With two days to go, Trump casts doubt on integrity of prolonged vote count

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Nov 02, 2020, 11:24 AM(IST)

Donald Trump Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Americans have rushed to vote early, already casting nearly 60 million mail-in ballots that could take days or weeks to be counted in some states - meaning a winner might not be declared in the hours after polls close on Tuesday night.

United States President Donald Trump cast doubt on the integrity of the US election again on Sunday, saying a vote count that stretched past November 3 would be a "terrible thing" and suggesting his lawyers might get involved.

With two days to go until Tuesday's election and trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden in opinion polls, Trump raced through battleground states in a late hunt for support, while Biden implored attendees at two rallies in the pivotal state of Pennsylvania to get out and vote.

Americans have rushed to vote early, already casting nearly 60 million mail-in ballots that could take days or weeks to be counted in some states - meaning a winner might not be declared in the hours after polls close on Tuesday night.

"I don’t think it’s fair that we have to wait for a long period of time after the election," Trump told reporters before a rally in North Carolina. Some states, including Pennsylvania, do not start processing mail-in votes until Election Day, slowing the process.

Trump has said repeatedly without evidence that mail-in votes are prone to fraud, although election experts say that is rare in US elections. Mail voting is a long-standing feature of American elections, and about one in four ballots was cast that way in 2016.

"We’re going in the night of - as soon as the election is over - we’re going in with our lawyers," Trump told reporters without offering further explanation.

Trump denied an Axios report that he has told confidants he will declare victory on Tuesday night if it looks like he is ahead, even if the Electoral College outcome is unclear. But he said it was a "terrible thing" that ballots would be counted after Election Day.

Trump trails Biden in national opinion polls. Democrats have pushed mail-in voting as a safe way to cast a ballot during the coronavirus pandemic, while Trump and Republicans are counting on a big Election Day in-person turnout.

The race is, howeverm seen as close in enough battleground states that Trump still could achieve the 270 votes needed to win in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines the victor. Trump held rallies in Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina and Georgia, and at midnight, a late one in Florida.

Meanwhile, a record-setting 92.2 million early votes have been cast either in-person or by mail, according to the U.S. Elections Project, representing about 40% of eligible voters. The early surge has led Michael McDonald of the University of Florida, who administers the project, to predict a turnout rate of about 65% of eligible voters, the highest since 1908.

(with inputs)

Read in App