After a rain stopped play at tea on day two, India return to the crease more than 300 runs short of Australia’s first innings total with eight wickets in hand.
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Georgia officials have started counting ballots as polls close across the state in two critical races.
Here’s what you need to know.
What are these votes for?
There are two Senate run-off elections being held. The votes are leftovers from the November general election, when none of the candidates hit the 50 per cent threshold.
Why are they important?
Democrats need to win both of the votes to seize the Senate majority – and, with it, control of the new Congress when Biden takes office in two weeks.
Who are the candidates?
In one contest, Republican Kelly Loeffler, a 50-year-old former businesswoman who was appointed to the Senate less than a year ago by the state’s governor, faces Democrat Raphael Warnock, 51, who serves as the senior pastor of the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr grew up and preached.
The other election pits 71-year-old former business executive David Perdue, a Republican who held his Senate seat until his term expired on Sunday, against Democrat Jon Ossoff, a former congressional aide and journalist. At just 33 years old, Mr Ossoff would be the Senate’s youngest member.
When will we get the results?
We could know the winners late on Tuesday evening in the US (early Wednesday in the UK).
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This year, I have been proud of our correspondents’ reporting on this election with such diligence, skill and professionalism. Many of you will know that our US correspondent Matthew Knott fell from a five-storey building in New York in June, and was lucky to survive it.
This week, he has filed memorable stories about one of the most memorable presidential elections in modern times.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning US time, Knott wrote of President Trump’s baseless claims of widespread electoral fraud and his premature declaration of victory. It is critical that The Age is never partisan, but it’s also crucial that we don’t report untrue claims without challenge and context.
“The foundations of America’s centuries-old democracy are shaking,” Knott wrote.
“Even if he doesn’t succeed, Trump has made it clear: he’s willing to resort to blatantly anti-democratic measures if that’s what it takes to stay in power. It was a dark, disturbing moment in American history.”
Our political and international editor Peter Hartcher did not sit on the fence. “In an election where the rest of the country was conducting itself with credit, the President himself betrayed the democratic principle, cried foul and attempted a pre-emptive power grab.”
Foreign correspondents are expensive and many news organisations – including The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald (we share our correspondents) – have had to reassess and reduce costs. But the commitment to providing The Age’s audience with Australian perspectives on international events and ideas is undiminished.
This US election will have an impact on Australia, as it will on the rest of the world. American culture is familiar to most of us, but the Australian outlook is different, and it matters that we interpret and explain momentous international events through Australian eyes. At The Age, Michelle Griffin edits our world coverage, overseen by our national editor, Tory Maguire.
When the 2000 presidential election was over, I was struck by how quickly Americans wanted to put it behind them, how they yearned to believe in the strength of their democratic institutions. Al Gore said that “partisan rancour must now be put aside……for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession”.
Bush stressed unity and healing: “Republicans want the best for our nation and so do Democrats … I was not elected to serve one party, but to serve one nation.”
Twenty years on, I fear that the polarisation of the United States is much deeper. I hope and must believe, that democracies do survive and flourish, even when they are tested.
Note from the Editor
The Age’s editor, Gay Alcorn, writes an exclusive newsletter for subscribers on the week’s most important stories and issues. Sign up here to receive it every Friday.
Gay Alcorn is editor of The Age and has been a journalist for more than 20 years. A three-times Walkley Award winner, she was The Age and Sydney Morning Herald’s Washington correspondent from 1999 to 2002, covering the 2000 presidential election and the September 11 terrorist attacks. She has also been an investigative reporter, Darwin correspondent and senior writer. She was The Age’s deputy editor from 2006 to 2008 and editor of The Sunday Age for more than four years until September 2012.
Neither Mr Trump nor Joe Biden have yet clinched the vital 270 Electoral College votes needed to guarantee them the keys to the White House, but a result is edging closer.
The incumbent Republican is ahead in Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania while Mr Biden is leading in Arizona and Nevada.
But as the ballots are counted in batches, those razor-thin margins could narrow further, or see one candidate overtake the other.
The momentum seems to be behind Mr Biden, who is winning the popular vote and within touching distance of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to guarantee the presidency, on 253.
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How Trump or Biden could still win
Mr Trump currently has 214 Electoral College votes.
He had demanded election administrators “stop the count” in Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Georgia, and has claimed a “big legal win” after his campaign said they got a court order in Philadelphia to enter a count to observe it.
“All of the recent Biden claimed states will be legally challenged by us for voter fraud and state election fraud,” he vowed in a tweet, again without providing evidence.
In Nevada, his campaign declared at a news conference that “the system is corrupt”.
