Joe Biden breaks Barack Obama’s vote record, as Trump campaign challenges count in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Activists demanding vote counts proceed unimpeded rallied in several cities, including Oakland, California, Atlanta, Detroit and New York City while dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump converged on vote-counting centres in Michigan and Arizona.
Hundreds of protesters waving American flags and signs that read, “Count every vote, every vote counts,” demonstrated peacefully at Washington Square Park after marching through midtown Manhattan in New York.
“It’s very important that we make sure that our democracy is maintained,” said Meira Harris, 26, a social work student. “This election has provoked so much anxiety.”
City police posted pictures on social media of debris fires in lower Manhattan they said were set by protesters. They said at least 20 people were arrested, accused of blocking traffic, disorderly conduct and similar offences.
The Protect the Results coalition, encompassing dozens of groups from Planned Parenthood to Republicans for the Rule of Law, said it was organising a day of mass protests in 500 cities. But those plans were put on hold late in the day.
US officials said they have kept a wary eye on right-wing groups, worried that Trump’s allegations of ballot fraud could bring heavily armed groups out onto the streets. So far, they appeared to be keeping a low profile.
Trump’s supporters converged on vote-counting centres in Detroit chanting: “Stop the count!” Another group converged in Phoenix, Arizona shouting: “Stop the steal!”
Enrique Tarrio, leader of the far-right men’s group Proud Boys, said he and three others were stabbed early on Wednesday blocks away from the White House. One of his alleged assailants wore a “Black Lives Matter” mask, he told the Reuters news agency.
Local police said they could not confirm that account and no arrests were immediately made. The Washington chapter of the anti-racism movement said on Twitter it had nothing to do with the alleged attack.