A rally participant wearing and carrying an American flag watches as rally attendees speak. Calls from the crowd varied from demands to recount the votes to expressing anger over the use of Sharpie pens to mark ballots. (Photo by Hope O’Brien/Cronkite News)
PHOENIX – As tensions continue to rise over the results of the 2020 election, supporters of President Donald Trump on Friday gathered outside of the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in downtown Phoenix. It was the third day of protests.
The crowd demanded that officials continue to count votes.
State and county officials on Friday continued to try to assure the public that they are, in fact, counting votes. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs tweeted on Friday: “In Arizona, we’re working to count every vote. All state leaders must stand up for our democratic process and those whom we’ve entrusted to carry it out.”
On Friday morning, crowds began to pool into the free speech area set up in front of the Maricopa elections center for the Protect the Vote Rally organized by Turning Point Action, a conservative youth outreach organization.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled a protester’s name in a photo caption. Jake Angeli was the fur-draped protester carrying a QAnon sign. The caption has been corrected here, but clients who used earlier versions are asked to run the correction found here.
Attendees chanted for transparency and questioned the validity of the use of Sharpie pens on ballots throughout polling sites across Arizona.
Maricopa County officials set up signs near the free speech zone, and the signs provided information about how to watch the livestream inside. County Recorder Adrian Fontes tweeted: “You may watch election workers process and count” ballots on the county’s website.
State and county officials also continued to try to quash misinformation about Sharpie pens.
At Friday’s rally, Trump supporters weren’t swayed by those efforts.
Over the speaker system, a protester called for action: “We need to shut the city down until we get a recount.” The crowd responded in agreement.
Protesters continued to gather throughout the day. The size has fluctuated, and officials expected the crowd to increase leading up to a ballot count announcement Friday evening, according to Downtown Phoenix Inc.