Two Republican members of the Wayne County election board said they want to rescind their votes certifying the results of the election in the county, which includes Detroit, because they were subjected to abuse and lied to on the night they agreed to certify the vote totals.
On Tuesday, Wayne County Board of Canvassers Chairwoman Monica Palmer and fellow Republican member William Hartmann refused to certify the vote, citing irregularities. That left the four-member board deadlocked at 2-2.
After the two Republicans were subject to criticism and abuse that they detail in sworn affidavits, they agreed to let the certification go forward in exchange for a complete audit of the election by the state.
When Wednesday arrived, however, the state said it would not honor the deal.
“Essentially you saw two individuals on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, who have a ministerial responsibility to certify the county canvass of election results, refusing to do so on baseless claims, and that were ultimately clerical errors that occurred in nearly every election in nearly every jurisdiction,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said, according to ClickonDetroit. Benson is a Democrat who was endorsed by Biden during her 2018 campaign.
Palmer and Hartmann said Wednesday they were therefore rescinding their approval and could take the issue to court.
“I voted not to certify, and I still believe this vote should not be certified,” Hartmann said in an affidavit. “Until these questions are addressed, I remain opposed to certification of the Wayne County results.”
Palmer made a similar declaration in her affidavit.
“I rescind my prior vote to certify Wayne County elections,” she wrote.
At the heart of their concerns is a question that arose because of discrepancies in precinct poll books where the numbers never added up.
Hartmann said in his affidavit that 71 percent of Detroit’s 134 absent voter counting boards “were left unbalanced and many unexplained.”
In her affidavit, Palmer said, “The Wayne County election had serious process flaws which deserve investigation. I continue to ask for information to assure Wayne County voters that these elections were conducted fairly and accurately.
“Despite repeated requests I have not received the requisite information and believe an additional 10 days of canvas by the State Board of canvassers will help provide the information necessary.”
She also noted the pressure to which the dissenters were subjected.
“After the vote, my Democratic colleagues chided me and Mr. Hartmann for voting not to certify,” Palmer said in her affidavit. “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.”
During the public comment portion of the meeting, poll challenger Ned Staebler was among those hurling accusations at Palmer and Hartmann, according to The New York Times.
“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 said.
He said Hartmann and Palmer 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.”
Attacks on the two were also seen on social media.
Monica Palmer and William Hartmann. Let’s make these two Michigan racist election officials famous. pic.twitter.com/K2HOUvCvd5
— Norman A (@Najee6883) November 18, 2020
These are the two scumbags involved: Monica Palmer and William Hartmann. Lock them up!! pic.twitter.com/E9vh8YyZGX
— Gavin Rodger (@GavinRodger1) November 18, 2020
Monica Palmer & William Hartmann refuse to certify election results in Wayne County pic.twitter.com/6YOt4xJHNg
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) November 18, 2020
The deadline for Michigan to certify the results of the Nov. 3 election is Nov. 23.
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