Michigan GOP Election Officials Want to Rescind Votes Certifying Results in Late Night Reversal

Two Republicans on the Wayne County, Michigan Board of Canvassers on Wednesday night reportedly moved to rescind their vote to certify election results in a second surprise reversal. Their decision came hours after President Donald Trump claimed that the state cannot certify its election results because of alleged voter fraud.

The Board of Canvassers were originally deadlocked 2-2 along party lines earlier this week on certifying Wayne Country's election results. Initially, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, the Republicans on the board, voted against certification. After county residents weighed in during a meeting on Tuesday night, Palmer and Hartmann changed their vote, joining their two Democratic counterparts to certify the results.

About 24 hours later, on Wednesday night, the Republicans released an affidavit seeking to rescind their vote. Hartmann claimed that they were "berated and ridiculed by members of the public and other Board members." He also rejected allegations that his decision was "racially motivated." A screenshot of Hartmann's affidavit was shared to Twitter by Fox News producer Sean Langille.

MORE: Wayne County MI GOP canvasser rescinds vote to certify election, claims he was berated and faced ridicule by other board members and pushes back on claims of racism pic.twitter.com/zFASNeuSYm

— Sean Langille (@SeanLangille) November 19, 2020

After Tuesday night's unanimous decision to certify, the Board asked Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to conduct an independent audit of the areas in the county that showed voting number discrepancies. The Republican officials' initial decision not to certify was surrounded by allegations of impropriety as areas of Wayne County showed disparities in the number of actual voters and number of votes cast.

Palmer's affidavit, signed at 9:33 p.m., claims that Benson has not promised to conduct an audit of the votes to clear up any potential errors. "Her comments disputed the representations made by Vice-Chair Kinloch on which I relied," she wrote. A screenshot of Palmer's affidavit was shared to Twitter by USA Today reporter Donovan Slack.

"As a result of these facts, I rescind my prior vote to certify Wayne County election," Palmer said. "I fully believe the Wayne County vote should not be certified."

New from Michigan: Now Wayne County Republicans want to “rescind” their votes to certify election results... pic.twitter.com/2tgT70JuHo

— Donovan Slack (@DonovanSlack) November 19, 2020

Their affidavits came hours after Trump claimed that Michigan "cannot certify the election" in a tweet that was immediately flagged by the platform as disputed. "The Democrats cheated big time, and got caught. A Republican WIN!" the president said.

Prior to the Board's unanimous vote to certify, Benson released a statement explaining that it was "common for some precincts in Michigan and across the country to be out of balance by a small number of votes, especially when turnout is high."

On Tuesday night, the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) applauded the decision to certify in a statement to Newsweek. "[We're] thrilled that the voices of over 800,000 Wayne County voters have been heard and their votes have been properly counted," the MDP said. "We were reminded tonight about the importance of speaking up and speaking out."

Newsweek reached out to the Michigan Democratic Party for further comment following the release of the affidavits.

Voting booth
Voting booths at Public School 160 on November 3, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. David Dee Delgado/Getty