Above: From left clockwise, Esmeralda from the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Ramon Muñiz and Niko Eastwind from Revolution Club Chicago, Ashanti Neals, Mariah McClain, and Cortlyn Kelly attend the Rally to Defend the Election in addition to several hundred others who gathered at Richard J. Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago, Ill. on Nov. 4, 2020. Michelle Kanaar/Borderless Magazine
Several hundred Chicagoans gathered in Chicago’s downtown Wednesday evening to support the voting process during a still-undecided presidential election.
Less than 24 hours after the polls closed in Illinois, votes were still being counted in several states and neither former Vice President Joe Biden nor President Donald Trump had enough electoral votes to win. President Trump claimed victory earlier on Wednesday and said that he wanted the counting of all votes to stop.
“We were working to organize our communities making sure they got out to vote and now we want to protect that vote,” said Esmeralda, who was attending the Wednesday night Rally to Defend the Election representing the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Nearly half of all immigrants in the Chicagoland area — around 800,000 people — were eligible to vote in Tuesday’s election.
Esmeralda, who is a DACA recipient, said she was concerned for the safety of immigrant communities and mixed-status families after the election. “Regardless of who wins, we still need to organize our communities and keep elected officials accountable,” she said.
Borderless Magazine’s engagement reporter Diane Bou Khalil spoke with Esmeralda and other community members attending the rally at Richard J. Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago.