In a dramatic reversal Wednesday night, the two GOP members of the election board in Wayne County, Michigan, claimed in signed affidavits that they were bullied by Democrats into approving election results and have now rescinded their votes to certify.
Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, the two GOP members on the board, were involved in a deadlock over certifying the results of the election earlier this week. After initially raising concerns about irregularities in the election and blocking certification, Palmer and Hartmann ended up joining the two Democrats on the board to approve the results Tuesday night.
But now they claim they were coerced into making that decision.
What are the details?
In Hartmann's affidavit obtained by Just the News, he said that he and Palmer "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 [not to certify]. This public ostracism continued for hours during which time we were not provided opportunity to break for dinner and were not advised that we could depart and resume the hearing on another date."
In her affidavit, Chairperson Palmer added that she was the subject of "accusations of racism" and that "threats" were made against her and her family.
Both Palmer and Hartmann said they were told that considering the irregularities and imbalances in vote totals was outside their scope of authority and that a vote to certify needed to be completed that night. They also allege that a deal was struck that would allow for an official audit of the votes once certification was granted.
"I voted to agree to certify based on the promise of a full, independent audit. I would not have voted to agree to certify but for that promise of full independent audit," Palmer stated in the document. Hartmann said the same.
However, following their votes to certify, the GOP members said they were informed by the Michigan secretary of state's office that such an audit was not necessarily to follow. At this point, both decided to rescind their votes to certify.
"I voted not to certify, and I still believe this vote should not be certified," Hartmann said. "Until these questions are addressed, I remain opposed to certification of the Wayne County results."
Palmer added in her affidavit: "I rescind my prior vote to certify Wayne County elections. I fully believe the Wayne County vote should not be certified."
Both Palmer and Hartmann cited discrepancies in over 70% of Detroit's Absent Voter Counting Boards where ballots are supposed to be matched to qualified voters.
According to the board members, the numbers have remained unbalanced since the election, often without explanation as to why they are out of balance. Despite their repeated efforts, Palmer and Hartmann said they have been left without any answers on the matter.
"The Wayne County election had serious process flaws which deserve investigation," Palmer stated. "I continue to ask for information to assure Wayne County voters that these elections were conducted fairly and accurately. Despite repeated requests I have not received the requisite information and believe an additional 10 days of canvas by the State Board of canvassers will help provide the information necessary."
Wayne County's current results page shows Democratic nominee Joe Biden beating incumbent President Donald Trump in the county 597,170 to 264,553, with the large majority of Biden's votes — 426,129 — coming from Absent Voter Counting Boards.
Statewide, Biden beat Trump by a margin of approximately 146,000 votes.
It's unclear at this point if the affidavits will have any effect on the certification, which was officially sent through on Tuesday. The certification moved Wayne County's results on to the Board of State Canvassers.
According to the Detroit News, "Even if Palmer and Hartmann were able to rescind their votes, the deadline for Wayne County to certify its results has already passed, in which case any uncertified results would pass on to the state board."