Biden: 'We are beating Trump by over 4 million votes'

Joe Biden has said he is on track to have more than 300 electoral college votes and win the race to the White House with a "clear majority".

Mr Biden appeared with his running mate Kamala Harris, where he said 74 million Americans had voted for the Democrats and the vote total is still working.

"We're going to win this race a clear majority with the nation behind us," he said.

We have gotten over 74 million votes. I'm going to repeat that, 74 million votes.

"We are beating Donald Trump by over 4 million votes.

That is a margin that is still growing as well."

Mr Biden then reflected on how well the Dmeocrats have performaed across the US where he'd "rebuilt the blue wall".

"One of the things I'm especially proud of is how well we have done across America.

"And we're going be the first Democrat to win in Arizona in 24 years, we're going to be the first Democrat to win Georgia in 28 years, and we have rebuilt the blue wall in the middle of the country that crumbled just years ago.

"Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, the heartland of this nation.

"I know watching these vote tallies on TV moves very slow and is as low as it goes, it can be numbing.

"But never forget, the tallies are not just numbers, they represent votes and voters.

"Men and women who exercise their fundamental rights to have their voice heard."

It comes after President Donald Trump, in his latest effort to discredit vote tallies showing him headed for defeat in the tense US election, warned challenger Mr Biden against "wrongfully" claiming the presidency.

Mr Trump has several times prematurely named himself the winner, refusing to accept the data showing Biden headed for victory.

In his latest broadside, he warned on Twitter that "Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also."

Earlier, Mr Biden grabbed the lead in Pennsylvania as the key state approaches the end of its vote count.

He also has a narrow lead in Georgia and Nevada, while Donald Trump has gained some ground in Arizona despite two media outlets having called it in Mr Biden's favour.

But the path to the White House remains unclear, with Mr Trump having launched several lawsuits to cling on to the presidency, claiming Democrats have cheated.

Mr Trump today asked the US Supreme Court to halt the counting of late-arriving ballots in Pennsylvania.

The last-ditch appeal for an emergency injunction asked the court to freeze the handling of thousands of mailed ballots - most believed to favour Biden - that arrived after election day on Tuesday (local time), which Republicans say should be disqualified.

The petition asked the court to order Pennsylvania election officials to sequester all the ballots received after Tuesday and take no action on them.

The petition indicated that the Republican Party could ask the court to revisit a pre-election challenge to the Pennsylvania government's decision to accept late-arriving ballots.

"Given the results of the November 3, 2020 general election, the vote in Pennsylvania may well determine the next president of the United States," they said.

"It is unclear whether all 67 county boards of elections are segregating late-arriving ballots."

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito received the petition and ordered that the ballots must be segregated, which the state's top elections official had already done.

The Republican request did not provide any evidence that the ballots were not being segregated already, but said that without a Supreme Court intervention, the Pennsylvania secretary of state could change the guidance given the 67 county boards.

 

Earlier, the Trump campaign released a defiant statement saying he would not accept the verdict as Mr Biden was projected to win.

"This election is not over," Team Trump said in a statement.

"The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final."

Mr Trump's unfounded accusations of voter fraud have been condemned by some of his fellow Republicans, while some top party figures have maintained their support.

Senator Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential candidate who has been strongly critical of Mr Trump, was among those speaking out.

"He is wrong to say that the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen," Romney said in a statement, while noting that Trump nevertheless had the right to pursue legal remedies if he had evidence of fraud.

"Doing so damages the cause of freedom here and around the world, weakens the institutions that lie at the foundation of the republic, and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions."

Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said Mr Trump speech which where he made allegations of voter fraud was "very disturbing to me because he made very, very serious allegations without any evidence to support it."

But one of the country's most powerful Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, released a vague statement that did not condemn the president's bid to sow doubt over the counting process.

"Here's how this must work in our great country: Every legal vote should be counted," he tweeted.

