In some tightly disputed states, election officials said they were concerned about the safety of their employees amid intimidation and crowds of angry demonstrators outside polling tabulation centres, drawn from President Donald Trump’s false allegation of systemic irregularities in the White House race.
Joe Gloria, a registrar in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, said, “I can assure you that my wife and mother are really worried about me.” He said his workers were encouraging surveillance and monitoring vehicles from the election offices coming and leaving polling .
Yet he noted that “doing what our job is and counting votes” will not be hindered by him and others.
Trump supporters’ organisations met in Detroit and Philadelphia again on Friday at polling tabulation locations, criticising counts that showed Democrat Joe Biden ahead in those and other central states.
Although the demonstrations were not violent or very large, the gatherings distressed city leaders and worried about the relentless allegations.
On Thursday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel tweeted a plea to deter her employees from sending harassing and threatening calls.
It is never acceptable to ask them to shove sharpies in awkward positions & it is a sad reflection on the state of our country, “wrote Nessel, a Democrat, referring to a bogus conspiracy theory that Trump supporters were ordered to fill out ballots with Sharpie markers instead of standard pens so that the computers will not count their votes.”
On Friday morning, hundreds of Trump backers protested outside the convention centre in Detroit, where election officials counted ballots.
“Stop stealing,” screamed the protesters. Some were holding posters reading “Make Elections Equal Again” and “We Support Trump.” Police cordoned off the streets leading to the tabulation centre and kept a close eye on the demonstration.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, speaking on CNN, said her primary concern was staff safety, but security was offered by sheriff’s deputies. She said the demonstrators caused delay and disturbance and prevented some workers from doing their job.
Around 100 Trump fans, some carrying military-style rifles and handguns, gathered in front of the Maricopa County Election Center in Phoenix on Thursday. Arizona law requires persons to bear weapons freely.
In order to establish a freedom of expression zone to keep the entrance to the building open, officials at the centre used barriers. The crowd took turns singing “Count the ballots!” and “Another four years!” and moaning about the election procedure using a megaphone.
When Trump spoke from the White House, where he echoed several of his groundless claims of a rigged vote, they stopped to listen.
When the president said, “We’re on track to win Arizona,” they whooped and clapped. The Associated Press called for Biden in Arizona.
Published in Dharti News, November 7th, 2020