Trump supporters descend on US election voting centres demanding ‘stop the vote!’ and ‘stop the steal!’ as protests grow

Election challengers yell as they look through the windows of the central counting board as police were helping to keep additional challengers from entering due to overcrowding, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Election protesters shout as they look through the windows of the central counting board in Detroit (AP)

Angry Donald Trump supporters have converged on vote-counting centres in key US election battleground states as protests swept the country.

“Stop the count!” they shouted in Detroit as the Trump campaign announced it had filed a lawsuit to stop the tallying of votes in the Midwestern state which was called for Joe Biden by CNN and other major networks on Wednesday.

In Phoenix, Arizona, dozens of Trump fans chanted “stop the steal” and “four more years” – as they demanded a complete count of ballots amid signs they were clawing back the Democrat’s lead in the state.

Meanwhile, thousands of mostly anti-Trump protesters took to cities from New York to Seattle across the US as the election remained undecided on Thursday morning. Police in Manhattan arrested more than 50 protesters after a peaceful demonstration led to clashes.

The protests came as President Trump insisted without evidence there were major problems with the voting and the ballot counting, especially with mail-in votes, and as Republicans filed suit in various states over the election.

The confrontation in Detroit started shortly before the Associated Press declared that Mr Biden had won Michigan.

Video shot by local media showed angry people gathered outside the TCF Center and inside the lobby, with police officers lined up to keep them from entering the vote-counting area. They chanted, “Stop the count!” and “Stop the vote!”

Earlier, the Republican campaign filed suit in a bid to halt the count, demanding Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state allow in more inspectors.

The Phoenix protesters filled much of the parking lot at the Maricopa County election centre, where sheriff’s deputies were guarding both the outside of the building and the counting inside.

Wearing Trump gear, members of the crowd chanted, “Fox News sucks,” in anger over the network declaring Mr Biden the winner in Arizona.

Representative Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican and staunch Trump supporter, joined the crowd, declaring: “We’re not going to let this election be stolen. Period.”

However, observers from both major political parties remained inside the election centre as ballots were processed and counted, and the procedure was live-streamed online at all times.

Two top county officials – one a Democrat, the other a Republican – issued a statement expressing concern about how misinformation had spread about the integrity of the election process.

“Everyone should want all the votes to be counted, whether they were mailed or cast in person,” said the statement signed by Clint Hickman, the GOP chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and Democratic Supervisor Steve Gallardo. “An accurate vote takes time. … This is evidence of democracy, not fraud.”

In Portland, Oregon, which has been a scene of regular protests for months, Governor Kate Brown called out the National Guard as demonstrators engaged in what authorities said was widespread violence downtown, including smashing windows.

Protesters in Portland were demonstrating about a range of issues, including police brutality and the counting of the vote.

“It’s important to trust the process, and the system that has ensured free and fair elections in this country through the decades, even in times of great crisis,” Governor Brown said in a statement. “We are all in this together.”

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