In a viral video posted Wednesday afternoon, a woman alleged that Governor Gretchen Whitmer had ordered health officials to block poll watchers and challengers from entering a Detroit ballot counting facility.
The woman, Connie Johnson, shot the video using Facebook Live. She showed herself standing on the second floor of the TCF Center in Detroit. The following is her account of the ballot counting on Wednesday afternoon in Detroit.
Johnson explained that ballots had arrived overnight for Wayne County. As Johnson spoke, a crowd’s roar of “STOP THE COUNT!” looped constantly in the background.
The woman reported that she had left the GOP office to make copies. When she returned, Johnson stated that she was stopped by security in the elevator. When she called her attorney, he informed her that she had to identify herself as a poll official.
Even with that information, Johnson stated that the security officer called their supervisor to check. Johnson was able to get up after that, but she recounted that she’d noticed the growing crowd.
According to her, about a thousand poll challengers and poll watchers were protesting to stop the count and get into the building. Security told Johnson that the general manager for the TCF building was restricting poll watchers and challengers from entering. However, the manager told Johnson that he wasn’t enforcing security.
In Johnson’s account, the manager told her that Governor Whitmer had called the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to restrict poll watchers and challengers from entering the TCF Center.
The woman shared that she’d watched individuals who left ballot-counting rooms to go to the bathroom being blocked by security from re-entering. Johnson added that only the poll watchers and challengers from the Republican Party were being removed.
She shared that she’d witnessed poll challengers being ignored when they stated that they wanted to challenge a ballot. She shared that the counters from that ballot’s district were “non-responsive.”
“Again, we have people here who have been poll challengers for decades. What’s going on here is crazy. It is absolutely our hope that they stop the count because it is not being handled correctly. It is not being handled legally.”
Johnson added that the MDHH told individuals that the building exceeded capacity. In the video, Johnson was the only person on her side of one floor of a 40,000 square foot building.
“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is locking people out of the building, saying that the building is at capacity. You guys, this is a 40,000 square foot building. I’m standing alone in an area of the building. This building is not at capacity.
Johnson turned the camera to the chanting crowd outside clustered at the glass doors – according to her, security would only let media through.
She finished the video by asking for prayers, and issuing a remark on the scene playing out in front of her.
“A type of history in the making that I’d never thought I’d see.”
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