Ambush on the Detroit River…
On the day after the November 3, 2020 election, Republican poll challengers found themselves in what felt like a bad movie. It only took moments for incoming GOP poll challengers to realize they were unprepared for the hostile environment Democrat operatives had prepared for them. Once inside the massive TCF Center counting-room, Republicans quickly discovered they were outnumbered and seriously unprepared for the anger and hostility from Detroit election officials and paid workers. Election workers screamed, “SIX FEET!” at GOP poll challengers who were standing 8-10 feet away from the tables where ballots were being examined and counted. In contrast, Democrat poll challengers, Democrat lawyers, and leftist agitators moved freely about the counting table; some of them were almost touching the backs of the election worker’s chairs.
In the video below, Wayne Co. Recount Leader for Trump, Brian Szmytke, surrounded by a SWAT team, argues with Detroit election officials to allow Wayne Co. Canvasser Chair Monica Palmer back into the absentee ballot counting room on Nov. 4th. after being locked out.
This is the first in a three-part preview of an upcoming explosive report soon to be released by Michigan Citizens for Election Integrity, entitled “TCF Timeline: the 2020 General Election in Detroit” It takes a second look at events inside the TCF Center’s Absent Voter Counting Board during the 2020 Election in Detroit.
Did certain Democrats and City election personnel collude to illegally thwart Republican challengers? “TCF Timeline” presents evidence from dozens of sworn affidavits that give a view contrary to the prevailing narrative of what we are told was “the most secure election in history.” In Detroit, certain tactics were used repeatedly to thwart the lawful efforts of Republican and non-partisan challengers to monitor the election proceedings.
Until the 2020 election debacle, many Americans paid little attention to the actual mechanics of elections. They simply trusted that officials were honestly and impartially counting their votes. Few were remotely familiar with terms like “challenger” and “counting board.”
Challengers are unpaid volunteers who can represent a party or remain “non-partisan” and who are trained and certified to monitor elections. In an absent voter counting board, they are DULY AUTHORIZED to observe, inspect and if warranted, challenge individual ballots, groups of ballots, and even vote counting processes if they believe they are not being properly performed.
Even today, few Michigan citizens realize that, as emphasized by Detroit Polling Site Assessor Ted Dickens, “[challengers] are as entitled to be there as an election inspector — or any DOE employee. All of us are participating as a result of state laws.”
The upcoming report soon to be released by Michigan Citizens for Election Integrity, entitled “TCF Timeline: the 2020 General Election in Detroit,” presents evidence, including dozens of sworn affidavits, that there were tactics used repeatedly and often in a coordinated fashion, by members of the Democrat Party and some City of Detroit poll workers, supervisors and election officials, to thwart the lawful efforts of Republican (and non-partisan) challengers to monitor the election proceedings.
Highlights from the report:
GOP and non-partisan challengers were harassed, intimidated, verbally abused, and physically blocked from doing their jobs.
Those who stood fast were kept back 6 feet from the ballots despite a judge’s ruling granting them access inside 6 feet as long as it was as brief. Poll workers were kept in the dark about this ruling.
A GOP poll challenger’s sworn affidavit explains how the 6 feet rule was strictly enforced despite the judge’s prior ruling that determined poll workers should be able to stand closer than 6 feet when necessary to observe the process.
The suspicion that strict social distancing was only being used as an excuse to deny access to GOP challengers was made clear by the City poll workers’ frequent huddles. Ranking officials called these every hour or two. They involved one to two dozen workers bunched together, shoulder to shoulder, in flagrant disregard of the same 6-foot rule they so vigorously enforced against the Republicans.
Election workers and officials were frequently seen standing closely together while examining ballots or reviewing details on the computer (see image below).
Poll workers and Democrat operatives appeared to be working together to block Republicans from meaningful observation of the ballots and the counting process and to have them removed from the counting board. Multiple challengers attested to the appearance of orchestration between the two groups.
Both Democrats and poll workers taped pizza boxes and other cardboard onto the windows blocking the view of the same Republicans they had earlier barred from entering the counting center.
Some Democrat operatives admitted to having little to no training in actual challenging of the ballots, and some admitted they were sent in solely to distract or obstruct the Republicans.
Here is a portion of a GOP poll challenger’s affidavit. The GOP volunteer challenger explained how Democrat operatives, election workers, and Detroit Police officers intimidated and threatened GOP poll challengers in her sworn statement.
Poll workers and their supervisors cheered loudly on multiple occasions when Republican challengers were evicted – usually without cause — from the counting center. No Democrats were reported to have been evicted.
According to her sworn statement, a written instructional pamphlet entitled “How to Distract Republican Challengers” was inadvertently handed to one GOP challenger. Before she had time to peruse it, it was grabbed from her hand by a Democrat challenger.
