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US election 2020: Everything you need to know about election night so far

With an unprecedented number of postal votes due to the coronavirus pandemic and at least one candidate vowing to contest the result, US election night could now become US election week instead.

While some states had already begun counting their mail-in ballots, others have specific laws that banned them from doing so until the polls closed.

As the UK woke up the day after the night before, the final result was still far from decided.

But here, Sky News looks at the key moments so far.

Trump overtakes Biden in Florida

Florida was among the first states to close its polls and with postal votes already counted there, results came in thick and fast.

A Republican heartland with high numbers of conservative voters from Cuba, Florida boasts 29 Electoral College votes and all eyes were on the sunshine state as an early indicator.

Joe Biden was in the lead with more than half of the votes counted, but as more and more ballots came in, the gap narrowed.

Eventually, at around 1am UK time, Donald Trump overtook Mr Biden with around 80% of votes counted.

There was dancing in Miami as the path became clear for Mr Trump.

State senate elects its first ever transgender person

Sarah McBride. Pic: Facebook/Sarah McBride

Sarah McBride made history in Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware to become the first ever transgender state senator.

The Democrat interned at the White House during Barack Obama’s presidency, which made her the first openly transgender person to work there.

She joins a number of other transgender people who are already US legislators – but she holds the highest office of them all.

Trump takes first swing state in Ohio

Ohio was the first of a dozen swing states to project its result.

It is a key indicator as no president has ever been elected without winning Ohio.

With 18 Electoral College votes, Mr Trump appeared to improve his 2016 result, which he still managed to win with a narrow margin.

QAnon supporter joins the House

Republican Majorie Taylor Greene won her uncontested seat in the House after rival Kevin Van Ausdal dropped out unexpectedly in September.

She has expressed her support for the debunked conspiracy theory QAnon, which claims that Donald Trump is waging a secret war against a global paedophile ring.

Ms Taylor Greene has also expressed racist views, saying that black and Hispanic men in the US are being “held back by gangs and dealing drugs”.

She is against the use of face masks during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Trump has described her as a “future Republican star”.

Biden beats Trump to make first statement

Donald Trump said he would declare himself the winner if he saw positive results early on.

But it was Joe Biden who beat him in making a statement.

Addressing supporters in his home state of Delaware just before 6am UK time, Mr Biden said he “felt good about where we are”.

He said the unprecedented number of postal ballots would “take a while” and told Democrat supporters to be patient.

But he said confidently: “It ain’t over until every ballot is counted.”

Trump spells polls wrong

Just minutes after Mr Biden stepped down from the podium in Delaware, Mr Trump took to Twitter to announce he too would be speaking.

But he made a spelling mistake, which was quickly pointed out by social media users and commentators.

He wrote: “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Poles are closed!”

The tweet was later deleted, with Twitter claiming it was “disputed and might be misleading”.

Trump calls the election a ‘fraud’ and threatens to go to Supreme Court

Donald Trump appeared at the White House just after 7am UK time (2am local time).

He said it was the “latest news conference he’d ever had”.

The president thanked the American people for their support, but said there is a “very sad group of people trying to disenfranchise that group of people – and we won’t stand for it”.

He said he was “ready for a big celebration” but the election had been “called off”.

Mr Trump called it a “fraud on the American people”, “an embarrassment to our country” and threatened to go to the Supreme Court to contest the result.

He added: “We want all voting to stop. To me, it’s a very sad moment.”

New Jersey legalises cannabis

The 3 November vote was not just about people – specific policies were also on the ballot in several states.

New Jersey, for example, became the 12th US state to legalise marijuana for personal use.

After two-thirds of voters backed the plans, it will now be legal for people aged 21 and over to grow, consume and sell the drug.

In Washington, voters were asked whether they wanted to decriminalise hallucinogenic mushrooms and in Colorado, people cast ballots on the reintroduction of wolves in the wild.

Among the more serious issues were wide-ranging police reforms following the death of George Floyd.

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