Tagelection results

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

Steve Chabot wins re-election to the U.S. House

Incumbent Steve Chabot (R) defeated Kate Schroder (D) and Kevin Kahn (L) in the general election for Ohio’s 1st Congressional District. Chabot was first elected in 1994 and won re-election in every year since, other than 2008. He last won election in 2018, defeating Aftab Pureval 51.3% to 46.9%.

Both parties’ Hill committees targeted the 1st District this year. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) included Schroder on its list of Red to Blue candidates, while the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) placed Chabot in its Patriot Program. The two groups spent a combined $5 million in the district.

Yvette Herrell defeats incumbent Xochitl Torres Small in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District

Yvette Herrell (R) defeated incumbent Xochitl Torres Small (D) and Steve Jones (I) in New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District.

The race was one of 56 U.S. House rematches ongoing this year; Herrell and Small ran for the then-open seat in 2018, as incumbent Steve Pearce (R) sought the governorship. That year, Torres Small defeated Herrell 51% to 49% to flip the seat.

This was also one of 30 U.S. House seats Democrats were defending this year that President Trump (R) carried in 2016. That year, he defeated Hillary Clinton (D) 50% to 40% in the 2nd District.

This is one of three districts so far where the New York Times, CNN, ABC, NBC, and FOX News have each called as a Democratic to Republican flip. The other two districts (Minnesota’s 7th and Oklahoma’s 5th) also went to President Trump by margins of 10 percentage points or greater in 2016. The five outlets have called two districts as Republican to Democratic flips, both North Carolina districts that were redrawn last year.

Hinson defeats Finkenauer in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District

Ashley Hinson (R) defeated incumbent Abby Finkenauer (D) in the general election for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. Finkenauer was first elected in 2018, defeating then-incumbent Rep. Rod Blum (R) 51% to 46%. 

Heading into the election, Hinson had served in the Iowa House of Representatives since 2016. She was endorsed by President Donald Trump (R) and Governor Kim Reynolds (R).

The 1st District was one of 31 U.S. House districts that Trump won in the 2016 presidential election and a Democratic candidate won in the 2018 midterm elections. During the presidential election, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton (D) 49% to 45% in the 1st District.

This is one of four districts so far where the New York Times, CNN, ABC, NBC, and FOX News have each called as a Democratic to Republican flip. The other three districts (Minnesota’s 7th, Oklahoma’s 5th, and New Mexico’s 2nd) also went to President Trump in 2016. The five outlets have called two districts as Republican to Democratic flips, both North Carolina districts that were redrawn last year.

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) wins Wisconsin

As of Nov. 4, former Vice President Joe Biden (D) is the projected winner of the presidential election in Wisconsin. As of 4:00 p.m. E.T., 99% of the popular vote had been tabulated in the state, with Biden receiving 49.4% of the vote and former President Donald Trump (R) receiving 48.8% of the vote. Wisconsin is worth 10 electoral votes.

In 2016, Trump won Wisconsin with 47.2% of the vote, beating Hillary Clinton (D) by a margin of .7%.

Wisconsin favored Democratic presidential candidates in the four elections between 2000 and 2012, then voted for Republican Donald Trump in 2016. Between 1900 and 2016, Wisconsin supported Republicans candidates in 50 percent of presidential elections and Democratic candidates in 47 percent.

There were 23 counties in Wisconsin that voted for Donald Trump in 2016, and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. These counties accounted for 17.35% of Wisconsin’s population.

Tuberville defeats incumbent Jones in Alabama Senate race

Tommy Tuberville (R) defeated incumbent Doug Jones (D) in the U.S. Senate election in Alabama. Jones was first elected in 2017, receiving 50% of the vote to Roy Moore (R)’s 48%. Jones was the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in Alabama since 1992.

Tuberville is a former college football coach. President Donald Trump (R) endorsed him in the Republican primary runoff, where Tuberville defeated former Sen. Jeff Sessions.

