Did a number of states the place Donald Trump was profitable actually cease counting votes on election night time?
It’s one of the crucial oft-repeated claims amongst supporters of the President as proof of nefarious exercise by Democrats.
However whereas a number of truth checks have debunked some points of the narrative, and the President’s wild allegations of mass voter fraud stay unproven, it’s honest to say there may be nonetheless some murkiness across the challenge.
Not less than one purported purpose for stopping the vote rely given by election officers on the night time – the “burst pipe” at Georgia’s State Farm Enviornment – has since been referred to as into query.
Regardless of the after-the-fact explanations and debunkings, it’s price revisiting the precise night time because it occurred to focus on that there was a good quantity of confusion on the time.
As Mr Trump walked out to talk to the media within the early hours of November 4, TV information tickers confirmed the President with a cushty lead over Joe Biden in practically each key battleground state.
Pennsylvania, 56-43, a lead of slightly below 700,000 votes. Georgia, 51-48, a lead of practically 120,000. Michigan, 53-45, a lead of practically 295,000. Wisconsin, 51-47, a lead of greater than 116,000. North Carolina, 50-49, a lead of practically 77,000.
At that time, Mr Biden had leads in Arizona and Nevada, of practically 155,000 and greater than 29,000 respectively.
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“We have been profitable all the pieces and rapidly if was simply referred to as off,” Mr Trump informed the assembled crowd, having earlier tweeted that Democrats have been attempting to “steal the election”.
“We received states and rapidly I stated, ‘What occurred to the election? It’s off.’ We have been on the point of win this election. Frankly, we did win this election. So we’ll be going to the US Supreme Court docket. We would like all voting to cease. We don’t need them to search out any ballots at 4 o’clock within the morning and add them to the record.”
Hours earlier, Mr Biden had fronted a press convention to declare “we consider we’re on observe to win this election”.
“It ain’t over till each vote is counted, however we’re feeling good about the place we’re,” he stated.
“We’re nonetheless within the sport in Georgia. And we’re feeling actual good about Wisconsin and Michigan. It’s going to take time to rely the votes, however we’re going to win Pennsylvania. I’ve been speaking to people in Philly, Allegheny County and Scranton, they usually’re actually inspired by the turnout and what they see.”
So what really occurred? Did roughly half a dozen swing states all all of the sudden cease counting?
Nicely, form of. Some did and a few didn’t, however not for causes the Trump marketing campaign believes.
North Carolina stopped as a result of “there have been no extra votes to rely” on the night time, officers stated – however they then needed to wait round for any that arrived within the mail, up till November 12.
Nevada introduced it was performed for the night time round 2.45am.
Explaining the explanation for the pause, election officers stated all in-person mail-in ballots obtained up till November 2 had been counted, however not these obtained on election day.
They stated they’d proceed counting these obtained on election day and up till November 10, however wouldn’t be releasing any extra outcomes till 9am on November 5.
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Nevada officers stated the variety of ballots excellent was “troublesome to estimate in Nevada as a result of each voter was despatched a mail poll” and “clearly, not all will vote”.
They confused that the state had by no means supposed to announce a remaining outcome on election night time.
In Pennsylvania, a number of counties introduced a pause in both counting or reporting of outcomes late on election night time.
Philadelphia election officers introduced at round 11pm that that they had counted an estimated 76,000 absentee ballots and wouldn’t be reporting any extra outcomes till 9am the subsequent morning.
This was extensively interpreted to imply that they had “stopped counting”, sparking outrage on-line.
A Philadelphia official then fronted the media to set the report straight. “Thirty minutes in the past Twitter stated that we stopped counting, however we actually have a reside feed within the room, exhibiting everybody from right here to London to Moscow that we’re counting votes in that room,” he stated.
“So the concept we stopped counting is completely inaccurate, and you’ll see it for your self.”
However over in Allegheny County, which takes within the second-largest metropolis Pittsburgh, officers did announce simply earlier than 2am that they’d be suspending counting till the subsequent day.
“Crews stay to course of and flatten the remaining ballots which ought to take about an hour,” native information reporter Aaron Martin tweeted. “The scanning will resume round 10am. The county expects it’s going to go rapidly from there.”
That got here shortly after the county had reported technical points updating precinct data.
In neighbouring Butler County, a part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan space, officers stopped counting mail-in ballots at 8pm after getting practically “50 per cent” by way of.
