Americans assemble in protests and rallies across the country as votes are counted

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As Americans waited for the final results of the 2020 presidential election, citizens across the nation took to the streets on Wednesday to fight for or against counting every vote.

Marchers in cities including Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and New York hoisted banners and signs and chanted “count every vote.” In Detroit, residents called for officials to stop counting. And in North Carolina and Philadelphia, people on both sides of the spectrum participated in public demonstrations.

The gatherings formed as results of the races in several states, including Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, were still too close to call. At the same time, President Donald Trump lobbed lawsuits at the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Michigan to stop the vote count, claiming that campaign observers haven’t had enough access to review the process. The president also called for a recount in Wisconsin.

Gatherings spread from city to city as Wednesday evening progressed. Here’s what happened in a few of those locations.


“Count Every Vote” protest in Philadelphia, Nov. 4, 2020.
Kevin R. Wexler—

Pennsylvania is at the center of political controversy for two reasons:

The state, which still hasn’t reported the majority of its results, could be key to determining the presidency. Meanwhile, protesters are calling for racial justice after police fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr., a 27- year-old Black man who was carrying a knife at the time.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered around Philadelphia’s City Hall—some chanting “count every vote,” while others waited for the police to release body-cam video showing how Wallace was shot. Meanwhile, a group of Trump supporters gathered to support their cause, which has quickly mobilized around the hashtag #StopTheSteal.


Election Protests 2020-Michigan
Election challengers yell as they look through the windows of the central counting board in Detroit on Nov. 4, 2020.
Carlos Osorio—AP Images

Michigan is another state that’s at the center of the rift between the two presidential candidates.

The Associated Press on Wednesday declared Biden had won Michigan. But even before the call, Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit in the state contesting the results.

At Detroit’s downtown TCF convention center, where ballots continue to be counted, groups of people gathered to chant “stop the count.” Guards blocked the door to ensure election officials could continue their work.

Graham, N.C.

Election Protests 2020-North Carolina
Marchers in the Push to the Polls March led by Rev. Greg Drumwright, hold a rally at the Alamance County Historical Courthouse on Nov. 3, 2020 in Graham, N.C.
Ricky Carioti—The Washington Post/Getty Images
Election Protests 2020-North Carolina
A demonstrator yelling “Trump 2020” waves his Confederate Flag as marchers in the Push to the Polls March in Graham, N.C., on Nov. 3, 2020.

Black Lives Matters supporters in Graham, N.C., were met by a small group of Trump backers on Wednesday. On display was a stark contrast of BLM banners and Confederate flags.

As of press time, however, there had been no reports of violence or arrests during the demonstrations—a much different picture than just a few days ago. Black Lives Matters supporters were pepper sprayed after marching to the Graham courthouse polling location on Saturday. Civil rights groups have since filed lawsuits.


In Chicago, a group gathered at Daley Plaza carrying signs that said, “Free & Fair” and “Count Every Vote,” hoping to send a message to officials across the nation.

Some videos taken from the scene show marchers carrying drums and cowbells, chanting “Trump, Pence, out now” as they make their way through the plaza.

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