Two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers voting against certifying the Michigan county’s election results and drawing praise from President Donald Trump, abruptly reversed course after being bullied and accused of racism.
That’s according to the Trump campaign, as an unprecedented 2-2 deadlock changed to a unanimous vote Tuesday night to certify the results that included “unexplained discrepancies,” according to the Detroit Free Press.
Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser to the Trump campaign, appeared on Fox News to say the two Republicans faced threats and allegations of racism before they agreed to certify the ballots, telling host Shannon Bream she received reports that these two board members correctly spotted discrepancies. Ellis also said ballot counts in 71% of the county’s precincts do not match voter rolls.
“That’s significant,” the legal adviser said. “That doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. You should be concerned about it.”
“In that interim two hours in the public comments, even sitting Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib are accusing these people of racism, they’re getting threats and then they back off,” Ellis charged. “They allow the secretary of state, who was a political Democrat operative, to conduct an audit — that’s backing off.”
“This is mob rule at this point and the president is right that these people need to have courage and the state of Michigan absolutely should not certify their false results until we get to the bottom of this systematic and pervasive fraud,” she added.
As for evidence, Ellis pointed to 234 pages of sworn affidavits and a letter from 40 state lawmakers in the state detailing “a dozen allegations of systematic irregularities, outright fraud, voter intimidation.”
Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress who called Trump a “motherf*cker” her first week in office, pulled out the dog-eared race card in a tweet.
“It’s plain and simple, folks,” the radical left lawmaker tweeted. “The Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers put politics above their duty to our residents. Suggesting that all of Wayne County can be certified, EXCEPT for Detroit, is horrifying racist and a subversion of our democracy.”
It’s plain and simple, folks. The Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers put politics above their duty to our residents. Suggesting that all of Wayne County can be certified, EXCEPT for Detroit, is horrifying racist and a subversion of our democracy.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) November 17, 2020
Ned Staebler, identified as a poll challenger in Detroit, fell back on race also in a viral Zoom meeting, according to Fox News.
“The Trump stain, the stain of racism that you … have covered yourself in, is going to follow you throughout history,” Staebler said, adding that the two would “forever be known in southeastern Michigan as two racists who did something so unprecedented that they disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of black voters in the city of Detroit.”
In celebrating the GOP board members caving, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan made it clear that the earlier refusal amounted to disenfranchising voters.
“Had the Board of Canvassers disenfranchised 1.4 million Wayne County voters over partisan politics, it would have been an historically shameful act,” he said, according to the Free Press.
After the initial vote against certifying the results, Michigan Republican Party chair Laura Cox released a statement.
“I am proud that, due to the efforts of the Michigan Republican Party, the Republican National Committee and the Trump Campaign, enough evidence of irregularities and potential voter fraud was uncovered resulting in the Wayne County Board of Canvassers refusing to certify their election results,” Cox said.
President Trump took to Twitter to say the “courage” shown by the Republican board members was “a beautiful thing.”
Wow! Michigan just refused to certify the election results! Having courage is a beautiful thing. The USA stands proud!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2020
Unfortunately, that courage faded in just a few hours, though the real issue here may be how long will Republicans continue to allow Democrats to wield racism over their heads like a club.
On that note, one of the GOP canvassers, William Hartmann, said after the public comments meeting that the criticism didn’t cause him to change his vote, explaining that he did so because the board agreed to ask the Democratic secretary of state to audit Detroit’s election results.
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