Please Note

The Washington Post is providing this important election information free to all readers. Get election results and other major news delivered to your inbox by signing up for breaking news email alerts.

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday spoke with business and labor leaders, then delivered an address about the economy and his “build back better” plan. He urged Trump to allow officials to work with the incoming administration on developing a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the president’s refusal to do so puts more American lives at risk.

Trump, meanwhile, continued to refuse to acknowledge his loss. He had no public events Monday. Former president Barack Obama, in a “60 Minutes” interview broadcast Sunday, urged Trump to “put the country first” and concede.

Here’s what to know:
1:47 a.m.
Link copied

Three more attorneys pull out of Trump election lawsuit in Pennsylvania

Three more attorneys have asked to be released from Trump’s federal lawsuit challenging the election in Pennsylvania.

Linda Kerns, John Scott and Douglas Bryan Hughes moved to withdraw from the case in a court filing on Monday. Two other attorneys who were previously representing Trump in the case pulled out last week.

Marc A. Scaringi, a Harrisburg-based attorney and conservative talk-radio host, will represent the president’s campaign in the case from now on, Scaringi said in a court filing.

Scaringi addressed the campaign’s legal fight during his iHeartRadio show last Saturday, describing the previous withdrawal of attorneys for Trump “very unusual” and saying this would “cause some disturbance” in the case.

“The race to the date of certification in several of these key states, including Pennsylvania, is on, and it’s up to the Trump lawyers to get some good results in these lawsuits to try to flip the vote count,” Scaringi said.

In an unattributed blog post on the website of Scaringi’s law firm, however, Biden is described as the president-elect and is said to have “successfully claimed the role of the 46th president of the United States.”

Trump’s lawsuit asks a federal court to block the certification of Pennsylvania’s results, alleging that Republicans were illegally disadvantaged because some Democratic-leaning counties allowed voters to fix errors on their mail ballots.

The suit previously included other legal claims based around allegations that Republican observers were blocked from watching votes being counted, but these were removed in a revised version filed Sunday.

Jenna Ellis, a legal adviser to the campaign, said in a statement: “The President announced Saturday that he has asked Mayor Rudy Giuliani to lead the national legal team, along with local counsel. Our substitution of local counsel is consistent with routine managing of complex litigation.”

In another filing, Scaringi asked U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann to delay a hearing in the case that was scheduled for Tuesday, saying that having only been retained on Monday, he needed more time to prepare. Scaringi also said that he intended to file another amended version of the lawsuit.

12:40 a.m.
Link copied

Administration plans to cut troops in Afghanistan before inauguration

Trump’s administration is planning to move ahead with a significant reduction of U.S. forces in Afghanistan before he leaves office in January, despite months of Pentagon warnings that doing so could jeopardize prospects for lasting peace.

According to officials familiar with the discussions, the White House is preparing to announce as soon as this week plans to roughly halve the number of U.S. troops, from around 5,000 to 2,500, by the time Biden assumes office Jan. 20.

12:17 a.m.
Link copied

Clark County commissioners certify presidential election results from Nevada’s largest Democratic stronghold

After Trump and his allies spent weeks making baseless claims about widespread voter fraud in Nevada’s Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, the Board of County Commissioners on Monday certified election results for the Democratic stronghold, an important step toward finalizing the state’s six presidential electors.

Joe Gloria, the county’s registrar of voters, told the commissioners that of more than 970,000 ballots cast, his staff identified 936 discrepancies, most of them involving mail-in ballots. Six people voted twice and will be referred to state authorities for investigation, he said.

The commissioners voted not to certify one race for county commissioner in which the winner and loser were separated by only 10 votes. The will of the voters could not be determined given that tight margin and the discrepancies, it was concluded, and that race will be rerun in a special election.

Now Clark, along with Nevada’s other, mostly rural counties, will forward its results to the secretary of state. Justices from the Nevada Supreme Court are scheduled to meet to canvass the statewide results, after which Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) is responsible for publicly declaring the winner.

The Trump campaign would then have three working days to request a recount, which would be allowable under state law as long as the campaign is willing to pay for it.

11:52 p.m.
Link copied

Georgia’s secretary of state says fellow Republicans are pressuring him to find ways to exclude legal ballots

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he has come under increasing pressure in recent days from fellow Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), to question the validity of legally cast absentee ballots in an effort to reverse Trump’s narrow loss in the state.

