Pro-Trump protesters force Arizona polling station to close

3 weeks ago 2

The results of the US election are still unclear today after Joe Biden's lead in the swing state of Arizona was slashed - even as he edged towards victory in other states where Donald Trump issued lawsuits to try and stop him. 

Armed pro-Trump protesters descended on a counting center in Maricopa County, Arizona, late Wednesday after Biden's commanding 200,000-vote lead was slashed to just 13,000 as all the ballots were 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.  

Meanwhile, hundreds of miles to the east, Biden claimed victory in Michigan and Wisconsin - flipping them back from Republican control - while running a close race against Trump in Georgia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, where counting is still underway.

The eastern states had initially shown large leads for Trump which melted away as mail-in ballots were counted. Amid spurious allegations of fraud, Trump launched lawsuits in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia in an attempt to roll back Biden's blue wave of ballots.

As thing stand, Biden only needs to hold his lead in Arizona and Nevada - another state where counting is ongoing - to become the next president. 

Trump needs to reclaim either Arizona or Nevada, plus win in Georgia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina in order to get a second term in office.

Amid the continuing uncertainty...

Trump protesters descended on counting centers in both Michigan and Arizona - demanding that the vote count be stopped in the former state, and demanding it continue in the latterTrump also launched a series of lawsuits to try and shift the result in his favor, while make unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud on TwitterIn Wisconsin, Trump is suing for a recount - which is expected to go ahead because the result is within 1 per cent of votes cast, but is not expected to overturn Biden's 20,000-vote marginIn Michigan, he claims his poll observers have not been given proper access to the count, and is suing to have the count stopped until they are given accessIn Pennsylvania, Trump is claiming that the Senator has given Biden back-door votes to try to push him outRudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, and Trump's son, Eric, held a rally in Pennsylvania as they spearheaded the president's legal action there In Georgia, he alleges that a GOP poll observer witnessed 53 late absentee ballots added to a pile

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ARIZONA: The Maricopa County center in Phoenix was forced to close to the public, locking poll workers inside, when supporters of the president surrounded the building chanting 'count the vote'

Chaos hit the election count center in a crucial Arizona county on Wednesday night after a large group of Trump supporters gathered outside to protest, some carrying weapons as the chanted for the vote to continue

Video from outside the count center showed the angered crowd as they shouted that the vote was being suppressed

MICHIGAN: Supporters of US President Donald Trump chant slogans as they gather outside the room where absentee ballots for the 2020 general election are being counted

NEW YORK: Anti-Trump protesters kneel in the street in Manhattan in the wake of an uncertain election on November 3

MINNESOTA: Demonstrators take to the streets of Minneapolis for an anti-Trump rally in the wake of the election

CALIFORNIA: A man raises his fist during a protest in Los Angeles as uncertainty continued over the result of the election

SEATTLE: A protester lights an American flag on fire during a demonstration in Seattle on Wednesday 

ILLINOIS: Demonstrator Brittany Bysina holds a sign as demonstrators march through central Chicago on Wednesday night

PENNSYLVANIA: Demonstrators, including one carrying a Black Lives Matter flag, march past Independence Hall in Philadelphia to urge that all votes be counted on Wednesday

Joe Biden on Wednesday afternoon all but claimed election victory as he said he was 'confident' he would win the White House after taking Michigan and Wisconsin. He is pictured with his running mate Kamala Harris by his side 

Donald Trump on Wednesday at 2.30am, declaring election victory despite many of the votes still being counted. He has vowed to go to the Supreme Court to challenge what he is calling a 'fraud' outcome so far 



TRUMP 50.09% 

BIDEN  48.69% 


TRUMP 49.68%

BIDEN 49.09%


TRUMP 48.69%

BIDEN 49.33%


TRUMP 50.72%

BIDEN 48.13% 


TRUMP 47.93% 

BIDEN 50.71%

Fox and the AP gave Arizona to Biden before dawn on Wednesday. 

On Wednesday afternoon, officials said that there were still 600,000 votes left to be counted which suggested that it could be put back in play. 

