As of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, seven states that will decide on the next president remained inappropriately, as did a handful of Senate races to determine who controls the chamber.
Here are the things about when you can expect final results and how to proceed today in the course of these extraordinary elections.
What are we waiting for?
In the presidential race from 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time, we didn’t know who was Alaska (3 votes), Arizona (11), Georgia (16), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), North Carolina (15), or Pennsylvania ( 20) won.
With two new calls – Wisconsin for Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Maine’s Second Congressional District for President Trump – Mr Biden has 237 confirmed votes and would need 33 more to win. President Trump has 214 confirmed votes and would need 56 more to win.
Five Senate races were not called in four states: Alaska, Georgia, Michigan, and North Carolina. A sixth race in Maine was scheduled for Republican incumbent Senator Susan Collins on Wednesday afternoon.
Georgia has two races that feature both Republican incumbents that Democrats hope to oust. One between Senator David Perdue and Jon Ossoff could be decided in the next few days or run into a runoff in January, depending on whether a libertarian candidate gets enough votes to keep both major party candidates below 50 percent. The other race requires a runoff between incumbent Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock.
When will we know the results?
This will likely vary significantly from state to state. Let’s take them one by one.
Alaska may be the last state to be phoned as officials there won’t even start counting postal ballots or early personal ballots submitted after October 29 for another week. Other than that, it’s a red state and it’s not really competitive. Mr. Trump is likely to win here pretty easily, and Republican Senator Dan Sullivan probably will too.
Arizona can be called Wednesday night. Mr Biden leads by five percentage points and more than 80 percent of the estimated votes, and some news outlets, including The Associated Press and Fox News, have already called for it to be the case. The New York Times and others have not done so, but Arizona officials are expected to come in with updated vote counts by 9:00 p.m. Easter time.
Georgia might have already received a call had it not been for a burst pipe at a location in Fulton County where election officials were counting absentee votes, delaying the counting process in and around Atlanta.
Mr Trump was just over two percentage points ahead of the state with 92 percent of the estimated votes, but the untold votes from such a heavily democratic area could fill the void, and the secretary of state warned not to rely on the current results given that fact.
The count should be finished on Wednesday.
Michigan is one of the main states on the map. Mr. Biden had lagged behind Mr. Trump on election night, but he took the lead at around 9 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday when Oakland County and Wayne Counties, which include Detroit, reported more votes.
Most of the remaining votes are in heavily democratic areas, including Detroit and Grand Rapids. We should get the most outstanding results on Wednesday.
These results will also tell us who won the Senate race between Democratic incumbent Gary Peters and his Republican challenger John James. Mr Peters is currently following a little more than Mr Biden, but the race is still too short to call.
Mr Biden is a narrow head start in Nevada, but he’s much closer than experts expected, and the state accepts postal ballot papers received by Nov. 10 as long as they are postmarked by election day.
Since postal ballots are more democratic, it is possible that they add to Mr Biden’s leeway, but we may not know for a week.
Mr Trump is just ahead in North Carolina with 95 percent of the estimated votes. North Carolina accepts postal ballots received by November 12th, however, and the race may not be scheduled until then.
Just like in Michigan and Wisconsin, in the major metropolitan areas of Pennsylvania – including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh – there are many untold votes that could allow Mr Biden to make up his current deficit. But it will be tight.
Sorry to say we will probably have to wait longer here than in Michigan and Wisconsin. While other states count all night, election officials in Pennsylvania don’t count until Wednesday morning. The Trump campaign also fiercely denies the Pennsylvania ballot papers in court, which could drag the process out for some time. The election officials are expected to give an update at 6.15 p.m. East.
What do the candidates say?
Mr Biden said to the supporters shortly after 12:30 pm: “We believe we are on the right track to win this election.” However, he emphasized the remaining ballots and did not declare the victory.
In contrast, Mr Trump made reckless claims in the White House in which he falsely declared victory and threatened to go to the Supreme Court to end the election before every valid vote is counted.
Nick Corasaniti, Reid J. Epstein, Kathleen Gray, Jennifer Medina and Stephanie Saul contributed to the coverage of Trip Gabriel.