In a wide-ranging interview about the 2020 election, Raffensperger expressed exasperation with a string of baseless allegations coming from Trump and his allies about the integrity of the Georgia results, including claims that Dominion Voting Systems, the Colorado-based manufacturer of Georgia’s voting machines, is a “leftist” company with ties to Venezuela that engineered thousands of Trump votes not to be counted.

11:50 p.m.
Link copied

Schumer says Republicans supporting Trump’s false election claims are auditioning for ‘Profiles in Cowardice’

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday delivered a scathing rebuke of Republicans who have supported the president’s false claim that he won the election, arguing that “this has gone beyond ridiculous; this is reckless.”

“It seems like Republicans all over Washington are auditioning for ‘Profiles in Cowardice’ — nudging each other aside to see who can say the most outlandish thing in support of President Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud,” the Senate’s top Democrat said in floor remarks Monday afternoon.

He chastised two Republicans from Georgia — Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — without naming them, noting that they “went so far as to accuse their state’s election result of not being delivered ‘honestly’ because President Trump didn’t win.”

“They demanded their own secretary of state, a fellow Republican, resign. … Whatever fears my colleagues might have about President Trump abandoning their party if they don’t show sufficient support, that’s no excuse for sanctioning his efforts to discredit our democratic elections,” Schumer said.

He also minced no words in criticizing Trump’s refusal to allow administration officials to cooperate with the Biden transition team.

“In order to keep up this charade, the Trump administration is now actually denying national security briefings to President-elect Biden,” Schumer said. “It is actively refusing to coordinate with the incoming administration on the coronavirus. How unimaginably stupid is that?”

Most Senate Republicans, meanwhile, continued to steer clear of criticizing Trump or acknowledging that he lost the election.

Asked whether he takes issue with Trump’s latest tweets declaring that he won the election, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) replied, “I wouldn’t have advised that he put it that way.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was similarly cautious, calling Biden the “president-elect” but also describing the election results as “preliminary.”

“You certainly have to anticipate that’s the highest likelihood at this point,” Rubio told reporters, according to Spectrum News, referring to a Biden victory. He added: “Obviously, the president has legal claims in court.”

Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.

11:14 p.m.
Link copied

Rep. Cedric Richmond plans to join the Biden administration

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), one of Biden’s earliest and staunchest backers, plans to leave the House to join the new administration, according to two people with knowledge of his plans.

Richmond, a national co-chair for Biden’s campaign, was one of Biden’s most prominent and visible African American supporters, frequently defending him and campaigning for him in media interviews and other settings, dating to the early days of the Democratic primaries.

It was not immediately clear what specific role Richmond would play in the administration. The move has been anticipated by many Biden allies in recent days, some of whom saw him as a potential senior adviser in the Biden White House.

Richmond did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His plans were first reported by Bloomberg News.

The people who confirmed the plans spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a move that had not been announced publicly.

The Biden transition team declined to comment.

10:42 p.m.
Link copied

About 2,600 uncounted votes found in Georgia amid statewide hand recount

Election officials in Floyd County, Ga., discovered about 2,600 eligible votes that were not included in their initial tallies after the Nov. 3 election.

The votes from a heavily Republican county in northwestern Georgia are likely to narrow Biden’s 14,000-vote lead over Trump in the state, but not by enough to change the outcome.

The votes were found on a memory card in an optical scanner that poll workers had neglected to remove and upload as part of their tallying process on Election Day.

The discrepancy was resolved as part of a statewide hand recount of the presidential vote underway in Georgia. But it probably would have been fixed even without the recount, because officials were aware the number of voters who had checked in at voting locations was about 2,600 higher than the total votes tallied, said Jordan Fuchs of the Georgia secretary of state’s office.

The glitch is sure to draw attention as the nation watches Georgia’s recount, which state election officials said should wrap up ahead of the Friday deadline for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to certify the results.

But the extra votes from Floyd, taken alone, do not amount enough to alter the outcome in Georgia.

Still, state election officials found the error serious enough to call for the local election official’s resignation. Calls to the Floyd County election office were not answered.

Trump won Floyd County, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, by a margin of more 40 points.

