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Georgia judge dismisses Trump’s suit on absentee ballots

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A court in Georgia has dismissed a lawsuit by the state Republican Party and US President Donald Trump’s campaign asking that the county followed state laws on processing absentee ballots, Associated Press reported Thursday.

According to AP, Chatham County Superior Court Judge, James Bass, did not provide an explanation for his decision Thursday at the close of a roughly one-hour hearing. The county includes the heavily Democratic city of Savannah.

The suit had raised concerns about 53 absentee ballots that poll observers said were not part of an original batch of ballots. But County elections officials testified that all 53 ballots had been received on time.

Both Trump and his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, still had paths to winning the White House by hitting the magic majority threshold of 270 of the electoral votes awarded to whichever candidate wins the popular vote in a given state.

But momentum moved to Biden, who made a televised speech from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware to say that “when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.”

By flipping the northern battlegrounds of Michigan and Wisconsin, and also winning formerly pro-Trump Arizona, Biden reached 264 electoral votes against 214 so far for Trump.

To reach 270, Biden hopes to add the six electoral votes from Nevada, where he had a small and shrinking lead, or, even better, the larger prizes of hard-fought Georgia or Pennsylvania.

However, Trump has so far accused his opponent of electoral fraud and threatened court action.

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US Election 2020:Breaking News Joe Biden Historically wins the presidency

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WILMINGTON, Del. — Joe Biden became president-elect Saturday after winning the pivotal state of Pennsylvania, NBC News projected.

The former vice president amassed 273 Electoral College votes after winning Pennsylvania’s 20 electors, according to NBC News, surpassing the 270 needed to win the White House and defeat President Donald Trump.

Biden’s victory capped one of the longest and most tumultuous campaigns in modern history, in which he maintained an aggressive focus on Trump’s widely criticized handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. A majority of voters said rising coronavirus cases were a significant factor in their vote, according to early results from the NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters.

Biden regularly criticized Trump as unfit for office and positioned his campaign as a “battle for the soul of America.” He promised from the outset of his run to heal and unite the country if he won, and made central to his closing message a pledge to represent both those who voted for him as well as those who didn’t when he got to the White House.

As president, Biden will immediately be confronted with a bitterly divided nation in the throes of a pandemic that has already killed 236,000 Americans. Trump has exacerbated the split by minimizing the effects of the pandemic, and has not even said whether he would recognize the outcome of the election.

He will also have to corral a fractious Democratic Party with unresolved tensions between its progressive and centrist wings.

Biden, who will turn 78 later this month, making him the oldest person ever elected to the presidency, first ran for the nation’s highest office more than 30 years ago. A longtime moderate, he has stressed bipartisanship for decades, and his long Senate career was typified by his willingness to work across the aisle with Republican colleagues.

Heading into Saturday, Biden led Trump 253 to 214 in the projected Electoral College vote tally tracked by NBC News. Biden had higher vote totals in four key states — Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. But all four remained rated by NBC News Decision Desk as too close to call.

Biden will be sworn in as the 46th U.S. president on Jan. 20. Harris will become the first female, first Black and first Asian American vice president. In addition to the projected Electoral College vote, Biden also won the popular vote, and he set a record for winning the most votes of any candidate in U.S. history.

Trump has repeatedly and erroneously declared victory, including in states where Biden is the projected winner. The president has also repeated unfounded conspiracy theories and tried to cast doubt on the integrity of the tabulation process.

The projection by NBC News isn’t likely to dampen efforts by the Trump campaign to fight for the president’s re-election in court. His campaign has filed multiple lawsuits, several of which have already been thrown out, and more are expected. His campaign has also said it would ask for a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden is the apparent winner, according to NBC News.

Trump has continually generated unfounded fears about the vote tabulation process, firing off tweets demanding that officials halt counting and leave ballots uncounted in places where analysts think the remaining votes favor Democrats. In the early hours Wednesday morning, with millions of votes still uncounted, Trump falsely claimed he had won. On Thursday, he held a press conference where he made a series of false election fraud claims.

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