On Nov. 21, 2020, an organized “Stop the Steal” demonstration occurred in San Dimas on the corner of Bonita Avenue and Arrow Highway. The rally intended to protest against the presidential election results.
The “Stop the Steal” rally contained many enthusiastic Trump supporters, coming from the surrounding cities and several miles or states away.
Post-election, President-elect Biden received 306 electoral college votes to President Trump’s 232. However, many Trump supporters believe the general election included massive voter fraud.
Valentina Mentchoukov, a resident of Las Vegas, attended the San Dimas rally with her boyfriend. Mentchoukov explained she is passionate about politics and joined the rally to be around other “like-minded people,” she said.
Mentchoukov explained that she is not upset with the results but is concerned about the election process.
“There are so many stories about not all the votes being counted. How come every stack of votes that are being found are for Biden and not for Trump? Statistically, it doesn’t make sense for 200,000 votes to be found only for Biden,” Mentchoukov said.
Allegations of ballot dumping like Mentchoukov’s became a popular claim throughout the election process, despite the lack of concrete evidence.
“It seems to be based on a misunderstanding of how counting mail-in ballots work,” said Samantha Putterman in her investigation on PolitiFact.
“Some of the numbers are simply wrong, while others represent exaggerated versions of misinformation we have already debunked.”
Citizens from surrounding cities also joined the “Stop the Steal” rally, including Joanna Mendez, a resident from Glendora. Mendez explained she does not understand how Biden won the election with Trump’s base of enthusiastic supporters during his campaign.
“We think Trump was cheated, and we think that the votes weren’t counted legally and that we’d like to demand a recount — hopefully here in California as well,” Mendez said.
Although many of Trump’s lawsuits failed in numerous courts, with many Republican judges ruling against the cases, most demonstrators still believe there was significant voter fraud in the election.
“There were way too many Trump supporters, not just here in California, but like at that ‘Million MAGA March.’ There were like millions of people out there. He has so many supporters that it doesn’t make sense that the votes don’t match,” Mendez said.
“The number of Trump supporters at the ‘Million MAGA March’ ranged from media estimates of ‘thousands’ to an estimate of hundreds of thousands by event organizers, neither close to nor more than, 1 million,” according to Reuters.
The Biden campaign also used different tactics than the Trump campaign due to COVID-19 concerns. Biden did not allow sizable in-person campaign rallies, unlike the Trump campaign, which encouraged in-person events.
At the time, Republicans controlled the Senate, which made Mendez feel more comfortable about Biden potentially winning the presidency.
“He can’t pass anything because it must be voted on. So if he is president, it sucks, but I’m not super worried about it. Because I know there’s plenty of Republicans in the House and in the Senate,” Mendez said.
However, the Georgia runoff election in January resulted in Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Ralphael Warnock winning both Georgia seats in the Senate, resulting in a Democratic-controlled Senate once the new administration takes over.
From November to December 2020, Trump persistently suggested there were numerous cases of voter fraud throughout the country, the vast majority of which have been dropped or dismissed in court.
Trump and Republican supporters perpetuated similar claims of voter fraud until rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, after which numerous Republican lawmakers revoked their objections to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.