long warned the result could take longer than usual to become clear, and that a delay was not a sign something has gone awry or things have failed. With the coronavirus pandemic changing the way millions of votes have been cast, it's just going to take a lot longer to count ballots in 2020. Taking a long time to count the result isn't the same as a contested result, which we could get as well. Whatever happens on election night, Mr Trump will still be president and the current Senate and House are still in place for a little while into 2021, so the business of US government continues no matter how long it takes to count.