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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.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

Driving the news: James and Jennifer Crumbley were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.