The AP is standing by its call, saying the outstanding votes are in Biden strongholds that will not flip back to Trump.     

Biden’s lead in Arizona has shrunk to about 13,000 votes. 

Marciopa will release another round of results later Wednesday night.

Maricopa is the largest county in Arizona, home to Phoenix and 62% of the state’s 7.28 million residents. A candidate cannot win the state without it. Biden leads in Maricopa County by approximately 85,000 votes.  

Video footage from outside the Maricopa count center on Wednesday showed the angered crowd as they shouted and chanted that the vote was being suppressed and that the election was unfair. 

Some fumed about a rumor that was circulating from right-wing social media accounts throughout the day that claimed that the ballots of some Trump supporters were being disregarded because they were filled out using a Sharpie. 

County officials have reassured voters that this is not true but unsettled fans of the president still decided to gather at the count on Wednesday as they called to be let inside to see the votes being counted. 

There is no evidence that any of the votes cast are not being counted in the county or in the state. 

Several members of the group AZ Patriots did successfully manage to make their way inside the building, one wearing a military vest, where they argued that the pens in the count had been changed to Sharpies, before they were kicked out of the building. 

Media crews were escorted from the center at around 12.30am and some staff were also escorted from the building at the end of their shifts as the shouts of the crowd grew louder. There have been no reports of violence although several members of the press claimed they were threatened. 

Inside, the count continued, with the center vowing that it would continue until the last update of the night. 

Meanwhile in Michigan, Trump protesters also surrounded an election center in Detroit where they called on the count to be stopped as the state was declared for Biden. 

Republicans have also filed a lawsuit in Michigan demanding that all vote counting stop because Trump's people weren't giving proper access to voting sites and couldn't oversee the counting process to ensure it was fair. 

In Georgia, the lawsuit claims that a GOP poll observer witnessed 53 late absentee ballots added to a pile in Chatham County while two additional actions in Pennsylvania claim a Senator there has given Biden back-door votes to try to push Trump out.

And in Wisconsin, the campaign is demanding a recount, despite Biden winning by more than 20,000 votes which represents around 0.6 percent of the vote. 

The figure falls within the state's recount rules which allows for anything within a one-point margin to qualify for a a recount. 

U.S. President Trump supporters gather to protest the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department office

The protesters claimed that the election is unfair after debunked rumors spread from right-wing social media accounts 

Angered protesters descended on the center in Phoenix where the majority of the remaining votes are still to be counted

'Staff at the @maricopacounty Elections Department will continue our job, which is to administer elections in the second largest voting jurisdiction in the county,' the department tweeted. 

'We will release results again tonight as planned. We thank the @mcsoaz for doing their job, so we can do ours.' 

Among the protesters was local Congressman Paul Gosar who joined the crowd in complaining that votes were not being counted, blasting the Arizona Secretary of State as a 'joke' and praying, before demanding an update on the tally. 

'Some shady things are happening in Arizona...' he tweeted earlier in the day. 

Gosar made the claim after Fox News faced outrage for deciding to call the state's eleven electoral college seats for Biden before midnight on election night. The Associated Press has since also called a Biden victory but the New York Times and CNN are among the major news organization believing the race is still there for either candidate. 

On Wednesday night, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis railed against the decision to call Arizona and said that Fox should immediate rescind the decision.

'Trump is gaining in Arizona. There are probably 500,000…' DeSantis said during an interview with Fox. 'Here's my thing, if you're quick on the trigger, then be quick on the trigger for both sides and stand by it. With Trump, they never want to call the state. Biden, they will do it right away. It's inconsistent and unacceptable. Look, North Carolina should be called for the president, for sure. Arizona — Fox should rescind that call.' 

'We have to do this in a right way,' DeSantis continued. 'I thought it was really poor how it was done. Florida, we didn't even need the panhandle coming in. The president was up so much with the basis of Miami-Dade [county] early in mail voting that here was no way he would lose by Florida and won by 400,000 votes in the end.' 

FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver, who has himself been criticized for wildly inaccurate polling data, also said that Fox and the Associated Press should retracted the projection.  

The Arizona call from Fox was the first of the states that appeared to have flipped from red to blue, marking a major loss for the Trump campaign in this must-win state if it were accurate. 

Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks during a news conference on legal challenges to vote counting in Pennsylvania on Wednesday afternoon after the president filed a lawsuit despite one million votes remaining uncounted

Trump's daughter-in-law Lara listens as Giuliani and her husband Eric speak Wednesday

Giuliani claimed that Trump has won Pennsylvania despite votes still needing to be counted

Yet the Trump campaign has argued that the voting is not yet over, dismissing the call and predicting that the president will eventually win by some 30,000 votes once all ballots are counted. 

They have also said they are considering contesting the result but have not indicated what action they would take after calling for a recount in Wisconsin and filing lawsuits over vote counting in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. 

'@FoxNews is a complete outlier in calling Arizona, and other media outlets should not follow suit,' fumed Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller on Tuesday night.  

Arizona officials debunk #SharpieGate conspiracy

Social media users are falsely claiming that ballots in Arizona are invalid because they were filled out with Sharpie markers - but officials were quick to quash such rumors stating they're still valid. 

#SharpieGate emerged on social media on Wednesday as Donald Trump supporters suggested that election officials in Maricopa County provided voters with the felt-tipped pens to interfere with their ballots. 

Some people claimed they were targeted because they wanted to vote for Trump. 

Trump is famous for using the Sharpie permanent marker.   

However, Arizona election officials said that voting with a Sharpie would have no impact on the votes being recorded by tabulation machines, and if there was an issue, there is a process that would keep the ballots from being canceled out.

 On Wednesday the Republican Attorney General’s Office in Arizona said they were investigating complaints from Maricopa County voters over the Sharpie fiasco.

'There are still 1M+ Election Day votes out there waiting to be counted - we pushed our people to vote on Election Day, but now Fox News is trying to invalidate their votes!

'We believe over 2/3 of those outstanding Election Day voters are going to be for Trump. Can't believe Fox was so anxious to pull the trigger here after taking so long to call Florida. Wow,' he continued. 

'Retract AZ!' added Republican National Committee spokesperson Liz Harrington. 

Arizona's governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, also pushed back at the Fox News result calling it 'far too early' to have declared Biden the winner in the early hours of Wednesday morning. 

'Election Day votes are not fully reported, and we haven't even started to count early ballots dropped off at the polls. In AZ, we protected Election Day. Let's count the votes—all the votes—before making declarations.' 

Trump himself was enraged by the call and rang Rupert Murdoch in a fury on Tuesday night, according to reports. 

A source told Vanity Fair that Trump phoned Murdoch, who owns Fox, 'to scream about the call and demand a retraction'.

The 89-year-old media mogul refused to order his staff to retract the Arizona call. 

Even within Fox, the Arizona announcement allegedly angered staff, Vanity Fair reports.  

'We called it long before MSNBC!' one outraged staffer on the opinion side told the magazine.

'We were so worried about being seen as pro-Trump that we bent over backwards.'

And on air, the hosts questioned the decision desk for the call. 

President Donald Trump supporters gather to protest the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department office

The crowd forced the closure of the center on Wednesday night

At one point the group began to pray for the outcome of the election

As it stands, Biden needs both Arizona and Nevada to win the presidency

Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller fumed at Fox's call on Tuesday night

Arizona's governor Doug Ducey also called the network's decision premature

'The Trump campaign is, how shall I put this, livid about the fact that Arizona was called,' Fox White House correspondent John Roberts reported around 12:20am Wednesday morning. 

'Frankly, there have been public calls for Fox to pull back that call. I'll leave that to the decision desk, but that's what the Trump campaign is saying.' 

Yet those behind the decision have defended the call and maintained they were right to call the race for Biden when they did. 

'We're four standard deviations from being wrong,' Arnon Mishkin, director of the Fox News Decision Desk, said of the network's statistical model. 'And, I'm sorry, we're not wrong in this particular case.'

