President Trump‘s Michigan lawsuit about poll watchers not being given access has already disintegrated as the Detroit Free Press published video of a racist poll challenger who was removed by police for disruptive behavior.
“On the first day of absentee ballot processing in TCF Center in Detroit, police removed two poll challengers, including one man wearing a horror-movie mask who shouted that the ballot processing was ‘crooked,'” the Free Press reported on November 2nd.
An election supervisor reported the man referred to slavery using using racist language as well. He was wearing a horror mask “similar to the masks worn by the villains in the movies ‘Halloween’ and ‘Friday the 13th’,” which did not properly cover his mouth.
The man can be heard in the video mocking people who asked about the blood on his shirt, shouting in what has become typical Trump troll behavior, “Wah, wah, wah!”
He did not give his name but claimed he was a poll challenger and had the credentials to back that up.
Both Republican and Democratic poll challengers were allowed to watch the processing of the ballots.
And then along came a Karen by the name of Robin Bozenski, whom police asked to leave after causing a commotion at a ballot processing table and refusing to wear her mask properly. “She was asked to cover her nose with the mask. She refused the request, said a Detroit election supervisor.”
Additionally on Wednesday, the Detroit Free Press posted a live stream report of a man in a red hat trying to stop the count, which they say was the second time that happened on Wednesday.
Protesters banged on the windows and streamed into the TCF Center shouting, “Stop the count!”
The video shows a Republican woman claiming that Republicans were banging on the windows and being denied entrance, as someone tries to explain to her that Democrats were also denied entrance as they are at capacity.
Reuters captured video of folks being asked to leave due to the room being over capacity:
Emotions ran high in Detroit, Michigan, as poll watchers, mostly Republicans but also some Democrats, were asked to leave the counting room due to overcapacity https://t.co/MxyP4jRyeN pic.twitter.com/xgWZPLZAFE
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 5, 2020
MSNBC identified the window bangers as pro-Trump protesters. They also reported a Facebook group that was previously all about protesting Covid-19 (surprise!) restrictions “urging its members to ‘be a presence’ at the ballot counting facility”:
Stand Up Michigan to Unlock Michigan, a Lansing-based private Facebook group of 79,000 members “who are passionate about advancing freedom,” organized an event with calls to action that garnered nearly 2,000 interactions, such as likes and comments, according to the group’s private Facebook page viewed by NBC News.
Donald Trump’s campaign has sued Michigan demanding more access for poll watchers at locations where the ballots are being processed and counted. These videos show why some of Trump’s people have been removed, but the process is being conducted fairly and transparently. The AP noted that in spite of Trump’s claims, “However, at one Michigan location in question The Associated Press observed poll watchers from both sides monitoring on Wednesday.”
Being asked to follow the rules is not the same thing as being denied access. And no one should show up to such a serious event wearing a Halloween mask that doesn’t cover their mouth, shout disruptions, and expect to remain.
The Detroit recount is being conducted as it should be, with every vote being counted. Anyone seeking to undermine that effort or stop it is not upholding the law of this land. No one has the right to disenfranchise other voters.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.