Trump ‘reached out’ to 2 Michigan election officials day before they rescinded certification of results
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is not the only Republican who appears to be placing what one ethics experts called "inherently coercive" pressure on an election official.
In Michigan, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, two of the four members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, refused to certify the results of the election despite there being no record of fraud. Wayne Country includes the majority-Black city of Detroit.
Their actions were so indefensible that a Michigan businessman, among many others, during public comments accused them of outright racism.
"I just want to let you know that the Trump stink — the stain of racism that you, William Hartmann and Monica Palmer, have just covered yourself in is going to follow you throughout history," said Ned Staebler via Zoom, in a now-viral video. "Monica Palmer and William Hartmann 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."
WAYNE COUNTY BOARD OF CANVASSERS - 2 Republican members voted not to certify the ballots- public comment is now ope… https://t.co/hkgSLPXtDf— Jennifer Ann Wilson WXYZ (@Jennifer Ann Wilson WXYZ)1605657526.0
But Wednesday Palmer and Hartmann signed documents declaring they were rescinding their votes to certify, "under penalty of perjury."
New from Michigan: Now Wayne County Republicans want to “rescind” their votes to certify election results... https://t.co/2tgT70JuHo— Donovan Slack (@Donovan Slack)1605759542.0
What happened in between?
President Donald Trump, according to the Associated Press.
"A person familiar with the matter said Trump reached out to the canvassers, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, on Tuesday evening after the revised vote to express gratitude for their support. Then, on Wednesday, Palmer and Hartmann signed affidavits saying they believe the county vote 'should not be certified.'"
The Washington Post notes that despite signing the forms rescinding their votes, it's too late.
"Jonathan Kinloch, a Democrat and the board's vice chairman, told The Post it's too late for the pair to reverse course, as the certified results have been sent to the secretary of state in accordance with state rules."
But the perception of a free and fair – and unfettered – election, thanks to President Trump, has been damaged.
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