Trump demands that legitimately cast votes stop being counted

(Image credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

President Trump demanded that the country "STOP THE COUNT!" on Thursday morning, following attempts by his campaign to stall the ongoing vote count in states like Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and, as of Thursday morning, Nevada. Though the Trump campaign's lawsuits argue that vote counting needs to be temporarily paused until the campaign is given "meaningful access" to observe "the opening of ballots and the counting process," which they are already allowed to do under state laws, Trump's tweet seems to recklessly insinuate that he wants a complete stop to the recording of legal votes.

As many have pointed out, though, Trump's demand is almost nonsensical, because his campaign's best hope as of Thursday morning is that the president makes up votes among the uncounted ballots, since "if you stop the count, right now, Biden wins with 270 electoral votes — with leads in AZ/NV, plus the states where he's already the projected winner," The New York Times' Nate Cohn pointed out.

Perhaps even more seriously, though, Trump's demand to stop counting legitimately-cast and on-time votes shows a break from his rhetoric on Wednesday, when he said that the voting should stop, notes BBC reporter Anthony Zurcher:

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
See more

Legal experts have pointed out that Trump has no grounds to make such demands. "The fact that local officials could not make it through the unprecedently large pile [of votes] in a single day is no basis for discarding those ballots — or for disenfranchising the eligible voters who properly cast them," writes Washington Post election law expert Edward B. Foley. "There is not one iota of possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court, or any court, would disqualify those ballots."

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.