Pro-democracy advocates are organizing more than 170 events in anticipation of President Donald Trump illegitimately declaring victory in the Nov. 3 election before all the votes are counted, or potentially refusing to accept the election results.
Protect the Results, a coalition of more than 100 national groups including Indivisible, Stand Up America, 350 Action, and Mijente, released an interactive map on Friday showing events planned for Nov. 4 across the country. Voters can sign up to join a public action or create their own.
We’re preparing to mobilize if Trump refuses to accept the results. Find an event (or create your own) here: https://t.co/oneSm87HCa
— Protect the Results (@ProtectResults) October 16, 2020
"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," Sarah Dohl, co-founder of Indivisible, said in a statement.
"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."
—Sean Eldridge, Stand Up America
For months, the president has repeated baseless claims that a rise in the use of mail-in ballots this year—in light of the pandemic that he has allowed to spread across the country without implementing a comprehensive national testing strategy or embracing basic mitigation guidelines from health experts—will lead to so-called "voter fraud," despite the fact that Trump himself has voted by mail.
Numerous studies have found that fraudulent voting by individuals is extremely rare, and that the very few instances that have occurred were easy for officials to catch before they could ever have an effect on election results.
Trump has also urged his supporters to engage in voter intimidation and has suggested that—although his approval rating has never risen above 49% during his nearly four years in office, his average rating is 41%, and he is trailing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in several swing states—he will only lose the election if it is rigged.
In an NBC town hall Thursday night, after refusing numerous times to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the election, Trump said, "I absolutely want that" before adding the qualifier that he wants "an honest election."
Such statements are a clear sign that Trump is "desperate," said Stand Up America President Sean Eldridge, and demonstrate that voters must commit to giving Biden an unequivocal victory on Nov. 3.
"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 said in a statement.
Accusations of cheating by the Democrats are "all he has left in his playbook," Dohl said. "But we are ready."
Pro-democracy campaigners have also urged Americans to prepare for a long vote-tallying process given the prevalence of mail-in and absentee ballots this year, as Democratic data firm Hawkfish warned last month warned of a possible "red mirage"—in which votes cast in person on Nov. 3 may give the impression that Trump has won the election, only to be eclipsed if votes that were sent in prior to Election Day favor Biden. Advocates have raised alarm that the president could declare victory before mail-in and absentee ballots are counted.
Fighting back against the president's misinformation about mail-in voting and the election is a matter of "preventing a constitutional crisis," said the Protect the Results coalition.
"We cannot ignore the threat that Trump poses to our democracy and a peaceful transition," said the groups. "We will honor the valid results of the 2020 election, ensure that every vote is counted, and show up to demand that the losing candidate put their ego aside and concede for the good of our country."