US Election: Protests over vote counts break out in several cities

Protesters marched through the streets of several American cities on Wednesday in response to President Donald Trump’s aggressive effort to challenge the vote count in Tuesday’s presidential election.

In Minneapolis, protesters blocked a freeway, prompting arrests. In Portland, hundreds gathered on the waterfront to protest the president’s attempted interventions in the vote count as a separate group protesting the police and urging racial justice surged through downtown, smashing shop windows and confronting police officers and National Guard troops.

In Phoenix, about 150 pro-Trump protesters, some of them armed, gathered outside the county recorder’s office where a closely watched count of votes that could help determine the outcome of the election was being conducted.

At several points, protesters contended that Adrian Fontes, the county official who oversees elections in Maricopa County, was improperly failing to count some ballots and costing Mr Trump votes in Arizona’s most populous county.

There was no evidence that any ballots had been improperly treated.

Keely Varvel, Mr Fontes’s chief deputy, said there were no plans to halt counting of the ballots because of the protest in front of the building.