Republican Poll Challengers Speak Out on What They Saw at Detroit’s Absentee Voter Counting Board
The following article, Republican Poll Challengers Speak Out on What They Saw at Detroit’s Absentee Voter Counting Board, was first published on Big League Politics.
Big League Politics has been reporting about imminent electoral concerns in the city of Detroit for weeks now, starting with our #DetroitLeaks series and then continuing by reporting from the absentee ballot counting board at the TCF Center in Detroit on election night.
Yesterday, we published a follow-up story about how cops were keeping pro-Trump poll challengers out of the absentee ballot processing center completely.
A shocking video posted by pro-Trump attorney Nick Somberg showed that the workers were literally covering up the process, in what may be considered a metaphor for the entire process.
A clip from that video can be seen here:
Many of the poll challengers who were at the TCF Center in Detroit over the past few days are speaking out about their experiences. One of these whistleblowers is Tami Deveroux of Grosse Pointe, who was shocked by the behavior she witnessed.
“Three workers were standing up during the ballot duplication process,” Deveroux said to describe the rule breaking. “The table supervisor told me that I could not be there. They really weren’t doing the six-feet COVID stuff so it wasn’t because of that. Everybody was close to one another. The poll workers were doing this to other people too I spoke to the supervisor.”
“The supervisor made it clear at this point that the challengers had a right to observe that process. At that time, the three people were still working on duplicated ballots, and the supervisor said, ‘You can’t enclose the area like that where nobody can see.’ The workers were not happy after being corrected but they followed the instruction.”
Deveroux also received harassment from disgruntled Democrats who could tell from her credential that she was a Republican poll challenger.
“A person near the computers was feeding the ballots into the tabulator, and she said, ‘Mitch is a b*tch,’ and she also was talking about Donald Trump being the worst president ever, how he couldn’t win, and was just going on and on. And I had on a credential that said MIGOP, so I feel this was some kind of personal attack against me,” she said.
Big League Politics has reported on the open and flagrant left-wing political biases of Detroit poll workers as part of our #DetroitLeaks series.
Poll challenger Bonnie Leone, also from Grosse Pointe, had similar encounters with belligerent Detroit poll workers.
“They didn’t mind us standing there and watching the screen, but the minute something was challenged, and they were doing a duplicate, they would scream about COVID rules every time. We couldn’t see what they were doing to remake the ballots. And nobody sitting at that table was a Republican, probably at any of those tables,” Leone told Big League Politics.
Leone was also troubled about how long it took the ballots to arrive at the facility.
“When you start seeing ballots come in at 1am and then at 5am, I mean, the polls close at 8pm. The ballots should all be there, don’t you think?” she queried.
A poll challenger who wanted to be described only as a housewife and grandmother from the suburbs told a shocking story of how poll workers hired by the city of Detroit to scrutinize ballots apparently could not read.
“They were transferring information from a spoiled or mismarked ballot to a new ballot, and the two individuals changing the ballot could not read. A supervisor had to coach them through the process, not because they didn’t know the process but because they couldn’t read,” she explained.
The poll challenger used to tutor remedial reading to third fourth and fifth graders and dealt with children who could not read, and she said it was clear that these poll workers were illiterate. She was also threatened by poll workers at the facility.
“We were harassed not to stand too close to the table. We had to keep reiterating that we had our jobs to do. I was told by a young man in a gold sweatshirt that I should go back to the suburbs and count votes there, and he didn’t see any reason why I should leave my neighborhood for Detroit. I also had someone come up to me later and tell me they knew where I was from and knew my name, which I interpreted as a threat,” she said.
The poll challenger used to work in the area for years so that is why she believes she was identified and targeted by the surly poll workers. She is also suspicious of the credentials of the poll challengers who were roaming the floor at the TCF Center without credentials.
“There were a lot of people who did not wear credentials on the floor. I asked a man who saw an absentee ballot being transferred, I asked if he was a Democrat, but he would not respond or produce his credentials.”
She said she had seen ballots being placed into boxes improperly, and surprise, surprise, they all contained votes for Biden.
“I could stand close enough to boxes to see over 100 ballots that were improperly placed into boxes. Every single vote of the 100 or so that I saw in that block was for Biden. I never saw another ballot in a box that wasn’t for Biden. Another challenger reported encountering the same thing,”
Holly, a Republican observer from suburban Detroit, noted that poll workers were ignoring the lawful procedure while processing ballots.
“They weren’t following the procedures that they were supposed to follow. The first person was supposed to be scanning the bar codes, and then they would go to the second person, and they would confirm the number to the first person, and they weren’t doing any of that stuff. So I asked the supervisor, and she confirmed that they were not following the correct process. This seemed to be happening all over the place,” she said.
Holly noted that, despite initially not following protocol, that poll workers overall did an adequate job of rooting out bad ballots: “There were a lot of wrong precincts. There was one ballot that was spoiled, and it came to the table to be processed, but luckily they did catch that one and it was not processed.”
She also noted concerns about the poll challengers who were presumably brought in by the Democrat Party.
