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GOP Michigan Canvass Board Members Try to Rescind Certification After Trump Called Them
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

On Tuesday night, the Wayne County Board of Canvassers in the swing state of Michigan was initially deadlocked, with two of the Republican members on the four-person Board refusing to certify the County's results in the election between President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden.

They cited a mismatched number between voters listed in the poll books and ballots actually cast—a phenomenon that occurred in 2016 as well. The clerical error affected around 397 votes in the county that President-elect Biden won by over 300 thousand votes.

One of the Board's Republican members—Monica Palmer—said she would be open to certifying results from districts in Wayne County that didn't include Detroit, which is around 80 percent Black. Nearby Livonia—a 90 percent white suburb—had a greater number of irregularities than Detroit.

The Republican members' refusal to certify opened up the possibility for certification to go to the state board, which—if deadlocked—would have allowed the state's Republican legislature to appoint its own electors, potentially swinging the state to Trump.

After constituent outcry, accusations of political impetus, and a premature celebration from Trump, the Board returned and unanimously certified the county's results.

According to the Associated Press, Trump personally reached out to Palmer and the other Republican board member, William Hartmann, to thank them for their support.

According to Palmer:

"I did receive a call from President Trump, late Tuesday evening, after the meeting. He was checking in to make sure I was safe after hearing the threats and doxing that had occurred."

In the time since that Tuesday night call, on Wednesday, Palmer and Hartmann sought to rescind their certification. The two signed affidavits, claiming they were misled on whether or not a subsequent audit of Wayne County's votes was binding.

They won't be successful, as the certification has already been signed and sent to the Michigan Secretary of State. What's more, one of the Wayne County Board's Democratic members, Jonathan Kinloch, introduced a motion on Tuesday night to waive reconsideration.

Kinloch said of Palmer's and Hartmann's change of heart:

"Do they understand how they are making us look as a body? We have such an amazing and important role in the democratic process, and they're turning it on its head."

Others felt the same, and were disgusted at Trump's efforts to pressure them to rescind.

Fortunately, Trump's efforts in Wayne County are virtually certain to fail.

The affidavits signed by Palmer and Hartmann are practically meaningless.

Even if the results in Michigan were somehow overturned—which is highly unlikely—Trump would still need to reverse the results in at least two states in order to receive the 270 electoral votes required to win the White House.