Trump says claim he will declare victory on Election Night regardless of the outcome is ‘false’ and declares he is going to deploy lawyers to swing states the second voting stops
- Donald Trump is preparing to declare an Election Night victory on Tuesday
- But he denied that report, calling it ‘false’
- Several states will have just started counting their millions of mail-in ballots on Tuesday and won’t have the final results until days after the election
- Trump will only make the claim, his allies say, if it appears he is ‘ahead’ of Biden
- He also wants to either have won or hold a commanding lead in Texas, Iowa, Georgia, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona to declare victory
- Millions more Americans than usual are mailing in their ballots this year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic
- Some states, like Pennsylvania and North Carolina, are allowing officials several extra days to count up the ballots before reporting a winner in their state
President Donald Trump denied a report that he will prematurely declare himself the winner of the 2020 presidential election on Tuesday night if it appears he is ‘ahead’ of Joe Biden, even if a ton of Electoral College votes are still unknown.
‘No, no that was a false report,’ he told reporters after he landed in North Carolina for his third rally of the day.
But he did warn he is ready to send in lawyers to states like Pennsylvania to dispute ballots.
‘We’re going in the night of – as soon as the election is over – we’re going in with our lawyers,’ he said.
He and the Republican Party have been launching lawsuits in states extending the deadline to accept mail-in ballots.
‘If people wanted to get their ballots in, they should have gotten their ballots in long before that,’ he said.
The president has repeatedly called for a result to be declared on election night.
‘I don’t think it’s fair that we have to wait for a long period of time after the election.’
The president has privately discussed in detail potential November 3 scenarios, three people familiar with his private comments told Axios in a report released Sunday – including walking up to the podium on Tuesday and declaring he has won before official results are revealed.
It’s likely some states will still not know which candidates are earning their Electoral College votes on Tuesday as record-setting numbers of voters have cast their ballot by mail in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar reminded NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday morning that ‘elections have never been called on election night.’
She specifically pointed to the fact that some states allow servicemembers stationed overseas have a week after Election Day to cast their ballots.
Although Americans have become accustomed to knowing the winner of the presidential election in Election Night, that’s always based on news organizations’ projections based on partial counts.
President Donald Trump is preparing to declare an Election Night victory on Tuesday – even though several states will have just started counting their millions of mail-in ballots that day
Trump will only make the claim, his allies say, if it appears he is ‘ahead’ of Biden and has either won or holds a commanding lead in Texas, Iowa, Georgia and swing states of Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona
Actual counts for presidential elections are rarely, if ever, done on the same day the election is held.
Several states have extended the period in which they will count mail-in ballots to accommodate for the influx.
Pennsylvania, for example, is accepting mail-in ballots up to the end of the week on Friday and North Carolina will still count ballots a whopping eight days after Election Day. North Carolina election officials insist 97 per cent of ballots will already be tallied and reported by Election Night.
Trump’s team is preparing to claim that mail-in ballots counted after Nov. 3 are evidence of election and voter fraud and will accuse Democrats of attempting to steal the election.
The president’s campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said, ‘This is nothing but people trying to create doubt about a Trump victory. When he wins, he’s going to say so.’
The Supreme Court ruled that Pennsylvania and North Carolina can count their mail-in votes in the days following the election – meaning it’s highly unlikely the true winner will be known Tuesday evening.
Mail-in and absentee ballots are expected to favor Democrats, as these remote and early-voting measures traditionally do.
Millions more Americans than usual are mailing in their ballots in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – and some states, mainly Pennsylvania, are allowing their states several extra days to count up the ballots before reporting a winner in the state
Several projections predict that on Election Night, it will appear President Trump is ahead in Pennsylvania, and then the state’s final outcome could change substantially in favor of Democratic nominee Joe Biden after mail-in ballots are counted.
With 20 Electoral College votes, Pennsylvania is one of the most influential and critical swing states for a 2020 victory. Florida, which holds 29 votes, is the most important for Trump to win to secure another four years.
The Keystone State’s election law prevents officials from counting mail-in ballots before Election Day comes around, and the Pennsylvania Secretary of State said Sunday morning that she is expecting as much as 10 times the amount of mail ballots as previous years.
‘Yes, it will take longer,’ Kathy Boockvar when asked about the time-line.
‘I expect that the overwhelming majority of ballots in Pennsylvania, that’s mail-in and absentee ballots, as well as in-person ballots, will be counted within a matter of days,’ Boockvar said.
Trump’s allies claim that for the president to actually go forward with declaring victory before the race is officially called, he would need to either win or have commanding leads in Texas, Iowa, Georgia and swing states of Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona.
Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller predicted Sunday that Trump ‘will be re-elected handily and no amount of post-election Democratic thievery will be able to change the results.’
He then accused that if Trump were to lose, it would be due to ‘hijinks or lawsuits or whatever kind of nonsense’ from Democrats.