A black female GOP poll challenger explained how “team leads” gathered together and how their meetings ended in a cheer. She also explained how many of the team leads wore face masks or other materials supporting “Black Lives Matter” or other political causes. She also relayed how at approximately 11:43 pm on election night, when Trump was still in the lead in MI, she heard one of the team leads yell, “this is our house tonight!” According to the female GOP poll challenger, she listened to the same team lead make racist remarks about black people who support Trump.
Female GOP challengers were repeatedly subjected to foul language, e.g., called “c*cocks*cker” and “MF’er” and other lewd terms, and some left in disgust. Many GOP challengers were accused of racism and taunted with racial slurs or accusations of being in a “cult” related to President Trump. Some left in fear for their physical safety. Others left in protest of a process that more closely resembled the kind of sham elections seen in Third World countries.
Poll workers and Democrat operatives routinely lacked name tags, making it impossible for GOP challengers to report their fraud and malfeasance, from verbal – and even physical — abuse to failure to permit challenges and other serious election law violations.
Democrats were selectively admitted by supposedly impartial election officials, often with no credentials. At the same time, fully-credentialed GOP and non-partisan challengers were excluded on the second day of absent voter counting.
Hundreds of Democrat operatives flooded the TCF Counting Board on the second day. Most exhibited no credentials other than a small green dot sticker that enabled them to identify each other. This drove the overall numbers up inside the room handing the Detroit Health Inspector a pretext to exclude more Republicans. Instead of excluding the Democrat provocateurs posing as “observers,” credentialed Republican challengers were kept out after 1 PM on November 4th.
The War of Attrition against Republicans at TCF:
The above tactics were used over and over by many poll workers and Democrat operatives – often working together to block GOP challengers from performing the duties they are statutorily allowed to perform under Michigan law.
Another affiant wrote about being bullied by Democratic poll challengers, along with agitators from “the ACLU and other organizations.”
There appears to have been a strategy behind these unlawful tactics. When one considers the evidence amassed in this report, it becomes clear that a “war of attrition” was waged by both Democrats and Detroit election personnel to gradually reduce GOP challenger numbers through…
Discrimination in hiring against Republicans applying to be poll workers at TCF
Physical removal of challengers on pretexts or fabricated charges
Prevention of their re-entry from bathroom and lunch breaks
Blocking them from entering in the first place
Making the GOP challengers’ work environment so hostile and frustrating that they left voluntarily
Those who remained fell victim to coordinated assaults on their abilities to perform their statutorily-protected challenging activities under Michigan law.
The tactics directed against the GOP and non-partisan challengers targeted their ability to view the ballots and to challenge ballots and election practices that were often illegal.
This ruthlessly efficient strategy resulted in such a successful winnowing of the GOP presence that, by 7 pm on November 4th, the total number of Republican challengers inside the TCF had dropped from over 130 that morning to just ten. When documented fraud was occurring at multiple locations throughout the counting center, challenges were being refused, and over 120 boards were left with no GOP challenger.
Few things are as dry as election law, but some stunning exceptions exist. Before reading the following instances of disrupting the work of GOP and non-partisan challengers, it might surprise the reader to know that under Michigan election law, it is a FELONY to interfere with the performance of a challenger’s duties or to bar their presence in the counting board:
MCL 168.734 Challengers; preventing presence, penalty. Sec. 734
Any officer or election board who shall prevent the presence of any such challenger as above provided, or shall refuse or fail to provide such challenger with conveniences for the performance of the duties expected of him, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000.00, or by imprisonment in the state prison not exceeding two years, or by both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court [Emphasis added].
When it comes to removal of a challenger from the counting board – something that repeatedly happened at the TCF Center – the only two causes for removal are: use of alcohol and disorderly conduct. Neither of these are known to have been factors in any of the multiple cases of GOP and non-partisan challenger expulsions. Michigan election law states:
MCL 168.733 Challengers; space in polling place; rights; space at counting board; expulsion for cause; protection; threat or intimidation. Sec. 733.
(3) Any evidence of drinking of alcoholic beverages or disorderly conduct is sufficient cause for the expulsion of a challenger from the polling place or the counting board. The election inspectors and other election officials on duty shall protect a challenger in the discharge of his or her duties.
(4) A person shall not threaten or intimidate a challenger while performing an activity allowed under subsection (1).
Armed with this basic understanding of how challengers are to be lawfully treated during an election, let’s now look at how the Republican and non-partisan challengers were actually treated on those two fateful days in November 2020. Here are just a few highlights from “TCF Timeline: the 2020 General Election in Detroit:”
- GOP and non-partisan challengers were repeatedly harassed, intimidated, threatened, verbally abused, and physically blocked from doing their jobs. Challenger Glen Sitek was even physically assaulted – twice (after which Detroit Police Officers told him maybe he should move to a different table). Challenger Abby Helminen attested to being “shooed and even physically pushed by a poll worker.” GOP Challenger Matt Modlin reported a male election worker physically blocked him then “pushed me backward.”
