Votes still being counted in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina and Alaska
CHICAGO -- Based on the latest numbers, ABC News can characterize Joe Biden as the apparent winner in Pennsylvania - making him president-elect.
Scroll down for the latest updates in the 2020 presidential eleciton.
270 Electoral College votes are needed to take the White House. The winner will lead a country facing a historic set of challenges, including a surging pandemic and deep political polarization.
All times are Central
With 96% percent of the expected vote counted, Biden has a lead of 30,900 votes over President Donald Trump in the Keystone State.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took to Twitter to congratulate Biden.
Joe Biden is now leading by a margin of 7,248 votes in Georgia, after several counties, uploaded all or a portion of their military and overseas ballots and provisional ballots overnight, including roughly 5,000 from Fulton County.
Joe Biden's lead over President Donald Trump is growing in battleground Pennsylvania.
By Friday evening, the Democrat held a lead of over 19,500 votes out of more than 6.5 million ballots cast. That's an edge of about 0.29%. State law dictates that a recount must be held if the margin between the two candidates is less than 0.5%.
The Pennsylvania secretary of state's website said Friday that there were 102,541 more mail ballots that needed to be counted, including many from Allegheny County, a Democratic area that is home to Pittsburgh, and the Democratic stronghold of Philadelphia County.
Additionally, there are potentially tens of thousands of provisional ballots that remain to be tabulated, though an exact number remained unclear. Those ballots will be counted after officials verify their eligibility to be included.
Legal experts interviewed by the I-Team say President Donald Trump's current election legal strategy appears to be to question legal vote counting that's continuing in each of the key states that have not been decided. As typical, mail votes postmarked by Election Day are still arriving in some states and being counted-three days out. In this year of COVID-19 with so many mail-in ballots the process is taking longer-and helping Joe Biden's totals-because more Democrats voted by mail. It is that phenomenon that the president falsely claims is fraudulent and corrupt-even though it is perfectly legal. So far, lawsuits filed in several states by Trump's campaign have so far gone nowhere.
"There are no plausible avenues, at the moment, for the Trump team or the Republican party to raise a ballot-counting question that could be outcome determinative in the Supreme Court," Professor Aziz Huq, University of Chicago Law School, told the I-Team.
"I think the plan is to throw up as many roadblocks as he can, and all the relevant states to see if that can change the outcome in some way, but I think it's very unlikely to do so," said Gil Soffer, ABC7 Legal Analyst.
Here's where the vote count stands:
In Pennsylvania, Biden leads trump by 14,518 votes with 3,315,372 total versus Trump's total of 3,300,854. The state says 112,796 mail-in or absentee ballots remain to be counted. On a county level, there could be more than 60,000 additional ballots from Philadelphia and Montgomery County, a mix of provisional and overseas ballots. The number of provision ballots left to count statewide is also expected to grow as counties conclude their count of official ballots first.
In Nevada, Biden leads Trump by 20,137 votes, with a total of 627,104 versus Trump's total of 606,967. Around 130,000 votes remain to be counted, mostly in Clark County which includes Las Vegas. The exact number of outstanding ballots in Clark County is not known. The next vote count release out of Nevada is expected at 6 p.m.
In Arizona, Biden leads Trump by 39,769 votes, with a total of 1,564,883 versus Trump's total of 1,525,114, with around 137,000 ballots not counted in Maricopa County. The number of uncounted ballots state wide isn't known, and have been changing often. Maricopa County is set to issue an update at 8 p.m.
In Georgia, Biden's lead has grown to 4,263 votes, with a total of 2,455,433 to Trump's total of 2,451,170. We don't know the number of outstanding ballots still waiting to be counted or when the next big vote update will be as results continue to trickle. from around the state.
Top Republican officials in Georgia say they are confident the secretary of state will ensure that ballots are properly counted.
The statement Friday from GOP Gov. Brian Kemp and others came a day after President Donald Trump alleged without any details or evidence that election officials are trying to "steal the election" from him.
Trump said Thursday that the "election apparatus in Georgia is run by Democrats," even though the top election official is a Republican whom he endorsed.
Biden was leading Trump in Georgia by about 1,500 votes midday Friday.
-ABC News' Devin Dwyer
With Trump trailing Biden in the Pennsylvania vote count, state Republicans are asking the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency order to ensure that no late-arriving mail ballots are added to the totals.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar has already confirmed to ABC News that those ballots are not showing up in the tally.
But in the attached filing, the GOP argues that Boockvar's guidance is non-binding on county boards and claims that 25 of 67 counties haven't indicated whether or not they are abiding by it and in fact segregating the late-arriving votes.
"Without an immediate order from this Court, [Republican Party of Pennsylvania] could lose its right to 'a targeted remedy' if the State Supreme Court's decision is ultimately overturned," they write.
Biden has increased his lead over Trump in Nevada to 20,137 votes.
