UPDATE – US election: Biden takes lead in Georgia over Trump


ANKARA (AA) – In what may be one of the last bricks in building a presidential electoral victory, Democratic candidate Joe Biden early Friday took a slim lead in Georgia over President Donald Trump, even as vote tallies nationwide face numerous legal challenges.

In Georgia, the former vice president was ahead by 917 votes over Trump with 99% of the votes reported at 07.07 a.m. local time (1207 GMT), according to The Associated Press.

Biden had 2,449,371 votes against Trump's 2,448,454, with around 10,000 ballots left uncounted across the state.

Georgia state law does not automatically trigger a recount, but a candidate can request one if the race is separated by a margin of 0.5% or less.

In the swing state of Pennsylvania, Biden was also closing in on Trump with 3,267,923 against the president's 3,285,965 – a difference of 18,042 votes, or 0.3%.

The Keystone State provides for an automatic recount if the race is separated by a margin of 0.5% or less, or if election officials find irregularities in the results.

Trump still comfortably dominates in North Carolina with his 2,732,084 votes versus Biden's 2,655,383 for a lead of over 70,000, or 1.4% difference. The president looks almost certain to win the southern state, where a candidate can only seek a recount when the margin is within 10,000 votes or 0.5%.

Biden, on the other hand, looks certain to have Nevada in the bag, as he leads with 604,251 votes over Trump’s 592,813 for a margin of over 11,000 votes, or 0.9%.

There is no automatic process for a recount in Nevada, but a candidate can seek a recount if he or she pays its estimated cost, but is reimbursed if the recount flips the election's outcome.

Trump is far ahead in Alaska with 62.1% of the vote against Biden's 33.5%, even with only half of the state's ballots counted.

– Lawsuits

The results of the various vote counts, however, may be challenged as Trump has vowed lawsuits in key states.

The Trump campaign has filed legal challenges in Michigan, Georgia, and Pennsylvania to halt vote counting, but an appeals court judge on Thursday dismissed the president's lawsuit to stop counting in Michigan.

In Georgia, another judge dismissed a lawsuit Thursday that claimed "unlawful counting of ballots received after the election."

Many states did not allow mail-in ballots to be started counting until Election Day.

A Trump campaign request in Pennsylvania provided a small victory after a judge allowed campaign observers to stand within six feet of ballot counters.

The Republican Party announced Thursday it will file a lawsuit in Nevada to stop vote counting in one county.

The party, along with the Trump campaign, also filed a lawsuit against election officials in an Arizona country, as some voters had marked their ballots with Sharpie pens.

But the Arizona attorney general's office said use of the pens did not "disenfranchise" voters.

Trump's advisers said later Thursday they have not given up their legal fights in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia – all states Trump needs to win for another term in the White House.

Although the president tried to voice his frustration via Twitter, he saw a number of his tweets removed or flagged as being possibly “misleading”

"Twitter is out of control," Trump tweeted Friday, after four of his tweets were removed in the previous 12 hours.

Warning of the consequences if the Democrats manage to beat the odds by winning the Senate, he added: “Presidency becomes even more important. We will win!"

– Deceased voters

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), a Republican Party-affiliated public interest law firm specializing in civil litigation, also filed a lawsuit alleging it had found at least 21,000 deceased registrants on Pennsylvania’s voter rolls.

"[A]as of October 7, 2020, at least 9,212 registrants have been dead for at least five years, at least 1,990 registrants have been dead for at least ten years, and at least 197 registrants have been dead for at least twenty years," it said in a statement Thursday.

"Pennsylvania still left the names of more than 21,000 dead individuals on the voter rolls less than a month before one of the most consequential general elections for federal officeholders in many years," it added.