- Those who stood fast were kept back 6 feet from the ballots despite Judge Stevens’ October ruling granting them access inside 6 feet. Poll workers were kept in the dark about this ruling by the Detroit City Clerk, Janice Winfrey. As a result, when such critical tasks as duplication of ballots were performed without a Republican poll worker present, as required by law, the 6 feet pretext was used to prevent Republican challengers from viewing the process.
- The suspicion that strict social distancing was only being used as an excuse to deny access to GOP challengers was made clear by the City poll workers’ frequent staff huddles, as witnessed by Sam Harris, Glen Sitek, and others. These meetings were called over the PA every hour or two, usually run by a couple of high-ranking officials, surrounded by one to two dozen workers, all bunched tightly together, in flagrant disregard of the same 6-foot rule they so vigorously enforced against the Republicans.
- Multiple challengers attest that Poll workers and Democrat operatives appeared to be working together to physically block Republicans from meaningful observation of the counting process and to have them removed from the counting room. Multiple challengers attested to the appearance of orchestration between the two groups. GOP challenger Sam Harris testified in a November 8th affidavit: “[Electrical workers union] IBEW members collaborated with Democrat Poll Challengers and Poll Workers to stand shoulder to shoulder to block GOP Poll Challengers’ view. EOD Supervisors made no attempts to correct this when the issue was brought to them. I was verbally assaulted with racial slurs at Table ICC 10 and 48.”
- Countless GOP and non-partisan challengers and attorneys were physically removed from the AVCB by police on the orders of election supervisors and higher officials. The challengers attest in multiple affidavits to expulsions without cause, ostensibly for improper social distancing, masking, taking pictures, calmly arguing their position, and even for simply making challenges.
- Numerous expulsions on November 4th were accompanied by loud clapping, cheering, and jeering from poll workers and supervisors – who are sworn to impartiality — and Democrat operatives. No Democrats were reported to have been evicted.
- GOP affiant Beverly Ballew wrote, “there seemed to be a collaboration between the [D]emocratic poll challengers and the City of Detroit poll workers.”
- In one of the most enduring images of the TCF fiasco, both Democrats and poll workers taped pizza boxes and other cardboard onto the windows blocking the view of the same Republicans they had earlier blocked from entering the counting center.
- Some Democrat operatives admitted to having little to no training in actual challenging of the ballots, and some admitted they were sent in solely to distract or obstruct the Republicans.
- According to her sworn statement, a written instructional pamphlet entitled “How to Distract Republican Challengers” was inadvertently handed to GOP challenger Kathleen Daavetilla, who found herself in a group of Democrats posing as Republicans – they wore GOP wristbands. Democrats posing as Republicans was a tactic alleged by more than one challenger. Another Democrat, wearing a GOP-identifying wristband, confided to her, “Our main job is to distract and disrupt the GOP challengers.” Before she had time to peruse the instructional pamphlet, it was grabbed from her hands by a female Democrat challenger who stated, “no, no, no, she’s a republican she doesn’t need that, bye-bye.”
- Female GOP challengers were repeatedly subjected to foul language, e.g., called “c*cks*cker” and “MF’er” the “C-word” and other lewd terms, and some left in disgust. Many GOP challengers were accused of racism and taunted with racial slurs or accusations of being in a “cult” related to President Trump. Others were accused of “killing” poll workers with the Covid virus. Many ultimately left in fear for their physical safety. Others left in protest of a process that more closely resembled the kind of sham elections seen in Third World countries.
- Poll workers and Democrat operatives routinely lacked name tags, making it impossible for GOP challengers to report their fraud and malfeasance, from verbal – and even physical — abuse to failure to permit challenges and other serious election law violations. Many refused to give their names when asked by challengers for the purpose of reporting infractions.
- On the second day of counting, Democrats were selectively admitted to the room by supposedly impartial election officials, often with no credentials. At the same time, fully-credentialed GOP and non-partisan challengers were excluded. After about 1 pm on Wednesday, November 4th, GOP challengers who left the counting board for breaks were not allowed back in. Even after the Republican numbers dropped precipitously, none of the hundreds forced to stay outside were allowed in.
- The Detroit Department of Elections officials were using the number of people who had signed in originally as their number of GOP inside, despite the fact that scores of them had either left or been evicted. This was not reflected in the sign-out sheet because officials never told the GOP they had to sign out – until they tried, in vain, to get back in — and for most of the day, no such sheet was available or was only placed at a side door. Even when one appeared, GOP challengers alleged they were often not permitted to sign out. Thus, at any given time, there was a falsely inflated count of GOP challengers and lawyers in the room.
