As it happenedended1605321561

Networks call Georgia for Biden as security officials say vote was ‘secure’

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Arizona's GOP AG says people voted Republican, but not for Trump

As Donald Trump continues to refuse conceding the 2020 presidential race to Joe Biden, the president-elect was said to have spoken with Senate Republicans who have begun to admit he should at least receive intelligence briefings that have so far been denied. 

On Friday afternoon most networks called Georgia for Mr Biden and North Carolina for Mr Trump bringing their respective electoral college vote totals to 306 to 232.

US federal and state cybersecurity officials, meanwhile, have delivered a direct rebuke to Donald Trump, who continues to allege irregularities and widespread fraud without evidence. 

Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said the 3 November vote was “the most secure in history" in a report published Thursday, and added that Americans should trust the result. His agency had not find any evidence of ballots being lost, deleted or altered, he said. 

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Trump campaign gets a win to vote challenge in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania court sided with the Trump campaign to disqualify a small number of mail-in ballots, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

While Biden is ahead of Trump by more than 53,000 votes in the state, it is unknown how many ballots Thursday’s ruling would apply to.

Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt ruled that Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar lacked authority to extend the deadline for first-time voters to confirm their identity, moving the deadline from 9 November to 12 November on mail-in ballots.

As a result of the ruling, mail-in ballots were the identity of the first-time voter was not confirmed by 9 November will not be counted.

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Top official on US election cybersecurity tells associates he expects to be fired

US cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs, who worked on protecting the election from hackers, has told associates he expects to be fired by the White House, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Krebs, who heads the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), did not return messages seeking comment. CISA and the White House declined comment.

Separately, Bryan Ware, assistant director for cybersecurity at CISA, confirmed to Reuters that he had handed in his resignation on Thursday. Ware did not provide details, but a US official familiar with his matter said the White House asked for Ware’s resignation earlier this week.

Krebs has drawn praise from both Democrats and Republicans for his handling of the U.S. election, which generally ran smoothly despite persistent fears that foreign hackers might try to undermine the vote.

But he drew the ire of the Trump White House over a website run by CISA dubbed “Rumor Control” which debunks misinformation about the election, according to the three people familiar with the matter. - Reuters

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Twitter labeled 300,000 tweets as ‘disputed or misleading content’

The company said in a blog post that 0.2 per cent of all election-related tweets between 27 October and 11 November were labelled with “disputed” or “misleading” labels.

Another 456 tweets were hidden by a warning label and limited from full engagement, meaning they couldn’t be retweeted, commented on or liked.

Of the people who saw a labeled tweet, about a quarter (26 per cent) saw them before the company had applied its editorial commentary

Vijaya Gadde and Kayvon Beykpour, who lead Twitter’s legal and product teams, wrote in a blog post that they would share a more comprehensive report on the election in 2021.

“We also want to be very clear that we do not see our job as done — our work here continues and our teams are learning and improving how we address these challenges,” they wrote.

There was no specificity on how many of those 300,000 labelled tweets belonged to Donald Trump.

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Joe Biden unlikely to cancel Trump’s Space Force

Joe Biden is unlikely to cancel Donald Trump’s Space Force but could use NASA to help in the climate crisis fight, say experts.

The future of space exploration was not mentioned in either presidential debate and was not a topic Joe Biden tackled on the campaign trail.

And with the coronavirus pandemic surging in the US and a hobbled economy the president-elect has a string of pressing issues to deal with from 20 January, 2021.

But observers say the president-elect is unlikely to shelve Donald Trump’s new Space Force or cancel ambitious plans to return to the moon and aim for Mars.

The Independent’s Graeme Massie boldly goes where no man has gone before.

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Mark Cuban calls for funding cease fire in Georgia Senate run off

Cuban called on donors to stop injecting wads of cash into the run offs that could determine control of the Senate and instead donate to foodbanks and Americans that need food and shelter.

