‘Count every vote’ protests sweep US cities as Trump calls for process to be stopped

Protesters have taken to the streets across the US to demand officials “count every vote” amid efforts by the Trump campaign to stop the democratic process.
Demonstrations were organised by voters on both sides in cities such as Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Minnesota.

While most were Biden supporters trying to resist claims by the Trump camp that counting should be stopped, Republican supporters made similar calls in states they have lost or are trailing behind.
In New York City, thousands of Democrats marched along Fifth Avenue, while people in cars and on bicycles rode past the White House with placards saying “This is a democracy – act like it”.

Image: Crowds in Philadelphia carry ‘voters decide’ and ‘count every vote’ placards

Image: Voters march in New York City
On Wednesday night in Portland, Oregon, where Mr Biden is projected to win, 11 people were arrested and the National Guard was brought in to contain protesters in a repeat of recent clashes triggered by the death of George Floyd.

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Tamera Cody, 22, voted for Donald Trump and was part of a small but dedicated group of his supporters outside the absentee ballot counting hall in Detroit on Thursday trading insults with Biden supporters across the street.

“I just feel like the election was really rigged,” she told Sky News, after the Democrats claimed victory in Michigan.

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Image: Eleven were arrested during election protests in Portland, Oregon
“There are so many red counties – it doesn’t make sense that it’s gone to Biden. I don’t feel like every vote is being counted. If every voter was being counted it wouldn’t be this way. I didn’t go to the polls for nothing.
“There was so many red counties on the map yesterday, yet we swing for Biden. It makes no sense.”

Image: Tamera Cody, 22, was one of the protesters outside a counting centre in Detroit

Image: Angelo Austin (R) outside the Detroit counting centre
Angelo Austin, 24, voted for Mr Biden and went to protest outside the Detroit counting centre when he heard Trump supporters were there contesting the result.
He told Sky News: “What motivated me to come down here today is this – the same city they are protesting in is the same city that was built on the backs of Black labourers.
“I lost my job due to COVID-19. These people [Trump supporters] are able to go home and eat while we are worrying about how to pay the gas bill.”

Image: Every vote counts protesters clash with Trump supporters outside the Detroit counting centre

Image: Donald Trump supporter holds a ‘stop the steal’ placard in Detroit
He added: “There is no talking to these people about the way I feel. My ancestors worked for free for 200 years to build the economy we have today.”
Before the election, Donald Trump implied the surge in mail-in ballots was being used by the Biden campaign to “steal the election”.
And with several states yet to declare their results two days on, Mr Trump has filed lawsuits in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Wisconsin – alleging electoral fraud is taking place and the counts should stop altogether.

Image: Protesters outside Detroit counting centre in Michigan
While there is no evidence for this, Mr Trump has tweeted: “All of the recent Biden claimed states will be legally challenged by us for voter fraud and state election fraud.”
Other posts, including “STOP THE COUNT!” and “STOP THE FRAUD”, have been removed by Twitter, which claims they are “disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process”.
Voting had to be paused in Philadelphia amid lawsuit claims from members of the Trump campaign, including his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, that some ballots have come from people who are dead or live outside the state.

Image: A Donald Trump supporter takes part in protests in Washington DC

Image: Demonstrators cycle by the White House
In Georgia, where the result is still undecided, Sky News spoke to Tom Biklind, a 52-year-old pilot originally from Norway who has been in the US for 30 years. He voted for Donald Trump, but is still concerned that legal votes will not be counted.
“I’m disappointed they are still counting the votes,” he said.
“For several reasons: certain deadlines are not being followed, people who are dead are still voting – the news media reported that from Michigan. I don’t think that’s a single incident. Every election in this country dead people vote.

Image: In Philadelphia, where voting had to be halted, a woman holds a ‘count every vote’ sign
“I also wanted to make sure that all the legal votes are counted. If everything is legal and kosher there shouldn’t be a problem. It should be supervised by both parties not someone who is ‘so-called independent’.”
He added that he wants to see a recount if the result is tight.
“We don’t mind losing an election if it’s fair. We’re adults. I would have to respect it if Biden wins now but if it’s within 1% for example there should be a recount,” he said.

Image: A ‘count every vote sign’ is held up by a protester in Minnesota, Minneapolis

Image: A Donald Trump supporter waves a ‘no voter fraud’ sign in Phoenix, Arizona
In Nevada, where Mr Biden is ahead so far, a Trump news conference claimed a voter called Jille Stokke was unable to vote when she turned up at the polls in Las Vegas.
They called for all voting to be halted, but a local registrar later confirmed he had spoken with the woman and she had already voted once and was trying to vote again.

Image: Tom, 52, works as a pilot and came out to protest in Atlanta, Georgia
At a news conference near his home in Delaware on Thursday, Mr Biden urged his supporters to be patient and said “all votes must be counted” to cheers from supporters.

Source : Sky News