Raleigh, N.C. — Dozens of President Donald Trump’s supporters gathered Friday in downtown Raleigh as Democrat Joe Biden drew closer to winning the election.
The protesters marched from a Jones Street parking lot, past the Legislative Building to Halifax Mall, where they rallied outside the building that houses the State Board of Elections.
“We’re going to go for it because it’s been 48 hours,” march organizer Joshua Flores said, referencing the time it is taking for North Carolina to release total votes. “We’re seeing this across the board. It’s just ridiculous.”
Michele Morrow, who spoke to the crowd, claims ballots have been fraudulent.
“That is what we’re trying to get to,” Morrow said when asked about evidence of fraud. “If you’re not allowed to look, you can’t see any evidence for foul play. … I think what we’re wanting is for all of these ballots to be able to be looked at by both sides of the party.”
The county elections boards that will finalize vote totals over the next week, including deciding which absentee and provisional ballots to count, are each made up of both Democrats and Republicans. Also, representatives of both parties and the public are allowed to observe the process.
Ashley Smith, the co-founder of ReOpenNC, which protested state shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, also spoke during the rally.
At one point, the group started chanting, “Won’t give up!”
Flores, with Latinos for Freedom, is already demanding a recount, even though the final tally isn’t yet in.
“What they’re doing right now is they’re holding North Carolina hostage. They won’t call it for the president,” he said. “It’s because they’re trying to see how much he wins by, and then magically ballots will be found.”
Elections officials said they only certify results and don’t declare winners of races. The statewide canvass will be held Nov. 24.
“We are conducting the post-election process as prescribed by law,” said Patrick Gannon, the spokesman for the State Board of Elections.
State law requires that counties not certify results for 10 days after the election. This year, the deadline for mailed absentee ballots to be received by election officials also was extended from Nov. 6 to Nov. 12.
“There was no reason for us to extend to nine days. Everybody knows that Nov. 3 was the Election Day, and I think, if you didn’t take the time to get your ballot in before Nov. 3, then your vote shouldn’t count, and you should come and join us on the next election,” Morrow said. “Everybody had to work within a deadline, and that [delay] just causes a lot of potential for corruption and potential for people manipulating the results.”
Trump and members of his campaign have alleged fraud in states across the country, from North Carolina and Georgia to Pennsylvania and Michigan to Arizona and Nevada. No evidence of any fraud has been provided by the campaign.
“We’re fine with losing if we lose right – if we lose and we haven’t been cheated,” Morrow said.