Fact-checkers have ruled a viral video “partly false” after it alleged that Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent health officials to bar poll challengers. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) was present during ballot counting at TCF Center on Wednesday.
Whitmer sent MDHHS allegedly because the 40,000 square foot building was at capacity for COVID-19 restrictions. In the video, the woman stood alone on the second floor of the building. Also seen are MDHHS officials removing individuals and barring their entry.
Reuters fact-checkers rated the video “mostly false,” stating that both Republicans and Democrats were barred from or allowed into the rooms equally. However, the video in question alleged the disparity between the amount of Republican versus Democratic challengers being removed.
The fact-checkers also didn’t address the allegations of counters ignoring challenges on ballots.
Fact-checkers relied on statements from government workers. Those city officials stated that they blocked both Republicans and Democrats from entry. Although, they also admitted that they barred mostly Republicans because more Republicans showed up. However, various accounts alleged that media and lawyers were permitted entry after challengers were denied.
The TCF Center is the same location in Detroit where poll officials covered windows with pizza boxes and cardboard to obstruct challengers’ view of the counting.
— Heather Walker (@_HeatherWalker) November 4, 2020
On the ground, the various anecdotal accounts from poll challengers conflict about the integrity of Wednesday’s counts. Some stated that ballots were counted well, and some said even better than expected given the surge in absentee ballots. Others stated that they discovered illegal ballots or were met with silence when challenging a ballot.
Whitmer has yet to address the allegations in the video specifically. However, the governor criticized President Trump for “anti-American” questioning of the integrity of the election. She also asserted that the election was “drama-free” – it is unclear whether she is aware of the mass protests surrounding election centers across the nation.
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