As Americans edge closer to a result in Tuesday’s presidential election, protesters have taken to the streets of several cities to demand counting be allowed to continue, while others have called for counting to stop.
Dozens of angry supporters of President Donald Trump converged on vote-counting centers in Detroit and Phoenix as the returns went against him in the two key states of Michigan and Arizona.
Wearing Trump gear and armed with rifles and handguns, the Phoenix protesters filled much of the parking lot at the Maricopa County election center, and members of the crowd chanted, “Fox News sucks!” in anger over the network declaring Joe Biden the winner in Arizona.
“Stop the count!” the Trump supporters chanted in Detroit, and in Phoenix, they called on officials to “stop the steal!”, echoing President Trump.
In Detroit, officials blocked about 30 people, mostly Republicans, from entering a vote-counting facility amid unfounded claims that the vote count in Michigan was fraudulent.
Meanwhile, from New York City to Seattle, thousands of demonstrators turned out to demand that every vote be tallied.
Police in Seattle and Portland, Oregon arrested more than a dozen people as protesters called for a full count of all presidential election votes and a halt to President Trump’s court challenges to stop counts in some key battleground states.
In Portland, Oregon, which has been a scene of regular protests for months, Gov. Kate Brown called out the National Guard as demonstrators engaged in what authorities said was widespread violence downtown, including smashing windows. Protesters in the city were demonstrating about a range of issues, including police brutality and the counting of the vote.
“It’s important to trust the process, and the system that has ensured free and fair elections in this country through the decades, even in times of great crisis,” Brown said in a statement. “We are all in this together.”
In New York, hundreds of people paraded past boarded-up luxury stores on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, and in Chicago, demonstrators marched through downtown and along a street across the river from Trump Tower.
Similar protests- sometimes about the election, sometimes about racial inequality- took place in at least a half-dozen cities, including Los Angeles, Houston, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and San Diego.
Over 100 events are planned across the country between Wednesday and Saturday.
On Thursday, Democrat Joe Biden was pushing closer to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House after securing victories in the battlegrounds of Wisconsin and Michigan and narrowing President Donald Trump’s path.