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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."

Go deeper: A safe, sane way to navigate election night — and beyond

Go deeper

Senate Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In a closely divided Congress, the Senate’s Mischief Makers could thwart their leaders' best-laid plans with their own agendas.

Why it matters: On Wednesday night, we shared a list of House members who our leadership sources on the Hill consider some of the top troublemakers. But their Senate counterparts may be even more impactful in a 50-50 chamber, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaking vote.

DOJ seizes 36 U.S. website domains for Iranian government disinformation

Iran's President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference at Shahid Beheshti conference hall in Tehran on Monday. Photo: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

American officials seized 36 news website domains linked to Iran's government for spreading disinformation as part of a propaganda campaign, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The action comes at a time of heightened tension between the two countries, with Iran's hardline President-elect Ebrahim Raisi on Monday ruling out negotiating over missiles or meeting with President Biden as the two nations hold talks on returning Tehran to the 2015 nuclear deal.

NYT: Khashoggi's killers had paramilitary training in U.S.

A vigil for journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, following his killing in 2018 in Turkey. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Several Saudis who took part in the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi had paramilitary training in the U.S. under a State Department contract a year before his 2018 death, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Why it matters: While there's no evidence the department knew that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sanctioned Saudi officials to detain, kidnap and torture dissidents in 2017, the approval of such training underscores how "intensely intertwined" the U.S. has become with a nation known for human rights abuses, per the NYT.