President Donald Trump expressed confidence he will win the election but noted his campaign will sue in the battleground states Joe Biden won, a sign his team is not confident the vote tallies will come out in his favor.
Additionally, Trump has requested the nation stop counting votes in the presidential election as his launched campaign a lawsuit in Nevada, which could hand Biden the presidency should he win its six electoral votes.
The Nevada lawsuit matches legal action the Trump campaign has launched in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia as Biden approaches the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. In Wisconsin, a state called for Biden, the campaign has requested a recount.
All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud. Plenty of proof - just check out the Media. WE WILL WIN! America First !, 'Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning.
The Trump campaign had a minor legal victory in Pennsylvania on Thursday when a judge ruled ballot observers can watch officials count ballots within six feet. Representatives of both campaigns were in the room to watch the counts but at a further distance because of the coronavirus. They can now sit closer as long as they take the proper COVID precautions.
Democrats, however, are appealing the case, and vote counting has stopped in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, two heavily Democratic areas, while lawyers battle it out. Philadelphia later resumed counting but results could be delayed from the state. Biden has been closing the gap with Trump in Pennsylvania as mail-in ballots are counted.
Additionally a judge in Chatham County, Georgia, where Savannah is located, ruled against the Trump campaign's legal challenge to some absentee ballots. The judge declared officials took the proper precautions to ensure it was legal ballots that were counted. Trump's lead in Georgia fell to fewer than 20,000 votes as more vote totals were released.
The Biden campaign accused the Trump team of using the court system to delay the inevitable.
'What we're seeing on these legal suits are that they are meritless and nothing more than an attempt to distract and delay what is now inevitable - Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States,' campaign manager Jennifer O'Malley Dillon told reporters Thursday morning.
Nevada, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Arizona are still counting ballots more than 48 hours after the election. The large number of mail-in ballots, used by voters because of the coronavirus pandemic, has led to the prolonged count and the margins between the two presidential contenders are razor thin.
'STOP THE COUNT !,' the president tweeted Thursday as state officials continued to make their way through the legally cast votes. Trump has spent the past few days holed up in the White House, speaking to advisers about the race.
STOP THE COUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2020
If state officials stop counting now and the election were called on the current tallies - Biden would win. The president needs to make up vote gaps in Arizona and Nevada in order to win the election - in other words he officials there to keep counting the ballots.
Trump later added this tweet: 'ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!'
ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2020
The president was likely referring to Pennsylvania, where officials are counting any mail-in ballot received by Friday as long as it is post marked by Election Day. Trump currently leads in the state but Biden is slowing making up ground as the mail-in votes are counted. More Democrats than Republicans used the mail-in voting option.
All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud. Plenty of proof - just check out the Media. WE WILL WIN! America First!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2020
Twitter put a warning on several of the president's tweets.
The Associated Press has awarded Biden 264 electoral votes - including in Arizona, a state not all news organizations have called and that the Trump campaign is arguing they can win when all votes are counted.
Nevada's six electoral votes would put Biden exactly at 270 in the AP's count - handing him the presidency.
Nevada released another tranche of votes Thursday that expanded Biden's lead to 12,000. Georgia and Pennsylvania are also expected to release additional vote counts today.
The Trump campaign expressed confidence the president will get a second term in the White House.
'By end of tomorrow - Friday - it will be clear that President Trump and Vice President Pence will serve another term in the White House,' campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told reporters in a press call on Thursday morning.
The Biden campaign expressed similar confidence.
'Our data shows that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States,' Dillon said.
As President Trump offers unsubstantiated charges of election fraud, pro-Trump demonstrators have showed up at vote counting centers in Nevada, Arizona, and Detroit demanding that all votes be counted.
The results of the election remain unclear but Biden is inches towards victory as mail-in ballots are tallied.
Trump has falsely claimed these votes are illegitimate because they are being counted after the election. The votes were legally cast before Election Day but the process to count mail-in ballots takes longer as they have to be checked against voter rolls to confirm it's a legal ballot from a registered voter - just as when someone who votes in person has to confirm their identity with a poll worker before receiving a ballot.
In Arizona, after 62,000 votes in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, were added to the tally early Thursday morning, Biden led Trump in the state by 68,400 votes, or less than three points. But Trump faces a tough slog in making up the gap as most outstanding votes are from Democratic areas in the state: Pima, Coconino and Santa Cruz counties.
More results from Arizona will be released Thursday evening.
Trump launched legal action in Michigan and Wisconsin, on Wednesday - two states that have been awarded to Biden.
While officials count ballots, tensions have flared across the country.
In Arizona overnight, armed pro-Trump protesters descended on a counting center in Maricopa County, after Biden's commanding 200,000-vote lead was slashed to just 68,000 as ballots continued being tallied.
They faced off with police and security outside the counting center, chanting that every vote should be counted with the result in the balance. At least one person made it inside, forcing the center to close with staff locked in.