US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said the election is “absolutely rigged” by the “dishonest media” and “at many polling places”.
His comments appear to contradict his running mate Mike Pence, who told NBC earlier Mr Trump would “absolutely” accept the election result, despite media “bias”.
Mr Trump’s adviser Rudy Giuliani has also accused Democrats of “cheating”.
Polls suggest Mr Trump is losing ground in some of the key battleground states.
Meanwhile Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine has blasted Mr Trump’s election-rigging claims as “scare tactics”.
Mr Trump has questioned the legitimacy of the election process in a series of tweets, the latest of which said: “The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary – but also at many polling places – SAD”.
Earlier, Mr Trump accused the press of inaccurate reporting: “Election is being rigged by the media, in a coordinated effort with the Clinton campaign, by putting stories that never happened into news!”
However, speaking on NBC’s Meet The Press, Mr Pence said the American people were “tired of the obvious bias in the national media” which was “where the sense of a rigged election goes”, but said: “We will absolutely accept the results of the election.”
“Elections always get pretty rough,” he added, but said the US has a tradition of “the peaceful transfer of power”.
Meanwhile former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is Mr Trump’s campaign adviser, told CNN’s State of the Union that he’d have to be a “moron” to think that some elections, such as those in Philadelphia and Chicago, were going to be fair.
“I’ve found very few situations where Republicans cheat… they don’t control the inner cities the way Democrats do. Maybe if Republicans controlled the inner cities, they’d do as much cheating as Democrats,” he said.
“I’m sorry. Dead people generally vote for Democrats rather than Republicans,” he added.
Analysis by Laura Bicker, BBC News, Washington
Donald Trump has claimed for months that the election was rigged – but that message is now at the centre of his campaign just as his poll numbers begin to slump. And in doing so he hits at the very heart of American democracy – the idea that elections are free and fair.
Mr Trump’s tactics allow him once more to paint himself as the anti-establishment figure being victimised by the Washington political elite. It also gives him an excuse if he loses.
But where would it leave his supporters? The fear is that the Republican candidate’s rhetoric could further divide this country and stoke anger and suspicion among the millions who follow him.
If Hillary Clinton is elected, would they accept her presidency as legitimate and if not, what form would those protests take?
‘Swinging at every phantom’
Democrat vice presidential candidate Mr Kaine told ABC’s This Week Mr Trump was “swinging at every phantom of his own imagination” because “he knows he’s losing”.
“He’s blaming the media. He’s blaming the GOP. He’s saying that America can’t run a fair election.
“He’s making weird claims that, no, I couldn’t have assaulted this person, she’s not attractive enough to assault. How bizarre is that?… And this is what bullies do.”
Multiple women have come forward to accuse Mr Trump of groping or kissing them this week, following the emergence of a 2005 video tape in which the Republican nominee made obscene remarks about women.
He has repeatedly denied the claims, calling the women “horrible liars” and accusing the media of being an agent of the “Clinton machine”.
Mr Kaine denied that the Clinton campaign had anything to do with the women making accusations against Mr Trump.
On Saturday, House speaker Republican Paul Ryan criticised Mr Trump for questioning the validity of the electoral process.
“Our democracy relies on confidence in election results, and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity,” his spokesperson AshLee Strong said.
Who is ahead in the polls?
It’s not the first time Mr Trump has directly contradicted his running mate during the campaign, with them clashing over how to solve the war in Syria.
In the vice presidential debate, Mr Pence said the Trump administration would impose a safe zone in Syria, “stand up” to Russian aggression and go after Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
But in the second presidential debate, Mr Trump claimed that although he didn’t “like Assad”, the Syrian president was “killing Isil (Islamic State group)”.
More on the US election
US election 2016: Trump says election ‘rigged at polling places’