Results released Friday from Democrat-heavy Clark County, which includes Las Vegas and three-quarters of Nevada's population, along with two rural counties, put Biden at 627,104 votes and Trump at 606,967.
Biden's lead nearly doubled from Thursday, when he was leading Trump by about 11,000 votes.
Election officials in several closely contested states said they are worried about the safety of their workers amid threats and gatherings of angry protesters outside vote tabulation centers, drawn by President Donald Trump's baseless claim of widespread fraud in the race for the White House.
Groups of Trump supporters gathered at vote tabulation sites in Detroit and Philadelphia again Friday, decrying counts that showed Democrat Joe Biden leading in those and other key states.
Biden is on the cusp of winning the presidency on Friday as he opened up narrow leads over President Trump in the critical battlegrounds of Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Those put Biden in a stronger position to capture the 270 Electoral College votes needed to take the White House.
The focus on Pennsylvania, where Biden led Trump by more than 9,000 votes, and Georgia, where Biden led by more than 1,500, came as Americans entered a third full day after the election without knowing who will lead them for the next four years. The prolonged process added to the anxiety of a nation whose racial and cultural divides were inflamed during the heated campaign.
Biden was at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, as the vote count continued and aides said he would address the nation in primetime. Trump largely remained in the White House residence as more results trickled in, expanding Biden's lead in must-win Pennsylvania. In the West Wing, televisions remained tuned to the news amid trappings of normalcy, as reporters lined up for coronavirus tests and outdoor crews worked on the North Lawn on a mild, muggy fall day.
Trump's campaign, meanwhile, was quiet -- a dramatic difference from the day before, when it held a morning conference call projecting confidence and held a flurry of hastily arranged press conferences announcing litigation in key states.
With his pathway to reelection appearing to greatly narrow, Trump was testing how far he could go in using the trappings of presidential power to undermine confidence in the vote.
On Thursday, he advanced unsupported accusations of voter fraud to falsely argue that his rival was trying to seize power in an extraordinary effort by a sitting American president to sow doubt about the democratic process.
"This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election," Trump said from the podium of the White House briefing room.
The president pledged on Friday, in a statement, to pursue challenges "through every aspect of the law" but also suggested that his fight was "no longer about any single election." Biden spent Thursday trying to ease tensions and project a more traditional image of presidential leadership. After participating in a coronavirus briefing, he declared that "each ballot must be counted."
"I ask everyone to stay calm. The process is working," Biden said. "It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America."
Trump showed no sign of giving up and was back on Twitter around 2:30 a.m. Friday, insisting the "U.S. Supreme Court should decide!"
Trump's erroneous claims about the integrity of the election challenged Republicans now faced with the choice of whether to break with a president who, though his grip on his office grew tenuous, commanded sky-high approval ratings from rank-and-file members of the GOP. That was especially true for those who are eyeing presidential runs of their own in 2024.
Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, a potential presidential hopeful who has often criticized Trump, said unequivocally: "There is no defense for the President's comments tonight undermining our Democratic process. America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before."
But others who are rumored to be considering a White House run of their own in four years aligned themselves with the incumbent, including Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who tweeted support for Trump's claims, writing that "If last 24 hours have made anything clear, it's that we need new election integrity laws NOW."
Trump's campaign engaged in a flurry of legal activity, saying it would seek a recount in Wisconsin and had filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia.
But judges in the three states quickly swatted down legal action. A federal judge who was asked to stop vote counts in Philadelphia instead forced the two sides to reach an agreement without an order over the number of observers allowed.
"Really, can't we be responsible adults here and reach an agreement?" an exasperated U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond said during an emergency hearing Thursday evening. "The whole thing could (soon) be moot."
In Pennsylvania, officials had not been allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day under state law, and those votes went heavily in Biden's favor.
Mail ballots from across the state were overwhelmingly breaking in Biden's direction. A final vote total may not be clear for days because the use of mail-in ballots, which take more time to process, has surged as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Trump campaign said it was confident the president would ultimately pull out a victory in Arizona, where votes were also still being counted, including in Maricopa County, the state's most populous area. The AP has declared Biden the winner in Arizona and said Thursday that it was monitoring the vote count as it proceeded.
"The Associated Press continues to watch and analyze vote count results from Arizona as they come in," said Sally Buzbee, AP's executive editor. "We will follow the facts in all cases."
Trump's campaign was lodging legal challenges in several states, though he faced long odds. He would have to win multiple suits in multiple states in order to stop vote counts, since more than one state was undeclared.
Some of the Trump team's lawsuits only demand better access for campaign observers to locations where ballots are being processed and counted. A judge in Georgia dismissed the campaign's suit there less than 12 hours after it was filed. And a Michigan judge dismissed a Trump lawsuit over whether enough GOP challengers had access to handling of absentee ballots
Biden attorney Bob Bauer said the suits were legally "meritless." Their only purpose, he said "is to create an opportunity for them to message falsely about what's taking place in the electoral process."
WLS-TV contributed to this report