Amid the chaos of anxiety, menace and misinformation surrounding the endgame of ballot counting, Lisa Deeley, a top Philadelphia election official, was a model of resolve Friday at a midday news conference. “It’s the same process,” she said, as a scrum of reporters shouted questions at her. “We’re just gonna keep counting. We’re gonna keep counting. We’re gonna keep . . . we’re gonna keep counting.”
Keep counting they did, in Philadelphia and other localities where the final votes were being tabulated in an election that smashed turnout records that had stood for decades. They kept counting in the City of Brotherly Love, even as police there late Thursday arrested two armed men from out of state who apparently were headed to the convention center, where the tally was underway. They kept counting as a firm allied with the Trump campaign attempted to ignite protests there by circulating a text that read, “Radical Liberals & Dems are trying to steal this election from Trump!” They kept counting, even as the president himself did his best to instigate unrest by tossing off invented allegations of vote fraud and corruption.
In Detroit, they kept tabulating ballots despite right-wing protesters who stormed a vote-counting site Wednesday, banging on windows and yelling, “Stop the count!” The protesters had organized through Facebook groups, the New York Times reported. And when election workers responded by covering the site’s windows, to prevent unauthorized interference with the tallying, White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany shared a video of the event, captioned “SHADY,” which has been viewed nearly 8 million times.