About 100 people gathered Wednesday night along Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia as part of the nationwide Count Every Vote initiative to protest President Donald Trump’s efforts to stop counting votes in swing states across the country.
The rally in Howard, organized by Howard County Indivisible and Our Revolution Howard County, comes nearly 24 hours after polls for the general election closed nationwide.
Handheld cowbells and honking car horns filled the busy parkway as, across the country, citizens pushed for every vote to be counted.
Ruth Nimmo, 68, an organizer with Howard County Indivisible, said planning for the protest began about three weeks ago after President Trump made comments about invalidating ballots.
On Wednesday, the Trump campaign said it had filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Michigan, laying the groundwork for contesting the outcome in those battleground states.
Nimmo, a Columbia resident, said Howard County’s role in lining the streets is to support the rest of the country while ballots are counted.
“We think it’s important for people across the country to stand up and support the democratic process,” Nimmo said. “We will support whoever is declared the winner, but it needs to be in accordance with electoral law.”
Del. Jessica Feldmark, who represents Howard and Baltimore counties, was also in attendance, carrying a black and white “Count Every Vote” sign.
“It’s concerning that this is something folks have to rally for,” Feldmark said. “This election has shown us that we can’t take anything for granted in this democracy.”
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Some protesters used the postelection rally as a step into activism. That was the case for Lucy McKnight.
McKnight, 25, said she’d been trying to get more involved in online activism in the past few months.
“I thought it was time to actually come out and do something,” she said. “It always helps to start local and hopefully they can build up and have more national impact.”
While some protesters brought their own signs, others, like Briana Taborn, created theirs at a small table amid the line of protesters
Taborn, 24, said this election had given her extreme anxiety, so much so that she said she had to come out Wednesday to do something.
“It’s good for people to know it’s not over,” Taborn said. “It’s hard to have people in power say, ‘This is over,’ when there are people still counting [ballots]. I don’t want people to be misinformed about whether this is over or not.”