While it's too soon to know whether former Vice President Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States, the Democratic nominee has already reached a major election landmark.
As of early Wednesday afternoon, Biden had received the most votes for any presidential candidate in U.S. history with more than 70 million votes already tallied, according to the Associated Press count.
Until now, former President Barack Obama held the record after he received 69,498,516 votes in the 2008 election. At the time, Joe Biden was his running mate.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Associated Press count as of 2 p.m. Eastern said Biden received 70,238,852 votes, and it's still going. Ballots are still being counted in battleground states Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Millions of Americans cast ballots in a historically contentious election with few problems. About 103 million votes were cast before Election Day, an early voting push prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. That took some of the pressure off polling places on Tuesday, which generally saw short or no lines as coronavirus cases were on the rise.
Daily confirmed cases were up 43% over the past two weeks in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Every Election Day comes with problems as millions of people try to cast ballots simultaneously in 50 states. But experts were relieved they were relatively rare at a time when partisan battles over voting reached a fever pitch.
“We were bracing for the worst, and we've been pleasantly surprised,” said Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.
There were also only a few other issues with voting technology. Electronic pollbooks from voting equipment vendor KnowInk failed in Ohio’s second-largest county and in a small Texas county, forcing voting delays as officials replaced them with paper pollbooks.
Those who did vote on Election Day included some who wanted to vote by mail but waited too long to request a ballot or didn’t receive their ballots in time. Election offices had to scramble to rejigger procedures to allow for a huge surge in mail voting as voters sought a way to avoid exposure to the coronavirus at the polls.
Despite warnings of clashes between Trump and Biden supporters, there were no wide-scale instances of voter intimidation. Indeed, in battleground Michigan, demonstrators from the opposing camps initially shouted at each other through bullhorns outside a suburban Detroit polling place, but ended up joining together to sing “God Bless America.”
There were reports, as there are every election, of efforts to discourage people from voting that surfaced in robocalls in a few states. The FBI was investigating. But there were no large-scale cyber attacks that upended voting.
Gen. Paul Nakasone, the commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, said in a statement that he was “confident the actions we’ve taken against adversaries over the past several weeks and months have ensured they’re not going to interfere in our elections.”