PHOENIX (Reuters) – A crowd of Donald Trump supporters, some armed with rifles and handguns, gathered outside an election center in Arizona on Wednesday night after unsubstantiated rumors that votes for the Republican president were deliberately not being counted.
Chanting “Stop the steal!”, and “Count my vote”, the mostly unmasked protesters stood in front of the Maricopa County Elections Department in Phoenix, as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden held a razor thin lead in the critical battleground state. Some news outlets have called Arizona for Biden, but Trump’s campaign says it is still in play.
A victory for Biden in Arizona would give the Democrat 11 electoral votes, a major boost in his bid to win the White House, while severely narrowing Trump’s path to re-election, in a state the Republican won in 2016.
On Election night Fox News and the Associated Press called Arizona for Biden, even though only just over 70% of the vote had been counted, a move that infuriated Trump and his aides.
Some of the roughly 200 protesters, who were faced by a line of armed county sheriffs, chanted “Shame on Fox!”. Some said they came out after a tweet from Mike Cernovich, a right-wing activist.