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Chaos Erupts at Ballot-Counting Center

Challengers claim they are barred from vote-counting room
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2020 5:17 PM CST

(Newser) – A chaotic scene broke out Wednesday in Detroit when dozens of poll challengers claimed they were being barred from a ballot-counting area, the Detroit Free Press reports. Told the room at TCF Center had hit capacity, people banged on windows and doors, and some chanted "Stop the vote." Police pushed back challengers from both parties as arguments flared up: "They're escorting us out like bouncers for a nightclub," GOP challenger Nick Sinishtaj told the Detroit News. "When you walk in, they ask what party you're affiliated with and as soon as you say GOP, they say, 'Both are at capacity.' Well, if that was the case, why did you ask what my party was in the first place?" He also claimed officials weren't letting Republican challengers be replaced when they left the room.

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But Republicans weren't alone in facing hurdles. "I just waited out here until people took breaks," said Democratic challenger Rachel Fahn, 20. "It took about two hours. It isn't just the GOP that isn't being let in." She said she was following the Democratic Party's advice to wait patiently due to safety issues posed by COVID-19. In related news, the AP reports that President Trump's campaign is accusing a Michigan election official of barring challengers and bipartisan watchers from the ballot-counting area. His campaign has also filed lawsuits to stop the count in Michigan and Pennsylvania. But Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said that "Michigan's elections have been conducted transparently, with access provided for both political parties and the public." (Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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