New plans for how Detroit will verify votes during the August 2 primary election will include more stringent protocols that tighten the leash on the number of challengers present on the Central Counting Board floor as election inspectors count and verify ballots. The move comes nearly two years after election workers at the formerly-named TCF Center saw angry protesters line up along the center’s glass windows, chanting, “Stop the count!” and causing other obstructions, Daniel Baxter, an election inspector for Detroit since 1985 told One Detroit.

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One Detroit’s Bill Kubota visits an election inspector training hosted by Baxter and David Nathan, an election trainer for Detroit, for a look at what goes on behind the scenes of elections and what election workers are required to know to preserve the democratic process.

August 2 primary

Election inspectors work at Detroit’s old TCF Center admist a sea of Republican and Democratic challengers on election night during the 2020 election. | Screenshot by One Detroit

Baxter talks about the critical role election inspectors play in the process of election day, the roughly 50,000 absentee ballots expected to come in by the August 2 primary election, the importance of taking a nonpartisan approach to election inspecting, what election workers need to know heading into the primary, and the rise in Republicans who’ve reached out to help with the inspection process in 2022.

Plus, Nathan shares his belief that the decisions made during the 2022 and 2024 elections will likely define the outcome and foundational strength of America’s democracy. And, Baxter talks about the overall perseverance of the Detroit Department of Elections through the 2020 election and beyond.

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