“The Democrat poll challengers came in at 2am, and they were not watching the polls. They were watching us. They did not care about the process. They were watching us, and that was kind of weird, and I believe a girl may have been recording me with her phone at one point, which is also against the rules,” Holly said.
Detroit resident Linda Sawyer, who recently ran for U.S. Representative in the 13th Congressional district, had difficulty supervising the ballots because of the behavior of the poll workers.
“It was very hard for me to compare the numbers that were the official number on the screen with the number that the worker had zapped. This was a big problem, and she did it as quickly as possible on purpose, I believe, so I couldn’t challenge anything,” Sawyer explained.
“Luckily I was quick at seeing them, but I did miss quite a few. A person always stood between me and the monitor, and she kept telling me to back off and was aggressive. We were battling constantly for me to be able to see what was going on. Of course, they used COVID as the excuse to behave in this manner,” she continued.
Sawyer also watched what she believed may have been an instance of ballot harvesting happening with absentee ballots.
“When I tried to challenge a supplemental ballot with no matching name, the election worker blocked my attempt. This worker left, went to the center of the operations, talked to someone, and then pushed it through. She said the voter registered yesterday so they weren’t on the list,” she said.
“However, the whole point of the supplemental list was to list these voters who recently registered. It was later that I found out that if the name was not on that supplemental list, that ballot should be tossed. So, unless I’m mistaken, this woman was conducting a form of ballot harvesting,” Sawyer added.
Ian Hillam, a conservative LGBT organizer who works as a field organizer for Michigan Trump victory, attended the proceedings on the day when poll workers partnered with Detroit cops to enforce a crackdown against Republican poll challengers.
“I went to Cobo, got my credentials, went in there, and they placed me at the table. I asked the workers two simple questions: Is there a Republican at this table? They played dumb, claimed they didn’t know anyone’s affiliation. The other question was: Why are certain ballots in the problem box? They wouldn’t give me an answer there either,” Hillam said.
Because he was asking too many questions about the process, he was quickly intimidated by law enforcement in an attempt to silence him.
“Not too long afterward, a man showed up with two cops to harass me about his mask and supposedly not wearing it right. They also claimed that I was intimidating poll workers and threatened to throw me out. All I did was ask two simple questions and there is no reason why they couldn’t answer them truthfully. I filled out a report about this and so did many others. This was a common problem,” he said.
18-year-old Parker Shonts, a college Republican, attended the TCF Center on the same day as Hillam. While Hillam atleast was able to enter the counting board to serve as a poll challenger, Shonts was one of the men on the outs. He couldn’t even watch the process from a far with the windows boarded up.
“They kicked out almost every Republican poll watcher,” Shonts said. “As this happened the workers and Democrats poll watchers cheered. After that, the windows were boarded up, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services started denying access to non-partisan poll watchers for due to “COVID restrictions” which were not in place or had been talked about up until this point. The count was finished with little to no supervision. They also put this into place right as they started the military ballots, which are manually filled out by the poll workers.”
The military ballots were a major focus for the Trump campaign team, as they are believed to have more Trump votes than absentee ballots submitted in Detroit. Hoover Institution media fellow Paul Sperry reported about Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s apparent abuse of the health bureaucracy for partisan ends:
BREAKING: Mich Gov Whitmer sent health dept into Detroit TFC Center to evict GOP pollwatchers but not Dem pollwatchers or media, claiming COVID concerns despite 40k-sq-ft bldg. Counters cheered when they were evicted. Also put up cardboard over windows to block inspection process
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) November 5, 2020
“There were legitimate non-partisan poll watchers being denied entry, even with the opening of poll-watching positions. The chanting of “Stop the Count” did not take place until after all of these scenarios played out. Those who took part in the chant were not unruly in any way. In the video, you can see that workers were not pressed when opening or closing the door to the entrance and a path was easily made for them when they had to get through the crowd,” Shonts said.
Michigan Conservative Coalition founder Meshawn Maddock posted videos from the bizarre scene on her Twitter account:
— meshawn maddock (@meshawnmaria) November 4, 2020
#StopTheCount It’s not #TCF that is preventing our #PollChallengers from getting in the building it’s #MDHHS REFUSING our people from coming in!! This facility is MASSIVE! Doors are chained. @TeamTrump #VoterFraud pic.twitter.com/1jlqjcrC9Y
— meshawn maddock (@meshawnmaria) November 4, 2020
Maddock spoke to Big League Politics about how protests are going to continue, starting with a pro-Trump rally tomorrow at Noon outside of the TCF Center.
“They were blatantly cheating and intimidating poll challengers right in front of all the people there. They told our poll workers three weeks ago that there were already enough Republicans and not to apply. Republicans ended up being outnumbered at least 3-to-1 in terms of number of poll workers. This is illegal,” Maddock said.
Big League Politics reported as part of our #DetroitLeaks series about a woman who applied to be a poll worker in the city of Detroit many weeks before the election. After jumping through many hoops, she was finally given her training date, and it was scheduled several days after election day.
Maddock is adamant that the Trump supporters in the state of Michigan are not going to quit on the president when he needs them the most.
“Until he tells us to stop, we are going to keep fighting. The people need to keep showing that they love President Trump and will never stop fighting for him to stop this steal,” she said.