Second rally at Capitol calls for every vote to be counted before declaring presidential winner

MADISON, Wis. – A rally took place at the Capitol Wednesday night calling for all votes to be counted before a winner of the presidential race is declared.

It comes after a rally earlier in the day, also at the Capitol steps, hosted by groups including Freedom Inc. A car caravan starting near Hilldale Mall also traveled through Madison to spread the same message.

The planned Defend the Vote rally began at 5:30 p.m. on the State Street side of the Capitol. According to the event’s description, it’s sponsored by groups including Our Wisconsin Revolution, Democratic Socialists of America, Socialists Alternative, Allies for Black Lives, Indivisible-Wisconsin, Impact Demand, People’s Green New Deal and the Wisconsin Bailout the People Movement.

“We’ve had our differences, but one thing we’re clear on is democracy, which means counting every vote,” said Dayna Long, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. “People worked really hard to generate turnout for a candidate honestly many of us were not enthusiastic about, being Joe Biden. There was historic turnout over the country. It would be fundamentally undemocratic and wrong to call the election without counting every last vote.”

While the event pushes back against the Trump administration, Long said it would go on regardless of election outcome and was planned ahead of time.

“For us, there was no reason ever to sit back and believe we were going to be treated fairly by the people in charge,” she said. “It’s fundamentally untrue in Wisconsin. It’s fundamentally untrue in the United States. So we wanted to be prepared for whatever outcome.”

The rally also had support from the South Central Federation of Labor and the UW-Madison Teaching Assistants Association.

Once the election is decided, those at the rally said the work isn’t over. They pushed for extending mail-in voting, Medicare for all and defunding jails and police.

There were a series of demonstrations across the country Wednesday night demanding that all votes be counted following the presidential election.