A crowd gathered outside the TCF Center in Detroit as election officials told dozens of Republican vote challengers that they could not reenter the room because it was overcapacity.
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Michigan Trump Victory Deputy State Director Drew Thompson shared images on Twitter of the building’s doors, which were locked from inside by police.
“Detroit election officials are currently refusing to let the public observe the counting process at the TCF center,” Thompson wrote. “They have padlocked the doors. This is a disgrace to the democratic process.”
He shared video of the crowd outside the building chanting, “Let us in” as many remained outside.
Protesters also chanted “stop the vote” following news that President Trump’s team filed a lawsuit in Michigan, claiming campaign officials have not been allowed to observe ballot counts.
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“President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement. “We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted. We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s press secretary, Ryan Jarvi, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying the department had not yet “been notified by the Court of Claims about this lawsuit.”
“Michigan’s elections have been conducted transparently, with access provided for both political parties and the public, and using a robust system of checks and balances to ensure that all ballots are counted fairly and accurately,” Javi added in the statement, which Nessel shared on Twitter. “When we are served, we will review it and respond accordingly. Michigan will always continue to protect the rights of all voters to have their ballots counted.”
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The Detroit Department of Elections counted roughly 162,000 absentee ballots as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, officials announced. The DOE anticipates completing the absentee ballot count by 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The Fox News Decision Desk has called Michigan for former Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden led with 49.9% of the vote compared to Trump’s 48.6%, a difference of more than 67,000 votes, according to Associated Press estimates.