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Election 2020 has not panned as poll analysts predicted, with a stunning upsurge in support for Donald Trump teetering the scales in his favour. The unforeseen advantage from in-person voting has emboldened the President, who falsely attempted to claim the day for himself in a speech early this morning. He said he planned to petition the Supreme Court to stop any more ballot counting, despite many states still waiting for more than 10 percent of their total votes.
States across the country have set their own rules for counting ballots this year, and have handled COVID-19 arrangements for absentee voting.
Many of them continue to count votes as the US welcomes a new day, thanks to guarantees they would register postal ballots dated for November 3.
Battleground regions could take until the end of the week to declare their results – and decide the election.
But Mr Trump said he would seek to put a stop to lawful counting of these votes and falsely claimed he had won the election amid significant in-person Republican turnout.
President Trump may end up losing the presidency to the postal vote, which experts expect will end up solidly Democrat-leaning.
Early predictions suggest Mr Biden could win in Michigan, Wisconsin and even Pennsylvania, where electors only have postal ballots left to tabulate.
Addressing supporters at the White House this morning, the President revealed he hoped to stop them, saying: “We want the law to be used in a proper manner, so we’ll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.
“We don’t want them finding any ballots at four in the morning and adding them to the list.”
The President cannot put a stop to voting right now, as according to Robert Singh, a Professor of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London, he needs time.
Professor Singh said: “While the statement that Trump made was not surprising inasmuch as he had been setting this playbook up for months – he could only lose the election if it was stolen – it was still totally without precedent in US history.
“He can’t go straight to the US Supreme Court since there has to be a case in circulation at either the District or Circuit Court level that then gets appealed up.
“Moreover, it’s not at all clear on what basis he can call for validly cast votes to be discounted now.”
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So Democrats can rest easy in regards to vote counting right now, but it doesn’t mean the President won’t attempt to lodge a case in further down the line.
The professor said his statement alone could have a profound effect on Mr Biden’s potential path to the White House, as Mr Trump has already sought to delegitimise him.
But he added the bulk of the fallout would hit the US population rather than the current or incoming administration.
Professor Singh said: “This has serious implications for US democracy.
“Even if Biden prevails by the end of the week, Trump is clearly seeking to delegitimise his presidency before it’s even begun.
“And given the hyper-partisanship and extreme polarisation, to have half of the entire nation believing that the election was fraudulent is dangerous.”
“It probably means we should expect social unrest over coming days and weeks, and perhaps violence in the streets.
“Presidents normally seek to maintain the calm and put out fires – Trump is intentionally pouring fuel on it.”
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