By Allan Smith
President Donald Trump said Sunday that he’s sending in his lawyers as soon as the election ends Tuesday, his latest attack on the legitimacy of this week’s unprecedented vote count.
After landing in North Carolina on Sunday evening, Trump was asked about a report published Sunday in Axios that said he could try to prematurely declare victory on Election Day. Trump denied that he would do so, but he lamented Supreme Court rulings that allowed for Pennsylvania and North Carolina to count absentee ballots that are postmarked before Election Day but arrive shortly after Tuesday.
“I think it was a terrible decision for our country. And I think it was a very dangerous decision for our country,” Trump said. “Because you’re going to have one or two or three states, depending on how it ends up, where they’re tabulating ballots and the rest of the world is waiting to find out. And I think there’s great danger to it, and I think a lot of fraud and misuse can take place. I think it’s a terrible decision by the Supreme Court. A terrible decision.”
Trump’s claims of widespread fraud connected to mail-in voting have been repeatedly debunked.
“Now, I don’t know if that’s going to be changed, because we’re going to go in night of, as soon as that election is over, we’re going in with our lawyers,” Trump continued, adding: “I don’t think it’s fair that we have to wait a long period of time after the election. Should’ve gotten their ballots in a long time before that. Could’ve gotten their ballots in a month ago. I think it’s a ridiculous decision.”
Pennsylvania and North Carolina are two of the most hotly contested swing states. In Pennsylvania specifically, election officials aren’t allowed to ready the ballots for tabulation ahead of polls’ closing — a process known as “pre-canvassing” — that would help speed up the counting process.
Earlier Sunday, at a rally in Dubuque, Iowa, Trump sought to discredit absentee ballots as election officials in some states have cautioned that it may take days to complete the count.
“We should know the result of the election by the evening of November 3rd,” Trump said.
With early voting setting records as states have expanded the ability to use it, nearly 100 million people have already cast their ballots. Polls show Democratic nominee Joe Biden with a large lead among early voters in key states, while Trump maintains a significant advantage among those who have yet to vote.
The candidates spent Sunday making their final pitches to voters ahead of Tuesday’s election. Trump made stops in Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Biden, meanwhile, held multiple events in Philadelphia as he seeks to win Pennsylvania.
Asked in Philadelphia about the Axios report, Biden shot back, “The president’s not going to steal this election.”
Trump and his allies have in recent days amplified rhetoric calling into question the legitimacy of Tuesday’s vote. On ABC News’ “This Week,” Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller baselessly claimed Sunday that Democrats will seek to “steal” the election back from Trump if he holds a lead in some key swing states Tuesday.
Election officials from both parties have tried to reassure voters about the legitimacy of the count, which they said could last for days as mailed-in ballots trickle in. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, responded to Trump’s Election Day legal threat in a tweet noting that the Trump campaign has lost three voting-related lawsuits against the state.