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Chicago protest: Hundreds gather downtown urging that every vote be counted

At least 1,000 demonstrators rallied in Daley Plaza on Wednesday over the still unresolved presidential election. The crowd then marched toward Michigan Avenue but could not reach Trump Tower.

Hundreds march through the Loop to demand every vote be counted in the general election, Wednesday night, Nov. 4, 2020. A full day after Election Day, neither candidate had cleared the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House as President Donald Trump’s campaign has filed lawsuits and attempted to stop ballot counting in Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
At least 1,000 demonstrators on Wednesday marched through the Loop to demand every vote be counted in the general election. A full day after Election Day, neither candidate had cleared the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House, though Joe Biden is inching closer to that threshold. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s campaign has filed lawsuits and attempted to stop ballot counting in Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Less than 24 hours after the polls for the general election closed in Illinois, at least 1,000 demonstrators gathered peacefully downtown Wednesday to demand that every vote be counted as President Donald Trump tries to stop key battleground states from counting votes.

The protest began and ended at the Daley Plaza, where organizers handed out signs reading “Stop Trump” and “Trump/Pence Out Now” and speakers addressed the crowd.

The crowd later marched on Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive but did not reach Trump Tower because the Wabash Avenue bridge is raised as a security measure.

A number of labor and progressive groups — ranging from the SEIU Healthcare, a healthcare workers’ union, and the Chicago Teachers’ Union to Grassroots Collaborative, a community engagement nonprofit, and Indivisible Chicago Alliance, a political activism group — came together to organize the event.

“Across this country, we fought for a fair and free election for people to have the right to cast their votes, whether it be through mail, early or on Election Day,” said Erica Bland-Durosinmi, executive vice president of SEIU Healthcare. “And we will not stop until every vote is counted.”

Protesters said they were motivated to make their voices heard, despite Joe Biden’s victory in Illinois, because of Trump’s attempts to stop vote-counting in other states.

“I don’t think there’s anything surprising about what’s happening,” said Gabrielle Lyon, an Indivisible Chicago Alliance volunteer. “He has been very clear all along about his agenda. The real question is how we organize ourselves now.”

“It’s like if in a sports game, one team said ‘let’s stop now’ because they were winning,” said Lea Mira, a 14-year-old protestor from Old Town. “It’s just not something you’d expect to hear from someone who’s supposed to be in charge... It’s very scary to see this happening on our country and what could come out of it.”

A full day after Election Day, neither candidate had cleared the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. But Biden’s victories Wednesday in Michigan and Wisconsin left him at 264, meaning he was one state away from crossing the threshold and becoming president-elect.

Biden currently holds slim leads in Arizona and Nevada.

As Trump’s path to reelection narrowed Wednesday, his campaign filed lawsuits in Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Associated Press contributed to this report.