He also acknowledged that there were outstanding votes to be counted in the state but that they were mainly in areas in which Biden was performing well, according to Politico

'I'm sorry, the president is not going to be able to take over and win enough votes to eliminate that seven point lead' Mishkin added. 

Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt also defended the decision on-air stating that the remaining mail-in ballots would sway heavily in Biden's favor. ' 

The Associated Press stated they also made the call for this reasons. 

Trump took Arizona in 2016 by a margin of 3.5 percent. A Biden victory in the state would make him the first Democrat to win Arizona since Bill Clinton in 1996.    

Yet much of the Arizona result hangs on Maricopa County which Trump won the county four years ago, with 49 percent of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 46 percent.  

 Officials say that there are still between 428,000 and 446,000 ballots to count in the county, including 248,000 mail ballots that were returned in the last three days before the election. 

They also include between 160,000 and 180,000 mail ballots returned on Election Day and 18,000 provisional ballots, according to the Maricopa County Recorder's Office. 

Trump may contest the validity of the mail-in ballots as he has in other states. 

Trump took Arizona in 2016 by a margin of 3.5 percent. A Biden victory in the state would make him the first Democrat to win Arizona since Bill Clinton in 1996.    

Yet much of the Arizona result hangs on Maricopa County which Trump won the county four years ago, with 49 percent of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 46 percent.  

 Officials say that there are still between 428,000 and 446,000 ballots to count in the county, including 248,000 mail ballots that were returned in the last three days before the election. 

They also include between 160,000 and 180,000 mail ballots returned on Election Day and 18,000 provisional ballots, according to the Maricopa County Recorder's Office. 

Trump may contest the validity of the mail-in ballots as he has in other states. 

On Tuesday, false stories were circulating among right-wing social media accounts that votes cast for Trump were not counted in Maricopa County because voters used Sharpie pens. 

Dubbed 'Sharpiegate' by conservatives on social media, the allegations could be used to try to undermine election results in the historically Republican state. 

County officials were trying to inform voters that Sharpies did not interfere with ballots. 

Yet, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of several voters Wednesday alleging that the use of a Sharpie permanent marker at polling places across the county disenfranchised voters.

Attorney Alexander Kolodin is representing an Arizona woman named as Laurie Aguilera by 12 News as well as ten other unidentified voters in the state. 

'Plaintiff completed her ballot with the provided Sharpie. While completing it, she noticed the ink was bleeding through,' the suit reads. It goes on to say that the machine failed to read Aguilera's ballot and those poll workers would not provide her with a second ballot nor a duplicate ballot when the ballot was not read. She believes her vote was not counted.

'I should just know that when I put my ballot into the machine and if I followed the instructions it gets counted, and it gets counted perfectly,' Kolodin said Wednesday night. 

Elsewhere, the Republican party themselves have filled lawsuits in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia and called for a recount in Wisconsin, claiming that fake mail-in ballots for Biden were being created in order to hand him the win. 

The claims of fraud led to protests in Detroit calling on the vote count to stop.  

Back in Arizona, it was also revealed earlier Wednesday that a data feed informing media organizations of the voting tally in the state was incorrectly showing that 98 percent of its votes had been counted for a period on Wednesday morning, casting further skepticism on the early calls. 

In fact, only 86 percent had been tallied at the time, leaving hundreds of thousands more votes still to be taken into account. 

Edison Research data incorrectly displayed the percentage of votes counted for a brief period before being rectified, according to The Hill.      

The error was noted by New York Times editor Patrick LaForge, whose publication has shown a Biden lead throughout Wednesday but do not believe that his victory is yet certain. 

'An error was found in the data feed from Edison Research (used by @nytimes and other news organizations) for Arizona results -- 86 percent of ballots have been counted, not 98 percent,' LaForge wrote.  

State officials have given no indication of when final results from Arizona will be available. 

