Trumpism takes to the streets to stir up the specter of electoral fraud

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Dozens of extremists, some armed, gather in front of the electoral authority in Phoenix to demand to “count the votes” while others ask to stop the count in Detroit

After more than 24 hours of counting the votes in the United States elections, the tension due to the lack of results began this Wednesday night to manifest itself in the streets of the country. In some places, that nervousness took the form of new protests against Donald Trump, who declared himself the winner of the elections. In others, like Phoenix, staunch Trump supporters demonstrated in front of the county election authority to demand a recount “to the last vote.” The anxiety of a country that still does not know the result of the most momentous elections of this generation was visible.

The Phoenix protest had been called through characters from the conspiratorial environment of social networks. Around eight in the afternoon (local time), some 200 people gathered in the center of the city with all kinds of Trump paraphernalia to ask for their votes to be counted. Inside the building, workers did exactly that, counting votes. The Arizona scrutiny is one of the five that keep the country in suspense (Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada and Pennsylvania are the others), because at any moment a victory for Joe Biden can be certified there that ends the uncertainty.

“We will be here not only until the election is over, but also afterwards,” proclaimed one of the leaders of the rally with a megaphone. “We are going to make your voice heard.” The general idea of ​​the demonstration was that something strange is happening in the process and they demanded the assurance that the votes are counted. The initial advantage of Donald Trump has been disappearing with the passing of the hours and the counting of the votes by mail and that seems to have triggered the feeling of fraud among his most staunch followers. Trump has been launching unfounded accusations of fraud for months on a vote that all projections pointed to favor the Democrats and would take time to be added to the final count.

“I think a lot of the Arizona votes are fake,” said a young woman who identified herself as Kayleigh. “They have not counted votes since eight in the afternoon.” While the rest of the world waited more or less patiently for the Maricopa County data update, she had come to that conclusion. Beside him, a young man who identified himself as Rich said that “in Wisconsin there are 3.2 million registered voters and they have 3.3 million votes. There are 100,000 more votes than people, it doesn’t make sense ”. Rich repeated as true a viral conspiracy theory denied hours ago. “The same has happened in four or five states,” Rich insisted.

“I just want a clean election. If Trump loses, we buy it and wait four years. But it has to be 100% okay. ” Rich couldn’t say what kind of evidence he needed to see to convince himself that the count is being done well, that it is simply slow because millions more people have voted than usual, and that no local authority in the United States wants to give the slightest margin to it. error. “It’s just that Arizona is very rare to become a Democrat,” summarized Rich.

Biden held a 69,000-vote lead over Trump on Wednesday night, although with each new update in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous, that gap narrowed.

At the demonstration, a woman loudly proclaimed that the president had defended children from alleged pedophile networks, a baseless nonsense that spreads in far-right circles through social networks. Extreme characters mingled with families and couples. Several of the attendees were wearing military garb and several of them were armed with pistols or assault rifles. Arizona is a state that allows weapons to be displayed in public. Sheriff’s deputies guarded the counting center. The demonstration began to disperse around midnight.

The Trumpistas’ demand in Phoenix to count all the votes was in contrast to the demonstration of other Trump supporters in Detroit, Michigan, during the day they called for the counting to be stopped. Trump ended up losing Michigan on Wednesday afternoon. At the same time, denunciations of Trump’s campaign to stop the count in several states sparked demonstrations against the president across the country that also asked that all votes be counted just like the Trumpists in Phoenix. On Wednesday night, the entire United States had some reason to take to the streets to show their frustration at the slowness of the results and the tension for the future.

In addition to the contradictory protests by Trumpists in Phoenix and Detroit, calling for votes to be counted in one place and not in another, there were demonstrations in Oakland, Atlanta and New York by left-wing groups that took to the streets again to denounce the Trump’s attempt to poison confidence in the results. A coalition called Protect the Results said it planned demonstrations in 500 cities, which ultimately did not materialize, according to Reuters. On the Trumpist side, the mobilizations seem to be formed around the idea of ​​“stopping the theft”, that is, that the reliable results are those of Tuesday and that the vote-by-mail count is actually a theft of the election using fictitious votes . They are the words of the president himself.

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