President Trump has denied a report that he is planning to declare victory in Tuesday’s presidential election before the final results are officially confirmed.
Trump told confidants he will announce victory “if it looks like he’s ahead” in key swing states, US news website Axios reported, citing three anonymous sources.
The president dismissed the claim on Sunday, but complained about the possibility of waiting for results “for a long period of time after the election”.
“I think it’s terrible that we can’t know the results of an election the night of the election,” Trump told reporters.
It is not unusual for results to be declared in the days following a presidential election in some states, especially those where counting starts on polling day.
As the coronavirus continues to spread, millions of more Americans are voting by mail than in previous elections. Counting postal votes can take longer, so there will almost certainly be delays.
Because of the surge in postal votes, a candidate who takes an early lead may end up being overtaken as more mail-in ballots are tallied.
Throughout the campaign, Trump has raised concerns about voter fraud and the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, without citing any evidence.
If the result is close in some states, legal fights over the counting of ballots are a real possibility.
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