Speed Reads

2020 election

Trump blames nonexistent 'surprise ballot dumps' for growing Biden margins

President Trump is trying to blame his lagging lead on a nonexistent conspiracy.

As votes continued to be counted on Wednesday morning, Rust Belt states started to tip in Democratic nominee Joe Biden's favor — something that was expected to happen as absentee ballots were counted after in-person votes. But Trump tweeted that "surprise ballot dumps" were actually to blame for Biden's surge, receiving a flag from Twitter for its misleading content.

Surprise ballot dumps simply aren't a thing. Large numbers of ballots registering at once are the result of ballots being counted, as democracy demands. Further debunking Trump's claim is the fact that mail-in votes, especially in vital swing states, were projected to lean toward Biden, in part because Trump encouraged his supporters to vote in person.

Many states only started tabulating those mountains of absentee ballots on Tuesday, leading to a delay in reporting full results and the outcomes of some states as a whole. If Trump has a problem with that delay, he should take it up with Republican legislatures that rejected efforts to start tabulating results earlier.

Biden's camp meanwhile rejected Trump's efforts to cut off the ballot count, but reminded the president it wouldn't go well for him if that happened. Kathryn Krawczyk