Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has announced that it will launch a legal blitz to try halt vote-counting in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Officials working for the President said they planned to ask courts to pause tallying until more access is granted for Republican observers in the two states.
They will also seek to initiate a recount in Wisconsin and intervene in litigation pending before the Supreme Court over Pennsylvania’s extended deadline for mail ballots.
In a statement the Trump campaign said: “The eyes of the country are on Pennsylvania, but Pennsylvania has kept eyes off of the absentee ballot counting process all along, and that must stop today.”
Meanwhile, dozens of supporters of Trump chanting “Stop the count!” descended on a vote-tallying centre in Detroit after The Associated Press declared Democratic candidate Joe Biden had won Michigan.
Video shot by local media showed angry people gathered outside the TCF Centre and inside the lobby, with police officers lined up to keep them from entering the counting area.
They chanted “Stop the count!” and “Stop the vote!”
#BREAKING: Large, animated crush of “stop the count” protestors trying to push their way into TCF hall in #Detroit where ballots are being counted.— Steve Patterson (@PattersonNBC) November 4, 2020
They’re being blocked by guards at the door.
Pizza boxes are pushed against the window to obstruct view. It’s tense. @NBCNews pic.twitter.com/zFhzd88skX
Our lawyers have asked for “meaningful access”, but what good does that do? The damage has already been done to the integrity of our system, and to the Presidential Election itself. This is what should be discussed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2020
An election centre in Arizona has also been forced to close after protests by Trump supporters led to concerns about unrest.
CNN reports that some in the crowd outside the building in Maricopa County are armed (Arizona, which has 11 electoral votes, is an open-carry state).
At the time when the centre was closed to both the public and the press Joe Biden was ahead in the state by roughly 70,000 votes.
Brink of US presidency
Biden was just one battleground state away from securing enough electoral college votes to achieve what he called a ‘victory for the American people’ early on Thursday.
After securing victories in Wisconsin and Michigan, the Democrat had 264 electoral college votes and needed to secure one of Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina or his home state Pennsylvania to reach the necessary 270 to claim the country’s top position.
Mr Trump, however, must win all four states.
CNN’s Dana Bash says a source tells her Trump is feeling “down” and “starting to see this slip away” late last night.
It will be the first time since George Bush Sr. that a US President did not secure a 2nd term.