US election hangs in balance as Trump campaign launches legal contest

 US election hangs in balance as Trump campaign launches legal contest

Officials from both campaigns have insisted their candidate will prevail.

People hold signs as they take part in a rally demanding a fair count of the votes of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 4, 2020.  (photo credit: EDUARDO MUNOZ / REUTERS)

People hold signs as they take part in a rally demanding a fair count of the votes of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., November 4, 2020.

(photo credit: EDUARDO MUNOZ / REUTERS)

The excruciatingly close US presidential election hung in the balance on Wednesday, with Democrat Joe Biden leading in two critical Midwestern states – Michigan and Wisconsin – that could tip the contest in his favor, while the Trump campaign has started a legal process to challenge the counting in those states.

Both candidates projected confidence in their chances to cross the 270 electoral votes threshold. The Trump campaign announced it demand a recount in Wisconsin, as the Democratic candidate holds a narrow, 0.6% lead. In addition, the Trump campaign sued on Wednesday to stop the counting in Michigan, another crucial state with 16 electoral votes. The President won both Michigan and Wisconsin in 2016, and the states are critical for his reelection chances.

“We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access,” Campaign manager, Bill Stepien, said in a statement. “President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else.”

Together with Nevada, another state where Biden held a small advantage with votes still left to be tallied, those states would deliver Biden the 270 votes needed in the state-by-state Electoral College to win the White House. But Trump still had a path to victory with those states officially undecided.

In dueling conference calls with reporters, officials from each campaign insisted their candidate would prevail.

“If we count all legal ballots, we win,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said, potentially setting the stage for post-election litigation over the counting of mail-in ballots.

Biden campaign manager Jennifer O’Malley Dillon told reporters the former vice president was on track to win the election, while senior legal adviser Bob Bauer said there were no grounds for Trump to invalidate lawfully cast ballots.

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Redak staff

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