President Donald Trump falsely declared victory over Democratic rival Joe Biden after he voiced confidence that he would win. With millions of votes still uncounted, Trump appeared at The White House to announce victory and said his lawyers would be taking his case to the Supreme Court.
"We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election," he said. "This is a major fraud on our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop."
"A very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people and we won't stand for it," he added.
Polls have closed across the country, but laws require all votes to be counted, which may take days in some states.
"We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!” he tweeted. Twitter has marked the President's statement as misleading.
"We feel good about where we are. We believe we are on track to win this election," Biden tweeted. "It's not my place or Donald Trump's place to declare the winner of this election. It's the voters' place."
Biden's team called out the President for his declaration. Campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillion said it was "outrageous because it is a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens."
"It was unprecedented because never before in our history has a president of the United States sought to strip Americans of their voice in a national election. Having encouraged Republican efforts in multiple states to prevent the legal counting of these ballots before Election Day, now Donald Trump is saying these ballots can’t be counted after Election Day either," she said.
"And it was incorrect because it will not happen. The counting will not stop. It will continue until every duly cast vote is counted. Because that is what our laws — the laws that protect every Americans’ constitutional right to vote — require."
Voter turn-out is much higher this year than the previous 2016 election, especially when it comes to early voting and postal votes.
As of Tuesday, November 3, just under 100 million Americans cast an early ballot, compared to the 47 million-plus who did so in 2016. The increase in early voting and postal votes may be due to the coronavirus pandemic as people try to cast their vote, while being socially distant from others.
This election could see 150 million people votes, which marks a 62 percent participation rate.
President Trump has suggested several times that mail-in voting could lead to an increase in fraud, but experts say that this is rare, and mail-in ballots are a long-standing facet of elections.
At the time of publication, Biden has 238 electoral college votes, while Trump has 213. The President previously criticized the system and called it "a disaster for democracy," but it is the very system that won him the 2016 election, as Hillary Clinton received the popular vote.