Donald Trump has claimed, without any supporting evidence, that the election has been ‘stolen’ through fraud and cheating. Throughout the count, poll workers have faced violence and threats.
Stochastic violence has been a key phrase throughout this presidency. It’s what happens when a public figure or leader projects certain images or ideas to his followers, increasing the likelihood that someone hearing him will commit an act of violence against one of his perceived enemies. He doesn’t actually carry out the violence himself or direct it — it’s enough to demonize a group, demographic, or individual, essentially painting a target on their back and leaving someone else to carry out the attack.
Trump has declared throughout his campaign that this election would be ‘rigged,’ and that Democrats would cheat. As the count came in, he claimed there was evidence of the same — though he has never yet produced any. Now poll workers are facing violence as they do their jobs.
In Maricopa County, Arizona, for example, on Thursday, Left Voice reported that armed pro-Trump protestors converging outside a polling site resulted in workers halting their count, shutting down, and being evacuated from the building for safety.
Also on Thursday, according to ABC 6, police in Pennsylvania received a tip about an imminent attack on the Pennsylvania Convention Center where poll workers are counting ballots. The illusion of a Trump lead in that state was diminishing as the votes continued to be counted throughout the day, and police were told that armed individuals in a Hummer were heading there to attack. They managed to thwart the apparent plot, finding the vehicle and arresting two men who were armed in the vicinity of the Convention Center, and didn’t have permits to carry their weapons in Pennsylvania.
Now, on Friday afternoon, a Philadelphia Enquirer reporter says her newsroom, near the same Philadelphia Convention Center, has been evacuated due to a bomb threat in the area.
The handful of @PhillyInquirer reporters at our 8th & Market newsroom are evacuating right now bc of a BOMB THREAT impacting the the Fashion District, formerly known as the Gallery. The shopping complex is very close to the Philly convention center where votes are being counted.
— Jessica Calefati (@Calefati) November 6, 2020
It’s not yet clear whether the poll workers are the target, but it is beginning to look like counting ballots can be a dangerous job.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com