Over 170 events planned nationwide by advocacy groups after election to make sure all ballots are counted

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A coalition of advocacy groups are coordinating over 170 events post-Election Day should President Trump either declare victory before all votes are cast, or refuse to accept election results. 

The events are being organized nationwide on Nov. 4 by Protect the Results, which represents a coalition of more than 100 advocacy groups, labor unions and grassroots organizations including Stand Up America, Indivisible, Republicans for the Rule of Law, the Sierra Club and many others. 

Protect the Results launched an interactive map to allow U.S. voters to RSVP to planned events and create their own, with the events meant to promote a peaceful transition of power if Vice President Joe Biden wins the presidential election, and to push for the counting of every ballot before the election is called. The groups expect more events to be added to the map prior to Election Day. 

The events are being planned in the wake of multiple comments and tweets from President Trump in which he has raised concerns about potential voter fraud from the use of mail-in ballots and has encouraged his supporters to “watch” the polls to ensure no fraud took place.

His comments have lead many voting rights experts to warn they could lead to voter suppression.

On Thursday night during an NBC News town hall, Trump said that he would accept the transition of power, but again cast doubt on the voting process. 

“Peaceful transfer? I absolutely want that. But ideally, I don’t want to transfer, because I want to win,” Trump said, adding that “I want it to be an honest election. And so does everybody else.”

Courtney Parella, the deputy national press secretary for the Trump campaign, on Friday criticized the planned events and the Biden campaign. 

“Joe Biden’s supporters seem to want an excuse to continue wreaking mayhem in our streets, as his running mate, Kamala Harris has encouraged them to do,” Parella told The Hill in an emailed statement. “No one is sounding the alarm at Hilary Clinton urging Joe Biden not to concede ‘under any circumstances,’ nor are their riots planned in the event he refuses to accept defeat.”

“It’s ironic they’re planning protests for their anticipated outrage at President Trump’s expected victory, instead of protesting the actual threat to our free and fair election, which is the Democrats’ attempted upheaval of our voting system,” Parella added. 

Stand Up America founder and President Sean Eldridge pointed to Trump’s comments around the election process on Friday in calling on U.S. voters to cast their ballots for Biden. 

“Donald Trump is behind in the polls, he’s desperate, and he’s trying to bully and cheat his way through this election,” Eldridge said in a statement to The Hill. “The most important thing Americans can do to protect our democracy is to make a plan to vote early and help Joe Biden win in a landslide.”

“We know that voting alone might not be enough when it comes to defeating Donald Trump—and that’s why we’ll be ready to mobilize to demand that every vote be counted and that state officials, Congress, and the Electoral College honor the final, accurate vote count,” Eldridge added. 

Sarah Dohl, co-founder and acting chief campaign officer of Indivisible, said in a separate statement that “with every tweet and refusal to commit to accepting the legitimate election results, Trump is trying to stoke chaos and fear. It’s all he has left in his playbook. But we are ready.” 

“Should Trump declare victory before all the votes are counted or prevent the legitimate counting of votes, we will mobilize in every corner of this country to ensure voters have the last word in November,” Dohl added. 

Election officials are expecting an influx of mail-in ballots this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with record numbers of voters expected to vote absentee. 

Laws differ by state as to when mail-in ballots can begin to be counted, and traditional swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania are not allowed to begin the process until Election Day.  

Earlier this week, the secretaries of state of Michigan and other states warned that due to both the larger number of mail-in ballots and the timeline for counting them, the vote count is unlikely to be finalized on Nov. 3

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) said Friday that voters should have patience around waiting for election results to be finalized. 

“It’s important to keep in mind that it’s going to take time. It’s going to take time for these states to complete their initial count of election results,” Toulouse Oliver said during a virtual event hosted by Microsoft and the New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice. “When you go to bed on election night, most states are going to be continuing their elections process for days to ensure that every ballot that is cast is counted.”

Tags 2020 election Donald Trump Indivisible Joe Biden Stand Up America Vote counting

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