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The retired police officer-turned-construction worker believes fraud clouded the vote, no matter how many courts rejected that claim. Still, a day after Electoral College made Joe Biden’s victory official, the fervent Trump supporter from suburban Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was ready to move on.

“I think it’s almost over,” Reed said of Trump’s ongoing search to overturn the election results.

Trump supporter Robert Reed says he will always believe the 2020 election was stolen from President Donald Trump, the vote clouded by fraud. (AP)

“I trust the Electoral College.”

For weeks, Trump has been on a mission to convince his loyalist base that his victory was stolen and the race rigged. With the help of the conservative media, polls show that it has had considerable success.

But now that the Electoral College has been formalized From Biden win and Republican officials, including Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, are finally recognizing Biden as president-elect, many Trump voters across the country appear to be doing the same.

Voter interviews, along with recent polls of Republicans, suggest that their unfounded doubts about the integrity of the vote persist. But there is much less consensus on what to do about it and whether to carry that resentment forward.

Donald Trump has had dozens of lawsuits challenging the election outcome thrown out.
Donald Trump has had dozens of lawsuits challenging the election outcome thrown out. (AP)

For some, like Reed, the Electoral College vote was the clear end of a process. Others have vowed to continue protesting with demonstrations like the one that turned violent in Washington DC over the weekend. And some said they hoped Republican leaders would push for more investigations to end the doubts Trump sowed.

They are the likes of Scott Adams, a retiree and Trump voter who lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, who said he accepts Biden’s victory, but “with reservations.”

Adams said he has heard too many discussions of vote-counting irregularities on Fox News Channel and on conservative talk radio to be confident in the outcome of the election and does not feel like he will never know the true margin of victory. (Biden won the Electoral College by 306 votes to 232).

But Adams doesn’t believe the election was rigged enough to change the outcome, even if he believes it was “rigged enough to question it further.” Would like to see more research.

Proud boys
Supporters of President Donald Trump wearing outfits associated with the Proud Boys attend a rally at Freedom Plaza, December 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP)

Still, accepting this heap of evidence has been difficult for many Trump voters. They expressed disbelief that Trump may have lost, given the large crowds he drew to his rallies. Some said their suspicions were heightened by mainstream media reluctance to air Trump’s unfounded claims. And they repeatedly pointed to the slower-than-usual vote count as evidence that something had gone wrong.

“Something’s not right here,” said Reed, 61, who lives in East Lampeter Township.

The explanation is well known: In many states, the influx of mail-in ballots, mostly cast by Democrats, were tallied later than ballots cast in person. Still, Reed said he thought the courts should have spent more time investigating.

“I will always believe it was stolen. I can never really have the peace of mind that it didn’t happen, ”he said.

Others were less willing to accept it.

“I don’t trust that result. I think the election was a fraud. I think the election was stolen. I don’t know how someone couldn’t think that. All you have to do is look at the results, ”said Katherine Negrete, 55, a teacher who lives in Peoria, Arizona.

Negrete is one of those hoping that Trump could win if the Supreme Court intervenes (there is no indication that this will happen) or Congress chooses to accept an “alternative list” of Trump voters from various states. Election experts have said the scheme does not have a legal pathway and Republican Senate leaders have discouraged it.

Still, Negrete said, “I hope Congress does the right thing” and expressed frustration over the diminishing options.

“I don’t know what we can do about it. If we don’t have the courts to defend us, ”he said.

“If we don’t have an attorney general who will stand up and say, ‘This was wrong and we have to look into it.’ What are we supposed to do? Do we need to fight brother against brother? It’s crazy. “

Biden has vowed to unite Americans and work across the hall. Its success on both fronts may depend on how many Republicans cling to their electoral grievances.

A Quinnipiac University poll earlier this month found that 38 percent of registered voters, including 77 percent of Republicans, said they believe there was widespread fraud in the presidential election.

And a recent Fox News poll found that 36 percent of voters, including 77 percent of Trump voters, believe the election was stolen from Trump. However, the same poll also found that roughly eight out of 10 voters overall, and about half of Trump’s voters, said they will at least give Biden a chance as president.

Matt Vereline, 52, a member of the pro-Trump group “Long Island Loud Majority” is not in the mood for reconciliation.

Matt Vereline, left, and other members of “Long Island Loud Majority.” (AP)

Vereline, who lives in Bohemia, New York, is convinced that “there was much more electoral fraud than we know,” although he is not sure if the outcome changed. But that will not prevent him from mobilizing around what he considers an injustice. After all, that’s what the Democrats did to Trump, he says.

“Didn’t they cry for four years over Russian collusion, which was not proven? So now I’m going to cry about electoral fraud for four years, “he said.

“They did not accept it. Why should I accept Biden? I know there is nothing I can do about it. I know that a demonstration is not going to change the course of who will be elected president. It is what will be, will be. But if my friends want to meet and peacefully complain and express our opinions, I go. “

Others believe that Biden won fairly. Steve Volkman, a Republican who works in construction in Mesa, Arizona, said he made peace with the loss of Trump weeks ago.

“I voted for Trump, but people have to get over it,” Volkman said, leaning against his truck. “Of course, he (Biden) won the majority of the votes, a landslide victory. For me, it’s over. “

President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware.
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware. (AP)

Catherine Templeton, a South Carolina Republican who served in the administration of former Gov. Nikki Haley, said that despite the level of support for Trump in red states like hers, she was confident that voters would be willing to accept Biden. as president.

“Obviously, South Carolina supports President Trump, but I think you’ll see that when Republicans don’t get their way, they move on,” said Templeton, who lives in Charleston. “Time to move.”

It remains to be seen, for now, how persistent concerns about voting integrity will affect turnout in future elections. Both parties have focused on Georgia, where a pair of runoff elections will determine which party controls the US Senate.

Denise Adams, 50, said she has her doubts about “questionable activity” in the general election. But it turned out he voted early Monday in Kennesaw, a northwest Atlanta suburb.

“I don’t want to lose our freedoms,” he said, repeating the GOP’s misleading claims that Democrats would usher in “socialism.” “We are losing our rights and freedoms in our country.”

“I’ve never had a problem trusting him before, but now I feel like something may be going on that I don’t trust,” echoed Melissa McJunkin, 40, who remains concerned about the integrity of her vote after hearing stories. of electoral fraud in the general elections, but it turned out anyway.

“I think it is important for what will happen next,” he said.

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