A state judge in Michigan has denied the Trump campaign’s request to stop ballot-counting in the state until the Republicans got the observation access that they wanted. To be clear: there’s no particular evidence that the GOP had been unfairly excluded from observing the ballot-counting process in the first place. Republican observers were on the scene — but footage and firsthand accounts from Detroit on Wednesday revealed Republicans harassing the ballot-counting location to the point that some Trump supporters were maniacally banging on windows and demanding to be let inside. Some of the Republicans in Detroit were chanting “Stop the count!”
🚨BREAKING: Judge DENIES Trump motion. Counting continues. https://t.co/nlZvqpUscg
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 5, 2020
In Michigan, Judge Cynthia Nixon “announced her decision at the end of an oral briefing Thursday,” Axios reported, and a written version of the decision was not immediately available, although it would likely emerge soon. Axios noted that the development was “a significant loss for the Trump campaign’s effort to slow or stop vote-counting in critical states that Joe Biden is projected to win.” This effort to thwart the tabulation of valid votes has not exactly been covert. On Thursday, Donald Trump himself posted an angry, all-caps message on Twitter in which he demanded to “STOP THE COUNT!” Trump and his allies have also targeted ballot-counting in Pennsylvania. The Trump campaign’s stance is authoritarian and glaringly anti-democratic — plain and simple.
Judge denies Trump campaign request to stop counting absentee votes in Michigan until an election inspector from each party was present at each county canvassing board and until surveillance video was available of each ballot box – @PeteWilliamsNBC
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 5, 2020
Interestingly enough, Republicans in the swing state of Arizona took the exact opposite approach on Wednesday. As Joe Biden continued to maintain a thin lead in the state, Republicans gathered outside of county election headquarters and chanted to “count the votes!” — which is, of course, exactly what local election authorities already planned to do. Some of the Trump supporters on the scene in Arizona were upset that Fox News had called the state for Biden (although the Associated Press has since done so as well). Thus, some of the angry Trumpers chanted “Fox News sucks!” — and, like in Detroit, police were called to the scene.
There is no legitimate basis to the consistent right-wing claims that some kind of massive plot to steal the election from Trump is underway. Case in point: right-wingers shared a video clip captured outside of a ballot-counting facility in Detroit that showed a man removing a wagon from a van, which right-wingers have suggested was a possible delivery of fraudulent or otherwise invalid ballots to the premises. In reality, the man was a photojournalist who works for a local news channel and was unloading the equipment that he uses for work. There’s no conspiracy here.
FACT CHECK: A video claiming to show voter fraud and a wagon being loaded outside of the TCF Center in Detroit is actually video of a WXYZ photographer loading his camera and other gear into a wagon for work.
— WXYZ Detroit (@wxyzdetroit) November 5, 2020