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Copper Country residents ‘Hang Out for Democracy’

(Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette) Ellie Pulda of Dollar Bay makes a sign at Saturday’s Hang Out for Democracy event in Hancock. After two hours, between 25 to 30 people had showed up to make signs and relax on the grass, said organizer Evan Lanese.

HANCOCK — Shortly after media organizations declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election, people made art, played guitar or relaxed on blankets on Quincy Green in Hancock Sunday.

The Hang Out for Democracy event was part of the nonpartisan We Make Michigan Coalition’s group series of #VotersDecided events celebrating record turnout in the election. Other events were held in Detroit, Benton Harbor, Grand Rapids and Sault Ste. Marie.

Evan Lanese, organizer of the Hancock event, said his goal was to spread the message that “we’re all in this together as a community” and to bring the community together to discuss its issues and make art about how to address them and move forward.

“No matter our skin color, our wealth, where we come from, we’re all in this together,” he said. “We’re all members of the community, whether we’re white, black, Native, brown, whatever. We’re here to make sure that everybody’s voice heard and every vote matters.”

With about an hour left, about 25 to 30 people had come by, Lanese said.

Pieces drying in the sun bore messages such as “Everyone equal” and “Your voice matters.”

Ellie Pulda of Dollar Bay was making a sign saying “All votes & all people count.”

“(President Donald) Trump is saying all these things about how he was wanting people to stop counting the vote,” she said. Pulda rejected Trump’s claims of voter fraud, for which he has provided no proof. She also pointed to its historical rarity. A Brennan Center for Justice report found rates of impersonation fraud in elections are between 0.0003% and 0.0025%.

“He lost by quite a bit — by popular vote and the electoral vote,” she said. “I don’t think he’s going to turn that over in the courts, like he’s trying to do.”

Claudia Bartlick of Chassell came because she knows the organizers. She was making a design with purple and white hearts.

“I think it’s super-important that people come together and talk,” she said.

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