Butler County officers stated “mechanical points” with the poll scanner meant the method had been “slower than anticipated” and that they deliberate to renew at 8.30am.
Michigan, regardless of widespread claims, didn’t really cease counting.
Officers there had warned the outcomes wouldn’t be recognized on election night time as a result of massive variety of absentee ballots, with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson saying seemingly the next night.
“At no level has the counting course of stopped because it started at 7am yesterday morning, which was when, per Michigan election regulation, it might start,” a spokeswoman for Ms Benson stated on Wednesday.
The Trump marketing campaign cried foul after a big “dump” of votes within the early hours of the morning from Wayne County, which takes within the closely Democratic Detroit, noticed Mr Biden shut the hole by practically 135,000.
This was later recognized as a clerical error and corrected.
Wisconsin noticed an identical phenomenon, though in that case it was appropriate – and had been anticipated.
Like Michigan, the state additionally by no means stopped counting. The spike got here at round 3.30am as Milwaukee accomplished its mail-in vote tally and reported them .
“That led to a long-predicted spike in Biden’s favour since Democrats are extra seemingly to make use of vote absentee and Milwaukee is a closely Democratic space,” Politifact wrote.
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Georgia, in the meantime, noticed vote counting cease in a variety of areas on election night time – most notably in Fulton County, which takes within the capital and most populous metropolis Atlanta.
Fulton County election officers abruptly introduced to observers and the media that attributable to a burst water pipe, they have been closing down the State Farm Enviornment tabulation centre at 10.30pm and would resume counting absentee ballots within the morning.
The Atlanta Journal-Structure newspaper famous on the time that “no official might clarify earlier than press time why Fulton was stopping its rely of absentee ballots at the moment, solely saying that was the process”.
Georgia Republican Social gathering Chairman David Shafer later alleged that after their observers left, election officers continued counting ballots “in secret till 1am”.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger stated in a press release on Sunday that the “challenge stays below investigation”.
“Late within the night of election night time, just a few Fulton County election staff accomplished their duties and left,” he stated. “As they left, some allegedly said that they have been ‘performed counting for the night time’. Some celebration observers have said they have been informed they wanted to go.”
Textual content messages launched below freedom-of-information legal guidelines final week forged doubt on the “burst pipe” excuse, with one senior stadium worker describing it as “extremely exaggerated”.
In the meantime, Georgia’s second most populous county, Gwinnett County within the Atlanta suburbs, additionally stopped counting absentee ballots on election night time, citing points with its Dominion scanner.
Mr Biden was declared the presumptive winner after edging forward of Mr Trump in a number of key battleground states within the days following the election, as absentee ballots continued to be counted.
The President has to date refused to concede to Mr Biden.
At a wild press convention in Washington DC on Thursday, his authorized staff made sweeping, unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud, with lawyer Sidney Powell doubling down on wild claims about Dominion Voting Techniques.
“The Dominion Voting Techniques, the Smartmatic software program and the software program that goes in different computerised voting techniques right here as properly, have been created in Venezuela on the route of Hugo Chavez to ensure he by no means misplaced one other election,” she stated.
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“We now have one very robust witness who has defined the way it all works. It’s a gorgeous, detailed affidavit as a result of he was with Hugo Chavez whereas he was being briefed on the way it labored, he noticed it function to ensure the election got here out his approach. That was the categorical goal of making the software program.”
Ms Powell stated as quickly because the witness “noticed a number of states shut down the (counting) on the night time of the election, he knew the identical factor was occurring right here”. She alleged that “one in all its most attribute options is its potential to flip votes”.
“It may possibly set and run an algorithm, that most likely ran everywhere in the nation, to take a sure share of votes from President Trump and flip them to Biden, which we’d by no means have uncovered had the votes for President Trump not been so overwhelming in so many of those states that it broke the algorithm that had been plugged into the system,” she stated.
“That’s what triggered them to should shut down within the states they shut down in, that’s after they got here within the again door with all of the mail-in ballots, a lot of which that they had really fabricated.”
Dominion and Smartmatic have vehemently denied the allegations as baseless conspiracy theories.
Chatting with reporters in his house city of Wilmington, Delaware on Thursday afternoon, Mr Biden stated Mr Trump was exhibiting “unimaginable irresponsibility” by refusing to concede.
“Extremely damaging messages being despatched to the remainder of the world about how democracy features,” he stated. “It assume it’s uh, um … properly, I don’t know his motive however I simply assume it’s completely irresponsible.”