While the streets of many American cities erupted in joy Saturday at the news of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, hardcore Donald Trump supporters refused to accept the result, alleging fraud and conspiracy.
In cities including Phoenix, Philadelphia and Atlanta, the outgoing president’s loyalists gathered under the slogan of #StopTheSteal, repeating Trump’s unfounded allegations that Biden’s win was based on cheating.
They wore red Trump hats, held signs reading “Stop The Steal” and waved American flags or Trump banners bearing the slogan: “Keep America Great.”
The scenes were familiar to anyone who has attended or tuned in to a Trump rally.
Hundreds gathered in front of the Arizona state capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona, some with their dogs dressed in Trump shirts.
“I think they’re way too early,” said Donna McCollum, a retired 77-year-old who said she can trace her family history back to the American revolution.
“The electoral college is the one to decide. And that has not been decided just yet. And there’s a lot of fraud here. It needs to be either redone totally or recounted.”
She added: “Look at these people out here. There’s no way Biden won Arizona.”
Two news organizations have projected Biden as the winner in Arizona, but others have been more cautious with the vote totals close and counting continuing.
But either way, Biden has already obtained more than enough electoral votes to win, according to US media projections based on vote counts.
– ‘Ground zero for cheating’ –
Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes was the state that put him over the 270 needed for victory, and Trump supporters there also baselessly alleged fraud, following the lead of the outgoing president.
In Philadelphia, the biggest city in Pennsylvania, around 40 Trump supporters were outside a convention center where counting had been underway, blasting hard rock and staples of Trump rallies like “YMCA” and “God Bless the USA.”
Nearby Biden supporters were happily dancing to the same music.
“This is ground zero for cheating in this election. I thought it was important to be here,” said Steve Padgett, a 57-year-old who works in sales.
Sophia Rotunno, a 52-year-old administrative worker, said: “I have faith that our President Donald Trump did win a fair election.”
“But the Democrats are not allowing a fair election to be had,” she said, falsely. “So I feel it has to go to the courts.”