President Trump and his supporters continue to try to raise suspicions about fraud and the vote count.
One viral video, shared by the president’s son, Eric, appeared to show around 80 ballots being put into a bag, doused with a flammable liquid, and set on fire.
But officials in the city of Virginia Beach (in the state of Virginia), which is led by a Republican mayor, released a statement on election day explaining that the ballots shown in the video lacked official markings – and were merely samples.
The city said fire investigators were looking into the incident as an “illegal burning”.
Despite this, Eric Trump shared the video on Twitter, where it was liked, shared and commented on almost 100,000 times.
His post linked to an account that has since been suspended by Twitter. That user has since posted the video on his YouTube page. YouTube has yet to take action.
‘Unprecedented’ – MEP on US elections
David McAllister, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and chair of its committee on foreign affairs, has stressed that it is important that “all votes count and that means that all votes will be counted” in the US election.
He urged “all parties accept the result and that there will be no further turbulences” once the process is complete.
The US president asking for some voting counts to stop is unprecedented, McAllister said.
“You cannot deprive US citizens of the right to vote,” he said. “You cannot announce yourself as the winner of an election while the counting is still ongoing. This is unprecedented.”
McAllister said he sees a “new impetus for transatlantic relations” should Joe Biden prevail in the election, but warned that there were still challenges ahead on trade, security and defence issues.
In the event of the president’s re-election, he said: “We know what we can expect from Mr Trump, but we also know what we cannot expect from him – and the transatlantic relations have been put to a stress test like we’ve never seen before in the last 70 years.”
Trump campaign demands to observe Philadelphia counting
Two Trump campaign officials, Corey Lewandowski and Pam Bondi, have just turned up at the Philadelphia Convention Center, where mail-in votes are still being counted, saying they have a court order to go inside.
“We plan on entering that building right now and legally observing the voting process,” Bondi told reporters after pro-Biden protesters turned up their music to drown her out.
“If there is one illegal vote that is cast, it takes away from the great men and women of Pennsylvania who came out to vote legally”.
She added that the Trump representatives had already been kept back 100 feet from the counting process by a man with a gun and badge who was not a police officer.
Meanwhile, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien told reporters in a phone call that Democrats are “lying, cheat and stealing” and that illegal behaviour is “running rampant.”
There is no evidence of foul play, and the prolonged counting process was always expected in Pennsylvania after the state’s legislature blocked counting from beginning before election day.
Trump tweets ‘stop the count’ as result edges closer
As we edge closer to a result, President Donald Trump has tweeted “STOP THE COUNT!”
In his speech on Wednesday, Trump described the election as a “fraud on the American public” and called for “all voting to stop”, though there is no evidence of systematic fraud.
The Trump campaign has launched legal action to stop the count in several states, claiming – again, without evidence – fraud and irregularities. The campaign has also called for a recount in Wisconsin.
The Republican Party in Nevada confirmed it is planning to file a lawsuit in the state, claiming that about 10,000 votes were cast by people who no longer live there.
Republican strategist Seth Weathers told the BBC that Trump wanted counting halted until officials in count centres granted Republicans greater access to scrutinise their processes.
Georgia to ‘finish counting by noon’
Things may be moving faster in Georgia than original estimates suggested.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger just said the state had about 90,000 ballots to go by last night, but by this morning there were just around 60,000 ballots left to be counted.
Speaking to WSB-TV in Atlanta, Raffensperger said: “We should be done no later than noon-time today.” That’s 17:00 GMT.
Fulton County, home of Atlanta, is expected to conclude counting in the next hour, he said.
Biden is behind by about 18,000 votes in Georgia, according to the latest estimates.
If Biden wins Georgia, Trump’s chance of winning re-election plunges significantly.
More details on the differing tallies
Earlier we explained how some news organisations have different tallies on electoral college votes so far.
The BBC is getting its data via Reuters, from polling firm Edison Research, who do the field work for the exit polls and work with US networks in the National Election Pool.
Edison Research said that it will not call a race in Wisconsin or any state where the margin is narrow enough to allow a candidate to demand a recount under state law.
Arizona: An automatic recount will occur if the margin between candidates is less than or equal to 0.1% of the votes.
Georgia: Candidates may request a recount when the spread between the candidates is less than 1% of the total votes cast in that race.
Wisconsin: By law, if race is within 1%, the candidate with fewer votes may request a recount.
Some news sites have projected wins in Arizona (meaning an extra 11 electoral college votes) and Wisconsin (10 electoral college votes) for Joe Biden.
- Unsure how the electoral college system works and why it comes down to state points rather than the popular vote? Read our quick guide.