Here’s how it went down when Michael Vu, Republican head of the Board of Elections, announced that Republicans were to stick around.
He was announcing the instructions for the “special inspectors” when word came down that the Appeals Court was allowing partisan poll challengers–the very positions that Republican “special inspectors” were supposed to be replacing, on the sly.
So the Democratic would-be-“special inspectors” left, their function (saving the polls from being flooded by exclusively Republican “special inspectors”) having been mooted by the law.
Then Michael Vu made his announcement that Republicans should stay. He was challenged by a lawyer: Why are you issuing a partisan direction? Vu responded that he was not issuing a direction, just relaying a message, as a courtesy, that he had received. My informant recalls him saying: “I’m not saying I want Republicans to stay. I’m just conveying a message I’ve received.”
(He did not, however, convey the messages of instructions from Democratic hq. Those were announced by, um, people who weren’t officials of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, ostensibly hired by the taxpayers to, you know, run fair elections.)