Philadelphia demonstrators dance to YMCA, gather outside convention center as ballots counted

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Demonstrators gathered outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia Friday danced to the song “Y.M.C.A” as election officials continued to count absentee ballots inside. 

There have been ongoing demonstrations outside the convention center after President Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit in the state on Wednesday to stop the vote count.

The campaign sought to intervene in a case pending at the Supreme Court that would invalidate a decision to count mail-in ballots postmarked on Nov. 3 and received before the deadline Friday. 

Demonstrators in the area Friday called for Trump to “surrender to democracy” in response to his reelection campaign’s legal battle. 

Video footage shared on Twitter showed several demonstrators holding signs that read “surrender to democracy,” and “dump Trump,” while one speaker led a chant, “say it loud, say it clear, Trump and Pence ain’t welcome here.” 

Another video showed a group of people dancing to the song, “Y.M.C.A,” which the Trump campaign has used as its theme song at rallies throughout the election cycle. 

In the early afternoon Friday, Philadelphia’s City Commissioner Lisa Deeley (D) said at a press conference that officials had counted the “largest number of mail-in ballots in the city’s history.” 

“I want to thank all of you … for your continued patience. Our goal has been to produce accurate results as quickly as possible,” Deeley said, adding that the city would provide another update on 2,000 to 3,000 mail-in ballots Friday afternoon, with an estimated 40,000 yet to be counted. 

News of the continued demonstrations comes as the Philadelphia Police Department is investigating an alleged plot to attack the convention center Thursday evening. 

A group, possibly a family, reportedly drove to Philadelphia from Virginia Thursday evening with the intent to attack the convention center, according to ABC 6 Action News.

Police said they received a tip about the plot and also recovered a weapon from the vehicle involved.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden took a narrow lead of 5,587 votes in Pennsylvania just before 9 a.m. Friday morning. Just after 1 p.m., his lead had risen to nearly 12,500 votes, according to estimated numbers from The Associated Press

News networks have yet to call the race in Pennsylvania, but a Biden win would put the former vice president over the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the White House. 

Pennsylvania began counting ballots on Election Day, beginning with votes cast the day of the election and then moving to ballots received by mail. Trump led Biden by a wide margin in Pennsylvania on Tuesday evening into Wednesday, although this gradually began to shrink as officials have continued tallying more mail-in ballots. 

The Trump campaign issued a statement shortly after the new Pennsylvania tallies were announced saying the election was not over, while hinting at future challenges in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada and insisting Trump would ultimately win Arizona.

“This election is not over. The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final,” said Trump 2020 campaign general counsel Matt Morgan.

Thursday evening, Trump made claims without evidence that there had been multiple instances of voter fraud and that Democrats were attempting to steal the election from him. 

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. If you count the votes that came in late — we’re looking at them very strongly,” Trump told reporters Thursday.

Tags 2020 election absentee ballots ballot counting Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Joe Biden mail-in ballot Pennsylvania Philadelphia The Associated Press Twitter voter fraud claims White House

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