If Trump’s thoughts on vote counting sound familiar in some places, it’s because you’ve seen “Gangs of New York”.

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If Team Trump’s views on counting ballots sounded familiar in some places, it’s probably because you’ve seen Gangs of New York. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the epic historical thriller of 2002 is set in 1862 and follows the violence that erupts from a rivalry between native Protestants and Irish immigrants in lower Manhattan. A special scene focuses on a choice between the corrupt Tammany Hall boss William Tweed (played by Jim Broadbent) and Walter “Monk” McGinn (Brendan Gleeson).

The ballots are counted, and Tweed’s assistant Killoran, played by Eddie Marson, informs Tweed about the state of the election. “Monk has already won three thousand more votes than there are voters,” he says, to which Boss Tweed replies, “Only three? Make it twenty, thirty. We don’t need a victory. We need a Roman triumph.”

“We have no more ballots,” Killoran reminds him, to which Boss Tweed Killoran simply replies: “Remember the first rule of politics. The ballots do not make the result, the counters make the result. The counters. Keep counting.”

In addition to calling for counting to continue in some states, Trump himself has tried to stop the counting of votes in other states by tweeting “STOP THE COUNT!

STOP THE COUNT!

– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2020

On Thursday morning he twittered: “ANY VOICE THAT Came AFTER THE ELECTION DAY WILL NOT COUNT! This tweet was described by Twitter as misleading, as thousands of mail-in and absentee ballots had not yet been counted.

On Thursday night Trump gave a speech in which he said, “If you count the legal votes, I win easily. If you count the illegal votes, they may try to steal the election from us”. There is little information to support this claim.

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Trump also said this: “We won by a large margin at all important locations, and miraculously our numbers were getting smaller and smaller. …”. He added: “They want to find out how many votes they need, and then they seem to be able to find them. They wait and wait and then they find them. …”

At the time of writing, Biden is leading in both the referendum and the electoral college. The counting of votes in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia and Alaska is still pending. Overnight, Biden took the lead in Pennsylvania and Georgia, the latter historically a red state.

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