In an absentee ballot counting room at the TCF Center in Detroit where the windows had been covered up, police had to step in and escort people out.
“There were some pretty tense moments inside of this room. Basically some poll workers or some of challengers told us that there was not an equal number of Democrats and Republicans in this room throughout the entire process. It led to some shoving matches or some fighting matches and that’s when police had to step in and escort people out of that absentee ballot counting room,” Fox News correspondent Matt Finn said.
“I took these people’s claims to the secretary of state here in Michigan. A spokesperson tells us in part, ‘These are poll challengers who have a legal avenue to address any legitimate concerns regarding any rules they claim were not followed.’ Now, in the midst of all that chaos, there were some windows back here that allowed for observation that were covered up with paper and post boards, that led to even more confusion and outrage as protesters pounded on these windows, demanding the ability to see inside,” Finn continued.
“I talked to Detroit’s city attorney a short while ago, he tells us, he ordered some of the windows to be covered, because some of the poll workers nearest the windows were concerned that people were filming them or information on the ballots,” Finn added.
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 5, 2020
Finn later posted the full statement that he got from Tracy Wimmer, Director of Media Relations, on Twitter. The statement read:
“These are poll challengers who have a legal avenue to address any legitimate concerns regarding any rules they claim were not followed. This has been a bipartisan, open and transparent process from the beginning, with a record number of Republican challengers observing it. The individuals who made these claims to you said they were challengers which means they have the ability to bring any violation they thought had occurred to the election inspectors.”
“An attorney for the city of Detroit, Lawrence Garcia, tells me he ordered some of the windows be covered because some of the workers nearest the windows felt concerned with people outside potentially filming them or ballots. Not all the windows were blocked,” Finn added.
An attorney for the city of Detroit, Lawrence Garcia, tells me he ordered some of the windows be covered because some of the workers nearest the windows felt concerned with people outside potentially filming them or ballots. Not all the windows were blocked.
— Matt Finn (@MattFinnFNC) November 4, 2020
The Detroit News also reported on the situation, writing:
“Both political parties had surpassed the law-mandated maximum of 134 challengers with more than 200 each, and when election workers told GOP challengers the party had hit its limit, some began shouting about the unfair process and lack of transparency. An unidentified election worker shouted back the group was at its maximum size.
City police officers then locked the doors following the altercation, limiting those who could enter. Challengers then proceeded to knock on the windows and doors looking into the rooms where ballots were being counted, and election workers covered some of the glass with cardboard and poster board.”
Finn shared a video on Twitter from inside the facility which showed workers, who were supposed to be counting absentee ballots, putting up what looked like large poster boards. The video went viral immediately, with nearly 7 million views on Twitter alone after roughly 12 hours.
The Trump campaign responded Finn’s video by writing: “We need more transparency, not less.”
We need more transparency, not less. https://t.co/p1qopA1qKA
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) November 4, 2020
Sean Davis, co-founder of the Federalist, responded to Finn’s video: “Democracy Dies In Darkness.* *Unless the darkness is required to allow Democrats to ‘count’ ‘votes’ in secret to prevent any oversight or accountability or due process, in which case Democracy Requires Darkness.”
Democracy Dies In Darkness.*
*Unless the darkness is required to allow Democrats to "count" "votes" in secret to prevent any oversight or accountability or due process, in which case Democracy Requires Darkness. https://t.co/fdQdIFBJWB
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) November 4, 2020
Independent Women’s Voice also responded to the video, tweeting: “This is completely unacceptable. The process must be transparent. Covering the windows just makes Americans more suspicious.”
This is completely unacceptable. The process must be transparent. Covering the windows just makes Americans more suspicious. https://t.co/bH0aPyy08E
— Independent Women's Voice (@IWV) November 4, 2020
Michigan Republican Chairwoman Laura Cox shared the video, writing: “This is so unacceptable.”
This is so unacceptable. https://t.co/uHRjb5cfJM
— Laura Cox (@MIGOPChair) November 4, 2020