ANALYSIS BY: Anthony Zurchar.
Donald Trump has been telegraphing for weeks that if the presidential election were close, he would accuse his Democratic opponents of committing voter fraud and trying to steal victory away from him. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, he did exactly that.
It is the doomsday scenario that many Americans were fearing, where the president of the United States – from the White House itself – would undermine ballot-counting.
It’s a process that stretches on for days after the election even in normal circumstances, where voters haven’t turned to postal or early voting because of an ongoing pandemic.
After president Mr Trump spoke, Vice-President Mike Pence tried to smooth over his remarks, declining to declare premature victory and insisting that all the legally cast votes will be counted. It was much more in line with how a US leader would be expected to behave in a moment of political uncertainty.
The damage had been done, however. Whether Mr Trump ultimately wins or loses, he has cast a pall on this election, as he calls the very machinery of American democracy into question.
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