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Union County residents Toby Neuman, left, and Sean Lerner participate in a rally Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in downtown La Grande to show support for the 2020 presidential election results and the science regarding the pandemic.

LA GRANDE — The United States electoral process received a heartfelt show of support Sunday, Jan. 17, in downtown La Grande.

Three Union County residents expressed their support of the 2020 presidential election results at a two-hour rally outside La Grande City Hall at the corner of Fourth Street and Adams Avenue. The trio held signs displaying “Don’t Believe the Lies,” “Support Democracy” and “Support the Election.”

The FBI warned of demonstrations and possible violent protests objecting to the 2020 presidential election results at state capitals and in Washington, D.C., as the Wednesday, Jan. 20, inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden approaches. Toby Neuman of La Grande, who organized the event, said violence certainly was not the point of Sunday’s demonstration in front of La Grande City Hall.

“We wanted to show our support in a positive way,” Neuman said.

He said the event, which ran from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m, was not about partisanship.

“We were not trying to take a stand for one side or another. We were trying to show support for our democracy,” Neuman said. “We wanted to have a positive influence.”

Neuman’s wife, Meghan Moore, their 3-year-old son, Jasper, and a friend, Sean Lerner of La Grande, joined in the showing.

“A lot of people honked in support or gave us a thumbs-up,” said Neuman, who relied on text messages rather than social media to organize the event and talked with La Grande police about it as well.

Neuman said only two people openly objected with obscene gestures.

The party’s signs also included one stating, “Believe in Science.” Neuman explained this was to encourage people to take seriously the information medical professionals are providing about the COVID-19 pandemic. Neuman said it is unfortunate many people are ignoring what doctors are saying because of an anti-intellectual sentiment.

General assignment reporter

Beats include the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

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