10:06 p.m.
Link copied

Biden urges a new economic relief package and warns again of a ‘dark winter’ ahead

WILMINGTON, Del. — Biden urged Congress to immediately pass an economic relief package Monday as he warned that the coronavirus pandemic will worsen in the coming months.

The incoming Democratic president also criticized Trump for his refusal to concede his election loss and begin handing over power. Biden called Trump’s unprecedented actions “embarrassing for the country” and irresponsible.

The delay in cooperation is setting back plans for a coordinated rollout of a coronavirus vaccine, Biden said. Most of that rollout would fall to his administration next year, but the Trump White House is not sharing details of its distribution plan.

10:00 p.m.
Link copied

Reps. Cheri Bustos, Tim Walberg test positive for coronavirus; Reps. Mark Pocan, Debbie Lesko quarantining

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) said she has tested positive for the coronavirus, the latest lawmaker to announce Monday that they’ve been infected.

Bustos said she is experiencing “mild symptoms,” will be self-isolating and has already notified her contacts.

“Across the country and the Congressional District I serve, COVID case numbers are skyrocketing,” she tweeted. “We must all continue to be vigilant in following public health best practices.”

The outgoing chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said she will work from her home in Illinois “until cleared by my physician.” Members of the House are largely returning to Washington this week after the election.

A spokeswoman for Bustos, Heather Sager, said that the congresswoman “has not traveled to or been in contact with staff or others in Washington, D.C., in recent weeks. She has been working remotely from Illinois, and will self-isolate there.”

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) announced earlier that he tested positive and has begun tracing his contacts.

In a statement, Walberg said his symptoms are mild and that he is “in good spirits.” He said it has been more than a week since he last attended a public event.

“As we enter the winter months, I encourage everyone to remain vigilant and adhere to public health guidelines to combat this virus,” Walberg said, adding: “I will continue serving constituents of the 7th District and carrying out my responsibilities from home until I fully recover.”

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) released a statement saying he has been in quarantine since Nov. 10 after learning that his 91-year-old mother had tested positive. He learned of her diagnosis shortly after moving her to a new nursing home. He said he received a negative result after a Nov. 13 test and will get tested again at the end of the week.

“Fortunately, the nursing home staff contacted me immediately after learning of my mother’s positive result and I was able to quarantine without delay,” Pocan said in the statement. “Unfortunately, too many people in Wisconsin don’t get that information in a timely way due to the low number of contract tracers we have hired in Wisconsin.”

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) also separately announced that she will quarantine for 14 days after coming “into contact with a person who later tested positive for COVID-19.”

Lesko said she is not experiencing symptoms and plans to be tested on the fifth day from exposure.

Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.

9:12 p.m.
Link copied

Biden says ‘more people may die’ if Trump doesn’t allow coordination on pandemic planning

In remarks in Wilmington, Del., on Monday afternoon, Biden urged Trump to allow officials to work with the incoming administration on developing a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the president’s refusal to do so puts more American lives at risk.

“More people may die if we don’t coordinate. … How do we get over 300 million Americans vaccinated? What’s the game plan? It’s a huge, huge, huge undertaking,” Biden told reporters.

He added: “If we have to wait until January 20 to start that planning, it puts us behind, over a month and a half. And so, it’s important that it be done — that there be coordination now. Now, or as rapidly as we can get that done.”

At least 246,000 people have died of covid-19 in the United States. In recent weeks, many states have reported record-high caseloads and hospitalizations, and the average U.S. deaths per day again shot past 1,000 this month, despite improvements in treatment that make survival more likely.

As the pandemic worsens, the White House has instructed senior government leaders to block cooperation with Biden’s transition team. The head of the General Services Administration, the low-profile agency that officially starts the transition, is refusing to sign paperwork that releases Biden’s share of transition resources and gives his team access to agency officials and information.

8:24 p.m.
Link copied

Wisconsin says recount would cost Trump campaign $7.9 million

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said the cost of running a statewide recount for the presidential election will be $7.9 million — a fee that Trump’s campaign would be required to pay upfront if he wishes to request a recount in the state.

Under Wisconsin law, the state will pay for a recount if one candidate wins by 0.25 percent or less. When the threshold of victory is under 1 percent, however, the losing candidate can request a recount — provided they agree to pay in advance. Unofficial results show Biden defeated Trump in Wisconsin by about 20,500 votes, or 0.6 percent.

