Police responded to a chaotic scene Wednesday at Detroit's downtown convention center after self-appointed vote challengers stormed the building, where presidential absentee ballots were being counted by hand, officials said.
The challengers, who appeared to be GOP supporters, banged on doors and windows while shouting "Stop the count!" Dozens were able to get inside, where they roamed the TCF Center, disrupting poll workers counting mailed ballots, according to published reports.
Official poll observers for the Democratic and Republican parties were stranded outside the center after city legal and fire officials locked the doors because the number of people who had forced their way inside violated coronavirus capacity rules.
Police pushed back crowds as they demanded to be let in.
Election rules stipulate each party is allowed to make 134 challenges. Official poll observers belong to both political parties and are affiliated with nonprofit organizations such as the ACLU and the League of Women Voters.
The scene echoed President Donald Trump's unfounded rhetoric that the election was rife with fraud. His campaign sued Michigan Wednesday, saying poll observers were denied access Tuesday to voting sites.
Various news agencies, including CBS News, declared Democrat Joe Biden the presumptive winner in Michigan and Wisconsin, expanding Biden's electoral lead in results still being tabulated. Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, also turned up in Philadelphia late Wednesday, claiming without evidence that paper ballots in the critical state of Pennsylvania, were "suspicious."
"Do you think we're stupid?" Giuliani asked reporters.