President Donald Trump on Thursday evening listed a string of unfounded conspiracy theories to accuse state election officials of plotting to steal the election from him. Taking the White House lectern for his first public address since election night, Trump offered no evidence for his assertions that officials are rigging the tallies or for his characterization of mail-in ballots as somehow illegitimate. The address came as his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, expands his lead to secure the presidency and as Trump’s path to a second term hinges on winning four key states. Those states have yet to finish counting their ballots amid an unprecedented number of mail-in voting because of the coronavirus pandemic. “If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Trump said. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. If you count the votes that came in late — we‘re looking at them very strongly, but a lot of votes came in late.” State elections officials have resoundingly denied they are counting “illegal votes“ and have assured voters that this year’s election was hardly the chaos many feared due to Covid-19. Despite the occasional technical glitch and extended polling-site hours, there were no reports of major issues or interference. Though counting is taking longer this year, there is no support for the position that mailed-in ballots were part of a mass fraud.
National: Pro-Trump threats, protests rattle elections officials in several states | Norman Merchant and Tim Sullivan/Associated Press
Election officials in several states said Thursday they are worried about the safety of their staffs amid a stream of threats and gatherings of angry protesters outside their doors, drawn by President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud in the race for the White House. “I can tell you that my wife and my mother are very concerned for me,” said Joe Gloria, the registrar in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas. He said his staff was bolstering security and tracking vehicles coming and going from the election offices. But he added that he and others would not be stopped from “doing what our duty is and counting ballots.” Groups of Trump supporters have gathered at vote tabulation sites in Phoenix, Detroit and Philadelphia, decrying counts that showed Democrat Joe Biden leading or gaining ground. While the protests have not been violent or very large, local officials were distressed by the crowds and concerned about the relentless accusations. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel tweeted a plea to “stop making harassing & threatening calls” to her staff.
Full Article: Election officials worried by threats and protesters