Nov. 6 (UPI) — The tight presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden shifted in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada on Friday as the former vice president surges ahead in vote counts.
In Pennsylvania, Biden grew his lead to about 21,700 votes, according to state figures updated midday Friday.
Biden outpaced Trump by about 428,000 ballots in the latest count from Philadelphia.
As of Thursday night, Trump had led by about 18,000 votes in a race that’s been steadily narrowing since Wednesday. At one point on Election Night, Trump led in the state by more than a half-million votes.
About 23,000 mail ballots remained to be tabulated in Philadelphia County, according to Pennsylvania’s Department of State, with a small number of precincts yet to report final numbers in in-person voting. City Commission Chairwoman Lisa Deeley said in a noontime news conference, cautioning it may take “several days” to complete the count.
Statewide, some 102,000 mail ballots cast have yet to be counted, just under 4% of the mail-in ballot total.
The largest chunk of outstanding mail-in ballots are in Allegheny County, some 36,000 ballots. About 29,000 of them are had a printing error, and in some cases, voters either submitted a new, corrected mail ballot or received a provisional ballot during in-person voting.
As elections officials closed in on finishing the mail ballot counting, their attention with then turn toward provisional ballots. These ballots likely will take time to evaluate, verify and count.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ordered that all mail ballots that arrived after Election Day be segregated and counted. The totals from those ballots must be kept separate, though.
Pennsylvania Republicans had asked the U.S. Supreme Court for the order earlier in the day. Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said the late-arriving ballots were already being separated and had not yet been counted.
The state Supreme Court ruled in September that all mail-in ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 would be accepted and counted up to three days after Election Day.
Biden’s electoral count remains at 253 to Trump’s 213, according to projections by CBS News and CNN, NBC News. It takes 270 to win.
A total of 71 electoral votes were still up for grabs in six states — Pennsylvania (20), Georgia (16), Arizona (11), North Carolina (15), Nevada (6) a,nd Alaska (3). There is also one electoral vote in a Maine district that has not been projected.
Biden will deliver a prime-time address on Friday night, campaign aides said.
In Georgia, Biden’s lead grew by more than 4,000 votes after officials updated their count Friday evening.
Trump, who has made accusations of voter fraud without any supporting evidence, would need to secure both Georgia and Pennsylvania to win re-election.
“We’re not seeing any widespread irregularities,” voting system implementation manager Gabriel Sterling said. “We’re investigating any credible accusation with any real evidence behind it.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Friday afternoon that a recount is all but certain.
“The final tally in Georgia at this point has huge implications for the entire country,” he said. “The stakes are high and emotions are high on all sides. We will not let those debates distract us from our work. We will get it right, and we will defend the integrity of our elections.”
In Georgia, a recount is mandatory if the difference between the candidates is 0.5% or smaller. Biden presently has a lead of less than 0.1%, with a few thousands ballots left to count.
Only about 4,000 votes remain to be counted statewide, Sterling told reporters. About 3,500 of those votes were in Democratic-leaning Gwinnett County in suburban Atlanta, he said.
In Nevada, Biden grew his lead over Trump in new votes tabulated Friday.
Biden, who began Friday with a lead of about 11,000 votes, increased the margin to more than 22,600, according to the updated official numbers.
Nevada began Friday with more than 190,000 ballots remaining to be counted — 90% of which were in Clark County, which contains Las Vegas and is heavily Democratic.
In Arizona, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said counting will extend to the weekend with 250,000 to 270,000 ballots remaining. About half of those are in Maricopa County.
Biden leads with 1,604,000 votes to Trump’s 1,537,000, a 1% or nearly 30,000-vote margin.
In North Carolina, Trump holds a lead of about 80,000 votes, according to official state data.
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