Trump files new lawsuits in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia after Biden wins in Wisconsin and Michigan to move to 264 electoral votes and says he's 'confident he will take the White House 

Democrat Joe Biden edged closer to a potential upset in Georgia - and to a White House win - coming within 1 point of President Donald Trump in the traditionally red state Wednesday night.

As the race narrowed, Trump's campaign announced that they had filed a lawsuit in the state, alleging that a GOP poll observer witnessed 53 late absentee ballots added to a pile in Chatham County, where Savannah – a Democratic-leaning urban center - is located.

'We will not allow Democrat election officials to steal this election from President Trump with late, illegal ballots,' Deputy Campaign Manager Justin Clark said.  

More totals from Georgia are expected Wednesday night. Trump held 49.9 per cent of the vote, while Biden had 48.9, with the president about 46,000 votes ahead.

The Georgia lawsuit was just the latest in a series of legal maneuvers Trump's campaign made Wednesday as his path to re-election got narrower - and as the president made unfounded claims on Twitter about fraud.

On Wednesday afternoon, Biden all but declared he'd win the election, as Wisconsin and Michigan were called in his favor.

With Michigan - and with Arizona called for Biden by some networks - the former vice president was just 6 electoral votes away from the 270 he needs to claim the White House.

Trump's campaign announced they had filed a lawsuit in the state, alleging that a GOP poll observer witnessed 53 late absentee ballots added to a pile in Chatham County, where Savannah – a Democratic-leaning urban center - is located. Pictured: Votes being counted in Chatham County

Election workers count Fulton County ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 4

If he can get any one of the four remaining states to tilt his way - Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia or Pennsylvania - he will win.

Trump will only gain a second term if all four go his way. Trump has been up by around 76,000 votes in North Carolina.

Throughout the day, his lead in Pennsylvania has gotten smaller. It was at around 212,000 votes around 8 p.m. Wednesday night. Outstanding ballots in the Keystone State were coming from Democratic areas like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and they were mail-in, which also favored Biden. 

Biden has been leading in Nevada by a slim margin - 7,647 - but more votes need to be counted there.

Another drop is expected at 12 p.m. EST Thursday.

It means America is inching closer to an election result but still does not have one almost 24 hours after the first polls closed thanks to record voter turnout, which is slowing the counting process. 

The President is demanding a recount in Wisconsin and he has filed lawsuits in Michigan and Pennsylvania to halt counting, claiming his people have not been allowed to oversee the process and ensure it is being carried out fairly.  

Biden at a press conference on Wednesday, was unperturbed by Trump's last-ditch efforts to snatch back the likelihood of a second term. 

'After a long night of counting it's clear we are winning enough states to win the presidency. I am not here to declare that we won but I am here to report that when the count is finished we believe we will be the winners.  

'We have won Wisconsin by 20,000 votes. In Michigan, we lead by over 35,000 votes and its growing. We have a substantially bigger margin than Trump won Michigan in 2016. 

'Michigan will complete its vote soon. I feel very good about Pennsylvania. Virtually all remaining ballots to be counted are cast by mail and we've been winning 78% of the votes by mail in PA. 

'We flipped Arizona and the 2nd district in Nebraska. We won the majority of the American people and every indication is that the majority will grow. 

'Senator Harris and I are on track to win more votes than any ticket in the history of this country - over 70million votes. I'm very proud of our campaign,' he said. 

'Only three presidential campaigns in the past have defeated the incumbent president. When it's finished, God willing, we'll be the fourth. This is a major achievement.'

Biden said that after the election is resolved, he would help 'lower the temperature' and unite the country, though he said he wasn't naive to how 'deep and hard the opposing views are.'

'To make progress we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies, we are not enemies,' Biden said.

'What brings us together as Americans is so much stronger than anything that can tear us apart.'

At the end of his speech he stated, 'Now, every vote must be counted.'

'No one is going to take our democracy away from us - not now, not ever,' he added, a statement clearly aimed at Trump. 

Trump supporters chanting 'Stop the Vote' storm Detroit counting hall as President sues Michigan for 'not providing meaningful access' 

Donald Trump supporters chanting 'stop the vote' stormed a Detroit counting hall Wednesday afternoon as the president sued Michigan for not providing 'meaningful access' to counting locations and Joe Biden won the crucial swing state.