They presented one resident – Jill Stoke – who claimed she had been the victim of voter fraud and another who said he was denied access to watch ballots being counted, but they all refused to take questions or verify those accounts.
A registrar later said that contrary to Ms Stoke’s claims, she had actually already voted and then tried to vote again.
The Trump campaign has also lost a legal bid to halt counting in Michigan – a state the Republicans are already projected to lose and where 99% of votes have been counted.
Mr Biden’s team has dismissed claims of wide-scale fraud as “baseless” and “political theatre”.
One adviser, Bob Bauer, said: “It is to create an opportunity to message falsely about what is taking place in the electoral process… This is part of a broader misinformation campaign.”
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Biden: ‘I’m confident we’ll emerge victorious’
Urging patience, Georgia’s election system manager Gabriel Sterling said people should stay calm and wait for officials to finish doing their job.
“Fast is great and we appreciate fast; we more appreciate accuracy,” he said.
“Accuracy is going to be the bedrock upon which people will believe the outcomes of this election, be they on the winning side or the losing side.”
A result there is expected to be announced later on Thursday, but could be delayed further if it goes to a recount.
In Nevada, more results are not expected until Friday.
If Mr Biden flips the high-value target of Pennsylvania, then he would cross the 270 line and not need to rely on the other races remaining in smaller states.
The Republican tycoon said he would go to the Supreme Court because ‘we want all voting to stop’
Washington: The US election was plunged into chaos early Wednesday as President Donald Trump prematurely declared victory and sought Supreme Court intervention to stop vote-counting — even as his Democratic rival Joe Biden voiced confidence in his own chances.
In a divisive election cast under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 230,000 lives in the United States, Trump appeared to have avoided a Democratic wave predicted by some polls but he still needs key states to secure another four-year term.
Shattering norms in the world’s most powerful democracy, Trump alleged “major fraud” as he held an upbeat rally inside the White House’s ceremonial East Room.
“We did win this election,” Trump told cheering supporters, few of them wearing masks to protect from Covid-19. “This is a fraud on the American public.”
The Republican tycoon said he would go to the Supreme Court because “we want all voting to stop.”
Voting had already ended by the time Trump took the podium after 2 am (0700 GMT) but Trump appeared to be calling for the court to stop counting.
Trump has railed for months against mail-in ballots, charging without evidence that they could be fraudulent, as some 100 million Americans voted ahead of Election Day amid the health crisis.
The Biden campaign soon hit back, calling the president’s bid to stop vote counting “outrageous” and “unprecedented,” and saying its legal teams were ready to fight him in the courts if need be.
“The counting will not stop. It will continue until every duly cast vote is counted,” it vowed.
Biden had earlier warned that vote counting would take a while as he greeted his own backers, who honked from cars at a socially distanced rally in his home state of Delaware.
“We believe we’re on track to win this election,” the 77-year-old former vice president said. “Keep the faith, guys, we’re going to win this.”
Biden’s remarks clearly unnerved Trump who immediately tweeted his claims of victory and fraud, leading Twitter to flag his comments as part of its effort against election disinformation.
Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, which is proving to be the vital prize, said that one million mailed-in ballots remained to be counted and promised that all counties would work “tirelessly” to complete them.
“Let’s be clear,” the Democrat said of Trump’s comments. “This is a partisan attack on Pennsylvania’s election, our votes and democracy.”
Trump for the past four years has often been quick to say he is treated unfairly but even a few of his allies voiced unease at his dramatic intervention.
“Stop. Full stop. The votes will be counted and you will either win or lose. And America will accept that. Patience is a virtue,” tweeted Adam Kinzinger, a Republican congressman who won reelection.
Foreign countries also sounded the alarm, with German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer warning that Trump could create a “constitutional crisis.”
At least one state flips
Television networks predicted that Biden would be the first Democrat in 24 years to win Arizona, seizing on the southwestern state’s changing demographics and the popularity of astronaut Mark Kelly who was projected to win a Senate seat.
But no other states immediately flipped and Trump won an early prize in Florida, where his hard line against Latin American leftists helped him make inroads among Cuban Americans.
Democratic hopes fizzled of turning around Texas, a Republican bastion indispensable for Trump, even though Biden came tantalizingly close in early results.
Biden, as expected, comfortably won the biggest prize of all, California, as well as New York and easily kept Minnesota and New Hampshire, two states where Hillary Clinton in 2016 had only eked out victories over Trump.
Attention was again turning to three states that elected Trump four years ago — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — with early ballots still waiting to be counted from the Democratic stronghold cities of Detroit, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.
