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Pennsylvania’s vote count crawls forward, as Trump scores a minor legal victory.


As of early Saturday morning, Joseph R. Biden Jr. led President Trump in Pennsylvania by 28,833 votes, with 96 percent of the state’s ballots counted. The remaining mail ballots are expected to favor Democrats, and officials in Philadelphia have said it could take a few more days to complete the count there.

As Pennsylvania’s ballot count continued on Friday evening, the Trump campaign won what appeared to be a small victory in the Supreme Court: Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. granted the state’s Republican Party’s request to order state election officials to set aside mailed ballots that arrived after Election Day and to not include them, for now, in vote totals.

But in practice, the decision changes almost nothing: Election officials in Pennsylvania had already been segregating those ballots and not counting them in announced vote totals.

Justice Alito also did not grant the Republicans’ request to force election officials to “take no further action” on the ballots, such as by stopping the count.

Nearly a dozen lawsuits filed by President Trump and his allies are working their way through the courts in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. They are trying — so far unsuccessfully — to stop ballot counting and invalidate enough votes to erase Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s leads.

But disputes over late-arriving ballots could end up being moot because Mr. Biden has taken the lead in Pennsylvania without them — and would clinch the presidency outright if he won the state’s 20 electoral votes.

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