ELECTION NEWS: Arizona counting centre shuts down as Trump supporters gather with arms

Via the Independent
Via the Independent

In Arizona, Maricopa County is closing its ballot-counting facility amid media safety concerns as Donald Trump supporters, many of them armed, have gathered outside the building, several reporters have reported on the ground.

But in the midst of the developing demonstration outside, poll workers will continue to count ballots and report outcomes.

The Maricopa County Elections Department tweeted in a statement late on Wednesday, "Staff at the @maricopacounty Elections Department will continue our job, which is to administer elections in the second-largest voting jurisdiction in the county."

As scheduled, we will release the results again tonight. We thank the [Sheriff's Office of Maricopa County] for doing their job, so we can do ours.

Among the crowd assembled outside the building, Arizona GOP Congressman Paul Gosar was pictured.

The Maricopa County protesters, some of whom waved Trump flags, were chanting "Fox News sucks!" and "Count the votes!" for hours.

Late on Election Night for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Fox News, and several other media outlets had called the Arizona presidential race late on Election Night for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, but the margin was significantly tightened as mail-in ballots favoring Mr. Trump continued to roll in through Wednesday.

An NBC News correspondent who left the building late Wednesday night reported via Twitter that the crowd had grown larger & louder "claiming the vote was being stolen from the president."

The protest outside the Maricopa County Elections Office follows a salvo of Wednesday tweets from Mr. Trump peddling conspiracy theories and misinformation about ballot counting as his Democratic opponent, Mr. Biden, appeared to be prepared to pull away in the Electoral College.

Mr. Biden, with 253 projected votes in the bag for the Electoral College so far, is only 17 shy of victory.

Arizona has an 11-vote award, which would put Mr. Biden just six times out of reaching the 270 thresholds to win the presidency.

According to CNN, members of the press gathered at the Maricopa County Elections Office were told around 10:15 pm local time that they had to clear out of the building even though electoral workers would remain to finish counting ballots.

At 1:30 am on the East Coast, CNN reported, Maricopa County is expected to upload the next batch of results.

Mr. Biden held small leads in both Nevada and Arizona heading into Thursday, the third day of ballot counting. If he won both, exactly 270 electoral votes would be netted to him, cinching the win.

He has other paths to victory as well.

Mr. Biden had made up considerable ground in the vote counts in Pennsylvania and Georgia by 1 A.M. Thursday on the East Coast.

The former Democratic vice president expressed confidence in a speech on Wednesday that he would end up with sufficient electoral votes to win the presidency. Mr. Biden, paying tribute to his supporters and the more than 150 million Americans who cast votes, said: "[Tuesday] proved democracy is this nation's heartbeat."

Mr. Biden made clear that he was not yet claiming victory in a brief but particularly determined statement on Wednesday, delivered alongside running mate Kamala Harris.

I am not here to declare that we were victorious. But I am here to report that we believe we will be the winners when the count is finished.

Publish : 2020-11-05 14:23:00

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