Wayne County Election Board Republicans Sign Affidavits Saying They Were Coerced into Certifying the Election

Posted: Nov 19, 2020 12:15 AM
Wayne County Election Board Republicans Sign Affidavits Saying They Were Coerced into Certifying the Election

Source: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Things in Michigan took a dramatic turn Wednesday night when two Republican members of the Wayne County Canvassers signed sworn affidavits saying they were bullied and coerced into certifying the election. The four-member board voted to certify the election on Tuesday night. Originally, the two GOP board members voted no. Roughly two hours later, a unanimous vote came down certifying the results.

According to board chair Monica Palmer and GOP member William Hartmann, the county's corporate counsel, Janet Anderson-Davis, advised the board members that their job was "ministerial" and any concerns they expressed were outside of the board's authority.

"After the vote, public comment period began and dozens of people made personal remarks against me and Mr. Hartmann. The comments made accusations of racism and threatened me and members of my family. The public comment continued for over two hours and I felt pressured to continue the meeting without a break," Palmer said in her affidavit.

"Late in the evening, I was enticed to agree to certify based on the promise that a full and independent audit would take place. I would have not have agreed to the certification but for the promise of an audit," Hartmann said in his affidavit. "Vice-Chairman Jonathan Kinloch then assured us that if we voted to certify the election, a full, independent, and complete audit of Detroit's election, would be undertaken. I relied on this assurance in coming to an agreement. Without this assurance, I would not have agreed to certify Wayne County on November 17th."

Hartmann laid out a number of questions and concerns he would like answered before he agrees to certify the election, like why 71 percent of Detroit's Absent Voter Counting Boards (AVCB) didn't match, whether the chairperson of each of Detroit's 134 AVCBs kept logs of shift changes and whether or not the 18,000+ same-day registrations in Detroit were verified as legitimate voters.

Palmer had similar concerns about Detroit's AVCBs, something that was brought up in August when the board certified the primary elections. According to Palmer, the board came to a consensus following the primary certification, asking for the secretary of state to "appoint a monitor to supervise the training and administration of the City of Detroit Absentee Voter Counting Boards in the 2020 November General Election."

Palmer and Hartmann claim they were under the impression that if they agreed to certify the election that an investigation and audit would take place.

"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," Palmer wrote. "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."

Both members stated they still believe the election results for Wayne County should not be certified.

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