By Erika Shannon

November 20, 2020

In the past weeks, there has been some confusion about who our next President truly is. The Associated Press has declared Joe Biden the projected winner due to his surpassing 270 electoral votes; yet, there are still some doubters out there who believe that this election could end up miraculously turning for Donald Trump. There are some recounts going on, and Trump has filed lawsuits in a couple of states to attempt to stall as long as possible. While there is a small chance that a recount may mean a Trump victory, most people have come to terms with the fact that Biden will be the next president. However, there are those who are still clinging to the idea that Trump could still somehow win, and that the election was rigged in Biden’s favor. Since the election has been called, there have been various pro-Trump protests occurring in cities across the country, including the nation’s capital, where protests turned violent and arrests were made.

This past weekend, several thousand Trump supporters showed up in Washington D.C. to protest the results of the election. Protesters marched in the streets at Freedom Plaza and the Supreme Court building. The rally was dubbed the “Million MAGA March” or “Stop the Steal Rally” on social media and was attended by members of the far-right group the Proud Boys. Other far-right groups in attendance included QAnon, Patriot Prayer, and the self-named American Guard. During the day, the protests were mild and mostly uneventful. However, as night fell, protesters clashed with ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter counter-protesters. Just blocks from the White House, police had to break up a brawl between the two groups. Tensions have been rising throughout 2020 at protests being held by both sides, and protests often end in violence or tragedy. Reports indicate that over the course of Saturday’s protests, at least twenty people were arrested. Charges from the arrests include firearms violations, simple assault, disorderly conduct, and assault on a police officer. Two police officers were injured and seven guns were recovered, though it is unknown if the guns belonged to the Trump supporters or counter-protesters.

With the election having been called by the Associated Press, there was hope that Donald Trump would simply concede to Joe Biden. However, Trump has managed to imply that the election was not fair and that he is, in fact, the winner. His comments have clearly caused quite the stir among Trump supporters; one can only wonder what they hope to achieve by protesting the election results. They often chant, “stop the steal” or, “four more years,” implying that they feel the democrats have stolen the election. Their motivation is a hope that somehow this election will end up being called in favor of Trump. The end result Trump supporters want does not seem likely at this point. The recounts being done are still projected to be in Biden’s favor for the presidency. This will hopefully result in Trump finally being satisfied with the results and peacefully conceding. There is the lingering concern that Trump will continue to insinuate that the election was unfair and that voter fraud occurred, which may incite his supporters to continue on with these protests. More protests could mean more violence and unrest for American citizens.

Regardless of Donald Trump’s claims, there are signs that this election was not actually fraudulent. In late September, FBI Director Christopher Wray wrote that the FBI had not seen any evidence of a “coordinated national voter fraud effort.” This included mail-in ballots, which goes against Trump’s statements regarding concerns over mail-in votes. The FBI investigates all instances of voter crimes, and so far none have been announced. Recently, sixteen federal prosecutors, who were specifically chosen to investigate elections crimes, have said that there was no proof of voter fraud or other irregularities that could substantially influence the election. It is also important to note that there are non-biased organizations at work to ensure that the election results are genuine. The National Task Force on Election Crises is a cross-partisan organization of over fifty experts ensuring that the outcome of the 2020 general election is free and fair. It seems that there are many powers at work to ensure that there is no election interference, here in America or internationally. There is no reason to believe that the election has been “stolen” by democrats, and those who state otherwise pose a threat to our democratic voting process. If Biden still has the most electoral votes when all legitimate votes are finally done being counted and there is no evidence of election fraud, Trump supporters will have no choice but to support Trump in his new endeavors — ones that do not include being the President of the United States.

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