Nov 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump adviser falsely claims Democrats could "steal" electoral votes

Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller falsely claimed on Sunday that Democrats would try to "steal" electoral votes after election night if President Trump appears to be ahead, signaling a coming legal fight over mail-in ballots that are counted after Nov. 3.

Reality check: Electoral College votes are not awarded until December, and no state ever reports its final count on election night — despite Trump's insistence that the election should end on Nov. 3 and that the courts should not allow ballots to be counted in the days following.

The big picture: Amid massive early turnout, Americans are expected to vote by mail in record numbers this election — and polling has found that more Democrats than Republicans said they would mail ballots.

  • Many of those votes won't be counted by election night, as states process more mailed ballots than they ever have before.
  • That delay could mean that Trump will appear to lead on election night, which would shift as more Democratic votes are tallied.
  • Trump has baselessly accused Democrats of trying to "steal" the election by pointing to efforts that expand voting access, such as extending mail-in ballot deadlines in Pennsylvania and building an in-person voting center in the California suburbs.

Between the lines: Trump has repeatedly declined to say whether he would accept the results of the 2020 election if he loses to Joe Biden.

  • He told reporters in September that he believes the Supreme Court may have to decide the result, after claiming that the only way he can lose the election is if it is "rigged."
  • The Trump campaign is reportedly raising money to continue ballot fights into mid-December, per the New York Times.

What they're saying: "If you speak with many smart Democrats, they believe that President Trump will be ahead on election night, probably getting 280 electoral, somewhere in that range," Miller said on ABC's "This Week."

  • "And then they're going to try to steal it back after the election. We believe that we will be over 290 electoral votes on election night.
  • "So no matter what they try to do, what kind of hijinks or lawsuits or whatever kind of nonsense they try to pull off, we're still going to have enough electoral votes to get President Trump re-elected."

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