A crowd of protesters, some of them armed, claimed that the ballot had been stolen from President Donald Trump’s hands as they gathered outside the counting center in Maricopa County, Phoenix, at the end. on Wednesday, before the announcement of the new results in the presidential and Senate races.
It was one of the protests across the country – some about elections, some about racial inequality. In New York, 50 people were arrested, officials told NBC New York.
In Maricopa, some in a crowd of 300 shouted “please count your votes” and “Fox News is bad,”; after the network called Arizona to support Joe Biden.
Arizona is too close to call, according to NBC News. Biden leads there with 50.5% compared with Trump’s 48.1%, with 86% of the expected votes – a difference of just under 70,000 votes. Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, is the largest county in the state and will prove important in the presidential race.
Several voting center staff members and members of the media were escorted to vehicles to ensure their safety, officials said. However, Sgt. Calbert Gillet, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, told NBC News that no arrests were made.
Observers from both parties are present inside the election center as the ballots are processed and tally, and the process is streamed live at all times.
Clint Hickman, Republican Maricopa County Supervisory Board Chairman and Democratic Supervisor Steve Gallardo released a joint statement expressing concern over how misinformation about the integrity of election process.
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“People should want all the votes to be counted, whether they were sent by mail or in person,” it said. “A correct vote takes time. This is proof of democracy, not fraud.”
Trump erroneously declared earlier on Wednesday that he had won the race against former Vice President Joe Biden, although no winners have been declared and millions of votes are still being counted. He also made it clear that he will fight in court to support his re-election.
Other rallies took place in cities, including Los Angeles, Houston, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and San Diego, where frustrated Trump and Biden supporters took to the streets.
In Portland, Oregon, police declared a riot and Governor Kate Brown called the National Guard.
“It is important to trust the process and system that has ensured free and fair elections in this country for decades, even during times of great crisis,” Brown said in a statement. Father. “We will be together.”
Portland Sheriff Chuck Lovell said in a video posted on Twitter that officers “witnessed widespread acts of violence, such as vandalizing property, smashing ATMs and breaking windows. of many businesses ”.
Specially trained National Police Director Terri Davie, the Oregon State Police Director, said in the same video.
Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that at least 11 people had been arrested.
The City Police Department said seven people were also arrested during the Capitol Hill protests in Seattle.
Elsewhere, outside of Detroit’s TCF Center, Trump supporters shouted “stop counting” and “let us in.”
Earlier, Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping the vote count in Michigan, asking the Democratic foreign minister to allow more inspections.
However, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, insists both sides and the public have been allowed the tally, “using a robust system of checks and balances to ensure that all the ballots were counted fairly and accurately. “
In stark contrast, pro-Trump protesters who appeared at polling counters in Nevada and Arizona required all votes to be counted. In Chicago, protesters marched along a river side street from Trump Tower.
In San Francisco, peaceful but noisy protesters have gathered outside Twitter headquarters, where they urged the social media giant to ban Trump because he is misleading his followers about the election process, NBC’s KNTV reported.
David Douglas, Shamar Walters, Mohammed Syed and The Associated Press contributed.