Ballot counting nearly complete at TCF Center after challenger protest

A handful of counterprotesters took to the TCF Convention Center as would-be GOP election challengers were barred from entry.

The room where poll inspectors are counting absentee ballots was at capacity. Republicans alleged there were more liberal-leaning election challengers in that room than conservatives, accusing Detroit election officials of committing fraud with those absentee ballots.

"Republican challengers will try to spoil them," said Ben Falik, attorney. "Not on any substantive basis just for any appearance that could cause votes to go uncounted."

A few miles north of TCF in the New Center Area, a group of organizations called for just the opposite, to count every ballot from the historically Democratic voting city. Challenger Joe Biden was awarded Michigan earlier on Wednesday, awarding him 16 electoral votes and building his lead over incumbent President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, the growing crowd outside TCF drew a significant police response.

"Some people are unhappy with how it’s going, others aren’t," said Capt. Darin Szilagy Detroit police. "And our job at the Detroit Police Department to protect people’s Civil Rights to ensure that they are able to do this, what they’re doing."

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey released a statement about the protests outside saying:

"We will not allow anyone to distract us from the job at hand. Our charge is to remain calm, focused and deliberate as we continue the task at hand."