Supporters of President Donald Trump, some of them armed with long guns, forced a county elections office in Phoenix to close to the public on Wednesday night due to unrest.
In Maricopa County, Arizona, where Biden currently leads Trump, protesters outside of the Maricopa County Recorder’s office chanted “Stop the steal!” and “Count the votes!”.
A reporter for CBS’ Phoenix affiliate said she and her photographer left the scene after being personally threatened by one of the protesters.
Protesters claimed, without evidence, that the volunteers checking the ballots were Democrats.
The office, protected by Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies, ultimately closed to the public and the media due to concerns about the protest, but volunteers continued to count votes.
Maricopa County has been the epicenter of Trump’s false claims that the election is being rigged, partially thanks to the debunked “SharpieGate” conspiracy that’s proliferating throughout right-wing media.
Part of the Trump supporters’ frustration is that the state has already been called for Biden by multiple news organizations, though it’s expected to tighten as more ballots are counted. Fox News called Arizona for Biden on Election Night, which reportedly infuriated the president and his campaign.
On Wednesday, protesters chanted “FOX News sucks!”
The Associated Press called the state for Biden early Wednesday morning, saying in an explainer published Wednesday that it made the call “after an analysis of ballots cast statewide concluded there were not enough outstanding votes to allow Trump to catch up.”
Biden is currently ahead in Arizona by a little more than 68,000 votes with hundreds of thousands of votes left to count. Another batch of Maricopa County votes will be released Thursday night.