Racist Republicans are trying their hardest to invalidate the results of the presidential election—specifically by targeting the ballots of Black voters.
The latest indication of this was a fracas on Tuesday night at a meeting of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers in Michigan, held to certify the votes of the county in which Detroit sits.
The decision to certify was stalled, after two Republicans on the board—Monica Palmer and William Hartman—voted against it. Though they claimed their refusal was due to concerns about unbalanced precinct numbers, a CBS News report reveals they were specifically opposed to accepting votes that came from Detroit.
Detroit’s population is nearly 79 percent Black.
After the vocal pushback from others watching the certification, the two Republican canvassers reversed their decision and joined the rest of the board in voting unanimously to certify the results from Wayne County, which showed Joe Biden defeating Trump. The concession came only after they demanded—and got the board to agree—that Michigan’s Secretary of State audit the precincts.
From CBS News:
Earlier in the night, the two Republicans declined to certify the results due to concerns about precincts in Detroit and suburban communities where the number of votes recorded in poll books at a precinct didn’t match the number of tabulated votes at those precincts. In Detroit, 70% of absentee counting boards were not balanced. The precincts that were out of balance without explanation would be the subject of the requested audit.
Prior to the second vote, Monica Palmer, the Republican chair of the canvassing board, suggested she would have certified results if Detroit were excluded. This drew sharp criticism, as there were also balance issues in many suburban communities, including Livonia, a major suburb that’s 90% White.
Jonathan Kinloch, the Democratic vice chair of the canvassing board, said it was “reckless and irresponsible” when his Republican counterparts didn’t initially certify the 2020 results. “I smell politics at the core of this action,” he added.
Palmer said she initially voted against certification based on the discrepancies at various precincts. “I believe that we do not have complete and accurate information in those poll books,” she said.
“It is common for some precincts in Michigan and across the country to be out of balance by a small number of votes, especially when turnout is high,” said Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, in a statement on Tuesday night amid the coincidental controversy on certifying votes from Detroit. “Importantly, this is not an indication that any votes were improperly cast or counted.”
It sounds like unbalanced poll books are an indication of human error, especially since CBS noted that despite similar issues being present in the 2016 election and this year’s primary in Michigan, the canvassing board still certified the results of those elections.
Basically, the Republican canvassers in Wayne County were nakedly attempting to erase the voice of Black voters by seizing on a technicality.
Their attempt wasn’t allowed to happen quietly. Other board members and observers during the certification process (held on Zoom, because 2020) virtually lit them up for the racist maneuvering they were trying to carry out.
“You are a disgrace!” said Rev. Wendell Anthony, speaking to the Republicans who voted against certification.“You have dishonored the legacy of all of those who have been left out and miscounted for generations.”
“Monica Palmer and William Hartmann will forever be known in South Michigan as two racists who did something so unprecedented, that they disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Black voters in Detroit because they were ordered to,” said Ned Staebler, another observer.
And it didn’t stop there:
In case you think the accusation of racism is going too far—even though the impact of the decision to not certify votes from Detroit would be just that, racist—Twitter investigators have already unearthed evidence that Hartmann has no qualms displaying that he is a bigot:
Seems outrageous to me that a proud racist is in charge of helping manage our democracy. But then again, isn’t that the story of America?
Republicans are also attempting to block certifications of votes in Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania—states that also went for Biden in the election.