Speed Reads

election 2020

Trump demands that legitimately cast votes stop being counted

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:

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."