Biden says 'every vote must be counted' as Trump campaign challenges vote tallies

Biden says 'every vote must be counted' as Trump campaign challenges vote tallies
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDearborn office of Rep. Debbie Dingell vandalized Pfizer to apply for COVID-19 booster approval for 16- and 17-year-olds: report Coronavirus variant raises fresh concerns for economy MORE reiterated his demand on Wednesday that election officials be allowed to count outstanding valid ballots, as President TrumpDonald TrumpPence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling Prosecutor says during trial that actor Jussie Smollett staged 'fake hate crime' Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE’s campaign filed legal challenges to the vote-tallying process in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

In brief remarks to supporters in Wilmington, Del., Biden projected confidence that he would eventually win the presidential race. But he stopped short of declaring himself the victor, saying that any determinations about the outcome of the election should wait until any outstanding votes are counted.

“Now every vote must be counted,” Biden said. “No one is going to take our democracy away from us. Not now, not ever. America’s come too far. America’s fought too many battles. America's endured too much to ever let that happen.”

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“We the people will not be silenced. We the people will not be bullied. We the people will not surrender.”

Biden’s remarks came amid mounting tensions around the presidential contest. 

Biden scored two critical wins on Wednesday afternoon, with The Associated Press declaring him the victory in two Midwestern battleground states, Wisconsin and Michigan. He has also begun to narrow his gap with Trump in Pennsylvania, where officials are counting outstanding absentee votes.

As Biden’s prospects in the race improved on Wednesday, Trump’s campaign launched a series of legal challenges seeking to stop the counting process in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The campaign has also said it will seek a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden leads by roughly 20,000 votes.

Trump’s aides and allies also took the unusual step on Wednesday of prematurely declaring him the winner in Pennsylvania, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of votes are still being counted. Pennsylvania has not yet been called for either candidate, and the counting process is expected to continue into Thursday or even Friday.

Biden expressed confidence in his chances of winning the election on Wednesday, pointing to his growing advantage in Michigan and the large share of outstanding ballots in Pennsylvania, which he said appear likely to break in his favor. 

But he also made clear that he was not prematurely declaring victory in the race, a tacit rebuke of Trump, who proclaimed himself the winner of the presidential election in early-morning remarks at the White House on Wednesday.

“I’m not here to declare that we’ve won, but I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners,” Biden said.