Republicans are claiming that the Wayne County canvassers reversed course in certifying the election results on Tuesday nights as a result of attacks and violence launched at them.
The Board of Canvassers in Wayne County, Michigan, had originally voted 2-2 along party lines, a tie that meant election results could not be certified. Later that same night, the Republican canvassers flipped their vote, voting instead to certify the election results unanimously.
The vote came with the demand that the Michigan Secretary of State’s office conduct a “comprehensive” audit of the precincts with vote tallies that did not match the number of votes registered.
Board Vice Chairman Jonathan Kinloch, one of the two Democrats on the board, said the audit was a way to get the Republican members to support certifying the votes. Kinloch said that public criticism from pollworkers and voters also helped to sway the members, according to The Detroit News.
“It restored my faith in the fact that yes, government does work, that yes, the people can make a difference,” said Kinloch, who has promised to ensure the audit takes place.
A spokesperson for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told The Michigan Star that they could not comment on a potential audit, saying that it was “the subject of pending litigation.”
Republicans are now saying that the Republican members of the board only flipped their vote after being met with threats and intimidation.
It's rather clear that Wayne County Republicans in Michigan were bullied and threatened into reversing their decision on vote certification.
— Amanda (@AmandaPresto) November 18, 2020
Kyle Olson of Breitbart News said the canvassers were met with numerous personal attacks.
“I watched all of the public comment period earlier today, and it was amazing to me to see the amount of personal attacks,” he said during an interview on Newsmax TV. “It had nothing to do with policy. It had nothing to do with arguing about why this should be certified. It was personal attack after personal attack, just withering attacks, against these two members of the Board of Canvassers.”
Kyle Olson of @BreitbartNews says "it was amazing to see the amount of personal attacks, it had nothing to do with policy" regarding the certification of the vote in Wayne County, Michigan. https://t.co/VlT7z8drtO pic.twitter.com/sCLhFSo4ii
— Newsmax (@newsmax) November 18, 2020
Others pointed out Democratic Michigan State Representative-elect Abraham Aiyash, who accused the Republican members of suppressing black voters. Aiyash then doxxed the children of board member Monica Palmer, according to The Federalist.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also slammed Democrats for what she called a “typical barrage of leftist threats.”
Last night the Wayne County Board of Canvassers refused to certify the election results, citing irregularities (which are documented in 234 pages of affidavits)
Then came the typical barrage of leftist threats & cries of racism from the Squad, the failed Governor, and others…⬇️ https://t.co/Qfxlb9gvEK
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) November 18, 2020
Democrats have said that the board’s original refusal to certify the vote was stemmed in racism.
“You are standing here today, telling folks that black Detroit should not have their votes counted,” said Aiyash, according to The Federalist. “You are certainly showing that you are a racist. You may say that you are not. You may claim that you are not. But let’s be very clear, your words today, and your actions today made it clear that you are okay with silencing the votes of an 80 percent African-American city.”
A columnist for the Detroit Free Press took a similar stance.
“Last night, Palmer and Hartmann voted against certifying the vote in Wayne County, the state’s most populous jurisdiction and one of its most Democratic, in an effort to do … what, I’m not even sure. But in doing so, they made it abundantly clear that their intent was to disenfranchise voters in Detroit, which, in this case, means Black…” wrote Nancy Kaffer. “…Palmer and [Republican member William] Hartmann voted to disenfranchise all of this, all of us — Republican and Democrat, Black and white, Yemeni and Hispanic, French and Greek and Lebanese, the rich fabric of this community that makes it our home. They voted to disenfranchise Detroit and Dearborn and Westland and Romulus and Garden City and Grosse Pointe. They voted to render meaningless results in the presidential election, the U.S. Congress, and the Canton Twp. Board of Trustees.”
Benson responded to a statement from President Trump about the certification, later saying that the 202 elections were “the most secure in American history.”
Wrong again. 🇺🇸 https://t.co/VPKC91o4hw
— Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson) November 18, 2020
Had the vote not passed, it would have gone to Michigan’s Board of Elections, Benson said.
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair.
Photo “Vote Here Sign” by Tony Webster. CC BY 2.0.