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'Count Every Vote!' Large Postelection Protests Seen In Several U.S. Cities

Protestors take to the streets as results of the presidential election remain uncertain on Wednesday in New York City.
David Dee Delgado
Getty Images
Protestors take to the streets as results of the presidential election remain uncertain on Wednesday in New York City.

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

Public protests took place in several U.S. cities, including New York, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis, as demonstrators call for every vote to be counted in the presidential race. President Trump has falsely declared he has already won the election. Several clashes with police brought arrests.

Some of the protests had been planned ahead of Election Day. They were apparently intensified by Trump's attempts to pronounce himself the winner of a presidential race that's still playing out.

The president has also urged officials not to count ballots after Nov. 3 – and he is now amplifying that sentiment.

"STOP THE COUNT!" Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

Trump trails Democrat Joe Biden, with several key states too close to call. But on the day after the election, the president said his campaign will "claim" electoral votes in the undecided states of Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina, and also in Michigan – where a narrow victory has since been called for Biden.

Police block traffic as demonstrators march on to highway I-94 on Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minn.
Stephen Maturen / Getty Images
Getty Images
Police block traffic as demonstrators march on to highway I-94 on Wednesday in Minneapolis.

A large march in Manhattan on Wednesday night resulted in 25 arrests, the New York City Police Department says.

"Count every vote! Every vote counts!" the protesters yelled as they marched.

Clashes with police broke out later in the evening, and some protesters lit fires on sidewalks.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said weapons were found on some people at the march. These included knives, a Taser and M-80 explosives.

"Many businesses in this part of the city are boarded up anticipating more postelection unrest," NPR's Brian Mann reports.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that protests in his city have "overwhelmingly" been peaceful. He urged New Yorkers to respect the democratic process, adding that violence won't be tolerated.

"If people have concerns, express them — but express them peacefully," de Blasio said.

In Minneapolis, police issued citations to hundreds of protesters after a march went through downtown and onto Interstate 94.

"Troopers and Minneapolis police cited and released 646 people," member station Minnesota Public Radio reports, citing the State Patrol.

Police officers arrest some protesters in New York City on Wednesday.
Lev Radin / Sipa USA via Reuters
Sipa USA via Reuters
Police officers arrest some protesters in New York City on Wednesday. The department said there were 25 arrests.

"We're here because the simple fact is we want to make sure that Donald Trump and his cronies don't steal this election," protest organizer Rod Adams told MPR.

Many of the demonstrations included a mix of activists with differing strategies and goals.

In Denver, a march to the state Capitol building included Black Lives Matter activists as well as anti-police protesters, Denverite reports.

"The mood and actions of demonstrators and police changed as the march moved toward the District 6 police station in downtown Denver," according to the news site. "At least one protestor threw a firework at the station, which prompted officers to respond with what appeared to be tear gas and pepper-spray projectiles."

In the Denver suburb of Arvada, people gathered at city hall, urging patience as vote tallies are finalized.

"I just want every vote counted," Pat Malone, a rally organizer, told Denverite, which is owned by member station Colorado Public Radio.

"You know, Trump might win it if every vote is counted," she said. "So I honestly don't understand why everybody wouldn't embrace that."

Her goal is to support America's democracy, Malone said.

"If we can't even elect and get through an election, oh my gosh, I honestly feel like we're done," she told Denverite.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Seattle for a Count Every Vote/ Protect Every Person rally – one of several demonstrations that were planned for Wednesday night, according to Esmy Jimenez of member station KUOW.

As the rally ended, people danced and sang, "Count every vote." KUOW's Casey Martin says the event ended without police involvement – and that more demonstrations, organized by Black Lives Matter, will be held this week.

The Seattle Police Department says seven people were arrested during demonstrations in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The charges included property damage and "pedestrian interference." Officers issued a dispersal order, citing damage to property, police vehicles and a blocked intersection.

Outside the White House in Washington, D.C., "hundreds of people gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza for a second night in a row," member station WAMU reports.

There were sporadic clashes with police, the station says. People danced and shared art and music as they waited, along with the rest of the country, for news about who will occupy the Oval Office for the next four years.

NPR's Sally Herships contributed to this report.

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.