'This isn't a democracy:' Detroit poll challenger says about U.S. election protests

·2 min read
'This isn't a democracy:' Detroit poll challenger says about U.S. election protests
'This isn't a democracy:' Detroit poll challenger says about U.S. election protests

As a non-partisan poll challenger Julie Moroney saw the chaos unfold first hand in Detroit outside the TCF Center this week as ballots continued to be counted after election day and as President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against Michigan.

"It was a chaotic scene and I think it just continued to get more chaotic as the day went on," said Moroney, who is a third year law student at the University of Michigan.

Moroney stood on the front lines of history Tuesday and Wednesday as she joined other Americans in monitoring the polls. And she did so in Michigan, a state that became contentious after Trump filed a lawsuit Wednesday requesting ballot counting stop until Republicans had better poll access.

When this happened, Moroney said the mood in the convention centre suddenly shifted.

"It almost felt like a switch flipped ... all of a sudden it started to get louder and, I don't know, the energy changed," she said. "At some point we hit capacity ... then a crowd gathered outside and began banging on the glass and demanding to be let in and chanting. And frankly, that was really terrifying ... it didn't feel right and it didn't feel like democracy."

As a non-partisan poll challenger, Moroney said that her job was to watch as in-person ballots were submitted and counted, along with absentee ones. This role, performed alongside Republican and Democratic poll challengers, allows them to question any ballot discrepancies with valid reason.

But Moroney said she was taken aback by what she witnessed from her fellow poll challengers.

"It kind of felt like at first the Republican challengers were challenging individual ballots and trying to come up with some sort of reason, like the signature doesn't look like it matches ... and then the strategy kind of changed as the day went on and you saw them kind of trying different things at times," she said.

The whole experience left Moroney feeling frustrated, so she tweeted about it — receiving thousands of likes by Friday.

The moment she says that struck her the most was when she left the venue and looked toward Canada.

"Something's got to change, like, this isn't working. This isn't a democracy," she said. "Leaving that chaotic mob-like room and stepping outside into the sun setting and seeing Windsor across the way, and waving to you guys and your awesome democracy ... I don't know that stuck with me."