DETROIT – There’s an old legal theory you can’t unring a bell, but two GOP members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers are trying to.
They’re attempting to reverse their vote in an effort to stop the certification of Wayne County ballots that they approved on Tuesday.
In affidavits submitted Thursday, GOP members Monica Palmer and William Hartmann said public pressure caused them to change their votes in favor of certification -- but they were initially against it.
Palmer, 40, is fairly new to Grosse Pointe Woods. Before that, she lived near Kalamazoo and worked as a secretary for the Van Buren County Republican Party.
She, like Hartmann, was appointed to the canvassing board through the state Republican Party, which submits names to county commissions for such positions.
Palmer told the Detroit Free Press it was President Donald Trump himself who called her.
In her affidavit, she claimed, ”the Wayne County election had serious process flaws which deserve investigation.”
Hartmann, 62, runs a PR and marketing firm. He took six pages to explain his decision.
“I determined that approximately 71% of Detroit’s 134 absent voter counting boards were left unbalanced and many unexplained,” he claimed in his affidavit. “I remain in the firm belief that the Wayne County vote should not be certified. These are more than clerical errors.”
Wayne County Board of Canvassers vice chair Jonathan Kinloch said the legal documents don’t carry much weight and found himself in disbelief at Palmer and Hartmann’s actions.
“This isn’t the Cheesecake Factory. This is the Wayne County Board of Canvassers and we have the responsibility to carry out official actions on behalf of the public,” Kinloch said. “You can‘t just whimsically decide, ‘I’m going to change my votes because I’m getting pressure.’”
Both Palmer and Hartmann said their families were harassed and called racists, which led to acquiescing on the certification and voting in exchange for a full audit.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson released a statement Thursday that said, in part, “There is no legal mechanism for them to rescind their vote. Their job is done and the next step in the process is for the board of state canvassers to meet and certify.”