‘Stop the count’ protesters push toward door of Detroit ballot counting place
A group of protesters on Wednesday gathered at a Detroit convention center where Michigan votes continued to be counted, with video footage of the incident showing people shouting “stop the count,” and “stop the vote.”
The news comes on the same day the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in the state to stop the vote-counting process.
Footage of the incident came shortly before both NBC News and CNN projected Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as the winner of Michigan’s 16 electoral votes Wednesday afternoon.
In videos shared by reporters Wednesday afternoon, dozens of people could be seen crowded outside the TCF Center in Detroit, where election workers gathered to count remaining outstanding ballots.
The crowd started leading chants such as “stop the count,” and “stop the vote.”
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) November 4, 2020
Election challengers halted outside of TCF Center by security and police chant “stop the vote,” referring to absentee ballot counting going on inside. pic.twitter.com/cNdC64y2qT
— Annalise Frank (@annalise_frank) November 4, 2020
Later footage from NBC News correspondent Steve Patterson showed protesters pushed up against windows of the counting room. Officers can be seen blocking the doors at the entrance of the room, with Patterson reporting that election workers had started using pizza boxes to cover up windows to limit viewing.
They’re being blocked by guards at the door.
— Steve Patterson (@PattersonNBC) November 4, 2020
A reporter from NBC’s Grand Rapids, Mich., affiliate station, WOOD-TV, said that election officials claimed the counting room had already reached capacity as protesters started to bang on the windows.
— Heather Walker (@_HeatherWalker) November 4, 2020
Biden overtook President Trump in Michigan on Wednesday morning as Detroit and suburban areas began reporting their totals.
The former vice president led by more than 60,000 votes in the state as of Wednesday afternoon, according to estimates from The Associated Press. Trump carried the state by less than 11,000 votes in 2016.
Trump’s reelection campaign manager Bill Stepien announced earlier Wednesday that the team would be filing a lawsuit to halt the counting of votes in Michigan until the campaign is given “meaningful access” to observe the opening of ballots at multiple locations.
“We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access,” Stepien added in a statement. “President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s (D) press secretary, Ryan Jarvi, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon following the Trump campaign’s lawsuit threat, saying that the department had not yet “been notified by the Court of Claims about this lawsuit.”
“Michigan’s elections have been conducted transparently, with access provided for both political parties and the public, and using a robust system of checks and balances to ensure that all ballots are counted fairly and accurately,” Jarvi added in the statement, which Nessel shared on Twitter.
“When we are served, we will review it and respond accordingly,” Jarvi added. “Michigan will always continue to protect the rights of all voters to have their ballots counted.”
After a statement issued by President Trump’s 2020 campaign manager hinting at the possibility of a lawsuit being filed in Michigan challenging the state’s ballot-counting process, Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Press Secretary Ryan Jarvi issued the following response: pic.twitter.com/qPANSEGynn
— Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (@MIAttyGen) November 4, 2020