Election Live Updates: With Votes Still Being Counted, an Anxious Nation Awaits a Winner

Election Live Updates: With Votes Still Being Counted, an Anxious Nation Awaits a Winner

Presidential election hangs in the balance, and the nation braces(brās) for a period of uncertainty.

By Mark Landler

The morning after a chaotic(kāˈädik), suspenseful(səˈspensf(ə)l) Election Day, Americans awoke on Wednesday to the specter(ˈspektər) of hours or even days of uncertainty ahead, as several states counted millions of ballots(ˈbalət) in razor(ˈrāzər)-thin contests that could tip the balance to President Trump or former Vice President Joseph(ˈjōzəf, ˈjōsəf) R. Biden Jr.

After a long election night rife(rīf) with dramatic(drəˈmadik) twists(twist) and victories(ˈvikt(ə)rē) by both candidates, Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden battled to a near draw in electoral(əˈlekt(ə)rəl) votes, each several dozen votes shy(SHī) of the 270 needed to capture the presidency.

The field of battle had dwindled(ˈdwindl) to a trio(ˈtrēō) of northern(ˈnôrT͟Hərn) states — Pennsylvania(ˌpensəlˈvānyə), Michigan(ˈmiSHiɡən) and Wisconsin(wəˈskänsən) — that vaulted(ˈvôltəd) Mr. Trump to victory(ˈvikt(ə)rē) over Hillary Clinton in 2016, as well as Arizona(ˌerəˈzōnə) and Nevada(nəˈvadə, nəˈvädə), where Mr. Biden had narrow(ˈnerō) leads, and Georgia(ˈjôrjə), where he trailed(trāl) but was gaining ground with every vote counted. Mr. Trump prematurely(ˌprēməˈCHo͝orlē) declared victory and said he would petition(pəˈtiSH(ə)n) the Supreme(so͞oˈprēm) Court to demand a halt(hôlt) to the counting. Mr. Biden urged his supporters — and by implication, Mr. Trump — to show patience and allow the process to play out.

Their dueling(ˈd(y)o͞oəl), post-midnight appearances captured the raw struggle of a contest that many feared would leap from the campaign trail to the courts, as Mr. Trump’s lawyers(ˈloiər) readied(ˈredē) legal(ˈlēɡəl) maneuvers(məˈno͞ovər).

The president’s statement, delivered in the White House, amounted to a reckless(ˈrekləs) attack on the democratic(ˌdeməˈkradik) process during a time of deep anxiety and division in the country. Mr. Biden, speaking from a flag-draped stage(stāj) in Wilmington(ˈwilmiNGtən), Del., appealed(əˈpēl) for calm and tried to reassure(ˌrēəˈSHo͝or) supporters rattled(ˈradl) by a vote that was much closer than the pollsters(ˈpōlstər) or political(pəˈlidək(ə)l) analysts(ˈanələst) had predicted.