All but over vs far from over: Vietnamese-Americans on US poll results

By Anh Ngoc   November 9, 2020 | 12:23 am PT
All but over vs far from over: Vietnamese-Americans on US poll results
Americans celebrate the victory of Joe Biden. Photo by Reuters.
Vietnamese-Americans on either side of the political spectrum reflect mainstream divisions, one celebrating and the other insisting the fat lady has not yet sung.

While Biden supporters are cock-a-hoop over his election triumph, diehard Trump supporters still express confidence the president can turn the tables with his lawsuits against alleged voting irregularities.

On November 7, Democratic candidate Joe Biden was projected to beat President Donald Trump and become the 46th president of the U.S., making the latter the first incumbent to fail to win re-election since 1992.

But Julia Ngo, a Vietnamese-American in Westminster, California, has not accepted the results.

"The numbers of ballots are currently a projection of the media, not official," Ngo said, adding the courts will decide the final numbers.

"Remember what happened in 2000. Democratic candidate Al Gore was projected to beat George W. Bush by the media, but 37 days later, Bush became president," she said.

Like many other Trump and Republican supporters, Ngo has experienced tumultuous feelings in the last few days, from worries to happiness and anger. She believes that the election is fraudulent because "they are too many unreasonable things."

"Affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and having mail-in ballots, why did states like New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Vermont, and Connecticut... have their results out quickly; and in swing states, where Trump initially led, like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, it took them days to count and the more they counted, the more Biden won?" Ngo asked.

She said it made her angry to hear reports that ballots for Trump were discarded, mail-in-ballots were unfair, or that Republican poll watchers were denied entry to enter ballot-counting rooms.

"I believe that the Democrat Party took advantage of Covid-19 and manipulated mail-in ballots to cheat."

Huong Nguyen, another Trump supporter in Houston, Texas, where Trump won this year, also believed that the counting mistakes at some states were not accidental.

"As a poll worker on election day, I saw that voting by machines was well-organized and follow the principles. The authorities supported voters so they can vote in safety and fairness. Those ballots were checked carefully before being sent to vote-counting centers," Huong said, adding the Democratic Party told Biden supporters to vote by mail so they could cheat.

In a Facebook group of Vietnamese-Americans living in the U.S., many Trump supporters expressed disbelief in seeing ballots for Biden skyrocket after the night of November 3.

The situation gave the former vice president an early lead in the presidential race, especially after he won Michigan.

Mere allegations

But Biden's opponent has not accepted this.

In his speech at the White House on November 5, the U.S. President claimed that the Democratic Party was trying to "steal" the election, and he would easily win if only "legal votes" were counted.

Trump’s campaign has sought the intervention of courts over voting procedures in several swing states, but some judges have rejected as baseless claims that the vote-counting process has been shady.

However, Trump supporters believe that the lawsuits can still help the president to win the election.

"They will not sue if they do not have evidence. They surely have loads of evidence of fraud by the Democrat Party," said Huong, who believed that all the cheating would not be tolerated (by the courts).

"He will never accept that he lost. He is the winner. I do not hope that because I believe it."

On the other hand, many Vietnamese-American Biden supporters think Trump was unreasonable in prematurely declaring that he had won re-election and make unsubstantiated claims when Biden established a lead.

"He charged his opponents thoughtlessly with baseless claims, saying the media has brainwashed them, while his supporters read fake news and conspiracy theories about the election," said one Biden supporter who did not want to be named.

Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris and Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden greet supporters at an election rally, after news media announced that Biden has won the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., November 7, 2020. Photo by Reuters.

Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris and Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden greet supporters at a rally in Wilmington, Delaware, after news media announcements that Biden has won the 2020 U.S. presidential election, November 7, 2020. Photo by Reuters.

Huy Pham, a Vietnamese-American living in California, said allegations of fraud have been made in earlier U.S. presidential elections, too, but eventually, they were just allegations.

Counting ballots after Election Day is legal, Huy added, referring to Trump's efforts to stop the counting after November 3.

"I cannot believe that many people trust unverified and fake information on the internet," Huy said, referring to claims by Trump supporters that poll workers cheated by filling out others’ ballots.

"The voting and counting processes happened strictly with supervision from both parties. Mistakes can happen when people count millions of ballots, but they are a minor number that can barely affect the final result," Huy said.

Dinh Cong Bang, an independent voter in Florida, agreed with Huy, saying the chances of adding fake ballots to the election were minuscule. It would be too difficult and would be obvious, he said.

"The counting took longer this year because a lot of voters opted for mail-in ballots amid the pandemic, and each state has its own regulations on receiving and counting ballots," said Bang, an IT expert.

According to Bang, in Florida, after the race between Bush and Gore in 2000, the voting system was renovated, so it only took a few hours to count all the votes.

"Only those sent to the poll before 7 p.m. on November 3 will be counted, and machines do the whole counting process," said Bang, who declined who he had voted for.

Even though the media has projected Biden’s victory, Trump has refused to accept defeat, saying the election was "far from over."

Some sources said he would snub his successor's inauguration and never accept that he lost.

Last week, his campaign and the Republican Party have tried to raise $60 million to fund legal challenges over the presidential election's results. According to federal law, each state will have until December 8 this year to resolve election disputes at the state level. All state recounts and court contests over presidential election results are to be completed by this date, before the electoral college meeting on December 14.

Trump’s efforts to doubt the election’s integrity have worried many people, even though they are not surprised about the lawsuits against voting procedures.

"I am sad when a president raises doubts about the integrity of the election just because he is a narcissist," said Luong Ta, a Democrat supporter in California. "It hurts the U.S. democracy, which will take time to recover."

Ta is thrilled that Biden won the election after "Trump divided the nation in the last four years" and hopes the new president and his cabinet will unify and heal the country.

Bang said Trump might take his lawsuits to the Supreme Court, but he can barely change the election results.

The rate of voting fraud overall in the U.S. is less than 0.0009 percent, according to a 2017 study by the Brennan Center for Justice in New York.

While insisting that Biden’s victory was convincing when he has got more than 75 million popular votes, Bang admitted that Trump also has solid support with more than 70 million popular votes, including that of immigrants and black citizens.

"He has achieved something that has never been done by any Republican presidential candidate," Bang said.

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