"Any illegally submitted ballots must not. All sides must get to observe the process. And the courts are here to apply the laws & resolve disputes."

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas repeated some of the Trump team's allegations on the Fox News show hosted by Sean Hannity.

"I am angry and I think the American people are angry," Mr Cruz said.

 

 

 

AMERICANS FACE EXTENDED TURMOIL, GEORGIA RECOUNT LIKELY

However, Americans face extended turmoil amid the legal challenges and a recount in Georgia, where authorities said the race was so tight there might not be a result for weeks.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the margin between Mr Trump and Mr Biden would be within "a few thousand"

"With a margin that small, there will be likely a recount in Georgia," Mr Raffensperger said.

A record number of Americans turned out to give their verdict on Mr Trump's first term, which was marked by the highs of a soaring economy and foreign policy victories such as the defeat of ISIS and new Middle East peace deals.

But it was rarely easy, with Mr Trump's untraditional approach, divisive language and obsessive need to dominate the national spotlight tearing the country's social fabric.

Mr Trump appears to have no intention of going quietly, having claimed the ballot was stolen just last night, and vowing to take his battle to the Supreme Court.

The US Secret Service sent reinforcements to Wilmington, Delaware, Friday morning local time to increase protection of Joe Biden amid the possibility that he may be declared the winner of the election and deliver his victory speech.

According to The Washington Post, the Secret Service summoned a squad of agents to add to the protective bubble around Biden after his campaign alerted the department that the Democratic nominee needed to continue using a local convention centre for at least another day, according to people who spoke on condition of anonymity.

As the vote count narrowed between Mr Biden and Mr Trump in several key states, the US President's legal teams mounted multiple legal challenges in several states.

Claiming illegal ballots, dodgy counting, Democrat conspiracies to rob him of a second term, Mr Trump again stated that he had already won the election.

"This is a case where they're trying to steal an election, they're trying to rig an election, and we can't let that happen," Mr Trump said.

"We think we will win the election very easily. We think there's going to be a lot of litigation, because we have so much evidence, so much proof and it's going to end up perhaps in the highest court in the land."

 

Mr Trump appeared tired as he unleashed in his first public appearance on Thursday (local time) after hunkering down at the White House for 36 hours and gave every indication that Americans are in for a lengthy period of uncertainty.

In a remarkable scene that at least four US networks refused to broadcast, he appeared to label almost two thirds of the total 160 million votes invalid.

He asserted that the 100 million postal ballots that were cast ahead of poll day were either illegal or invalid.

"If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us, if you could the votes that came in late," Mr Trump said.

Mr Biden remains just six electoral college votes shy of claiming the 270 needed to win the presidency.

Earlier on it looked as if Nevada might be the state that ultimately delivered the presidency to Mr Biden - but with a majority of postal votes going to the Democrats, it is entirely possible the former Vice President will also pick up Georgia and Pennsylvania.

 

 

Voting also continues in North Carolina, but with a lead on Thursday night local time of 77,000 votes it was widely anticipated that Mr Trump would hold the state.

But Mr Biden's momentum in the other states has been little short of astounding.

In 24 hours, he pegged back Mr Trump's lead in Pennsylvania from 164,000 votes to 24,000.

While counting in Nevada continues to be slow - some 16 per cent of ballots are still yet to be counted - Mr Biden also extended his lead there from 8000 votes to more than 11,000.

Mr Trump has also refused to concede Arizona, but with Mr Biden ahead in the counting by about 40,000 votes, it is widely regarded as a gain for the Democrats.

Mr Trump's outburst stunned many and drew criticism from one of his top allies, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who said the White House needed to serve up proof of its spiralling fraud claims.

"We heard nothing today about any evidence," Mr Christie said on ABC.

"This kind of thing, all it does is inflame without informing. And we cannot permit inflammation without information."

One of Mr Trump's key confidantes, Mr Christie helped him prepare for the presidential debates and became seriously ill with COVID in the Washington cluster that infected the president.

"If you're gonna say those things from behind the podium at the White House, it's his right to do it, it's his right to pursue legal action. But show us the evidence," Mr Christie said.

"I want to know what backs up what he said so that I can analyse it. And let me tell you, if he's right, I'll be outraged and I'm sure you would be too.

"And if he's wrong then the American people are going to be able to make the judgment about this election that the results have been fair."

 

 

Earlier, Mr Biden appeared briefly to urge Americans to be calm and patient and also asserted that he was confident of victory.

"Each ballot must be counted and that's what is going on now," he said.

"Democracy is sometimes messy, so sometimes it requires a little patience.

"We continue to feel very good about where things stand.

"And we have no doubt that when the count is finished, Senator Harris and I will be the winners.

"So, I ask people to stay calm."

US election results are called by media outlets and there are differing calls awarding Mr Biden between 253 or 264 of 270 necessary electoral college votes to win.

If he takes any of the remaining states he will win the presidency.

Both candidates say they are on track to win Pennsylvania's 20 electoral college votes.

Arizona's 11 votes have been awarded to Mr Biden by Fox News and the Associated Press but no other outlets have followed suit and Team Trump is demanding the network retract the call, saying he can still take the state.

Without Arizona, Mr Trump needs to win the remaining four states, all of which are extremely tight.

Mr Trump had been leading in the race for Georgia's 16 votes but it was narrowing last night. Officials in Nevada, where Team Trump has also launched legal action, will release new data on the count there on Friday, local time. Mr Biden is favoured to win its six votes.

And the winner of swing state North Carolina's 15 votes may not be known for days, although Mr Trump was slightly ahead.

 

 

TRUMP OBSERVERS DRIVING 'SHENANIGANS'

Claims by Team Trump election observers they were kept out, forced out or pushed so away from the ballot counters they needed binoculars to see what was going on is at the centre of President's Trump's voting fraud "shenanigans".

The incumbent president has made numerous claims of irregularities about the election based on his scrutineers allegedly kept away or kicked out from certain polling stations apparently run by secret Democrats.

He has also claimed boxes of ballots were mysteriously appearing, although has offered no evidence.

Such have been some of the unfounded claims, the president's own party members have now declared his remarks as likely to undermine the US political process.

 

 

President Trump has been unhappy with the vote count as in many seats he was in front only to suddenly lose as mail-in ballots were counted.

"We were winning in all the key locations, by a lot actually, and then our numbers started getting miraculously whittled away in secret and they wouldn't allow legally permissible observers," he claimed.

He has alleged it was a fraud that these mail-in ballots should heavily back Joe Biden, despite President Trump telling his supporters throughout the election campaign voters should not use the mail-in option created in the wake of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

The head of an international observer mission for the elections Michael Georg has declared the claims baseless and dangerous.

 

 

"Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions," the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe foreign observer said.

A federal judge on Thursday local time also denied a bid by the Trump camp to stop counting in Philadelphia over alleged poor observer access.

District Judge Paul S. Diamond suggested each party be allowed 60 observers inside a hall at a downtown convention centre where the final ballots are being tallied and chastised both camps.

"Really, can't we be responsible adults here and reach an agreement?" the exasperated judge asked. "The whole thing could (soon) be moot."

Judges in Georgia and Michigan rejected similar vote count challenges.

 

 

 

Originally published as Biden to speak as Trump hits out


Alleged child sex offender to spend Christmas with mum

Premium Content Alleged child sex offender to spend Christmas with mum

THE man’s bail conditions has been varied in order for him to spend the holiday in...

WEST BYRON UPDATE: What’s happening with major DAs?

Premium Content WEST BYRON UPDATE: What’s happening with major DAs?

TWO significant Byron Bay developments are before the Land and Environment Court.

Super-spreading wedding that once locked down Alstonville

Premium Content Super-spreading wedding that once locked down Alstonville

A MARRIAGE in Alstonville a century ago left the town in lockdown, according to...