Despite a false victory proclamation by President Donald Trump earlier Wednesday morning, he’s still trailing former Vice President Joe Biden narrowly in the electoral college vote, with the vote count ongoing in several critical swing states.
Fearing that Trump might work to stop the ongoing vote count, members of the Brooklyn Congressional Delegation vow to defend the results and count every ballot.
The Brooklyn Congressional delegation, led by Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and joined by Congresswomen Nydia Velázquez and Yvette Clarke, rallied other elected leaders to the cause at the Barclays Center, where they defended the voting process and vowed to make sure every vote is counted.
Currently, Biden is leading by a slim margin in Electoral College votes with millions of uncounted mail-in and absentee ballots still to be tabulated, which may take several days. That did not stop Trump from falsely declaring himself the victor early Wednesday morning — and following up with threats of litigation to stop the vote count.
Jeffries said Wednesday that “the moment calls for every vote to be counted and we will not allow Donald Trump to steal this election.”
“The fundamental principle of this country is government by the people, for the people so at the end of the day, the integrity of our democracy depends on the people deciding who gets the serve in the seat of power at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.,” Jeffries said. “That is why it is important to make sure every single vote is counted. So allow the process to play itself out over the next few days. Any declaration of victory by the current occupant of the Whitehouse is baseless, flawed, and irresponsible. Joe Biden will win the popular vote by millions – he’s currently up in the Electoral College count and is on track to win. It’s our estimation that when all the votes have been counted Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States.”
Clarke called on New Yorkers to “take a deep breath,” charging that the nation is “being antagonized by a man who will stop at nothing to steal the election.”
“It is clear in the midst of a pandemic, we have the expectation that as people mailed in ballots, absentee ballots, it will take a moment for us to get final conclusion,” she said. “Unfortunately, we have an inept, highly irresponsible individual in the White House who continues to stoke fear and racism as a means to his end to trying to maintain power as an authoritarian in our nation. The democratic process is underway and we embrace that.”
Velázquez said she will not tell people who mailed in ballots “that we are sorry, the president has declared himself the winner.”
“This is not Russia, and by the way, the height of hypocrisy, that in Florida, [he] used the fear of socialism and Cuba, that he is acting like Venezuela and Cuba – we need to put an end to this,” she said said. “We implore and beg everyone to stay calm and the media we need to discuss the fact that at this hour, votes have not been counted.”
Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, the City Council majority leader, said it was appropriate that they held their press conference at the Barclays Center, where much of the Black Lives Matter protests in New York City occurred earlier this year.
“We showed out strong, came out strong – all those people in wheelchairs, pregnant, our seniors, those who are disabled, those with children, waited in long lines, in the rain – thank God for you, – your vote will not go in vain,” Cumbo said.
Cumbo said the protests centered on racial injustice and therefore, “we have much work to do in this country, but we cannot think or expect a country built on racism and economy to change that overnight, tremendous work to do, We call those states battleground states, but it translates into communities where black Americans live.”
Jeffries said even if Trump somehow prevailed in the election, he believed the city would still get its fair share for infrastructure and mass transit and not be shortchanged by a “vengeful President Trump.”
“Whoever is sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue, we (the congress) still has the power of the purse – yes we have to get it through the Senate and presidency, but our view is that whoever is the president will still have to do the right thing over the next year to deal with this pandemic, that has caused so much pain and death,” Jeffries said.