In 2016, Wisconsin was the only state to conduct a full recount after Green Party candidate Jill Stein requested one and agreed to pay nearly $3.5 million. In a statement, Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe said costs are higher this year because of the need for larger venues for the recount to allow for social distancing, the costs of processing more absentee ballots and the need to pay employees to work over the Thanksgiving holiday.

By state law, Wisconsin counties must complete a canvass of local results by Tuesday. The Trump campaign will have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit a petition asking for a statewide recount, as well as the $7.9 million payment.

Wolfe said Monday that should the recount be requested, a recount order would be issued Thursday, starting a 13-day window for local counties to complete the process. Counties would submit the results of their local recounts by Dec. 1 — allowing the election to be certified on that day, as required under Wisconsin law.

Asked if the campaign would pay the fee and seek the recount, Jenna Ellis, a legal adviser to the Trump campaign, said, “The legal team continues to examine the issues with irregularities in Wisconsin and are leaving all legal options open, including a recount and an audit.”

The campaign has identified no specific irregularities in Wisconsin.

7:52 p.m.
Link copied

Delaware is famous for corporations, chemicals, chickens — and now, finally, a president

WILMINGTON, Del. — Imagine a place that seems less a state than a fabled land hatched from Aesop or the Brothers Grimm. A microbe on the map, a Mid-Atlantic territory of onlys, we-don’t-have-thats and so much poultry.

Only three counties, two major universities, one U.S. House representative, a solitary area code. No professional sports teams, no major television stations, no large commercial airports, no mountains, no valleys. Ninety-six miles in length, 35 miles at its widest, nine miles at its narrowest, 609 times more chickens than people. But — take that, doubters! — it boasts Biden, the future 46th president of the United States.

6:39 p.m.
Link copied

House Democrats will hold leadership elections virtually; House GOP to meet in person

House leadership elections are slated to begin this week as the chamber returns to Washington post-election.

House Democrats are planning to hold their elections virtually, as the pandemic dictates a change to their usual process of in-person speeches, paper ballots and hand counts.

For the first time, candidates for leadership positions will address the caucus in a video call and members will use an app on a government iPhone to vote, according to a letter House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) sent to all House Democrats.

House Republicans will meet in person for their leadership elections Tuesday afternoon at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, according to a House GOP aide.

At a news briefing Monday afternoon, D.C. city officials confirmed that waivers were granted to allow members of Congress to gather. When asked by a reporter about a meeting of Republican lawmakers at the hotel this week, Chris Rodriguez, director of D.C.'s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, confirmed that a waiver was approved.

“We knew that a waiver was coming from members of the House to hold a meeting,” he said, adding: “The work of Congress, as we’ve said before, is an essential function of government, so after the plan was reviewed and approved, we issued the waiver.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to win another two-year term in the post, as are Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), even as the party will return in January with a shrunken majority. All three are expected to win by acclamation.

The two biggest contests in the down-ballot leadership races for Democrats are for the assistant speaker post and the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) is stepping down as DCCC chair after Democrats markedly underperformed expectations in this year’s election.

Fenit Nirappil contributed to this report.

6:21 p.m.
Link copied

U.S. ‘turning a pretty dark corner now,’ Biden says in economic meeting with business, labor leaders

With coronavirus cases on the rise, the United States seems to be “turning a pretty dark corner now,” Biden told a group of business and labor leaders Monday as he discussed the economy.

The president-elect interacted virtually with the group from the Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., where he was joined by Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), the vice president-elect, ahead of remarks from the ticket Monday afternoon on the economy.

During a portion of the meeting that the news media was allowed to observe, Biden reminisced with one of the business leaders, Mary Barra, the chief executive of General Motors, about test driving a car on a track when he was vice president.

“Thanks for being here,” the president-elect said to the business and labor leaders, who appeared on screens above. “To state the obvious, we seem to be turning a pretty dark corner now.”

Biden said his objective is to “get our economy back on track.”

“We all agree on the common goals, just have a slightly different perspective,” he said. “We agree that we can’t just go back on the economy.”

Biden said he remains optimistic that the country will emerge stronger and he deserved credit for bringing labor and business leaders together. The business leaders included representatives of some major retailers.