In a dramatic reversal Wednesday night, the two GOP members of Wayne County’s election board signed affidavits alleging they were threatened and misled into approving election results, and that they still do not believe the votes should be certified until serious irregularities in Detroit are resolved.
Tuesday night, after initially refusing to certify the Nov. 3 election results, Wayne County Board of Canvassers Chairwoman Monica Palmer and fellow GOP member William C. Hartmann, under intense pressure, voted to certify the questionable results with the understanding that they had no choice and a full, independent audit of the votes would be conducted.
Now, they’re saying they were mislead, and are retracting their votes to certify the election for Democrat Joe Biden.
Following the GOP board members’ move, the Trump campaign announced Thursday morning that they are withdrawing their lawsuit in Michigan.
“This morning we are withdrawing our lawsuit in Michigan as a direct result of achieving 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 has not been counted,” President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in a press release.
Both GOP board members said that chief among their concerns were discrepancies in 70 percent of Detroit’s precinct poll books where ballots are supposed to be matched to qualified voters.
“I initially voted not to certify this election, and I still believe this election should not be certified and the State Board of Canvassers should canvass for an additional period,” Palmer declared in her affidavit. “I rescind my prior vote to certify Wayne County elections, ” Palmer said.
“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,” Palmer explained.
The chairwoman noted that after the initial vote to certify failed 2-2, she and Hartmann were besieged with “accusations of racism,” and that she and members of her family were threatened. Palmer said that after she endured “several hours of harsh comments,” Wayne County Corporate Counsel Janet Anderson-Davis told her that she had to certify that night, and that the role of board members was only “ministerial” and that “they couldn’t use their discretion on matters like the record being incomplete.”
“We were told that discretion was outside the Board’s authority,” she said, adding that she agreed to vote to certify after being promised “a full, independent audit.”
Palmer and Hartmann said that they learned the next day that state officials would not honor their promise to audit the election results, leaving them no choice but to oppose certification until an investigation could be performed.
Hartmann said that following their initial vote not to certify, he and Palmer were “berated and ridiculed” by not only the public, but by their fellow Board members. “This conduct included specious claims that I was racially motivated by my decision,” he testified. “This public ostracism continued for hours during which time we were not provided an opportunity to break for dinner and were not advised that we could depart and resume the hearing at another date.”
Hartmann also said he was told that the certification had to happen that night, and that they couldn’t consider the irregularities in Detroit. He said that he agreed to certify under the condition that a full, independent audit would take place, but learned on Wednesday that MI Sec. of State Jocelyn Benson had no intention of conducting an audit.
“I voted not to certify, and I still believe this vote should not be certified,” Hartmann said in his affidavit. “Until these questions are addressed, I remain opposed to certification of the Wayne County results.”
During a press conference at RNC headquarters in Washington DC, Thursday, Giuliani explained that the reason the Wayne County GOP Board members refused to certify the election was because the overvotes they were seeing is a strong indicators of fraud in an election.
“In Michigan and Wisconsin we have overvotes in numerous precincts of 150 percent, 200 percent, and 300 percent. One of the reasons the two Republicans did not certify in Wayne County, Michigan is because the overvote was so high—monstrously high in about two thirds of the precincts in the city of Detroit,” Giuliani told reporters.