Arrests Mount As Marchers Demand Vote Count, Others Cry Foul
Police arrested dozens of people in New York, Portland, Oregon, and other cities overnight at protests demanding all votes be counted in the race for the White House, while smaller groups backing President Donald Trump returned to tabulation sites in closely contested states to cry foul over the election.
- Associated Press
- Last Updated: November 06, 2020, 4:39 IST
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Election officials in several states said Thursday they are worried about the safety of their staffs amid a cascade of threats and protesters responding to President Donald Trumps baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in the race for the White House.
I can tell you that my wife and my mother are very concerned for me, said Joe Gloria, the registrar in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas. He said his staff was bolstering security and tracking vehicles coming and going from the election offices.
But he added that he and others would not be stopped from “doing what our duty is and counting ballots.
Groups of Trump supporters have gathered at vote tabulation sites in Phoenix, Detroit and Philadelphia, decrying counts that showed Democrat Joe Biden leading or gaining ground.
While the protests have not been violent or very large, local officials were exasperated and concerned by the relentless accusations.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel tweeted a plea to stop making harassing & threatening calls to her staff.
Asking them to shove sharpies in uncomfortable places is never appropriate & is a sad commentary on the state of our nation, wrote Nessel, a Democrat, referring to a false conspiracy theory that Trump supporters were told to fill out ballots with Sharpie markers instead of regular pens so that their votes wouldn’t be counted by the machines.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, speaking on CNN, said her main concern was staff safety but that sheriff’s deputies were providing protection. She said the protesters were causing delay and disruption and preventing those employees from doing their job
In Phoenix, at least two dozen Trump supporters gathered outside City Hall on Thursday morning, chanting Protect our vote! The group said it planned to return to the Phoenix tabulation center, where demonstrators Wednesday night had chanted that the election was being stolen.
The protest came as observers from both major political parties were inside the election center as ballots were processed and counted, and the procedure was live-streamed online at all times.
In Detroit, a few dozen Trump supporters gathered outside the citys convention center Thursday morning as election workers counted absentee ballots inside. The protesters held signs that read, Stop the steal and Stop the cheat.
AP reporters Gillian Flaccus in Portland, Terry Tang in Phoenix, Claire Galofaro in Detroit, Sudhin Thanawala in Atlanta and Amy Forliti in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
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