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WAYNE COUNTY, Michigan, November 18, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Wayne County Board of Canvassers set off a brief national firestorm Tuesday evening when they deadlocked on a vote to certify the presidential election results over absentee ballot irregularities, only to relent hours later following bitter debate and threats to Republican board members.

The Detroit News reports that the initial vote was 2-2, falling along party lines, because absentee ballot poll books at 93 of Detroit's 134 absentee counting boards (70 percent) were mismatched “anywhere from one to more than four votes” without an explanation. 

“Based on what I saw and went through in poll books in this canvass, I believe that we do not have complete and accurate information in those poll books,” said Republican board Chairwoman Monica Palmer.

The deadlock set off a rash of both local and national fervor, with President Donald Trump’s supporters expressing hope the development might lead to the Michigan Legislature awarding the state’s electors to Trump (an idea Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey shot down earlier in the day), with Trump’s foes enraged by the idea Republicans were trying to circumvent the election.

Two hours later, the board’s Republicans backed down, agreeing to certify the election in exchange for Democrats joining them in asking that Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson conduct a “comprehensive audit” of the precincts in question – but not an assurance from the state that such an audit will actually take place.

After initially blasting his Republican colleagues as “reckless and irresponsible,” Democrat board Vice Chair Jonathon Kinloch declared he was “very proud” of them for eventually reaching an agreement, which “found a way to address concerns that have been lingering.” But other public comments indicate the real reason for the resolution was far less conciliatory.

Various state and national leftists, including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, US Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and Progress Michigan executive director Sam Inglot, attacked Palmer and fellow Republican board member William Hartmann as “discriminatory,” “racist,” “historically shameful,” and trying “to undermine the will of the voters.” But that was nothing compared to what the Republicans faced during the meeting.

One clip shows Detroit business owner and Black Lives Matter supporter Ned Staebler viciously berating Palmer and Hartmann as having “just covered yourself in” the “Trump stink, the stain of racism,” who “will forever be known in Southeastern Michigan as two racists…without an understanding of what integrity means or without a shred of human decency. The law isn’t on your side, history won’t be on your side, your conscience will not be on your side, and Lord knows, when you go to meet your maker, your soul is going to be very, very warm.”

Incoming Democrat state Rep. Abraham Aiyash echoed the charges of racism, while also identifying the school Palmer’s children “probably” attend:

It is unclear how many votes the Wayne County discrepancy actually represents. Preliminary results show Trump losing Michigan to former Vice President Joe Biden by 146,007 votes; the margin between Trump and Biden in Wayne County was more than twice that at 322,925.

Taking Michigan’s sixteen electoral votes away from Biden would not be enough to flip the election results in Trump’s favor, but the president’s campaign says it believes it can get to 270 electoral votes through a combination of recounts and lawsuits in multiple states.