Biden said he was feeling “real good” about Michigan and Wisconsin and voiced confidence about Pennsylvania, where he was born.
The former vice president said he was also competitive in Georgia — a state that until recently had not appeared to be in play — as election workers in its largest city Atlanta halted counting for the night after a pipe burst.
But Trump pointed to the total votes already counted as he insisted that he was winning the states, saying he was leading in Pennsylvania “by a tremendous amount of votes.”
Fears of trouble
Pundits had been warning for weeks that this year’s election results would take time — and voicing fear Trump would cause chaos or even violence by questioning the process.
While there were no immediate reports of unrest, stores boarded up throughout the capital Washington and, in an unusual move, foreign powers called for a violence-free election in the United States.
Outside the White House, a boisterous, peaceful protest in a plaza renamed for the Black Lives Matter movement turned heated as the night wore on, with scuffling after a person appeared to throw a gas cannister.
And in Portland, the center of confrontations this summer between leftist protesters and police, some 400 people marched toward the downtown under a watchful eye of state police.
In the Alice Springs seat of Araluen, incumbent Territory Alliance candidate Robyn Lambley had a 13 vote buffer over the CLP’s Damien Ryan.
Labor was ahead of the CLP by 21 votes in the Palmerston seat of Blain, while in Barkly, Labor was clinging to a 23 vote lead over the CLP.
In the Palmerston seat of Brennan, the CLP had a 95 vote margin over Labor.
No witness verification needed
NT Electoral Commissioner Iain Loganathan told the ABC he had received more than 50 formal complaints from various political parties and candidates throughout the campaign.
“If people think that something untoward has occurred, then they can bring that to our attention, they could raise it with the ICAC or they could petition the Court of Disputed Returns,” he said.
Mr Loganathan said it would be inappropriate for him to comment on Labor’s complaint about postal votes.
However, in a media release sent out yesterday afternoon, he made a point of reminding voters of their obligations.
“Postal votes completed after 6pm on 22 August are not eligible to be included in the count,” the statement said.
To help ensure the integrity of the voting system, people who submit postal votes are required to sign a declaration on the back of their envelope detailing the date and time at which their ballot was cast.
However, a previous requirement to have a separate person confirm the validity of the voter’s declaration was removed after the last election because of the high number of witnesses signing in the wrong spot.
“We were rejecting a whole lot of postal votes because people were putting things in the wrong spot, which certainly didn’t seem to be in the spirit of the process,” Mr Loganathan said.
CLP questions complaint motives
The president of the CLP, Ron Kelly, said his party had no concerns with the way postal votes had been handled during this election.
“The electoral commission has to rely on people doing the right thing and so do we,” Mr Kelly said.
With CLP candidates marginally ahead of Labor in two of the in-doubt seats, Mr Kelly questioned his rival’s motive in lodging its complaint.
“Maybe it’s because the postal votes to date have favoured us,” he said.
The results in some seats may not be known until next Friday afternoon, when the final postal votes can be accepted.
Mr Kelly said the long wait made for a challenging time for political aspirants.
“It’s very nerve-racking for candidates waiting for the final count,” he said.
“They’ve basically dedicated six to 12 months in campaigning and waiting for results is always stressful.”
More than four decades since he first signed up at a dusty bush branch of the Australian Labor Party, Dave Mitchell has had enough.
A close result is expected for the seat of Mulka as election day looms
Labor’s candidate and the independent incumbent are locked in a two-horse race
Labor is rallying support from high-profile Indigenous leaders
He has cast his vote against party politics for 2020’s NT election, for an independent in a tight seat where past experience has proven every single vote counts.
“It’s time,” the mine worker said, repurposing an old ALP slogan as he sipped an instant coffee in his plasterboard home in Nhulunbuy.
It’s the same remote northern town he’s lived in since he was 12, where he devoted himself to the local Labor branch at just 18 years old.
“I think a lot of people of my generation think the Labor Party has lost its way … it no longer represents, in my opinion, working people at all,” he said.
The man he’s voted for is East Arnhem Land’s incumbent, Yolngu politician Yingiya Mark Guyula, who scraped into the job last time around by a tight, teeth-gritting eight votes, after preferences.
But his re-election is by no means assured.
Four years later, the NT’s most marginal electorate, named Mulka, sits on a knife-edge once again.
It’ll be a bolt to the finish between just two standing candidates: Guyula and the Labor contender he toppled in 2016, long-term Nhulunbuy resident and former schoolteacher Lynne Walker.
Mulka is one of the most demographically complex seats in the NT, and possibly Australia.
