The two Republican members on Wayne County's board of canvassers signed affidavits Wednesday alleging that they were bullied and misled into approving the election results, now insisting that the "votes should be not be certified" until serious irregularities in Detroit's poll books are resolved.
In the statements, the board's Chairwoman Monica Palmer and fellow GOP member William Hartmann rescinded their votes and also signaled potential legal action ahead.
"I voted not to certify, and I still believe this vote should not be certified," Hartmann stated in his affidavit. "Until these questions are addressed, I remain opposed to certification of the Wayne County results."
Palmer added: "I rescind my prior vote to certify Wayne County elections."
Both pointed to discrepancies in nearly three quarters of Detroit's precincts poll books where ballots are supposed to match qualified voters.
In Hartmann's review, he determined approximately 71 percent of Detroit's 134 Absent Counting Boards (AVCB) were left "unbalanced and many unexplained."
Hartmann noted that soon after he informed the board of the inconsistencies, a motion to certify was made by vice chairman Jonathan Kinloch, an opposing Democrat.
"The Wayne County election had serious process flaws which deserve investigation," Palmer wrote. "I continue to ask for information to assure Wayne County voters that these elections were conducted fairly and accurately."
Despite "repeated requests," Palmer explained that she has not received the requisite information, saying that an additional 10 days of canvas by the State Board of Canvassers is needed to provide the necessary information.
Their pronouncements followed just a day after a chaotic Zoom meeting where the county's election board initially failed to certify the Nov. 3 election results in a 2-2 deadlocked decision along party lines.
One of the participants in the call, Ned Staebler, railed against Palmer and Hartmann, saying their legacy would be one of racism that would carry on to their grandchildren.
While newly elected State Congressman Abraham Aiyash blurted out where Palmer lived. Aiyash also said that Palmer and Hartmann's interest in reconciling the voter rolls in Detroit was a product of racism. In addition to the abuse endured on the virtual call, Twitter users doxxed Palmer, posting her home address and the identity of her husband's employer.
Palmer and Hartmann voted to certify after this, but later expressed how they felt unduly pressured to reverse course abruptly.
"The comments made accusations of racism and threatened me and members of my family," Palmer alleged in her affidavit.
Hartmann claimed they were "berated and ridiculed by members of the public and other Board members."
"This conduct included specious claims that I was racially motivated in my decision," Hartmann continued. "This public ostracism continued for hours during which time we were not provided an opportunity to break for dinner and were not advised that we could depart and resume the hearing on another date."
After hours of backlash from residents and "public derision" from their Democratic colleagues, the two Republican canvassers were "enticed to agree to certify based on the promise that a full and independent audit would take place." Kinloch assured that a "complete audit of Detroit's election would be undertaken."
"Later that evening, I was sent statements by Secretary Jocelyn Benson made saying that she did not view our audit resolutions to be binding," Palmer testified. "Her comments disputed the representations made by Vice-Chair Kinloch on which I relied."
Palmer and Hartmann's actions were immediately commended by the conservative-leaning Thomas More Society's Amistad Project head Phill Kline. His organization has been contesting election irregularities in several battleground states.
"I'm pleased Mr. Hartmann and Ms. Palmer reiterated their opposition to the certification of the Wayne County results despite bullying and threats and in the face of broken promises by Michigan's Secretary of State," Kline told Just the News, which broke the news. "Mr. Hartman is properly demanding answers from Wayne County election officials."