On Election Day, Trump casts doubt on legitimacy of electoral process

Republican nominee threatens to "see what happens, you know, how it goes" before conceding defeat to Hillary Rodham Clinton based on official state tallies of votes.

November 8, 2016 21:26
2 minute read.

What if a candidate refuses to concede?

What if a candidate refuses to concede?


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NEW YORK -- As millions of Americans voted nationwide and just hours before polls were to close, Donald Trump took to the airwaves to question the legitimacy of the country's electoral system— the world's oldest democratic republic.

Threatening he would "see what happens, you know, how it goes" before conceding defeat to Hillary Rodham Clinton based on official state tallies of votes, Trump said he expected foul play at polling stations around the country and continued to encourage his supporters to police them for "problems or disruptions."

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The Trump campaign emailed supporters on Monday afternoon alerting them to a hotline specifically set up for "voter assistance."

"If I think everything's on the up and up, that's a lot different," Trump added, speaking with a local Florida radio station.

His Election Day warning came after his repeated refrain that America's 57th presidential race would be "rigged," and after outgoing US President Barack Obama told voters that democracy itself was on the ballot on Tuesday.

The Justice Department dispatched a record number of poll watchers across the country this year amid concerns of voter disenfranchisement. And US intelligence officials warned of an altogether different threat: Cyber attacks, taking the form not of direct ballot interference but in a misinformation campaign through the falsification of vote reporting figures.

Trump voted in New York City on Tuesday, while Clinton voted upstate in Chappaqua. Both held their election night events in Manhattan, just down 34th Street from one another.

Clinton said she was humbled by the responsibility of voting, and by the prospect of serving as president should she secure victory. All polls were set to close nationwide at 11 pm East Coast time.

Clinton ended her campaigning in North Carolina, with a performance by Lady GaGa, after holding one of her largest-ever rallies in Philadelphia with Obama and their families. Trump ended his efforts with a rally in Michigan.

The former first lady, senator from New York and secretary of state consistently led the polls over the course of her campaign against Trump, an unconventional candidate who had no political experience whatsoever before announcing his bid last year.

The campaign ends with both candidates maintaining record-low approval ratings. As exit polls from Election Day showed Americans prioritizing "strong leadership," most also expressed a lack of pride and enthusiasm as a long election cycle came to a close.

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