Trump: ‘If You Count The Legal Votes, I Easily Win The Election!’
November 5, 2020
President Donald Trump‘s press secretary Thursday afternoon tweeted out a statement from him in which he appears to discredit ballots that are still being counted and still arriving at election clerk offices, claiming that they are illegal and don’t help him win if they are counted.
The all-caps statement in the tweet from Press Sec. Kayleigh McEnany kept it brief.
“IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTES, I EASILY WIN THE ELECTION!” the president’s statement read. “IF YOU COUNT THE ILLEGAL AND LATE VOTES, THEY CAN STEAL THE ELECTION FROM US!”
While he gives no specific context to his statement, Trump is likely talking about ballots that arrive at election clerk offices late, even if postmarked on or before Election Day. He has routinely made claims that such ballots are illegal and shouldn’t be counted. His campaign has even filed lawsuits to halt the vote counts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia, with such claims forming part of his team’s legal arguments alongside other claims of voter fraud. Some of these lawsuits have been struck down, however, such as the one in Georgia.
Many ballots are still arriving at counting centers and being counted, something which is legal to varying parameters between the states.
Votes are still being counted in many places because many states don’t allow election workers to count the ballots before Election Day, which created million-ballot backlogs of uncounted votes that had to be tallied on Election Day—on top of the votes cast in person on that day too. Additionally, these state laws allow such ballots to be counted if received by a certain date because the unprecedented amount of ballots sent through the mail are traveling slowly through the overwhelmed U.S. Postal Service, whose service has slowed down due to all of this.
No independent authority has declared an official winner of this presidential election yet, with millions of ballots left to be counted in states currently with paper-thin margins between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.