Mid-Michigan election inspector shares ballot-counting experience inside Detroit’s TCF Center

Election inspector from Grand Blanc was at the TCF Center when things got heated
Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 11:11 PM EST
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GRAND BLANC, Mich. (WJRT) - (11/05/2020) - An election dispute brought chaos to the process.

On Wednesday, pro-Trump protesters were outside the TCF Center in Detroit. That’s when the original Trump campaign lawsuit was filed. One that would interrupt what was happening inside: the counting of absentee ballots.

ABC12 caught up with an election inspector from Grand Blanc who says she was there when things got heated.

“You knew that it was some commotion. You didn’t know what the commotion was, but it was commotion, and people were starting to move toward the front to see what was going on," Denica Townsel said.

Townsel says we was working in the back, but walked to the front of the TCF Center as anger and emotion continued to play out.

Hundreds of trump supporters were responding to a call for action: an email asking for volunteers to come out and stop what was happening inside.

“They were trying to cover the glass up with papers, so whoever was on the other side couldn’t see in, but the ones that weren’t, they were beating on the windows. They were yelling, ‘Stop the count! Stop the count!’” Townsel said.

Townsel says she was instructed to continue working and try her best to stay focused on the task at hand, making sure the information like names, addresses, and ballot number were accurate.

She says that’s it.

“We had ballots. No matter what the ballot. It wasn’t our job to read the ballots and who they voted for. Ours was to read it to make sure everything was in order. The process and processing were our only concern. Our concern was not who. It was the what: the ballot," Townsel said.

Townsel says it was her first time as a poll inspector during a presidential election, and if others did the same, they would see that everything is documented, information is scanned, labels are made, and numbers must match.

“To get involved to see what happens behind the scenes to know for yourself. If I had not been there, it would have been as believable the things that had been said,” Townsel said.

She says despite the chaos, she would do it all over again, continuing to concentrate on her commitment to serve.

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