(CBS News) – President Trump and Joe Biden both campaigned Thursday in Florida, a pivotal swing state this year. “If Florida goes blue, it’s over. It’s over!” Biden said at a drive-in rally in Broward County.
Mr. Trump was also set to travel to Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Thursday, but the planned rally was postponed until Monday “because of a wind advisory issued with gusts reaching 50 miles per hour and other weather conditions.”
Historic voter turnout continues to grow, and Hawaii became the first state to surpass its 2016 turnout with its 2020 early vote total. Hawaii is a universal vote-by-mail state – meaning all registered voters use mailed ballots. Per the U.S. Elections Project, 457,294 have voted so far, and 795,248 Hawaii residents have requested ballots, with 437,664 having voted in 2016. Texas is nipping at their heels – early votes in the Lone Star State have totaled 94% of 2016 turnout. Other states that are working on approaching their 2016 totals in this early voting window: North Carolina (81% of 2016), Georgia (82%), and Florida (77%).
But questions still remain about when results will come in throughout the country. A U.S. appeals court in Minnesota ruled Thursday that absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to definitively be counted. The court’s opinion overruled a consent decree order that allowed absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day to be counted if they are returned up to seven days after Election Day.
And in two Republican-heavy Pennsylvania counties, Cumberland and Butler, election officials said their staffs are simply too small to tally mail ballots while at the same time running Election Day operations. Under state law, it’s legal for these counties to wait. They’re allowed to open mail-in ballot envelopes, check signatures and scan ballots — a process known as “pre-canvassing” — on the morning of Election Day, but they must wait until polls close at 8 p.m. to report results.