- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 19, 2020

The two GOP canvassers who relented and agreed to certify the election results in Wayne County, Michigan, earlier this week now want to take their votes back, saying they were pressured into going along and faced vehement personal attacks for their initial votes.

After an initial deadlock Tuesday, canvassers Monica Palmer and William Hartmann agreed to certify the results with an apparent understanding that there would be an audit later on.

But Ms. Palmer indicated that it doesn’t appear Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson viewed the audit resolution as binding and said she wants to rescind her vote to certify the results.

“I initially voted not to certify the election, and I still believe this vote should not be certified and the State Board of Canvassers should canvass for an additional period,” reads an affidavit signed by Ms. Palmer and dated Wednesday evening.

On Tuesday, the canvassers deadlocked 2-2 after Ms. Palmer and Mr. Hartmann voted against certifying the election results over questions about absentee poll books being out of balance in Detroit.

They ultimately relented; a deadlocked vote would have kicked the certification process up to the state.

It’s unclear whether the new affidavits will have any practical effect.

Ms. Benson said Wednesday that all 83 counties in the state have voted to certify their election results.

The secretary of state said in a statement Thursday that Michigan will conduct a long-planned state audit of the results as well as some “local performance audits.”

“This [is] a typical, standard procedure following election certification, and one that will be carried out in Wayne County and any other local jurisdictions where the data shows significant clerical errors following state certification of the November election,” said Ms. Benson, a Democrat.

She said by state law, her department conducts the audits only after the Board of State Canvassers certifies the election.

The board is slated to meet on Monday.

President Trump, who is waging long-shot legal battles in a handful of states where the results are close, had cheered the GOP canvassers’ initial vote on Tuesday.

The Associated Press, citing a person familiar with the matter, reported that Mr. Trump reached out to Ms. Palmer and Mr. Hartmann on Tuesday evening after the revised vote to express gratitude for their support.

Presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden defeated Mr. Trump in the state by more than 150,000 votes, according to unofficial results.

Mr. Trump’s team had filed a lawsuit in the state alleging that poll watchers didn’t have sufficient access to watching the vote counting.

Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani declared mission accomplished on Thursday.

“This morning we are withdrawing our lawsuit in Michigan as a direct result of achieving the relief we sought: to stop the election in Wayne County from being prematurely certified before residents can be assured that every legal vote has been counted and every illegal vote has not been counted,” Mr. Giuliani said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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