Michigan Republicans say they want to rescind votes certifying election, say they were misled
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DETROIT, Michigan, November 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Republicans on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers who refused to certify the presidential results but backed down hours later now say they were misled into their certification votes and want to rescind them.
The initial vote Tuesday evening deadlocked at 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. 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 State 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, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, 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. The next day, however, they signed a pair of affidavits declaring their intentions to rescind their votes.
Palmer and Hartmann both say they were told by Wayne County counsel Janet Anderson-Davis that they lacked the legal discretion to deny certification of the vote, and that they would not have voted to certify without the assurances of an audit, which they realized was unlikely upon seeing Benson confirm that she did not consider the locality’s agreement binding on the state. The two continue to maintain that the vote had “serious process flaws which deserve investigation.”
“I’m pleased Mr. Hartmann and Ms. Palmer reiterated their opposition to the certification of the Wayne County results despite bullying and threats and in the face of broken promises by Michigan’s Secretary of State,” Phill Kline, head of the Thomas More Society’s Amistad Project, said to Just the News. “Mr. Hartman is properly demanding answers from Wayne County election officials.”
The Trump campaign has withdrawn its lawsuit in Michigan, claiming the development has “achiev(ed) the relief we sought: to stop the election in Wayne County from being prematurely certified before residents can be assured that every legal vote has been counted and every illegal vote is not counted.”
But it’s unclear whether Palmer and Hartmann’s votes can be rescinded at this late date, and there is no indication an audit of Wayne County is forthcoming. Board vice-chair Jonathan Kinloch, a Democrat, says the certification has already been sent to the state.
Palmer and Hartmann were also subjected to a torrent of hateful comments from state and national figures, including accusations of racism, and even incoming Democrat state Rep. Abraham Aiyash identifying the school Palmer’s children “probably” attend during the meeting stream.
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 16 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.
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