As President Donald Trump made unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and called for the ballot counting process to come to a halt last week, protesters across the Hudson Valley and nation took to the streets to demand a free and fair election process.
As part of the Protect the Results movement, nearly 100 voters on Wednesday gathered at the gazebo in Peekskill to contend the process of counting every vote be completed. Attendees urged the need to protect the outcome the basis of the nation’s democracy.
“It’s really surreal to hear the president disenfranchise voters, and not only the people who voted for him, but people who voted against him,” organizer Courtney Williams said. “We want to make sure that every vote gets counted.”
Protect the Results, a nationwide coalition of more than 150 national activities organizations, including Indivisible, MoveOn and Daily Kos, had put out calls for action prior to Election Day, amid Trump broadcasting accusations alluding to voter fraud as results trickled in putting now-President-elect Joe Biden ahead in the race.
Hours before the Nov. 4 protest, Trump had filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan to halt the battleground states from counting remaining votes as he led in the polls. At the same time, the president and his Republican allies insisted that Arizona and Nevada continue counting the votes to ensure he picked up crucial electoral college support.
Biden was inevitably declared the winner in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada and continues to lead in Georgia and Arizona, according to The Associated Press.
Judges have since either tossed out or ruled against Trump’s suits in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and Michigan. However, Trump is continuing to demand a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden won by a slim margin, and Georgia.
“Clearly, he’s picking and choosing which states and which votes are counted and that’s not how this works,” Williams said. “You’d think the sitting president would want to ensure the integrity of the election instead of undermining that.”
With Peekskill police on standby and those with de-escalation training in attendance, demonstrators ignored passersby shouting obscenities while chanting, singing and pressing for over an hour the need to stand together to ensure the integrity of the nation’s elections are upheld. Further, they asserted that the losing candidate must concede for the good of the country and follow the tradition of providing a peaceful transition of power.
Since Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were declared the winners of the 2020 election on Saturday, Trump as of Sunday had yet to concede as others before him have done immediately after the election was called. He instead continues to tweet, without evidence, that mail-in ballots are a hoax, claiming the election was “stolen” from him, while also insisting he won.
“Throughout our history, generations of Americans have come together to make a future where our voices are heard and rights are respected, no matter our color, our income or our zip code,” Peekskill Councilwoman Vanessa Agudelo said. “We must stand on guard to protect our democracies health and ensure that every voice and every vote are counted.”
A Protect the Results rally was also held last Wednesday in White Plains.