Friday News: Peaches > Oranges

BIDEN PULLS AHEAD OF TRUMP IN GEORGIA COUNT: Democratic candidate Joe Biden overtook Donald Trump in the state of Georgia early Friday as absentee and mail-in ballots continued to be counted. The race has not been called yet, and Georgia’s 16 electoral college votes remain to be determined. In a tweet Thursday night, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger said there were at least 14,097 outstanding ballots to be counted as of 10:35 p.m. “Thousands of requested overseas and military ballots may arrive by the deadline Friday, and there are provisional ballots left to count,” The Washington Post reported.

POLICE LOOKING FOR CHARLOTTE MAN WHO WENT ARMED TO THE POLLS: A man who was arrested at a North Carolina voting site on Election Day is facing additional charges after he went to the site for a third time. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a news release that officers were told that Justin Dunn, 36, who had been recently released from jail, returned to the polling site shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday. He left before responding officers arrived, police said. Police said Dunn wore a holstered gun when he voted Tuesday morning, but was asked to leave the polling place after casting his ballot following complaints from others who called police and witnesses who said they felt intimidated. Dunn left, but then returned around 12:30 p.m. and was arrested. He was charged with second-degree trespassing. A magistrate issued a warrant charging Dunn with second-degree trespassing again. Police said officers are working with court officials to determine if additional laws were broken.

JOSH STEIN'S AND CHERI BEASLEY'S RACES ARE STILL TOO CLOSE TO CALL: The outcomes of elections for North Carolina's top lawyer and top judge likely won't be settled for at least several more days as mail-in ballots trickle in and provisional ballots are scrutinized statewide. In the race for attorney general, incumbent Democrat Josh Stein faced Republican challenger Jim O'Neill, the Forsyth County district attorney. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley faced challenger Paul Newby, who is currently an associate justice. Both races are too early to call, since as many as 116,000 mail-in absentee ballots sent to voters haven't been returned but can be counted if received by county elections offices by Nov. 12. The State Board of Elections announced on Thursday that roughly 41,000 provisional ballots cast on Election Day also will be examined by county boards. Ballots cast by qualified voters will be added to county tabulations late next week. The Associated Press also has not called five other statewide races: for president, U.S. Senate, state auditor, labor commissioner and another Supreme Court seat. Once all ballots are counted and confirmed by county boards, statewide candidates can seek a recount should they trail by 10,000 votes or fewer.

WHAT LED TO TRUMP'S "UNHINGED" THURSDAY NIGHT PRESS CONFERENCE: By Wednesday evening, however, Trump had begun telling allies he believed he could lose — but only because the election was being “stolen from him,” a campaign official said. And when he woke up Thursday, he was angry again and eager to take a more defiant tone, advisers said. The president was eager to speak publicly Thursday about the election — arguing that his rightful victory was being stolen, and that states were conspiring against him. But again, allies and advisers counseled caution, trying to assuage Trump by outlining their aggressive plan to fight and urging him to keep a low profile. But on Thursday evening, the president appeared in front of reporters at the White House around 6:45, seeming subdued and deflated, and made unproven claims about voter fraud and vowing to continue the fight through legal channels. He mocked mail-in ballots and polling from the news media and said, falsely, that states were making up ballots to cost him the election. He made a series of other unsubstantiated allegations against democratic elections. At one point, Trump said states that counted the votes were behaving in a corrupt manner — while Arizona needed to count the ballots so he could win. He walked away without taking questions. Two senior campaign officials said they expected a public-relations effort as well as a legal operation over voter fraud to continue for days, if not weeks. They began asking donors to give large checks for the effort, according to two people familiar with the effort.

MEANWHILE, CORONAVIRUS IS RUNNING RAMPANT IN U.S.: The United States recorded at least 121,000 new infections on Thursday, a day after hitting 100,000 for the first time since the pandemic began, and for many Americans, fatalism was the order of the day. “We knew it was just a matter of time,” said Matt Christensen. In Ohio, which set its own record Thursday, a giant fridge at the Cleveland Clinic glowed with rows and rows of coronavirus samples. Technicians shook test tubes and squinted at graphs on computer screens, trying to determine whether yet another patient had tested positive. “I work, I go home, I come back,” one lab supervisor said. In Virginia, students in the Henry County Public Schools district were at work in their classes. But 22 staff members and students had tested positive, and hundreds more had been quarantined. So the superintendent went before the school board to recommend that the district revert to virtual learning until January. The vote was unanimous, and come Monday, the district’s schools will close. In Minot, N.D., patients crammed an emergency room at Trinity Health, waiting to be admitted. The entire floor dedicated to coronavirus patients had no more available beds. Dr. Jeffrey Sather, the chief of staff, called other large hospitals around the state to see if he could send some patients there. But every hospital was also full. By nightfall, the nation hurtled past the 100,000-case mark once again. Sixteen states set daily case records on Thursday, and three had death records. In 28 states, there have been more cases announced in the past week than in any other seven-day stretch.