INTERNATIONAL

No evidence of voter fraud: poll officials

Uncertainty lingers:Supporters of Donald Trump rallying outside the Arizona state capitol on November 7.APRoss D. Franklin  

There is no evidence of compromised ballots or corrupt voting systems in the U.S. election, officials said on Thursday, as a top Democrat accused Republicans who refuse to accept President-elect Joe Biden’s win of “poisoning” democracy.

Their messages came hours after President Donald Trump once again cried foul, retweeting a baseless claim that an election equipment maker “deleted” 2.7 million votes for him nationwide.

Arizona win

Mr. Biden, who leads by more than 5 million in the popular vote, cemented his victory late Thursday by winning Arizona, U.S. networks said, flipping the State Democratic for the first time since 1996.

Arizona gives Mr. Biden a 290-217 lead over Mr. Trump in the Electoral College, with 270 needed to win the White House.

With most Republican lawmakers having yet to acknowledge Mr. Biden’s win, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the chamber’s top Democrat, accused them Thursday of “denying reality” and “auditioning for profiles in cowardice.”

“Instead of working to pull the country back together so that we can fight our common enemy COVID-19, Republicans in Congress are spreading conspiracy theories, denying reality and poisoning the well of our democracy,” he said.

Senior U.S. Federal and State election officials meanwhile in a statement rejected Mr. Trump’s claims of fraud, saying that “the November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.”

The statement was issued by the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, a public-private umbrella group under the primary federal election security body, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” they said.

“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too,” the statement said.

It was signed by the heads of the National Association of State Election Directors and the National Association of Secretaries of State — the officials who manage elections at the state level — and by the Chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

The statement came just hours after Mr. Trump’s retweet, which in addition to claiming 2.7 million “deleted” votes also said hundreds of thousand had been switched from him to Mr. Biden in Pennsylvania and other States. It was the latest in a series of bogus assertions Mr. Trump and Republicans have put forth in order to reject Mr. Biden’s victory.

Republican lawmakers such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have stood firm with Mr. Trump by supporting his refusal to concede and backing his legal challenges.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi weighed in Thursday to demand Republicans stop what she called an “absurd circus” and turn to combatting the pandemic.