These activists are organizing to make sure every vote is counted


Hundreds of events are being planned across the country to ensure a free and fair election.

After months of escalating fears that Donald Trump will refuse to concede defeat, a coalition of pro-democracy groups have come together to ensure next week's election results reflect the will of the American people.

The group Protect the Results has brought together dozens of pro-democracy organizations to ensure a free and fair election by pushing back against right-wing efforts to delegitimize the election's results, and, if necessary, by taking the fight to the streets.

In recent weeks, the GOP has attempted to curb mail-in voting in swing states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and has even set up fake ballot boxes in California. In response to the GOP's ruthless war on voting rights, Protect the Results has organized more than 400 events across the country to mobilize citizens in the wake of the election.

The umbrella group includes nonpartisan public interest groups like Common Cause and Public Citizen; Democratic mainstays like MoveOn and Planned Parenthood Action Fund; national unions like SEIU and the Communications Workers of America; progressive groups like Our Revolution, Indivisible, and Stand Up America; immigrants' rights groups like CASA in Action and Make The Road Action; and climate-change groups like the Sunrise Movement and the Sierra Club.

The coalition said the presidential election will almost certainly not be decided on the night of Nov. 3, and that it could take weeks before a winner is officially declared.

As Protect the Results writes in its toolkit for organizers:

Most likely, we will not know the winner of the election on election night. In fact, counts may initially lean Trump and then swing for Biden as mail-in ballots are counted. Even though it may take a week or weeks to count every ballot, it’s likely that Trump will quickly declare himself the winner and right-wing media will reinforce his false claim to victory. The shift away from clear ‘election night’ results gives Trump significant time to solidify false narratives with his base and cast doubt on the eventual outcome.

The organization is forming a unified front to mobilize hundreds of thousands of protesters, if necessary, to keep the pressure on local, state, and national officials to ensure all the votes are counted. That could mean protesting for days or even weeks after Americans have cast their votes.

Over the next six days, the group will continue to train local activists and ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place to house, organize, and transport protesters by the beginning of next week.

Trump has repeatedly refused to say if he will leave office peacefully, if at all.

"There won't be a transfer, frankly. There'll be a continuation." Trump told reporters last month.

If Trump were to declare martial law and order federal troops to occupy U.S. city streets after the election, the country's top generals would likely resign, the New York Times reported. Those resignations could start at the very top, with the country's highest-ranking military officer.

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told members of Congress last month that there is "no role" for the military to get involved with any disputes over the election's results.

"In the event of a dispute over some aspect of the elections, by law, U.S. courts and the U.S. Congress are required to resolve any disputes, not the U.S. military. I foresee no role for the U.S. armed forces in this process," Milley wrote in response to questions from House lawmakers.

Rather than trying to assuage Americans' concerns about the election, Trump has decided to pour more gasoline on the fire. "Big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots all over the USA. Must have final total on November 3rd," he tweeted on Monday night.

In response, Twitter pinned a warning to Trump's tweet: "Some or all of the content shared in this tweet is disputed and might be misleading about how to participate in an election or another civic process."

Speaking on ABC's The View earlier this week, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) reaffirmed her faith in the electorate's ability to safeguard the election, even in the face of unprecedented challenges.

"Our democracy is as strong as the American people's willingness to stand up and defend it," she said. "Our democracy is strong because the people know that whatever the outcome of an election, we, as part of our democracy that we support, have peaceful transfers of power. I have full confidence in the American people."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.