WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s campaign filed lawsuits Wednesday in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, while former Vice President Joe Biden neared the necessary number of electoral votes for victory and counseled his supporters to have patience as votes are counted.
As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Biden had 264 electoral votes to Trump’s 214. It takes 270 to win.
The majority of voters in both Clallam and Jefferson counties voted for Biden.
The AP called Michigan for Democrat Joe Biden on Wednesday. Nevada and Pennsylvania were undecided.
Shortly after Biden urged supporters to “keep the faith” early Wednesday morning, Trump called a press conference in which he falsely declared he had won the race despite millions of votes still being counted and said he would ask the Supreme Court to stop counting votes in the presidential election.
Biden said Wednesday the count should continue in all states, adding, “No one’s going to take our democracy away from us — not now, not ever.”
Trump’s lawsuits were laying the groundwork for contesting the outcome in states that could determine whether he gets another four years in the White House.
The new filings, joining existing Republican legal challenges in Pennsylvania and Nevada, demand better access for campaign observers to locations where ballots are being processed and counted, the campaign said.
However, at one Michigan location in question, The Associated Press observed poll watchers from both sides monitoring on Wednesday.
The Trump campaign also is seeking to intervene in a Pennsylvania case at the Supreme Court that deals with whether ballots received up to three days after the election can be counted, deputy campaign manager Justin Clark said.
The actions reveal an emerging legal strategy that the president had signaled for weeks, namely that he would attack the integrity of the voting process in states where the result could mean his defeat.
His campaign also announced that it would ask for a recount in Wisconsin, a state the AP called for Biden on Wednesday afternoon. Campaign manager Bill Stepien cited “irregularities in several Wisconsin counties,” without providing specifics.
Biden’s campaign didn’t immediately comment on the new lawsuits in Michigan or Pennsylvania over access for observers. But it has been seeking donations for what it is calling the “Biden Fight Fund.”
“Our legal team is standing by, and they will prevail,” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote in a fundraising email to supporters earlier Wednesday.
Election officials continued to count votes across the country, the normal process on the day following voting. Unlike in previous years, states were contending with an avalanche of mail ballots driven by fears of voting in person during a pandemic.
At least 103 million people voted early, either by mail or in-person, representing 74 percent of the total votes cast in the 2016 presidential election.
Every election, results reported on election night are unofficial and the counting of ballots extends past Election Day. Mail ballots normally take more time to verify and count. This year, because of the large numbers of mail ballots and a close race, results were expected to take longer.
The Trump campaign said it is calling for a temporary halt in the counting in Michigan and Pennsylvania until it is given “meaningful” access in numerous locations and allowed to review ballots that already have been opened and processed.
On Wednesday, dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump chanting “Stop the count!” descended on a vote-tallying center in Detroit.
The Detroit protests started shortly before The Associated Press declared that former Vice President Joe Biden had won Michigan.