Armed man arrested over 'plot to attack Philadelphia vote counting centre'

At least one armed man has been arrested after allegedly plotting to attack a building where ballots from the hotly contested US election are being counted in Pennsylvania.

The man is said to have driven six hours from Virginia before being found outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Thursday night.

Local police reportedly seized the vehicle and weapon after receiving a tip-off about the alleged threat around 10pm. No injuries were reported and an investigation has been launched, WPVI-TV reports.

It comes after riots are declared in several US cities as Donald Trump peddles a conspiracy theory that the presidential election is rigged, despite having no evidence.

The president said he was the victim of ‘big media, big money and big tech’ collaborating to commit ‘historic election interference’ in an extraordinary rant last night.

He accused the Democratic Party of ‘stealing’ votes through ‘corrupt’ mail-in ballots, as his small leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia tightened.

The Associated Press claim Biden has got a total of 264 electoral college votes and puts Trump on 214, with 270 needed to win the race. Other outlets have not called Arizona for Biden, putting the Democrat candidate on 253.

In Pennsylvania, the winner remains undecided, with Trump ahead by 18,000 votes but Biden gaining steam.

Election officials in several US states have expressed fears about the safety of their workers amid a stream of threats and protesters outside their doors.

Trump supporters have gathered at vote tabulation sites in Phoenix, Detroit and Philadelphia following the president’s unfounded accusations of ‘suppression polls’ and ‘fraud’.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel tweeted a plea after a false claim that Trump supporters were told to fill out ballots with Sharpie markers instead of regular pens so that their votes would not be counted by the machines.

She said: ‘Dear members of the public: Please stop making harassing & threatening calls to my staff.

‘They are kind, hardworking public servants just doing their job. Asking them to shove sharpies in uncomfortable places is never appropriate & is a sad commentary on the state of our nation.’

Around 100 Trump supporters gathered again in front of the Maricopa County election centre in Phoenix, some with military-style rifles and handguns. Arizona law states people are allowed to openly carry guns.

Meanwhile, about 100 chanting Trump gathered outside State Farm Arena in Atalanta to claim democracy was being ‘stolen’, while around 100 more chanted in Las Vegas outside election offices.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, told CNN protesters were ‘causing delay and disruption and preventing those employees from doing their job’.

Trump supporter Tom Haas, 50, who said he was visiting Atlanta from Chicago on business, claimed: ‘There’s obvious voter fraud, and it’s coming out of the larger Democratic-run cities. Atlanta is one of them.’

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