MERRIMACK, Jan 3 — Jim Wood has thought a lot about it and he just does not believe that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.
“I don’t consider him the president of the United States,” the retired US Air Force veteran told AFP at his New Hampshire home surrounded by oak and birch trees and houses displaying “TRUMP” signs.
“I don’t believe he was elected,” said the 62-year-old Wood, a Republican stalwart who joined thousands of other supporters of Donald Trump in marching on the US Capitol a year ago.
Voting machines which failed to count votes, fraudulent mail-in ballots, “phantom” voters are among what he cites as evidence the White House race was “stolen” from Trump.
“I had seen the election results and I thought things don’t seem that right,” said Wood, a grey-haired man with a piercing gaze who spent years repairing B-52 bombers as an Air Force mechanic.
Although no credible evidence of 2020 election fraud has emerged, Wood insisted it has been “suppressed by the mainstream media.”
He said he no longer watches the news on television except for the weather “and I don’t believe that almost anymore.”
When Trump called on his supporters to rally in Washington on January 6, the day Congress was set to certify Biden’s victory, Wood heeded the call.
“It was just amazing,” he said.
‘Get more involved’
Wood said he was not among the hundreds of Trump supporters who entered the Capitol building itself and he condemned the violence that marked the day.
He said he returned from Washington with a newfound purpose.
“I came back home and I made a promise to myself I’d get more involved,” he said.
Several months later, Wood discovered a Facebook group which claims to “protect” the elections in his home state and shed light on the alleged fraud in the 2020 vote.
Using a mobile app, members of the “New Hampshire Voter Integrity Group” knock on doors of residents of the northern state bordering Canada asking about reports of electoral fraud.
“There’s about 5,200 of us now,” Wood said. “I’m just another small cog in the wheel.”
Allegations of 2020 election fraud have been dismissed by the courts and state authorities but polls have found that as many as two-thirds of Republicans believe the election was “stolen” from Trump.
Marylyn Todd, an accountant who heads the New Hampshire Voter Integrity Group and described herself as an “independent,” said the organisation was dedicated to finding the “truth.”
Similar initiatives are underway in other states — Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Utah — and have received backing from Trump.
‘Do what I need to do’
Wood also has an eye on the 2022 midterm elections and is dedicating his time to replacing candidates who he says are “not following the Constitution.”
“We have a bunch of people running for everything now between school boards and stuff like that,” he said. “It’s actually taking hold at the lower levels and working our way up from there.”
“We’re actually going out supporting candidates now to replace the people that are in office,” he said. “We’re going to support them both financially and practically by getting out on the streets and actively campaigning for them.”
Wood said he was proud of his fellow citizens who responded to the “wake-up call” of January 6.
He said he was prepared that day in Washington to “ultimately sacrifice myself to save my rights.”
And he remains so a year later.
“I’ll do what I need to do,” he said. — AFP