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What happened on Election Night?

In case you went to bed a little early last night, here's a good summary of what happened and what is still in limbo.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As expected, Election Day was full of twists, turns and delays. Here's what you missed if you decided to call it a night before the races were called.

U.S. PRESIDENT - ELECTORAL COLLEGE

Election Day in the United States unfolded like no other, with nearly 100 million Americans casting their ballots early. 

In order to win the U.S. presidential election, a candidate must win in enough states to have 270 Electoral College votes. 

However, as of Wednesday morning, there's no winner yet. 

States started reporting results as polls closed on election night. However, given the large surge in mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic, there's a chance it could take some time to know the winner of the presidential election. That's because mail ballots generally require more time to process than those cast in-person.  

In the early hours of the morning, both Biden and Trump spoke to supporters -- Trump declared victory despite multiple states still counting votes -- including battleground states Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Wisconsin. 

VERIFY: WHY WE VOTE, DESPITE THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE'S ROLE IN DETERMINING THE PRESIDENT

FIND OUT MORE: PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS FROM ACROSS THE US

NORTH CAROLINA'S PRESIDENTIAL VOTE

In summary, the state is still up for grabs as of Wednesday morning.

Republican President Donald Trump will most likely need to win North Carolina, while Democratic hopeful Joe Biden is hoping to turn the state blue for the first time since 2008.

Absentee ballots in North Carolina must have been postmarked by Tuesday, November 3 in order to be counted in the final results. Completed absentee ballots were NOT accepted in person at polls on Election Day in North Carolina. More than 4.5 million North Carolinians voted ahead of Election Day, which is more than 60% of registered voters in the state. The State Board of Elections says they hope to have 97% of all ballots counted by the end of the night. 

 

In North Carolina, polls opened on Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. and mostly closed at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of a few polling places approved to stay open later due to interruptions in voting. In South Carolina, polls were open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Election Day.  

Both Trump and Biden's campaigns have kept North Carolina at the top of mind in recent weeks. The president has been to North Carolina at least a half-dozen times for campaign rallies, while Biden has rallied voters on multiple occasions. Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden's choice for vice president, have made multiple trips to North Carolina since September.

FIND OUT MORE: NORTH CAROLINA CRITICAL TO WINNING WHITE HOUSE

SOUTH CAROLINA'S PRESIDENTIAL VOTE

Trump won South Carolina, topping Biden as the reliably Republican state went for the GOP again.

The Associated Press called the race just before 8 p.m. ET. Much of the vote had not finished coming in at that point.

The two were vying for the state’s 9 electoral votes that go to the winner of the state. 

History was in the President's favor in the race. No Democrat has carried South Carolina since 1976 when then-President Jimmy Carter captured the state. A Democrat has also not won a statewide election of any kind in the state since 2006. 

FIND OUT MORE: DONALD TRUMP WINS SOUTH CAROLINA

U.S. SENATE NORTH CAROLINA

Speaking to supporters shortly after 11:30 p.m., Republican incumbent Thom Tillis declared victory -- though the North Carolina U.S. Senate race between him and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham has yet to be called.  

After speaking, Senator Tillis ended his speech by saying he was going home to watch the rest of the election results, saying he prays Donald Trump wins. Cunningham didn't make an appearance or speak as the night came to an end.  

This race is the only U.S. Senate seat from North Carolina that will be decided in 2020. North Carolina is one of the battleground states that could flip control of the Senate, and this race is now officially the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history.  

FIND OUT MORE: TILLIS CLAIMS VICTORY, CUNNINGHAM SILENT AS NC RACE FOR U.S. SENATE STILL TOO CLOSE TO CALL

U.S. SENATE SOUTH CAROLINA

Republican Lindsey Graham has won reelection to his U.S. Senate seat in South Carolina by defeating Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison., in the process of fending off the most serious challenge of his political career.

The Associated Press called the race shortly after 10 p.m. 

The contest turned into the most competitive and talked about U.S. Senate race in South Carolina so far this century, as TV airwaves were flooded with campaign commercials, atypical for a state that usually doesn’t see high stakes political drama in the general election. 

In his victory speech, Graham thanked supporters and promised to continue to take state interest to Washington and find common ground. 

"Here's the message I got. People like what I'm doing and I'm gonna keep doing it," he said.  

During his speech, he spoke about national security, the presidential race, and how much support he had. He also went on to say he received two phone calls since the results, one from President Donald Trump and another from his opponent, Jamie Harrison. 

Harrison gave a speech moments before Graham. 

"We proved that a new South is rising. Tonight only slowed us down," Harrison said.

FIND OUT MORE: LINDSEY GRAHAM WINS U.S. SENATE SEAT IN SOUTH CAROLINA

NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will serve a second term after winning the governor’s race against Republican challenger Lt. Gov. Dan Forest in a tight race. 

Cooper hopes his reelection can help Democrats take back one or both General Assembly chambers. 

Cooper gave a victory speech in Raleigh.

"To the people of North Carolina, thank you so much for electing me as your governor for another four years. Serving in this office has been the honor of my life. I'm grateful and humble to the people who have trusted me to continue the progress we've already made here," Cooper said.

Cooper was first elected as governor in 2017.

FIND OUT MORE: COOPER WINS REELECTION VICTORY AGAINST FOREST

CHARLOTTE BONDS

Charlotte voters said yes to nearly $200 million in three bonds that could shape the future of Charlotte's affordable housing and public transportation. The bonds will fund construction and revitalization of transportation corridors including streets and sidewalks, more affordable housing, and improvements to neighborhoods in established and emerging high-growth areas. 

All three bonds passed on the November 3 ballot allocating $102.7 million for transportation, $50 million for affordable housing and $44.5 million for neighborhood improvements.

ANY CONTROVERSIES?

Overall, the Election Day that many people feared would be full of long lines and major tallying delays went adequately well, but there were a few speedbumps along the way.

A spokesperson for South Carolina's Board of Elections told NBC 14,000 votes in South Carolina's Dorchester County will not be counted Tuesday night due to a ballot printing error. 

Dorchester County's BOE told WCNC the mail-in ballots did not have the right timing marks printed at the top, which led to the scanner not being able to register them properly on Election Day. 

The county officials plan to make a copy of all of the invalidated ballots and then take those copies and manually enter the votes into an election machine to be tallied after the other votes are counted. 

FIND OUT MORE: PRINTING ERROR INVALIDATES 14,000 SOUTH CAROLINA VOTES

Also, due to technical issues at a few locations in the state, some of the polling sites closed as late as 8:15 p.m. instead of the planned 7:30 p.m.

SEE THE LIST OF WHAT PRECINCTS WERE IMPACTED HERE  

There was one tussle that caused police to respond. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police arrested a man with a firearm at a polling location in Charlotte. Police say the man was intimidating voters with an unconcealed firearm at Precinct 202 which is in northern Mecklenburg County. 

FIND OUT MORE: ARMED MAN ARRESTED FOR TRESPASSING AT POLLING PLACE

WHAT ABOUT THOSE MAIL-IN BALLOTS?

A decision by the Supreme Court impacted thousands of absentee voters in North Carolina. The 5-3 decision allowed absentee ballots in the state to be received and counted up to nine days after Election Day.   

If you voted early between Oct. 15 and 31, here's where to go for confirmation that your ballot has been accepted.