Sunday, November 29

Wayne County GOP members rescind votes to certify election amid unexplained imbalances

The two Republicans on Michigan’s Wayne County Board of Canvassers claimed in signed affidavits Wednesday that they were bullied into siding with Democrats and have now rescinded their votes to certify.

The two Republicans — Monica Palmer and William C. Hartmann — were involved in a brief deadlock in the county’s election certification process Tuesday before initially voting to certify.

The two Republicans agreed to certify as part of a compromise in which the secretary of state, Democrat Jocelyn Benson, agreed to conduct an audit of the county’s votes.

But by Wednesday the two said it was clear that no such audit is being planned.

Palmer released a list of responses to ongoing criticism of her actions, and announcing a noon press conference on Friday with her attorney to further discuss the certification and her vote.

“1) The meeting last evening – It was heartbreaking, in part because my intentions were to protect the Detroit vote. Not to be racist in any way, I was concerned about 70 percent of precincts not balancing in Wayne County.

2) It was also heartbreaking because I sat for two hours listening to people attack me. Certifying the votes has to do with making sure the precincts were balanced or explained. It had nothing to do with black or white.

3) My “no” vote on the certification was not taking votes away from anybody. I was allowing the state to find the correct information and explanations which did not happen.

4) We were not delaying the inevitable. We always knew that the margin of victory was not going to change. The purpose of the canvas is to obtain complete and accurate documentation and verify vote totals.

5) If we had the discussion earlier, it could have been avoided but they, the Democrats, were too busy trying to belittle me. They totally brought racists party politics. After the Detroit primary and the large voter imbalances, I asked for meetings with the Detroit Clerk and Secretary of State.

6) During the meeting last night, the Democrats went off the hinges trying to suggest we wanted to suppress the black vote, and that was not the case. Our concern was in Detroit, Livonia, and other communities that had unexplained imbalances.

7) Vice-Chair Kinloch offered me the solution of an independent audit of the unbalanced precincts in Wayne County, supported by

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary Joslyn Benson. I voted to certify based on having that agreement and the audit included. At 9:30pm Secretary of State Benson said the agreement was not binding. I acted in good faith and was misled.”

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