It contains both the mining town of Nhulunbuy and a sprawling expanse of Yolngu land and communities.
Between the two areas lies a wealth chasm — an average medium wage disparity of nearly $1,000 per resident, per week, according to 2016’s Census.
Youth, Yolngu issues take focus
Mr Mitchell, Nhulunbuy’s ex-ALP branch president for 20 years on and off, said he has decided to vote for Guyula because he’s a “gentleman” who “cares about his people [and] cares about young people”.
“We’re in the middle of a youth unemployment crisis in Nhulunbuy; some places in East Arnhem Land have got 90 per cent youth unemployment,” Mr Mitchell said.
“And he’s the only one who is raising it.”
First-time voter Siena Stubbs, a digital media worker and Yolngu woman from the beachside community of Yirrkala, is also viewing her vote through the lens of youth and Indigenous issues.
Except, unlike Mr Mitchell, she’s backing Labor – and Ms Walker — to find a fix.
“I feel like [Walker] has Yolngu women in mind,” Ms Stubbs said.
“I love Yingiya, he’s part of our family, he’s a great candidate, but I have a lot of faith in Lynne [Walker].”
Race for Mulka heating up
As the vote splits down the middle, the race for the seat of Mulka is growing increasingly intense.
Ms Walker, who was the MLA for eight years prior to Mr Guyula’s win in 2016, has been targeted on her trail to re-election, faced with an ugliness unusual to the peaceful Gulf coastal region.
Direct personal insults were last week hurled by trolls on the township’s Facebook noticeboard and graffiti cropped up on fences decrying Labor’s decision to allow fracking in the NT.
“This is my fourth campaign where I’ve been a candidate … candidate life and political life is tough,” Ms Walker said.
“You don’t step into the kitchen if you don’t want to take the heat.”
The other candidate, Mr Guyula, is feeling the pressure as the NT Labor Party tries to claw back turf.
“The campaign I ran last time, people didn’t really worry … I was just another Yolngu in the crowd,” Mr Guyula said.
“[This time] the stories I’ve been hearing about people talking about who I am, it’s kind of intimidating to me.”
Walker rallying Yolngu vote
Despite being the incumbent, Mr Guyula still paints himself as the underdog against the Labor Party machine.
“I still feel, and felt in the beginning, it was a David-and-Goliath campaign,” he said.
“I am a man that has just come into politics and stood up and fought and walked and have been tackled by all kinds of bureaucratic walls.”
He surprised NT Labor last time around by snaring bush votes in a recently redistributed electorate including the large Yolngu communities of Milingimbi and Ramingining.
But the governing party isn’t letting itself be taken by surprise in 2020.
Ms Walker has been rallying some high-profile Yolngu allies across the Gove Peninsula, including land rights stalwart Galarrwuy Yunupingu and rock and roll legend Witiyana Marika of Yothu Yindi — two respected leaders of the powerful Gumatj and Rirratjingu clans.
“I’ve always worked hard with people in remote communities. When I was the member I would always stay overnight in communities … you can’t just fly in and out in one day,” Ms Walker said.
“Communicating with people right across this electorate is absolutely critical.”
Winner must ‘bring everybody together’
Having the resources of the NT Government at its disposal appears to be a key point in Labor’s election sales pitch for the seat.
Houses, health, and the eventual sealing of the Central Arnhem road, a notorious tyre-shredder.
If the former member regains her job, she could join a second-term Gunner Government if it holds power with a likely spot in cabinet — an appealing prospect to many with long-term interests in the region.
Vietnam War veteran Ivor Alexander said a second loss for Ms Walker would be a “real blow” for the township, which is readying itself for life after Rio Tinto shuts down mining operations by 2029.
“She just engages so well,” Mr Alexander said.
“If Queen Elizabeth walked into a room, Lynne would cope with that without a problem, and if it’s a rather dishevelled looking person pulls her up in town, she can engage with them just the same.”
Business owner Donna-Marie Grieve, who opened a new print shop in Nhulunbuy just this year, said whoever won needed to work to “bring everybody together as one”.
“At the moment it’s actually a mixed reaction out in the community,” Ms Grieve said.
“There are a lot of people who believe Mark is very good for this community — he’s obviously Indigenous, he has a lot of respect, and so does Lynne, she has a lot of respect.
“I can’t actually split them. They both have very good values and good ideas.
“I hope whoever does win does the best job and gives East Arnhem the best opportunities we can have to survive.”
Between the looming end of mining and long-standing problems with health and housing across the region, whoever wins faces an even more monumental challenge in the next four years ahead.