DETROID – Suddenly on the face of it, Michigan’s largest county Tuesday night’s unanimously certified election results show Democrat Joe Biden defeating President Donald Trump, just hours after Republicans blocked formal recognition of voter motives.
The initial move was condemned by Democrats, election experts and observers at a Wayne County Board Canvassers online meeting as a dangerous attempt to prevent the outcome of a free and fair election.
“We rely on democratic norms and those who fail please accept defeat,” said Joshua Douglas, a law professor at the University of Kentucky.
The state vote certification process is usually a routine task, and the final resolution in Wayne County pushes Pitton toward a formal victory in Michigan. However, Tuesday’s tumultuous developments could lead to more skepticism among Trump supporters over the election results, and Republicans in other states may be trying to find ways to mitigate the final steps to officialize his loss.
Republicans are trying to stop the formal certification of election results in other swing states, including Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
Biden defeated Trump 2-1 in the Democratic stronghold of Wayne County, and according to unofficial results, Michigan won by a margin of 146,000 votes. His victory turned Trump’s surprise victory in the industrial Midwest into a 2016 victory and set the stage for clearing the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the White House.
However, Trump and his allies launched unsubstantiated attacks based on the integrity of the election and the numerous lawsuits aimed at undermining the formal voting process. Each state certifies its election results and the Electoral College meets December 14 and codes the results.
In Michigan, Trump allies and Republican referendum challenges have spent days launching failed lawsuits. They said there was fraud during the non-voting count at the Detroit Convention Center, but two judges found no evidence and refused to stop the canvassing process.
It was against that background that the Wayne County Board of Canvassers met Tuesday. In a rare and unusual move, they did not bless the choice of the Detroit area voters. Instead, the panel split 2-2, with Republicans voting against the certification of results.
Monica Palmer, one of the two Republicans, said that in some parts of Detroit – the majority-black city poll books were out of balance. Jonathan Kinloch, a Democrat on the committee, said the discrepancies were the result of “human error” and were “irresponsible and irresponsible” for not certifying the results.
There is no evidence of widespread voting fraud in Michigan or any other state. Federal and state officials from both parties have declared the 2020 election safe and secure.
Still, two weeks after Trump’s election day, he refused to admit to Biden that he had made false allegations about voter fraud. He hailed the early developments in Michigan, tweeting that “being brave is a beautiful thing”.
But widespread condemnation quickly erupted, including Palmer and fellow Republican William Hartmann during a public commentary on Zoom, including the crowd’s online audience.
The well-known pastor and head of the Detroit branch of the NAACP, the Rev. Fr. Wendell Anthony called their actions “shameful.”
“You have separated a black city from a district. The city of Detroit itself is wrong. 80% of the people who live here are African Americans. Shame on you!” Anthony said, his voice rising.
Nate Stapler, vice president of Wayne State University in Detroit, said, “You, William Hartmann and Monica Palmer are going to haunt you throughout the history of the stain of racism that has covered you.”
Law student Joseph Zimmerman, a senior, said it “breaks my heart” to see canvassers undermine the “sacred right” to vote.
After the meeting, Hartman said he could not change his vote due to harsh criticism. Instead, he said, it acted because the board had agreed to ask the Secretary of State to investigate Detroit’s election results.
The certification of the Nov. 3 election results in each of Michigan’s 83 counties is a statewide certification by the Michigan State Canvassers Board and ultimately a step towards providing 16 election votes.
“Glad to see public knowledge finally prevailing,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said after the Wayne County reversal. “Thank you to all the citizens who spoke so passionately. You made a difference!”
Michigan Democrat leader Laura Barnes called the initial 2-2 vote “blatant racism.”
At least six election-related lawsuits have been filed in Michigan, which landed in federal court Sunday. The issues raised by Trump’s allies are common in every election: signatures, secret envelopes and postal marks on postal ballots, as well as the possibility of a low number of ballots being misplaced or lost.
On Tuesday, the Arizona Republican Party asked a judge to certify the state’s most populous county, Marigopa, until the court issues a ruling on the party’s case seeking a new number of ballot samples. In the rural district of Mohawe, the election certificate was delayed until November 23 as a sign of solidarity with the remaining electoral challenges in the state.
Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, entered a courtroom in Pennsylvania on Tuesday for the first time to testify against voter fraud concerns, although no widespread fraud was reported.