On Tuesday, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, the two Republicans on the bipartisan four-person Wayne County Board of Canvassers refused to certify election results for the county
The vote count showed that Democratic challenger, now president-elect Biden had won the district by 148,000 votes
Their decision outraged voters and drew public anger Prominent Michigan businessman Ned Staebler, who worked as a poll watcher in Wayne County
‘The stain of racism is going to follow you throughout history,’ an enraged Staebler told the two Republicans, accusing them of ‘black voter suppression’
A couple of hours later the pair changed their minds and certified the ballot count
Palmer and Harman claimed they were concerned about poll books in certain Detroit precincts that ‘were out of balance’
Their decision excited many conservatives across the country who believed it could delay or even derail Biden’s bid for the White House with Trump tweeting: ‘Wow! Michigan just refused to certify the election results!
Having courage is a beautiful thing. The USA stands proud!’
Minutes later, the two Republican board members flip-flopped, and agreed to certify the vote count
Two Republican officials who refused to certify the presidential election results in Michigan’s Wayne County within hours made a dramatic back-flip, within minutes of their being blasted by a Democratic poll watcher. The pair initially refused to certify the ballot count which showed Democratic challenger Joe Biden, clearly in the lead over incumbent president Donald Trump.
The Wayne County Board of Canvassers is a four member bipartisan committee. On Tuesday the two Republican members, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, sparked outrage when they initially declared they would not sign off on their district’s ballot counts. which had president-elect Biden ahead by 148,000 votes.
The pair were subsequently lampooned in a Zoom meeting by Ned Staebler, a prominent Michigan businessman who worked as a poll watcher in the large county, which encompasses the city of Detroit.
Staebler accused Palmer and Hartman of going out of their to disenfranchise the black vote: “I just want to let you know that the Trump stink, the stain of racism that you have covered yourself in, is going to follow you throughout history,” Staebler raged, noting that the pair specifically refused to certify results in Detroit, which has a population that is around 80 percent black.
He pointed out that the pair appeared to have no qualms in certifying results from a nearby city which was 95 percent white, despite the fact there were larger discrepancies between votes cast and counted in that area.
The pair were lambasted in a Zoom meeting by Ned Staebler, a prominent Michigan businessman who worked as a poll watcher in Wayne County.
Staebler further referenced that Hartmann and Palmer had previously certified a primary election earlier this year which had larger discrepancies than those found in the November 3 presidential election.
‘You will forever be known in southeastern Michigan as two racists who did something so unprecedented that they disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of black voters in the city of Detroit, because they were ordered to,’ Staebler fumed.
‘Just know when you try to sleep tonight that millions of people around the world on Twitter know the names William Hartmann and Monica Palmer as two people completely racist and without an understanding of what integrity means or 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, that when you go to meet your maker, your soul is going to be very, very warm.’
Shortly after Staebler’s stinging rebuke, both the Republicans back-flipped, agreeing to sign off on the ballot count in Wayne County and delivering a crushing blow to President Trump in his quest to contest the outcome of the election.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump and other Republicans were overjoyed at news Hartmann and Palmer had initially refused to sign off on the election results.
Many believed the act would embolden other conservative officials in key states to take similar action, potentially delaying or preventing Biden from becoming President.
‘Wow! Michigan just refused to certify the election results! Having courage is a beautiful thing. The USA stands proud!’ Trump gleefully tweeted shortly after 9 pm Eastern.
But just minutes after that tweet, Hartmann and Palmer spectacularly flip-flopped and agreed to certify the election results.
The president who has been struggling in efforts to delegitimize the 2020 election, gleefully tweeted about what looked to be a massive win for him in Wayne County – before two Republicans changed their votes
Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday night that Michigan’s Wayne County had ‘refused to certify the presidential election results’ – just minutes before they actually did so
According to The Detroit Free Press, their certification is contingent on having ‘the Michigan Democratic Secretary of State conduct an independent comprehensive audit of all of the jurisdictions in the county that recorded unexplained discrepancies between the number of absentee ballots recorded as cast and the number of absentee ballots counted.’
The Democrat members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers have agreed to that action.
Staebler was not the only person on the Zoom call to condemn Hartmann and Palmer.
Others say their decision not to sign off on the ballot count it as ‘a dangerous attempt to overthrow the will of voters’.
The Rev. Wendell Anthony, a well-known pastor and head of the Detroit branch of the NAACP, called the Republican county canvassers a ‘disgrace.’
‘You have extracted a black city out of a county and said the only ones that are at fault is the city of Detroit, where 80 percent of the people who reside here are African Americans. Shame on you!’ Anthony said at a meeting, which was conducted virtually over Zoom.
Monica Palmer said she was reluctant to certify the vote count as poll books in certain Detroit precincts were out of balance.
In response, Jonathan Kinloch, a Democrat, said it was ‘reckless and irresponsible’ to not certify the results.
‘It’s not based upon fraud. It´s absolutely human error,’ Kinloch said of any discrepancies. ‘Votes that are cast are tabulated.’
However, Kinloch was heartened after the Republicans reversed course and agreed to certify the election results.
‘It restored my faith in the fact that yes, government does work, that yes, the people can make a difference,” he told The Detroit News.
The city’s mayor, Mike Duggan, was also happy with the outcome.
‘Glad to see common sense prevailed in the end,” he told the publication, adding that the two Republican board members would have committed ‘an historically shameful act’ if not for their U-turn.