Post-election rallies planned in Addison County to ensure votes are counted
Two local groups have formed to help keep the public’s eye on potential post-election fraud and plan to hold rallies following Tuesday’s Election Day.
Addison County Votes, a group of 20 local residents is preparing for a “Count Every Vote” Rally in Bristol from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
Protect Our Democracy, another newly formed political education and action group, will hold a rally on Wednesday from 4 to 5 p.m. on the Middlebury Town Green.
Although Vermont runs its elections fairly, this is not true in all states. According to Bristol resident Howard Jennings there is good reason to believe some of the actions related to this election pose a grave threat to our democracy.
“As recently reported in The Atlantic article titled ‘The Election that Could Break America,’ some states have purged their voter roles to eliminate voters likely to vote for their opponents. Other states do not have enough poll workers to process the ballots that they receive, and there is pressure by some people to declare a victory before all the ballots are counted,” Jennings said.
Wednesday’s rallies are part of a nationwide effort by Protect The Results (ProtecttheResults.com), a coalition of 130 national organizations. The coalition is dedicated to making sure we have a fair election on Nov. 3 and a smooth process leading up to the naming of the president and members of Congress. There will be hundreds of rallies across the U.S. on Nov. 4 and beyond. Other Vermont rallies are being held in Montpelier, Rutland and Bennington.
Bristol resident Gary Smith said he also has reason for concern.
“President Trump has repeatedly refused to say that he will honor the results of the vote, has called on armed agents to guard the polls against fraud thus intimidating voters, and has claimed since 2016 that the election process is rigged. Americans of both major parties should be concerned,” Smith said.
In announcing the Middlebury rally, Fran Putnam said all are invited to come and give their support to “Count Every Vote!” because “Every Vote Counts!” She said more information can be found online at ChooseDemocracy.org.
Mary Adams-Smith, co-chair of the rally in Bristol, explained the four parts of Wednesday’s event: sign waving along West Street, a march up North Street, an information session at the Town Green Gazebo, and time for conversation and reflection. The organizers will report on any irregularities with the election that have taken place in the preceding 24 hours and explain what citizens can do to stay aware of what is happening nationally and how they can express their insistence on a fair election process.
Organizers of both rallies welcome people to sign up to let them know how many people to expect, though preregistration is not required. Sign up for the Bristol rally online at TinyURL.com/BristolVoteSignup and for the Middlebury rally online at tinyurl.com/MiddleburyVoteSignup.
All participants will be required to wear masks and stand at least six feet apart. They are encouraged to wear red, white or blue clothing as an expression of patriotism. If there are continued irregularities in the electoral process, organizers said the group will continue to hold rallies on subsequent days.