The TCF Center in downtown Detroit boarded up its windows and shuttered its doors after hundreds of poll watchers descended on the building while ballots were being tallied. 

Angry Trump fans banged on the windows of the absentee ballot counting center and shouted 'stop the count' as anxious security guards refused any more poll watchers entry to the counting room. 

Democratic counterprotesters banners also showed up waving 'count every vote' banners and insisting every vote in the state be tallied.

Hundreds of challengers had shown up at the center in response to the president's claims earlier Wednesday that the GOP should have 'access' to counting locations. 

Democratic poll watchers also showed up as both sides eyed Michigan as one of the states where the White House may well be won or lost.

GOP poll challengers react after being asked to leave due to room capacity at the TCF Center in Detroit 

Election challengers wait outside after an election official closed the door to the central counting board 

Election challengers peer over the shoulders of volunteers as they observe absentee ballots being processed

Detroit police escort a poll challenger out after he refused to leave, due to room capacity, at the TCF Center 

Protesters who want every vote counted from the 2020 presidential election march down Woodward Avenue on November 4

A protester who wants every vote counted from the 2020 presidential election, carries a sign as they march down Woodward Avenue on November

The scene grew increasingly heated and authorities halted any more poll watchers entering the counting center saying maximum capacity had been reached as Biden inched ahead in the afternoon with a 0.7 percent lead with 99 percent of votes tallied.   

Trump's campaign filed a lawsuit to halt the counting of ballots in Michigan until they received 'meaningful access' to counting locations.

Soon after, the state was called in favor of Biden, marking a key win for the Democrat.  

Election officials shuttered the doors Wednesday afternoon to anyone else seeking to monitor the ballot counting process as volunteers were counting the final tallies with dozens of voters peering over their shoulders.  

More than 100 demonstrators had flocked to the center as Biden took the lead Wednesday afternoon joining the more than 200 already on the scene.   

'We have exceeded the amount of challengers,' an election worker told more than two dozen people who showed up at 1 p.m. to monitor the process, reported Detroit Free Press

'We are not allowing any more challengers in at this time.' 

At one point, Detroit police escorted a poll challenger out of the center after he refused to leave due to room capacity. 

Footage on social media also showed another fraught confrontation between police and a challenger. 

Representative Rashida Talib (right) joins protesters who want every vote counted from the 2020 presidential election

Election challengers observe as ballots are counted at the central counting board in Detroit where tensions mounted 

Challengers gathered inside the center Wednesday afternoon as the state counted the final votes 

Challengers check in to observe absentee ballots as they are processed at the central counting board

Poll watchers had calmly checked in earlier in the day near the entrance to the convention center's hall and strolled among the tables where ballot processing was taking place.  

But the civility later subsided when more people arrived and were told the room was at capacity.  

Both Republicans and Democrats are allowed 134 challenges each to monitor the ballot counting process. 

It is not clear how many challengers are currently present on each side.  

Republican challenger Timothy Griffin, an attorney from Virginia, told the Free Press he had been at the TCF since Tuesday night because the voting system was 'not fair'. 

'This whole thing is under suspicion,' he said. 'It's not equal. It's just not fair.' 

On the other side, Democratic challenger Liz Linkewitz from Harrison Township said she was there to help ensure the rights of American people to vote was upheld.

'I just want to make sure that all Michigan votes are counted,' she said. 'This election is, as Joe Biden says, for the soul of our country.' 

Outside the counting room, demonstrators carried 'Count every vote' banners and marched along Woodward Avenue. 

Representative Rashida Talib - a Democrat and the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the Michigan Legislature - joined Democrats on the march calling for all votes to be counted in the state. 

The Trump campaign said it was filing the lawsuit against Michigan claiming it had been denied access to the count.

The campaign didn't immediately make public a copy of the lawsuit and it wasn't clear what areas they argue they were denied access to.  

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