All the ways Trump challenged the 2020 US election process

All the ways Trump challenged the 2020 US election process
The US president has made accusations of foul play in ballot counting, as Biden appears close to winning the election.
3 min read
05 November, 2020
This attack on the legitimacy of American voting preducres spread to Trump’s fanbase. [Getty]

Since polling stations closed on Monday, US President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked the legitimacy of voting outcomes as the presidential race edges closer to a win for challenger Joe Biden.

The president falsely announced an premature election victory on Tuesday. When the results tilted towards Biden Trump made countless accusations of foul play in ballot counting or false vote leads.

On Wednesday, he alleged there were "surprise ballot dumps" in states where he was once leading.

"Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled," Trump tweeted.

"Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted."

Trump did not offer any evidence to support these allegations and nobody else has presented evidence to back the claims.

Trump has previously stated his dislike for mail-in ballots, which have been favoured by Biden supporters and in record numbers due to the coronavirus epidemic. 

"How come every time they count Mail-In ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?" he tweeted again later that day.

Social media platforms, his adversaries, and news agencies stepped in to correct the president's "baseless" claims with Twitter marking some of his tweets as "disputed" and "misleading".

In Michigan, Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer defended the process, warning about the possible repercussions of alleging foul play, without evidence, during the election.

"I think everyone with a platform should be encouraging the public that we count our votes. We don't just stop because it’s inconvenient. We get the votes counted… Efforts to undermine the integrity of election will have ramifications long past when the counting ends," she said.

This attack on the legitimacy of American voting procedures spread among Trump's fanbase.

On Thursday, the hashtag #Sharpiegate trended on Twitter when Trump supporters in Maricopa County, Arizona claimed that ballots marked with Sharpie pens were not being counted - a pen used by the president.

Election officials stated that this would not impact the tabulation machines, but a partially armed mob still rallied around a counting centre chanting "count the votes".

They also decried right-wing broadcaster Fox News for declaring victory for Biden.

These protests have spread across the country, even leading to arrests in New York, according to television network NBC.

The president has now filed legal challenges in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, two of which have already declared Biden their preferred choice.

"We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!" he tweeted, before saying he will launch a lawsuit against Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ruling that allows for ballots to be counter after Election Day.

This prompted Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania's attorney general, to say that his submission is "more a political document than a legal document."

Trump and his advisors were happy to pursue the legal battle, according to a campaign adviser cited by CNN.

"The president was livid watching Biden's lead increase in states such as Michigan and Wisconsin," the American outlet wrote.

"He feels it's being stolen from him."

Having said from the start that he would reject the results of a close election, if he were to lose, Trump's challenge of the US' whole democratic system is hardly surprising.

The whole world will keep a close eye on the race, that seems to be the most contested one is recent US history.

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