Ballotpedia’s Help Desk: Election results progress

Ballotpedia’s 2020 Election Help Desk

Welcome to Ballotpedia’s Election Help Desk Newsletter. We’re following results for 9,756 elections held on Nov. 3. This morning, we cover: 

  • Progress made toward calling elections and resolving recounts and lawsuits
  • The latest on the presidential race
  • Noteworthy lawsuits 
  • Upcoming absentee/mail-in ballot receipt deadlines

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Days since election day: 2

Election results progress

Click here to read how Ballotpedia calls races. Click here for Ballotpedia’s coverage scope.

Ballotpedia is following results in 9,756 elections, including each state in the presidential election. Here’s the status of these elections as of 9 a.m. on Nov. 5, subject to change as more results come in:

  • 65.4% (6,378) are called and not subject to a recount or lawsuit
  • 34.5% (3,370) are uncalled and not subject to a recount or lawsuit
  • 8 races are currently called but subject to a recount or lawsuit
  • 7 races are currently uncalled and subject to a recount or lawsuit

Presidential election update

As of 9 a.m. on Nov. 5:

  • 44 of 50 states + D.C. called in the presidential election
  • Uncalled states: Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Maine 2nd, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania
  • 213 electoral votes for Donald Trump (R)
  • 253 electoral votes for Joe Biden (D)

Noteworthy disputes

Here’s the latest on noteworthy recounts, lawsuits, and other election disputes


  • Michigan: On Nov. 4, the Trump campaign and Eric Ostergren, an election challenger from Roscommon County, filed suit in the Michigan Court of Claims alleging Ostergren was excluded from viewing the absentee/mail-in ballot review process. In Michigan, election challengers differ from poll watchers. Political parties and certain interested groups appoint election challengers. Election challengers can question a ballot’s validity during counting. State law says at least one election challenger from each major party must be present during absentee/mail-in ballot counting.

    Plaintiffs also reference state law requiring video monitoring of all ballot containers and allege Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) must allow election challengers to view this surveillance. Plaintiffs say, “Benson’s actions and her failure to act have undermined the constitutional right of all Michigan voters … to participate in fair and lawful elections.”

    The plaintiffs are asking that the counting and processing of absentee/mail-in ballots stop immediately until election challengers have access to video monitoring until one challenger from each party is present at the counting boards.
  • Georgia: On Nov. 4, the Trump campaign and the Georgia Republican Party sued in the Chatham County Superior Court alleging that the Chatham County Board of Elections had failed “to safely store absentee ballots” and might be illegally accepting “absentee ballots arriving after 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.” The plaintiffs allege this “frustrates [the] organizational mission and dilutes lawful votes for Republican candidates in state, local, and federal contests.” 

    The plaintiffs submitted an affidavit from registered poll watcher Sean Pumphrey who says he saw 53 ballots received after 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 mixed in with ballots received before that time. 

    The plaintiffs are asking the court to require Chatham County election officials to segregate ballots received after 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 and “provide an accounting of all such absentee ballots, including the number of ballots received after 7 p.m. on Election Day, the name of the absentee voter, and the time and date that such absentee ballot was received” to the plaintiffs. 
  • Pennsylvania: On Nov. 4, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee sued Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar (D) and the state’s 67 county election boards. Plaintiffs allege processes allowing mail-in voters to provide missing proof of identification after submitting their ballots violated state law.

    On Nov. 1, Boockvar directed county election officials to give mail-in voters until Nov. 12 to provide missing proof of identification. State law specifies that missing proof of identification must be submitted by the sixth day following the election, which would be Nov. 9. The plaintiffs asked the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania to reinstate this statutory deadline.  

Upcoming absentee/mail-in voting deadlines

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have secondary receipt deadlines for absentee/mail-in ballots. In these states, ballots must generally have been postmarked on or before Election Day, but they will be accepted if received within a certain number of days after Nov. 3. These secondary receipt deadlines are listed below in chronological order. 

  • Nov. 6:
    • Kansas
    • Kentucky
    • Massachusetts
    • Pennsylvania
    • Virginia
  • Nov. 9:
    • Iowa
    • West Virginia
  • Nov. 10:
    • Minnesota
    • Mississippi
    • Nevada
    • New Jersey
    • New York
  • Nov. 12:
    • North Carolina
  • Nov. 13:
    • Alaska
    • District of Columbia
    • Maryland
    • Ohio
  • Nov. 17:
    • Illinois
  • Nov. 20:
    • California

For coverage of all dates, deadlines, and requirements, click here.

And a dose of calm