Trump continues vote counting protest as Biden closes in on victory

By David Hughes and Sam Blewett, PA Political Staff
·3-min read

Donald Trump continued to protest at votes being counted in the US presidential election with Joe Biden just one battleground state away from being able to claim victory.

President Trump has already filed legal action in several states to try to stop vote counting and repeatedly attempted to question the legitimacy of the process.

Mr Biden, the Democratic challenger, said on Thursday he has “no doubt” he will win the presidency as he urged for calm and patience and re-iterated that “each ballot must be counted” following Tuesday’s election.

After securing victories in Wisconsin and Michigan, the Democrat had 264 electoral college votes and needed to secure one of Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina or his home state Pennsylvania to reach the necessary 270 to win the White House race.

Mr Trump, however, must win all four states, and has begun legal action to either stop the counting of votes or insist his team be provided greater access to scrutinise the process.

In characteristic Twitter messages he said “STOP THE COUNT” adding “ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED” – a message which carried a warning from the social media firm about content which is “disputed and might be misleading”.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Elections are run by individual state, county and local governments and Mr Trump’s public comments have no impact on the tallying of votes across the country.

The Trump campaign requested a recount in Wisconsin and filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia.

But judges in Michigan and Georgia dismissed the actions launched by the Trump campaign.

Additional legal action was also expected in Nevada, the campaign indicated.

Mr Trump said all of the recent “Biden claimed states” will be legally challenged for “voter fraud and state election fraud”, although he did not expand on his evidence for those claims.

“WE WILL WIN,” he added “America First!”.

Mr Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said the president “knows he is losing” and had chosen to “push a flailing strategy, designed to prevent people’s votes from being counted”.

She said: “What we’re seeing on these legal suits are that they are meritless and nothing more than an attempt to distract and delay what is now inevitable – Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States.”

Former vice president Mr Biden said that “democracy is sometimes messy, it sometimes requires a little patience”.

“Each ballot must be counted and that’s what we’re going to see going through now and that’s how it should be,” he said from a stage in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.

“We continue to feel very good about where things stand, we have no doubt that when the count is finished senator Harris and I will be declared the winners.

“So I ask everyone to stay calm, all the people to stay calm, the process is working, the count is being completed and we’ll know very soon.”

Downing Street said it was too early to speculate on the outcome of the US election, in response to questions on whether ministers were already reaching out to the Biden camp.

“What we are doing at the moment is allowing the US electoral process time to reach a conclusion,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

“I don’t think you would expect us to speculate on the outcome at this stage.

“The US is our closest ally and we are absolutely confident that the relationship will go from strength to strength whichever candidate wins the election.”

The bitterly fought election and the protracted results process have added to tensions on the streets in some American cities.

Police in Seattle and Portland arrested more than a dozen people as hundreds took to the streets to demand a full count of all presidential election votes and a halt to President Trump’s court challenges.

Pro-Trump supporters have also converged on vote-counting centres in cities such as Detroit and Phoenix.