- Hundreds of Democrat operatives, many wearing BLM masks, and shirts, flooded the TCF Counting Board on the second day. Most exhibited no credentials other than a small green dot sticker that enabled them to identify each other. This drove the overall numbers up inside the room, handing the Detroit Health Inspector a pretext to declare that an arbitrary “Covid capacity” had been reached. Instead of excluding radical Democrat provocateurs and agitators posing as “observers,” credentialed Republican challengers were refused entry after 1 pm on November 4th. At 2 pm, the doors were locked.
- But, as many challengers attest, Democrats, both challengers and observers, and even the media were selectively re-admitted after the lockdown, to the exclusion of credentialed GOP challengers, who were falsely referred to as “rioters.” Note that many, if not most of the hundreds of Democrats in the room, were not even credentialed challengers, but mere “election observers” whose strategic role on Day Two appears to have been to increase the body count, providing a pretext for the locking of the doors. Many also took part in the illegal but highly effective tactics of view-blocking, verbally-abusing, physically intimidating, and “swarming” GOP challengers.
- A heavily armed SWAT team, called in under false pretenses — the Sergeant was told Republicans were “breaking windows” — was posted outside to magnify the insult. When the evicted GOP challengers tried to watch through the windows from the atrium, workers and Democrats taped empty pizza boxes on the windows to block their view.
[Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson later lied to WJR-Detroit radio listeners that this was done by the police – because the challengers were breaking the windows. Neither claim was true].
A subtle yet effective measure to sap the GOP challengers’ energy (and show them they were second-class citizens) was to deny them chairs to sit on during their observation duties. The floor is hard concrete, and the day is long, but only poll workers had chairs. This, despite the fact that poll challengers have just as much right, under the law to be present in an election as the poll workers and Michigan law demands that the counting board “…provide for the conveniences of…” the challengers. The Republican break room was relegated to far off Room 260, one floor up and about a 200-yard slog from the Counting Center.
And then there were ten…
The above tactics were used over and over by many poll workers and Democrat operatives – often working together to block GOP challengers from performing the duties they are statutorily authorized to perform under Michigan law.
An objective viewer might find it hard not to conclude there was a strategy behind the appearance of these unlawful tactics – which, according to GOP veterans of the TCF, were entirely ABSENT in the 2016, 2018 General, and 2020 Primary elections in Detroit. According to the “TCF Timeline” report:
This overt hostility was absent at each of these earlier events. Instead, they were marked by cordial, professional relations. There were no altercations or police incidents [Sheridan, M, organizer, 2016 GOP Challengers, founder, Guard the Vote, Pers. Comm]. Instead, these three prior events inside the TCF counting board were marked by cooperation and, for the most part, mutual respect and tolerance for the duties and responsibilities of both Detroit poll workers and GOP poll challengers.
Clearly, the tone shifted dramatically in the 2020 General Election. When one considers the evidence amassed in the “TCF Timeline” report, which includes the critical period leading up to the election, it becomes clear that a “war of attrition” was waged by certain Democrats and Detroit election personnel to gradually reduce GOP challenger numbers using the following tactics:
Discrimination in hiring against Republicans applying to be poll workers at TCF
Organized, pre-planned physical removal of challengers on pretexts or fabricated charges supported by select Democrats and poll workers prevention of Republican and non-Democrat challenger re-entry from lunch and bathroom breaks.
Blocking Republican challengers from entering in the first place on Day Two, after permitting the flooding of the room with often uncredentialled Democrat “observers” until an arbitrary “Covid capacity” was reached and doors were locked, making the GOP challengers’ work environment so hostile, frustrating and even frightening that many left voluntarily.
They were coordinating harassment of those who remained, reducing their abilities to perform their statutorily-protected challenging activities under Michigan law. This included keeping them 6 feet away — in violation of a court ruling — physically blocking their view of ballots, “swarming,” distracting, falsely accusing, shouting down, refusing to stop blatant fraud, and election law violations.
And finally, refusing to accept or even log their valid challenges of thousands of suspect ballots. All of these are attested to in scores of sworn statements too numerous to list.
This ruthlessly efficient campaign resulted in such a successful winnowing of the GOP presence that, according to the GOP challenger floor captain at the time, by 7 pm on November 4th, the total number of Republican challengers inside the TCF had dropped from well over 130 that morning to just ten.
Challenger William G. Henderson’s affidavit corroborates this. He wrote that at 7:45 pm on November 4th, he “found only around ten republican challengers watching the tables.” This was the same number given by Trump campaign official Bryan Szmytke to Detroit election official Sommer Woods, who was still barring the entry of GOP challengers at 11 pm that night.
By the evening of the critical 2nd day, with fraud and violations of election law occurring continually at multiple locations throughout the counting center, with challenges being refused illegally and with up to 124 counting boards left without a GOP or non-Democrat challenger – the cynical strategy appeared to have worked.