Despite Joe Biden’s comfortable lead in the state of Michigan, some of President Trump’s most adamant supporters stormed a polling location in Detroit chanting “Stop the count.”
Scores of pro-Trump “ballot challengers” gathered outside the TCF Center in Detroit, where state workers continue to count the remaining mail-in ballots that are expected to push former Vice President Biden one step closer to the presidency. The chaotic scene, captured by reporters and bystanders on Twitter, shows the protesters attempting to force their way into the building. The crowd was confronted by security guards, police officers and ballot counters alike.
Alternating chants of “Stop the vote!” and “Stop the count!” can be heard on video as guards try to usher out the supporters.
Two hours prior to the protest, the Calhoun County Republican Committee urged followers on its Facebook page to go to the TCF Center and ensure that the outstanding ballots are being counted properly.
“If you are already credentialed as a Poll Challenger, please go to TCF Center Room 260,” the post says, directing followers to the room where the Republican Party set up their base of operations. “If you are not credentialed as a Poll Challenger, you can view this training video and then become credentialed in Room 260 at TCF Center.”
The Macomb County GOP also emailed its members, imploring them to report to the location, according to MLive reporter Malachi Barrett.
Under Michigan state election rules, both parties are allowed to have 134 challengers on site, according to the Detroit Free Press. But some Republicans told the paper that they believe Democrats have been allowed to have more representation on site, a claim that the blue party insists is untrue.
“It really shocks the conscience to see what’s going on here,” one Democratic poll watcher told the Detroit Free Press. “And they have attorneys with the Michigan GOP running around telling people ‘You have to stop counting’ or ‘You have to note every single ballot that there’s a challenge because we filed a lawsuit.’”
While the social media call to action pushed for additional poll watchers, other prominent conservatives alluded to something more sinister at play, accusing counters of “finding” ballots.
The protest is the latest in a series of last-minute volleys by Republicans nationwide as the race continues to tip in Biden’s favor. From filing lawsuits in swing states like Pennsylvania, demands for recounts in Wisconsin, prematurely declaring victory in states still counting ballots, and whatever this is supposed to mean, the GOP is working double-time to challenge the election results before a final count has been reached.
But the GOP’s efforts haven’t been enough to turn the tide. An hour after security escorted the protestors from the TCF Center, multiple news outlets called the state for the former vice president. If Biden can maintain his leads in Nevada and Arizona, he can declare victory over Trump before the end of the night.