(Written by Maggie Astor)
As of 6 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, six states that will decide the next president remained uncalled, as did a handful of Senate races that will determine who controls the chamber.
Here’s where things stand on Day Three, when you can expect final results and how to follow along as this extraordinary election unfolds.
What are we waiting for?
In the presidential race, as of 6 p.m. ET, we did not yet know who won Alaska (3 electoral votes), Arizona (11), Georgia (16), Nevada (6), North Carolina (15) or Pennsylvania (20).
With the three calls made Wednesday — Michigan and Wisconsin for Joe Biden, and Maine’s 2nd Congressional District for President Donald Trump — Biden has 253 confirmed electoral votes and would need 17 more to win. Trump has 214 confirmed electoral votes and would need 56 more to win.
Four Senate races were uncalled in three states: Alaska, Georgia and North Carolina. Two other races were called Wednesday: The Republican incumbent in Maine, Sen. Susan Collins, and the Democratic incumbent in Michigan, Sen. Gary Peters, both won reelection.
Georgia has two races involving Republican incumbents whom Democrats hope to unseat. One, between Sen. David Perdue and Jon Ossoff, is very likely to go to a runoff in January. The other race will definitely require a runoff between the incumbent, Kelly Loeffler, and Raphael Warnock, a Democrat.
When will we know the results?
This will probably vary significantly from state to state. Let’s take them one at a time.
Alaska may well be the last state to be called because officials there won’t even begin counting mail ballots or early in-person ballots cast after Oct. 29 for another week. That being said, it’s a red state and isn’t really competitive. Trump will probably win here pretty easily, and Sen. Dan Sullivan, a Republican, probably will, too.
Arizona could be called Thursday, but probably not until late in the day. Biden is leading by a little more than 2 percentage points with about 86% of the estimated vote counted, and some news outlets, including The Associated Press and Fox News, have already called it for him. The New York Times and others have not done so.
Officials in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and where many votes are still uncounted, said they would release an update on the results after 9 p.m. Eastern.
Elections officials in Georgia said they would keep counting votes throughout Thursday.
The state might have been called already if not for a burst pipe at a site in Fulton County where election officials were counting absentee ballots, which delayed the counting process in and around Atlanta. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram
Trump was ahead in Georgia by less than half a percentage point with 98% of the estimated vote counted, but Biden has been closing the gap, and the uncounted ballots are mostly in Democratic areas. The race could end up close enough for a recount.
Biden has a slim lead in Nevada, and he expanded it slightly after more results were released Thursday. The race is much closer than experts expected going in, and the state will accept mail ballots received through Nov. 10 as long as they were postmarked by Election Day.
The state was not expected to release more results Thursday.
Trump is narrowly ahead in North Carolina with 95% of estimated votes counted. But North Carolina will accept mail-in ballots that arrive through Nov. 12, and it’s possible that the race won’t be called until then.
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There are a lot of uncounted votes in major metropolitan areas of Pennsylvania — mostly in Philadelphia, but some in Pittsburgh too — and while Trump remains ahead by a little under 2 percentage points, Biden has been steadily making up ground. The vote tally is being continually updated.
The Trump campaign is also fiercely contesting Pennsylvania ballots in the courts, which could drag the process out.
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