U.S. President Donald Trump and his campaign continue to falsely assert that “surprise ballot dumps” are behind the shifting projections in several swing states key to determining the outcome of the U.S. election, even taking the decision to falsely claim victory in multiple too-close-to-call swing states — which is not their call to make.
The false claims from the incumbent — which have been hidden by Twitter over concerns they are misleading — come as tensions run high and hundreds of thousands of ballots remain to be counted in swing states including Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina.
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Trump cast aspersions Wednesday morning on the integrity of the vote, tweeting that he was “leading, often solidly, in many key states” the previous evening.
That is false — none of the swing states have shown solid enough leads to prompt projections that either Trump or Democratic candidate and former vice president Joe Biden would carry the state.
The outstanding swing states are grappling with record numbers of mail-in and advance ballots cast, with several still working to tally those votes because of logistical challenges like in Georgia where a burst pipe forced a pause to counting late Tuesday night.
As well, the key swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could not legally begin counting those early ballots until Election Day, so that work continues
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Trump then claimed that these early gains started to “magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted.”
Again, there is no evidence to support this.
Mail-in and advance ballots are not a surprise and are not being dumped anywhere. Rather, they are being counted in accordance with state election laws that have longstanding rules for when these ballots can be counted, and there is no evidence of any kind to suggest existing laws are being broken.
Trump also issued another tweet asking, “How come every time they count mail-In ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?”
The exact answer to that won’t be possible to determine until all mail-in and advance ballots are counted, which is expected to take several days, but a key factor here is the fact that many states made it easier to vote early and via mail this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Data suggests many of the Americans who take the coronavirus pandemic seriously are more likely to be Democrats and thus, may be more inclined to have taken the steps to vote early in order to avoid busy Election Day polling stations.
As it stands now, the race for control of Electoral College votes is extremely tight.
Biden holds 248 votes while Trump holds 214.
The magic number to win the presidency is 270 Electoral College votes.
No winner is being projected yet given the narrow margins in swing state tallies so far.
However, both Biden and Trump have made claims about the results favouring their campaigns.
Biden was the first to speak on Tuesday night in a brief late-night address in which he called for patience until all votes can be tallied, but said his team was “confident” he was heading towards victory.
“We believe we’re on track to win this election,” Biden said.
“It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to say who won this election. That’s the decision of the American people. But I’m optimistic about this outcome.”
Trump, however, falsely claimed outright victory several hours later despite there being no mathematical proof of that based on the possible changes that could come in the key swing states.
As of roughly 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday, American media were also citing Biden campaign advisor Bob Bauer as saying that the campaign believes “Joe Biden has been elected to the presidency.”
That cannot be verified until further swing state results emerge and the Electoral College votes attached to them can be calculated.
On Wednesday evening, Trump again made false statements on Twitter, saying his campaign “claimed, for electoral vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the state of Georgia, and the state of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead.”
“Additionally, we hereby claim the state of Michigan if, in fact there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!”
However, there are several false elements to that claim.
Electoral College votes are not “claimed” by campaigns based on their personal preference and whim.
Instead, every single vote cast is tallied up by electoral staff and observed by bipartisan scrutineers, and then must be certified by each state’s election body.
Media outlets project — but never claim — winners in each state based on the uncertified public data posted by the election administration bodies, and only based on clear, strong data.
When races are too close to call or there simply are not enough voter tallies available to make that call, media outlets hold off on projecting a winner until the data becomes more clear.
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In the case of the states Trump says his campaign has “claimed,” all of the vote tallies remain too close to call, with results in Pennsylvania not expected fully until Friday and North Carolina until potentially next week.
As well, there are no “widely reported” suggestions of “secretly dumped ballots” anywhere in the country — in fact, the only persons making such claims are those working with the Trump campaign.
There is no evidence to back that up.
— More to come.