Jones is the second incumbent senator to lose a re-election bid in 2020 as of 12 a.m. ET on Nov. 4. In Colorado, John Hickenlooper (D) defeated incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Thirty-five of 100 Senate seats are up for election. Republicans have a 53-47 majority. Of the 35 seats up, 23 are held by Republicans and 12 by Democrats, giving Republicans greater partisan risk this year. Democrats need to win a net four seats to win an outright majority in the chamber.

California voters reject rent control and dialysis company requirements

California voters rejected rent control and dialysis company requirements for the second time.

California voters rejected Proposition 21 with 59% against and 41% in favor. It would have expanded the authority of local governments to enact rent control. According to unofficial election night results, Proposition 21 will fail by the same margin as Proposition 10 of 2018, which also proposed to expand rent control authority. Both measures were backed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which spent $40 million in support in 2020 and $22 million in support in 2018. Real estate interests were donors to the opposition of both measures, which raised $71 million in 2018 and at least $73 million in 2020.

Voters rejected Proposition 23 with 64% against and 36% in favor. It would have set certain restrictions and requirements for dialysis companies. It was similar to Proposition 8 in 2018, which voters rejected by 60% to 40%. Both measures had the support of the SEIU-UHW West, a labor union for healthcare workers, and top opposition donors for both were dialysis businesses, including DaVita and Fresenius Medical Care. In 2018, the support campaign raised $19 million, and in 2020, the support campaign raised at least $9 million. In 2018, the opposition campaign raised $111.5 million, and in 2020, the opposition campaign raised at least $105.2 million.

Additional reading:

California voters approve Prop 22, define rideshare drivers as independent contractors

California voters approved Proposition 22 by a vote of 58% to 42%, according to unofficial election night results. The initiative defines app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery drivers as independent contractors and adopted labor and wage policies specific to app-based drivers and companies. The initiative overrode Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), signed in September 2019.

Proposition 22 was the most expensive ballot measure campaign in California’s history according to available records. The support reported $202.9 million in contributions, with Uber, Doordash, Lyft, InstaCart, and Postmates as top donors. The opposition reported $19.7 million in contributions, with unions as the top donors.

Greg Gianforte elected governor of Montana

Greg Gianforte (R) defeated Mike Cooney (D), Robert Barb (G), and Lyman Bishop (L) to win election as governor of Montana. Gianforte is the first Republican elected to the office since 2000. Gianforte is the state’s current representative in the U.S. House, while Cooney is the current lieutenant governor. This is the first of the 11 governorships up this year to flip partisan control.

Montana was one of two states with a Democratic governor up for election this year in a state Donald Trump (R) won in 2016. In the other, North Carolina, incumbent Roy Cooper (D) won election to a second term. In 2016, Gianforte was the Republican gubernatorial nominee and lost to incumbent Steve Bullock (D) 50% to 46%.

Although final control of the state Senate and House is too early to call, they were not among the 24 battleground state legislative chambers Ballotpedia identified as having a chance of changing control this year. Should Republicans maintain their majorities in both chambers, Gianforte’s victory would give Republicans a trifecta in Montana for the first time since the 2004 election. Heading into the election, Montana had been under divided government longer than any other state.

Nehls defeats Kulkarni, LeBlanc in Texas’ 22nd Congressional District

Troy Nehls (R) defeated Sri Preston Kulkarni (D) and Joseph LeBlanc (L) in the general election for Texas’ 22nd Congressional District on November 3, 2020. 

Incumbent Rep. Pete Olson (R) did not run for re-election. This was the second time Kulkarni ran as the Democratic nominee in Texas’ 22nd. In 2018, Olson was re-elected with 51% of the vote to Kulkarni’s 47%.

Nehls has worked in law enforcement and had served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 21 years. He was endorsed by President Donald Trump (R).

Heading into the election, Democrats have a 232-197 majority in the House. Republicans need to win a net 21 seats to win control of the chamber. Texas’ 22nd was one of 35 open Republican seats.