According to the Detroit News, the chaos ensued after a number of poll challengers were denied access to the absentee ballot counting room, where they can monitor the process to ensure it complies with election code. The outlet reports challengers from both major parties were told they could not access the room due to capacity limitations. Under the election rules, each group is allowed to have 134 challengers in the room at once. However, the Detroit Free Press reports that at one point there were 570 challengers in the room; this included 268 Democrat, 227 Republicans; and 75 nonpartisan challengers.
A number of Republicans said they were being unfairly treated at the counting center, claiming Democratic challengers received entry at higher rates than Republicans. Timothy Griffin, an attorney from Virginia, said he has been monitoring the count at TCF since Tuesday night, and claimed the process was not fair.
"This whole thing is under suspicion," Griffin told the Free Press. "It’s not equal …. It’s just not fair."
Registered Democrats, however, said they were also denied entry.
"I can’t get there either. I’m a Democrat and I’m a lawyer," Beverly Hills attorney Bill Richards told the Free Press, adding he was impressed by the transparency of the process. "It’s amazing to me that the public is allowed in there."
Video and photos from TCF Center shows people boarding up the windows to the counting room, as challengers outside are heard shouting "stop the count!"
The Detroit News reports a GOP challenger was apparently escorted out of the counting room after they got into a verbal altercation with one of the election workers. The confrontation reportedly began after the challenger was told "they couldn't replace existing monitors from their party."
Local police reportedly locked the doors to the room following the incident.
On Wednesday, President Trump filed lawsuits in an effort to stop counting ballots in the key battleground states of Pennsylvania and Michigan. He is also seeking a recount in Wisconsin.
"As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely tight as we always knew it would be," Trump's 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement. "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. 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. President Trump is committed to ensuring that all legal votes are counted in Michigan and everywhere else."
As of press time, Trump's Democratic opponent Joe Biden is projected to win Michigan.