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Wayne County Republicans Rescind Votes Certifying Election
GOP canvassers try to rescind votes to certify Wayne County election
By: Beth LeBlanc, The Detroit News, November 19, 2020:
Two Republican Wayne County canvassers have signed affidavits saying they regret their votes Tuesday to certify the Nov. 3 election, arguing that “intense bullying and coercion” plus bad legal advice forced them to agree to certify the election after they had voted no.
Canvassers Monica Palmer and William Hartmann have claimed the promises made to them of a “comprehensive audit” of the Nov. 3 election should they certify “will not be fulfilled.”
“I rescind my prior vote to certify Wayne County elections,” Palmer said in an affidavit signed Wednesday night. “I fully believe the Wayne County vote should not be certified.”
From left: Member William Hartmann (Rep.), chair person Monica Palmer (Rep.) listen as vice chair Jonathan Kinloch (Dem.) reads the motion to certify the vote with member Allen Wilson (Dem.) during the Wayne County Board of Canvassers meet in Detroit on Nov. 17, 2020.
It’s not clear whether the affidavits have any legal effect on Tuesday’s certification, which moved Wayne County’s results on to the bipartisan Board of State Canvassers. Even if Palmer and Hartmann were able to rescind their votes, the deadline for Wayne County to certify its results has already passed, in which case any uncertified results would pass on to the state board.
State law sets a deadline of 14 days for every county to certify its election votes.
Board Vice Chairman Jonathan Kinloch, a Democrat, said the affidavits have no meaning, given that the deadline for certifying results in Wayne County has passed. Further, he said, all members of the board approved a motion to waive additional consideration after the certification vote, cementing their decisions.
“These individuals are acting like they’ve never participated in a certification before,” Kinloch said. “It’s a wasted attempt to unravel a lawful vote in order to calm the Republican rancor we all knew was going to occur after they left the meeting.”
He said he still intends to ask Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for an audit, but the board was given no guarantees one would be authorized as a result of the vote.
“We have not even asked,” he said. “I never said the secretary of state agreed to it. I spoke to no one in the Secretary of the State or Bureau of Elections. I told them (Hartmann and Palmer) that.”
The Board of State Canvassers is scheduled to meet Monday.
For subscribers:Meet party insiders charged with certifying Michigan’s election results
State canvasser Norm Shinkle, a Republican, told The Detroit News Wednesday he also plans to request an audit of the Nov. 3 election prior to state certification.
President Donald Trump has falsely claimed he won Michigan even though unofficial certified results from the 83 counties show Democratic President-elect Joe Biden winning 51%-48% or by 154,000 votes. Trump has refused to concede and is pursuing lawsuits to stop the certification of votes in state and federal courts.
The affidavits in the lawsuits have largely been refuted by the Michigan Secretary of State’s office; former state elections director Chris Thomas, who helped with absentee ballot counting in Detroit; and other Detroit elections staff. The state courts have rejected the Trump campaign’s arguments, and federal judges have not rushed to jump into the matter.
On Tuesday night, Trump contacted Palmer and Hartmann after the revised vote to express his gratitude, the Associated Press reported Thursday, citing an unnamed source. The two Republican canvassers signed the affidavits on Wednesday.
Palmer said Thursday she’s unsure what the outcome of the affidavits will be but felt compelled to put the information on the record. She said she’s reported threatening messages prompted by Tuesday night’s meeting to law enforcement since Wednesday morning.
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