The Slatest

GOP Election Officials in Michigan Now Want to “Rescind” Their Votes to Certify Detroit-Area Results

A crowd of Trump supporters holding "Stop the Steal" and "Trump 2020" signs and American flags
A pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” rally at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on Saturday. Jeff Kowalsky/Getty Images

The two low-level Republican officials in Michigan who, first, tried to block the certification of a portion of the state’s election results, and then agreed to certify those results covering the Detroit area ahead of the legal deadline Tuesday night, reversed course again Wednesday evening and signed affidavits asking to rescind their earlier certification votes. The two Republicans on the four-member Wayne County Board of Canvassers, chairwoman Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, now say they were pressured into certifying the county’s results and believe that Democrats have reneged on what they say was an agreement to audit the votes in Detroit. As a consequence, they now want to decertify the results in one of the most populous counties in the country.

“I rescind my prior vote,” Palmer’s affidavit reads. “I fully believe the Wayne County vote should not be certified.” Fellow Republican board member Hartmann signed a similar statement. A Democrat on the board, however, said that both Republicans knew exactly what they were agreeing to, that there was support for an audit as a form of compromise, but that it was ultimately at the discretion of the state secretary of state (who is a Democrat). Both Republicans came under intense pressure from the local community for attempting to block the certification of precincts that were majority Black, while confirming the counts in surrounding majority-white areas. Meanwhile, the entirety of the national Republican establishment, which has collectively lost its mind, has used the suspicions of the pair of Wayne County Republicans as proof of some sort of national conspiracy to defraud President Donald Trump, the rightful heir to the throne, out of office.

“At the heart of the dispute is a last-minute compromise […] to seek a comprehensive audit of results in the Detroit area, where the GOP members said the votes were out of balance—meaning that the poll book, the official list of who voted, didn’t match the number of ballots received,” the Washington Post notes. “[Palmer] said she never believed that corrections, which were made in some precincts, would change the vote totals in the county or the state in a way that would upend the victory for Biden, who carried Michigan by nearly 150,000 votes.”

She’s not saying it will overturn the election; she’s just asking the question. People are saying, after all. Sounds pretty familiar.