Despite small hiccups in some states and counties, voting continues fairly incident-free in the US, as Americans decide whether the incumbent—President Donald Trump (Republican)—will return to the White House for another four years; or whether Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrats’ Presidential Candidate, will win the mandate instead.
Voters report shorter waiting times than they originally expected, and those states reporting technical issues delaying voting were able to overcome those challenges fairly quickly, ensuring voters could exercise their franchise.
Democratic leaders confident they will pick up House seats tonight
From CNN's Haley Byrd and Manu Raju
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Cheri Bustos, expressed confidence Democrats will expand their House majority tonight.
On a Zoom conference call with reporters, Bustos said the party is “well-positioned to have a good night.”
“We have built the foundation to be successful. I believe we will hold onto the majority. I believe we will grow the majority,” she said.
She declined to predict how many seats Democrats will gain.
“We’re not going to put a number to it,” she said, adding that “you make your own luck going into any election.”
Bustos also said Democratic leaders are preparing for “extended counts and even potential recounts” after Election Day.
“We must hear every voice. We must count every vote. And that is how we safeguard our democracy,” she said.
On the call, Nancy Pelosi reiterated her advice to Democratic voters:
“Be confident, be calm, be patient. Because we are prepared. But do not be celebrating until everyone across the country has a chance to vote,” she said.
“We don’t want to deter any voting because people think the election is over for the president.”
“The stakes of this election are clear. This election is about nothing less than taking back the soul of America. Whether our nation will follow the voices of fear, or whether we will choose hope, liberty, and justice for all,” Pelosi added.
She said she believes Joe Biden will be inaugurated in January.
“Whoever wins the election will be, and we respect that — the peaceful transfer of power,” Pelosi said.
“We are ready — legally, constitutionally, congressionally in every way — to protect our democracy from any skulduggery the President may try to introduce into this, but be assured that our democracy will survive,” she added.
However, Pelosi refused to answer CNN’s Manu Raju when asked if she would abide by her promise to only serve as speaker through the end of 2022. In order to secure the votes for speaker in 2019, Pelosi promised she would only serve as speaker for this current Congress and the next Congress, which begins in January.
“That’s the least important question you could ask today,” Pelosi said. “The fate of our nation, the soul of the nation is at stake in this election.”
“One of these days, I will let you know what my plans are when it’s appropriate and it matters. It doesn’t matter right now,” she added.
White House election night party reduced to 250 attendees
From CNN's Jamie Gangel
A vehicle sits outside the White House on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington.
A vehicle sits outside the White House on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP
The number of people attending today’s White House election night party has been reduced to 250, one source familiar tells CNN.
This source added that all guests will receive a rapid test for Covid-19, and each guest will receive a testing bracelet.
CNN previously reported that as many as 400 people could attend.
Fences around the White House went up overnight in anticipation of possible unrest
From CNN's Aditi Sangal
Construction workers set up additional fencing near the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020.
Construction workers set up additional fencing near the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Fences surrounding the White House went up overnight. Authorities say there are no credible threats at the moment, but they want to take precautions for any worse case scenarios that may come about tonight or in the coming days, CNN’s Vivian Salama reports.
Crews worked around the clock to put up non-scalable fences that are eight-feet high and four-feet wide. Each panel is locked together, Salama says, standing on the west side of the White House.
In total, there is 52 acres surrounding the White House are fenced off. Lafayette Park is also fenced off since many protests took place there over the summer over George Floyd’s death. Authorities are trying to keep people as far away from the White House complex as possible, Salama says.
This adds to businesses preparing for possible unrest across the national capital as well as some other areas around the country. Businesses are putting up boards and plywood as a caution against any vandalism that may occur in the event of possible unrest.