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Detroit, MI — So things have been a bit crazy in Michigan as of late and they took a dramatic turn on Wednesday night when the two Republican members of the Wayne County Canvassers signed sworn affidavits saying they were bullied and coerced into certifying the election.
The vote was 2-2, along party lines, with the Republican members voting against certification. Members William Hartmann and Monica Palmer said there were too many irregularities in the results that included “absentee ballot poll books at 70% of Detroit’s 134 absentee counting boards were found to be out of balance without explanation.”
After the vote, other members of the board and the public – and even Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson – harassed and threatened Hartmann and Palmer for nearly two hours until the two relented and voted to certify. Here’s one example of the harassment:
Hey guys, Please Watch @NedStaebler – a Wayne County Board Member of Canvassers stuff in a locker @HartmannDude and @monicaspalmer – the two members that refused to certify the ballots for the county…pic.twitter.com/iGl3LSf3Sw
This is truly despicable behavior by the so-called “leaders” in Michigan. Only 72 percent of the ballots are recountable? What?! During this meeting, Benson tweeted threatening to have the state Board of Canvassers take over the process in Wayne County unless the board voted to certify.
My statement on the actions taken during today’s meeting of the Board of Wayne County Canvassers. pic.twitter.com/Vb2TRpiLdJ
Hartmann and Palmer said they voted to certify after coming to an agreement that a full audit of the county’s votes would be performed. The two believed that the Secretary of State’s office had bought into that agreement:
In a late night twist, the Wayne County Board of Canvassers unanimously agrees to certify the results, on the condition Secretary of State’s office conduct a comprehensive audit of the unexplained, out of balance precincts across the county
The two learned Wednesday that “state officials had reneged or would not honor the audit, leaving them no recourse but to oppose certification until more investigation could be performed,” according to John Solomon. They submitted affidavits detailing the harassment, bullying, and threats they’d received to coerce their vote, and listed the unresolved irregularities that caused their initial no votes.
Palmer has outstanding requests for the information needed to perform a proper canvass, according to the affidavit, “The Wayne County election had serious process flaws which deserve investigation. I continue to ask for information to assure Wayne County voters that these elections were conducted fairly and accurately. Despite repeated requests I have not received the requisite information and believe an additional 10 days of canvas by the State Board of canvassers will help provide the information necessary,”
Hartmann said, “I voted not to certify, and I still believe this vote should not be certified. Until these questions are addressed, I remain opposed to certification of the Wayne County results.”
As Solomon notes, it’s unclear whether the affidavits will prevent state officials from appointing electors.
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