Wayne County GOP members rescind votes to certify election, citing alleged Dem bullying
Two Republicans sit on Michigan’s Wayne County Board of Canvassers which has four members in total. As of Wednesday, both signed affidavits claiming they were threatened and bullied into certifying the vote in that county for Joe Biden by Democrats. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is also saying that an agreement to audit the votes in that county is not legally binding which was why the two canvassers ostensibly agreed to certify the vote in the first place due to voting irregularities. They are now rescinding their votes.
Republicans Monica Palmer and William C. Hartmann initially would not certify the vote in Wayne County. Then after a lengthy meeting where they were allegedly pressured, they agreed to certify if an audit was conducted. Now, they have reversed course after alleged threats to them and their families.
Wayne County, which includes Detroit, is Michigan’s most populous county, with more than 1.7 million residents. It is also allegedly the county with the most voting irregularities in the state.
Both of the Republicans were called racists and were threatened after they questioned ballots that Democrats said were from predominately Black communities, Jenna Ellis, a lawyer for the Trump 2020 Campaign, told Fox News on Tuesday.
The two GOP members of Wayne County elections board are now seeking to reverse course once again.
"I rescind my prior vote to certify Wayne County elections," Palmer wrote.
"I voted not to certify & I still believe this vote should not be certified," Hartmann wrote. pic.twitter.com/2mzpOTK0Fr
— Kendall Karson (@kendallkarson) November 19, 2020
Hartmann claims in his affidavit that he observed about 71% of Detroit’s 134 Absent Voter Counting Boards “were left unbalanced and many unexplained.” He said he voiced his concerns and said if the votes did not match, there should have been some kind of explanation. Powell states she spotted the same discrepancy.
“I voted not to certify, and I still believe this vote should not be certified. Until these questions are addressed, I remain opposed to certification of the Wayne County results,” Hartmann stated in his affidavit.
Palmer wrote in her affidavit that she was subjected to “accusations of racism” and threats to her family.
“After the vote, my Democratic colleagues chided me and Mr. Hartmann for voting not to certify,” she said, according to the affidavit obtained by Fox News. “After the vote, the public comment period began and dozens of people made personal remarks against me and Mr. Hartmann. The comments made accusations of racism and threatened me and members of my family. The public comment continued for over two hours and I felt pressured to continue the meeting without a break.”
Both canvassers said that state officials indicated they would not honor an earlier compromise to audit the ballots, which contributed to their decision to rescind. It is not clear if their decision to rescind could change their earlier vote to certify.
When they refused to certify the vote, Republicans praised the canvassers for standing up to the Democrats during a live Zoom meeting.
Their attempt to rescind their votes to certify may be too late as the signed certification papers were already sent to the Secretary of State. Litigation is likely to follow.
Democrat Jonathan Kinloch, who is the vice-chair of the board, says “that vote was final” and “that vote was binding.”
Kinloch: "You can't leave and then decide after a meeting adjourned that you want to decide from your living room that you don't like the vote and sign something that says you're under duress. We are always under attack."
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) November 19, 2020
Ned Staebler is the chief executive of TechTown. He is a poll challenger at the TCF Center in Detroit and he said in a viral Zoom meeting, “The Trump stain, the stain of racism that you, William Hartmann and Monica Palmer, have covered yourself in, is going to follow you throughout history.”
Staebler stated that the two would “forever be known in southeastern Michigan as two racists who did something so unprecedented that they disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Black voters in the city of Detroit.”
Unofficial results of the 2020 election in Wayne County have Joe Biden winning in a more than 2-1 margin. They also claim that Biden won Michigan by 146,000 votes.
Ellis said in an interview with “Fox News @ Night” that President Trump is focused on making sure that every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is tossed.
When 71% of the precincts in Detroit cannot reconcile their votes it is clear something is profoundly wrong. How can Michigan electors be certified with this massive mistake?
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) November 19, 2020