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(4th LD) (US election) Biden overtakes Trump in Georgia, further closing in on presidency

All News 22:27 November 06, 2020

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead paras; UPDATES with latest vote counts, minor edits throughout; RESTRUCTURES)
By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (Yonhap) -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made a dramatic comeback to overtake President Donald Trump in Georgia on Friday, which if he wins, will leave him only one electoral vote short of winning the White House.

As of 8 a.m., Biden had 1,096 more votes than Trump in Georgia. He came from more than 12,000 votes behind Trump to overtake the president.

With more votes left to be counted in Georgia and four other states -- Arizona, Alaska, Nevada and Pennsylvania -- Biden is projected to have secured 253 electoral votes out of the total 538, against Trump's 213. The numbers have remained unchanged since late Wednesday.

Should Biden win Georgia and secure its 16 electoral votes, the former vice president will have secured 269 or exactly half of all the electoral votes, meaning he will at least not lose.

In the U.S. presidential election, a winner-takes-all method is used, meaning anyone with the most popular votes from any given state takes all electoral votes allotted to that state.

Anyone who wins a majority of the total 538 electoral votes -- 270 or more -- wins the presidency.

Trump will have to win all four other states that are still counting votes just to be on par with his Democratic rival.

Biden continues to lead in Arizona but by a razor-thin margin that also continues to dwindle as the vote count progresses.

Trump leads in Pennsylvania, but his margin of votes has dwindled from a one-time high of over 600,000 to just over 18,000 votes as of 8 a.m.

The image provided by Yonhap News TV shows U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. American voters began hitting the polls on Nov. 3, 2020, to elect the next U.S. president. (Yonhap)

Most outstanding votes being counted now are early, mail-in votes, which, according to election watchers here, tend to be "heavily skewed toward the Democrat."

They noted that Democrats had urged their supporters to vote early and by mail if possible, partly to avoid the danger of contracting the new coronavirus, while Trump had encouraged his voters to show up in person, partly by repeatedly raising questions over the validity of mail-in ballots.

More than 101 million Americans are reported to have voted early either by mail-in ballots or in-person voting, marking the highest number in the country's history.

Many states also accept mail-in ballots for days after Election Day, as long as they are postmarked on or before the election day.

Trump has called late, mail-in votes illegal and vowed to launch lawsuits against states that accept them.

"If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us, if you count the votes that came in late," he said in a White House press conference on Thursday.

He also claimed that what he called the "election apparatus" was being run by Democrats, even in states with Republican governors, and that they were running "secret count rooms" to count "mystery" and "illegal" votes.

He argued he had won the states of Michigan and Wisconsin but that his lead in the states got "miraculously whittled down."

Trump earlier accused the Democrats of "dumping" ballots in key battleground states, where he said his earlier leads tended to "magically" disappear.

He has filed lawsuits in Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania to have their vote counting halted, partly on grounds of alleged vote-counting irregularities.

The Trump campaign has also said it will demand a recount of votes in Wisconsin, where the president is projected to have lost to Biden by a margin of less than 1 percentage point.

Trump also continued to question the validity of vote counts, saying, "Stop the fraud!" in one Twitter message and then repeating "STOP THE COUNT!" in at least two other tweets.

The captured image from the White House website shows U.S. President Donald Trump holding a press conference at the White House on Nov. 5, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Biden, on the other hand, expressed his faith in the system, saying, "The process is working.

"The count is being completed, and we will know very soon," he said at a brief press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, that was also attended by his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

"We have no doubt that when the count is finished, Sen. Harris and I will be declared the winners. So I ask everyone to stay calm, all people to stay calm," he added.

Biden earlier said he will not be hasty in declaring victory, noting vote counting must continue until each and every vote is counted.

Still, he has expressed confidence over his win.

"It's clear that we're winning enough states to reach 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency," he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The captured image from the website of U.S. cable news network C-Span shows Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaking at a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov. 5, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Should the two presidential candidates split the electoral votes exactly in half, the decision will go to the new House of Representatives to be formed early next year.

The Democratic Party is widely expected to maintain its house majority as the result of general elections held simultaneously with the presidential election this week.

However, in a presidential runoff vote by the House of Representatives, each state is given one vote and thus how each state votes depends on the number of Republican and Democratic representatives from each state.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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