GOP Canvassers Again Oppose Certifying Detroit-area Votes

November 19, 2020by Associated Press Staff
Harjas Singh, 1, reaches out for his father, Umeet Singh, while held by his mother, Preet Kaur, as they attend a rally with their daughter, Nader Kaur, right, celebrating the election results in Detroit. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

DETROIT (AP) — Two Michigan Republicans who initially blocked certification of election results for the county that includes Detroit despite no evidence of fraud before approving them now say they want to rescind their certification.

Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, the two Republican canvassers in Wayne County, said in a statement issued late Wednesday that they only voted to certify the results after “hours of sustained pressure” and after getting promises that their concerns about the election would be investigated.

“We deserve better — but more importantly, the American people deserve better — than to be forced to accept an outcome achieved through intimidation, deception, and threats of violence,” they said in the statement. “Wayne County voters need to have full confidence in this process.”

Palmer and Hartmann initially voted against certification Tuesday, leaving the Wayne County Board of Canvassers deadlocked at 2-2 along party lines. Palmer complained that certain Detroit precincts were out of balance, meaning that absentee ballot books did not match the number of ballots cast.

The GOP move drew an immediate rebuke from the public and injected partisan politics into the business of an unsung panel that is supposed to confirm the will of the voters.

Biden crushed Trump in Wayne County, a Democratic stronghold, by a more than 2-1 margin on his way to winning Michigan by 146,000 votes, according to unofficial results. His victory reversed Trump’s 2016 gains in the industrial Midwest and put Biden on the path to achieving the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.

The county canvassers later voted again and certified the results, 4-0. Then, on Wednesday, Palmer and Hartmann signed affidavits saying they believe the county vote “should not be certified.” They said in their statement Wednesday that they’ve reported threats against them to law enforcement.

There has been no evidence of widespread voting fraud in Michigan or any other state. Federal and state officials from both parties have declared the 2020 election safe and secure. But Trump and his allies have spent two weeks raising false claims of fraud and refusing to concede to Biden.

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