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Saturday, November 7, 2020

November 07, 2020
Peaceful "Protect the Vote" protest in Phoenix, Arizona Justin Lum / Twitter

As questions about the results of the presidential election continue to mount, tensions rise and protests spread from state to state. Not only supporters of President Donald Trump, however, are taking to the streets.

In Phoenix, Arizona, the president’s supporters dubbed their protests “Protect the Vote.” According to Not the Bee, the gatherings “remained peaceful, and more than that, exhibited grace and humility in their protest.” They knelt in prayer and asked for “good to prevail.”

In another location, Trump supporters who attended the protest at the voting center in Maricopa County, Arizona, were chanting, “Fox News sucks,” when the television network called the state for Biden on Tuesday night. Critics have argued that Arizona might still go for Trump, pointing out that Biden-friendly outlets like The New York Times and CNN have not yet called the state for the Democratic candidate.

Rumors of “Sharpiegate,” referring to the claim that ballots marked by black permanent markers, as opposed to blue or black ink pens, would not be counted, contributed to feelings of distrust and foul play. Voters in Phoenix shouted, “Stop the steal!”

The Arizona Attorney General is looking into 18 discarded ballots that were found on the side of a road outside of Phoenix.

In Pennsylvania, protests from supporters of both political parties have taken to the streets of Philadelphia. After the Supreme Court ruled that mail-in ballots postmarked November 3 could be counted even if they are received up to three days after the election, officials in Philadelphia decided halfway through election night to take a break from counting — a move that made people wary about fraud when Trump was leading.

“Only about 76,000 of the city’s mail-in ballots have been tallied so far out of some 350,000 received,” Politico’s Holly Otterbein pointed out.

However, it is not just Trump supporters who have lost faith in the integrity of the elections. Leftist groups were protesting both the police killing of a Philadelphia man as well as the vote-counting process.

“We believe the same systems trying to stop every vote from being counted are the same systems that murdered Walter,” said Bryan Mercer, executive director of Movement Alliance Project.

In Pittsburgh, protesters were marching to have their mail-in ballots counted.

Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf addressed any worries of those who mailed in their ballots, saying, “Pennsylvania is going to count every vote and no amount of intimidation will stop our dedicated election officials in our municipalities.”

KTRK Houston reported, “Several groups organized demonstrations in Houston to demand all ballots be counted. Non-partisan group Indivisible Houston helped gather advocates from other groups for these protests. Leaders from immigrant-rights organizers, advocates for front-line workers, LBGTQ activists, advocates for Black voters, and more gathered.”

Trump supporters in Miami got together yesterday, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

“We are not protesting,” one of the protesters, Adelaida Rosario, told the newspaper. “We are actually demanding fair elections.”

“In such a contested election, I think we’re going to have to see how this unfolds,” said Enrique Tarrio. “Obviously, there is a lot of uncertainty about how this election is going.”

According to NPR, a protest “in Manhattan on Wednesday night resulted in 25 arrests, the New York City Police Department says. ‘Count every vote! Every vote counts!’ the protesters yelled as they marched. Clashes with police broke out later in the evening, and some protesters lit fires on sidewalks.”

The NPR report did not point out which side, if any, the violent protesters were on.


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