They marched on the US Capitol building, claiming the election was stolen from Donald Trump.
Now, as they face federal charges over their alleged participation in a violent attempt to disrupt the country’s electoral process, fresh analysis has revealed many rioters who stormed the US Capitol last month didn’t actually vote in the election they were trying to undo.
According to CNN, which analysed voting and residential records for some of those arrested after the riot, at least eight participants who are now facing criminal charges didn’t vote in the November poll.
The outlet obtained arrest records for 80 of the initial arrestees, aged from 21 to 65, showing at least 10 per cent of them didn’t exercise their democratic right before attending the ‘StopTheSteal’ rally on January 6.
Among those who didn’t vote included a 65-year-old man from the US state of Georgia who attended the rally with a loaded gun and ammunition in his van.
Many of those identified bragged on social media about their involvement in the riot, such as University of Kentucky student Gracyn Courtright who posted a picture on Instagram, writing: “I can’t wait to tell my grandkids I was here!”
Multiple social media posts, as well as private chats in which she bragged to followers about being inside the Capitol building, are included in court documents filed by prosecutors as she faces multiple charges.
“You’re a moron,” one Instagram follower messaged her on the evening on January 6. “What’s cool about that lady dying because you and your fellow idiots are cry babies over an election?”
Ms Courtright’s attorney told CNN that she did not dispute the fact that she did not vote in the election but declined further comment.
Another rioter who reportedly failed to vote in the presidential election was 25-year-old man Jack Griffith, from Tennessee, who posted multiple photos from inside the Capitol building on social media. According to CNN, election data showed he voted in the 2016 and 2018 elections but not the 2020 presidential election.
Joe Biden won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes, but had relatively close wins in a number of crucial swing states that tipped the election in his favour.
Michael Sherwin, US Attorney for the District of Columbia, said last week authorities had identified at least 400 suspects and arrested more than 135 in connection with the Capitol siege. While he said the list of suspects was “growing by the hour” he conceded not all would face charges.
Earlier analysis of arrest reports, court documents and social media posts showed the crowd of rioters was littered with white supremacists, self-styled militia groups, QAnon followers, military members, convicted criminals and even Republican officials.
Hate groups migrate online after crackdown
A fresh crackdown on right-wing hate groups following the Capitol riots has made them harder to track, researchers say.
The number of active hate groups in the US actually declined as far-right extremists migrated further to online networks, pushing adherents of white nationalist and neo-Nazi ideologies further into the dark corners of the internet.
In its annual report, released Monday (local time), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks racism, xenophobia and anti-government militias, said it identified 838 active hate groups operating across the US in 2020. That’s down from the 940 in 2019 and the record-high of 1,020 in 2018.
White nationalist organisations, a subset of the hate groups listed in the report, declined last year from 155 to 128, those groups had seen huge growth the previous two years after being energised by Donald Trump’s presidency, the report said.
SPLC President and CEO Margaret Huang said the bottom line is the levels of hate and bigotry in America have not diminished.
“What’s important is that we start to reckon with all the reasons why those groups have persisted for so long and been able to get so much influence in the last White House, that they actually feel emboldened,” Huang told the Associated Press.
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