“Let’s put Americans in need above Politics,” Cuban tweeted.

After getting some pushback, the known Trump troll said the country doesn’t need more attacks adds from both parties. 

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Beto O’Rourke says Democrats lost the social media war in election analysis endorsed by AOC

In an email to supporters, Beto O’Rourke outlined his takeaways from the election campaign in Texas, and how Democrats could improve their online and ground games going forward.

In a message retweeted and endorsed by progressive New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the former Texas  congressman, and former candidate to be the Democratic Party nominee for president in 2020, laid out better ways for the party to get its message out.

Listing six points, Mr O’Rourke underlined the importance of meeting voters “eyeball to eyeball”, saying that there are safe ways to do this during a pandemic. He also emphasised the importance of showing up everywhere and being there for everyone — especially in districts where the vote has been taken for granted in the past — saying no one should be written off.

Oliver O’Connell has more.

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WATCH: Chuck Schumer urges Republicans to drop ‘pathetic political performance’ over election results

“Senate Republicans, stop denying reality, stop deliberately and recklessly sowing doubt about our democratic process… this is nothing more than a temper tantrum by Republicans, nothing more than a poletic [sic]… pathetic political performance for an audience of one. President Donald John Trump.”

Schumer urges Republicans to drop ‘pathetic political performance’ over election results
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BREAKING: Administration officials say election “most secure in American history”

The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security, just dropped a statement saying there is “no evidence” that the presidential election was compromised in any way.

“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result,” they wrote.

“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

The joint statement from the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) and Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council was signed by their executive committee members:  

  • Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Assistant Director Bob Kolasky
  • U.S. Election Assistance Commission Chair Benjamin Hovland
  • National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) President Maggie Toulouse Oliver
  • National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) President Lori Augino
  • Escambia County (Florida) Supervisor of Elections David Stafford
  • Members of the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council (SCC) – Chair Brian Hancock (Unisyn Voting Solutions), Vice Chair Sam Derheimer (Hart InterCivic), Chris Wlaschin (Election Systems & Software), Ericka Haas (Electronic Registration Information Center), and Maria Bianchi (Democracy Works).
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Trump has 20 per cent chance of ‘stealthy’ win, says former Clinton staffer  

A former Bill Clinton administration official believes Donald Trump has a “viable stealthy road to victory” by contesting the election through legal challenges.

Graham Allison, who served under the Clinton administration as Assistant Secretary of Defense, wrote that the president’s legal challenges aren’t completely futile as many believe.

“Without disagreeing with the conventional wisdom about the final tally when all the legal votes are counted, I believe the current consensus is missing the fact that Trump has a second, viable stealthy road to victory,” Allison in The National Interest on Friday.

He said the debate will continue until at least 6 January and likely beyond as appeals make their way through to the Supreme Court.

Essentially, if the legal challenges jam up the process and leave disputes unresolved there are two ways the gridlock could be decided.  

State legislatures have the constitutional authority to conclude the vote has been corrupted and send a competing slate of electors on behalf of their state, Allison says.

Secondly, if no candidate have the required 270 electoral votes the House or Representatives would choose the president, with each state getting one vote.

Republicans have the majority and, in those cases, Trump could slip in through the back door.

“I project a 20% chance of a contested election outcome leading to a victory for President Trump,” Allison wrote.

“Both the words of the 12th Amendment, and historical precedent offer a credible, stealthy, winding road that could lead to Trump’s victory and a second term. Or as the saying goes: the opera ain’t over till the fat lady sings.”

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Watch: Obama says Republicans ‘humouring’ Trump over election are putting democracy on ‘dangerous path’

“I’m more troubled by other Republican officials who clearly know better, who are going along with this, humouring him in this fashion,” said Barack Obama. 

Obama says Republicans 'humouring' Trump over election are putting democracy on 'dangerous path'

The comments were made on an upcoming episode of 60 Minutes. The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe has more on this developing story.

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