Politics

Trump calls for halt to vote count, Biden for full count

Washington, Nov 5 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Thursday took to Twitter to demand that the vote count be stopped in certain states, while his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, demanded just the opposite: that all valid ballots be counted.

The two men posted their divergent messages on Twitter as all eyes are on the vote counts in Nevada, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Arizona, in the latter of which certain media outlets have already projected a Biden victory, although Trump appears to be narrowing the former vice president’s lead as the vote count proceeds.

Resorting to all capital letters in two consecutive Twitter messages, Trump wrote: “STOP THE COUNT!” and “ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!”

When asked about the significance of that assertion, the president’s campaign spokesman, Jason Miller, told reporters that Trump does not want the counting of ballots that arrived by mail to continue, although some 65 million Americans – including Trump himself – voted by mail during this election cycle to avoid Election Day crowds and waiting in line at the polling places amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump has positioned himself against counting mail-in ballots because the data show that Democrats used that method to a greater extent than Republicans, with most GOP supporters preferring to wait to cast their ballots last Tuesday on Election Day.

Meanwhile, Biden wrote on Twitter that “Every vote must be counted,” accompanying this message with a video urging that all votes be counted and in which a white woman and a black man are featured.

In another tweet, Biden wrote: “Donald Trump does not decide the outcome of this election and nor do I. The American people decide. That’s why we’ve launched the Biden Fight Fund – to ensure every vote is counted.”

And in a third message on Twitter, he added: “Be patient, folks. Votes are being counted, and we feel good about where we are,” thus expressing confidence, as he did in remarks delivered late on Wednesday, in his chances to win the presidency but stopping short of claiming victory.

A Biden campaign official told EFE that the former vice president, who served in that post for eight years under former President Barack Obama (2009-2017), will probably address the American people again although no time for those remarks was specified.

At present, Biden has been credited with 264 electoral votes by major US media outlets, including the state of Arizona, with its 11 electoral votes, while Trump has 214.

A total of 270 votes in the Electoral College are required to win the presidency, regardless of the popular vote total, although Biden is ahead of Trump by some 3.5 million votes in that category.

The most populous county in Arizona, Maricopa, is not scheduled to provide new voting totals until 7 pm on Thursday.

Nevada announced on Thursday that it will take it until at least the weekend to count 63,000 mail-in ballots that have not yet been tabulated, and state election authorities will continue to accept ballots that arrive up until next Tuesday, although they must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3.

In that western state on Thursday morning, the Trump campaign filed a complaint claiming that some 10,000 voters not living in Nevada had voted, although at a press conference, Clark County vote registrar Joe Gloria said that no irregularities had occurred.

The Nevada complaint, however, is part of the legal strategy launched by Trump and his campaign team shortly after the vote count began and comes on the heels of assorted other complaints presented in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia.

Meanwhile, Trump and his team on Thursday won the first of the lawsuits they had filed to challenge the scrutiny of ballots in several key states, with a Pennsylvania court ruling that it would allow his team’s observers to supervise the vote count in that key state more closely, although it does not halt the count or invalidate any portion of the tally made there to date.

The court order allows Trump campaign observers to stand less than six feet from any table at which votes are being counted by election workers to enable them to better monitor the process.

In Pennsylvania, Trump currently leads Biden by more than 120,000 votes with 92 percent of the ballots counted, but early on Thursday there were more than 700,000 ballots that had not yet been counted and it is expected that most of those votes will go to the Democratic candidate.

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