Trump Supporters Protest Outside TV Stations

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Supporters of President Donald Trump called for rerunning the general election and reforming how elections are run, as vote counts in as-yet undecided states appear to put Trump’s reelection further out of reach Friday.

About 40 Trump supporters – most of whom were not wearing masks –  gathered outside the WFMJ studios late Friday morning for about an hour, after having earlier been at the Boardman television studios of WKBN, WYTV and WYFX.

Greg DeDominic of Youngstown said the group has gathered about 10 times in recent weeks to show their support for Trump at different locations.  

The gatherings took place as counts in Pennsylvania and Georgia showed Democratic nominee Joe Biden widening his leads, as early votes – mostly cast from the urban areas expected to favor Biden – are tabulated. Biden also is widening his lead in Nevada.   

DeDominic called for stopping “the fraud” in the presidential election. He offered no specifics or proof.

Trump supporters nationwide have shared allegations of improprieties in the vote counting, echoing the President Trump’s claim that some ballots are “legal” and others are not.

In Michigan and Georgia, lawsuits filed Thursday by the Trump campaign seeking to have certain ballots removed from the count were both dismissed. In states such as Pennsylvania, ballots submitted by mail are required by law to be opened and counted only after all in-person ballots are counted.

“We’re out here because we’re sick of what’s happening. We’re totally sick of what’s going on in our country right now,” DeDominic said. “We felt our country was formed in a way that meant freedom for people, to base it on Christian principles and to live in a way where we weren’t controlled. And we see that being taken away right now with the ideas that we hear from Biden and Kamala Harris and what they want to do to our country.”

Trump and his supporters have repeatedly questioned – without evidence – the integrity of the election, in part because of expanded use of mail-in voting to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

DeDominic accused the media of censorship, citing reports – debunked by major news organizations – involving the hard drive of a laptop purportedly owned by Biden’s son, Hunter. The drive reportedly contains information indicating that Biden has received money from Russia and China. He also accused the media of being influenced by elites who want a “one world government.”  

“There’s so much corruption in our government. Look what happened with Hillary Clinton,” he continued, referring to the scandal over her emails as secretary of state, which was the subject of an FBI investigation. “She was subpoenaed to give evidence with what happened and what did she do with the evidence? She destroyed it.”

“If there’s tons of inaccuracies out there and we’re able to substantiate it, let’s do it over,” DeDominic said, referring to this year’s presidential election. “There should be no fear by either side. Let’s make sure we get it right.” 

Holding the presidential election on the first Tuesday of November has been encoded into federal law since 1845, when the Presidential Election Day Act was passed. There is no provision for reconducting an election.

“Just because something hasn’t been done doesn’t mean we can’t do it,” DeDominic said. 

Only someone who is “dumb or blind” can’t see the election is being stolen from Trump, said Irina Lefler, who is from Russia but now lives in Berlin Center. “I just can’t believe that Biden, who didn’t even campaign, who is so corrupted and is mentally not there, is winning the election,” she said. 

The fact that Biden now appears to be beating Trump, who had been “winning, winning, winning,” indicates “there’s something wrong” with the election, she said.   

“We just want a free and fair election,” Carrie Pasquale of Canfield said. “There’s so many conspiracies out there about things that are going on. If they’re true, it’s really sad.” 

In Ohio, voters using mailed ballots have to provide either their driver license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number, along with signing the ballot. While the ballots sent in by mail are often counted after in-person ballots, that does not necessarily mean they were cast after the deadline.

“Do you know how easy that is to fake that? I would like to know how many of those are real,” Pasquale said. 

In the 2018 midterm elections, 67,000 mail-in ballots were thrown out – 1.4% of all mailed in – because of signatures officials deemed to not match, according to The New York Times. In Ohio, a Carroll University political science professor estimated 97% of ballots rejected for this reason actually contain a valid signature. 

Pictured: Marcy Chizmar of Champion Township and Greg DeDominic of Youngstown protest outside the offices of WFMJ, calling for a “do-over” of the presidential election.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.