Votes are still being counted across the United States but Democratic candidate, Joe Biden has launched a transition website, saying: “So that the Biden-Harris Administration can hit the ground running on Day One.”
On the website, buildbackbetter.com, is a short statement: “The American people will determine who will serve as the next President of the United States.
“Votes are still being counted in several states around the country.
“The crises facing the country are severe — from a pandemic to an economic recession, climate change to racial injustice — and the transition team will continue preparing at full speed so that the Biden-Harris Administration can hit the ground running on Day One.”
Both Biden and his Republican opponent and incumbent President, Donald Trump, still had paths to winning the White House by hitting the magic majority threshold of 270 of the electoral votes awarded to whichever candidate wins the popular vote in a given state.
But momentum moved to Biden, who made a televised speech from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware to say that “when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.”
By flipping the northern battlegrounds of Michigan and Wisconsin, Biden reached 253 electoral votes against the 213 so far for Trump
To reach 270 he was hoping next to add the six electoral votes from Nevada, and the 11 votes in Arizona, where he had a small and shrinking lead, or, even better, the larger prizes of hard-fought Georgia or Pennsylvania.
Trump has, however, accused his opponent of electoral fraud and has gone to court to challenge elections in three states.
Meanwhile, hundreds of state police and left-wing protesters were locked in a tense standoff in downtown Portland late Wednesday after rampaging anti-Trump groups smashed shop windows a day after the election, prompting the state governor to activate the National Guard.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s office declared a riot and made at least nine arrests, citing “widespread violence” in the city’s downtown area and repeatedly warning it could deploy ammunitions and tear gas.
Armed police advanced on demonstrators in unison but there were no clashes, according to an AFP.
The protesters had earlier attended a peaceful rally in a downtown park hosted by a coalition of far-left, anti-capitalist groups featuring lectures and music.
“The mass gathering in downtown Portland is still declared a riot. Leave the area now,” the sheriff’s office posted on Twitter just before 8:30 pm ( 0430 GMT). It earlier said officers were being targeted with projectiles, such as glass bottles.
“In the interest of public safety, Governor Kate Brown, under advice of the Unified Command, has activated the use of the Oregon National Guard to assist local law enforcement,” it said.
Portland has been the scene of clashes between police and protesters for months, angered at the repeated killings of Black Americans by law enforcement officers across the country.
Protesters who had gathered by Portland’s river vowed to “protect the results” of Tuesday’s close-run election and held banners proclaiming “Count Every Vote” and “The Vote is Over. The Fight Goes On.”
“We want Trump out of office, that’s the main focus,” one protest leader told the crowd, to loud cheers.
But several of the demonstrators were openly carrying firearms, including rifles, and one anti-racism and anti-imperialism banner showed an image of an assault rifle, with the slogan “We Don’t Want Biden. We Want Revenge.”