Speaking from the White House, Donald Trump declared himself the winner of the November 3 presidential election as the vote count continues across the country. The president also asked to stop the count citing “fraud”, without concrete evidence. He confusedly demanded that “all votes stop” and said he wanted to refer the matter to the Supreme Court.
For its part, the campaign team of Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who has a slight lead this November 4, denounced the “outrageous” and “unprecedented” declaration of President Donald Trump before ensuring it was ready for a legal battle.
The vote count in the key states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin could continue for several days, because of the historic use of mail-in voting amid the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, official election results may not be disclosed for several days or even weeks.
Moreover, any legal challenge will further delay the official announcement of the results. Donald Trump may again seek to delegitimize the untallied mail-in ballots, the majority of which are said to be in favour of the Democratic candidate. In this tense context, controversies over the legitimacy of the electoral process and its outcome will predictably lead to an increase in rival rallies in the coming days and weeks.
While most of the recent rallies have been largely free of violent incidents, partisan tensions in recent weeks have escalated into shootings in Austin, Texas; Kenosha, Wisconsin; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington.
In addition, a state of emergency was declared on 2 November in the Portland area (Oregon) in anticipation of possible post-election violence.
In Washington DC, the “Shutdown DC” movement will hold hostile actions against President Trump on November 4, 5 and 6 (local time):
- 4 November: Rally at Union Station before protest actions in front of institutions deemed favorable to President Donald Trump (media, donors, Republican Party branches);
- 5 November: from 07:00, protesters will attempt to block the access to the White House. Violence with the security forces cannot be ruled out.
- 6 November: from 12:00, roadblocks planned throughout the city.
The movement has also indicated that it intends to continue its protest actions in the coming days.
In Los Angeles, a demonstration will be held from 16.00 in front of the LA City Hall.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the election and this tense context, it is advisable to steer clear from any gathering in the coming days, given the risk of violence.