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How Trump Voters Feel About His Refusal to Commit to Transferring Power

Stephen Pavela, 71, a retired physician from Shelby, Wis., said that he worried that absentee ballots collected in bulk at assisted living facilities were ripe for fraud.

“I was an internist and I took care of old people — they’re highly susceptible to influence,” said Mr. Pavela as he waited for his wife outside a Kohl’s department store on Saturday evening. “Ballot harvesting and things like that, we know that does happen.”

Some Trump supporters also said while they did not entirely agree with the president’s recent comments, they understood why he would not declare his intentions to leave office given how many unknown variables are involved with holding a presidential election in the middle of a pandemic.

Lance Dechant, 55, of Holmen, Wis., a village in the western part of the state, said the question of whether Mr. Trump should leave office willingly wasn’t necessarily so straightforward. “Yes and no. Yes, if the outcome of the election’s clear. If it’s in doubt, I can understand his point,” said Mr. Dechant, an employee of the federal government who described himself as an independent and said he would be voting for Mr. Trump.

“I mean, it could be weeks before you actually know what the vote total was,” he added. “If you’ve got five or six states where, after the election it’s still up in the air, why would he leave office?”

Mark Warner, 55, an automotive engineer from Lake Orion, Mich., said he had many concerns about voting by mail. “I’ve gotten at least five applications for absentee ballots mailed to me. It’s insanity. If there’s an opportunity for people who want to commit fraud, they’re going to do it,” he said.

Still, he doesn’t put much stock in the president’s reluctance to commit to a peaceful transition of power. “At the end of the day, if he loses the election, the moving vehicles will be there on Jan. 20,” he said, “and he’ll be gone.”

Jeremy W. Peters reported from New York and Hank Stephenson from Amado, Ariz. Kathleen Gray contributed reporting from West Bloomfield, Mich.; Jon Hurdle from Philadelphia; Tom Kertscher from Wauwatosa, Wis.; and Kay Nolan from La Crosse, Wis.

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