What Poll Watching and Ballot Processing Was Like on the Ground

This is the most in-depth story I’ve seen, from the Detroit Free Press, about how the ballot processing went on in one particularly important location, Detroit. Rick linked to it below, but I wanted to highlight that it contains all the combustible elements we expected to see, but that did not, in the end, disrupt the process:

a huge number of poll watchers from both parties — indeed, far more allowed into the center than the law required or maybe permitted; challengers pressing in much closer to the election officials than social-distancing policies permitted; social-media rumors flying fast and furious, either wilful misinformation or just confusion; some challengers not understanding the process and the rules and trying to engage in widespread disruption, such as simply challenging all the ballots at a table with no reason; the police having to remove disruptive challengers; media stories based on incorrect information or information out of context circulating widely.

It’s easy to see how combustible the situation might have been, but it did not combust. I don’t know if I’d say the process went smoothly, but through it all, the election officials performed steadily, including through the night, and none of all this surrounding noise ended up interfering with the process.


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