Wednesday 25th of November 2020 |
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Election 2020 Today: Trumps Casts Doubt, Vote Site Tensions


Asharq Al-Awsat, AAWSAT


CASTING DOUBT: President Donald Trump is testing how far he can go in using the trappings of presidential power to undermine confidence in this week´s election against Joe Biden, as the Democrat gains ground in tight contests in key battleground states - and then inches ahead in Georgia. With his pathway to reelection appearing to shrink, Trump advanced unsupported accusations of voter fraud to falsely argue that his rival was trying to seize power. It amounted to an extraordinary effort by a sitting American president to sow doubt about the democratic process.

TRUMP'S DIATRIBE: The Republican president has spent months laying the groundwork to undermine the vote. He repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in ballots. He dismissed election officials from Democratic states and cities as political hacks. And he demanded in advance that the results be known on Election Day, which is never a given. All of that belies the truth about how elections are conducted in America, where voter fraud is extremely rare.

`LOT OF LITIGATION´: Trump is looking at a political map in which he might have to persuade the Supreme Court to set aside votes in two or more states to prevent Biden from becoming president. That´s a substantially different scenario than in the contested presidential election of 2000, which was effectively settled by the Supreme Court. Then, the entire fight was over Florida´s electoral votes and involved a recount as opposed to trying to halt the initial counting of ballots.

WINNING LATINOS: Trump and his GOP allies made inroads with Latinos in the election that eroded Democratic strength among the nation´s second-largest demographic group. Not only did Trump win Florida partly from his support in heavily Cuban American Miami, but he also won some heavily Latino areas along the Texas border and helped the GOP keep an open congressional seat there. The inroads demonstrate the diversity of the Latino electorate and how its members can be far more interested in the economy and jobs than in immigration.

VOTING SITE TENSIONS: Election officials in several states say they are worried about the safety of their staffs amid a cascade of threats and protesters responding to Trump´s baseless insistence of widespread voter fraud. Groups of Trump supporters have gathered at vote tabulation sites in Phoenix, Detroit, and Philadelphia, decrying counts that showed Biden leading or gaining ground. While the protests have not been violent or very large, local officials were exasperated and concerned by the relentless accusations.

QUOTABLE: "This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election." - Trump advancing unsupported accusations of voter fraud from the podium of the White House briefing room.



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