Two GOP election officials on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers abruptly reversed their initial decision to block the district’s vote certification on Tuesday (November 17) night.
Wayne County houses the city of Detroit which is about 80% Black. Final voting district tallies show President-elect Joe Biden won the district by 148,000 votes.
The Board was initially in a deadlock 2-2 vote along party lines, with two Republicans, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, refusing to sign off on the certification.
President Donald Trump tweeted in support of their decision, praising them, “Having courage is a beautiful thing. The USA stands proud!”
Residents of Wayne county slammed the Republicans’ refusal calling the block racist during a public comment session via Zoom.
“I just want to let you know that the Trump stink, the stain of racism that you have covered yourself in, is going to follow you throughout history,” Ned Staebler, a businessman and poll observer said during the Zoom call.
Staebler went on to point out that the same board members quickly certified a neighboring district with a 95% white population even though there were more inconsistencies between the number of votes cast and tallied in that district.
“You will 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, because they were ordered to,” Staebler stated.
After Staebler's and other residents' fiery takedown, just minutes after Trump tweeted in support of the block, both Palmer and Hartmann changed their votes and agreed to certify the vote.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan responded to the reversal, telling The Detroit Free Press, “Glad to see common sense prevailed in the end.” He added that the Republican board members would have made “an historically shameful act,” if they hadn’t changed their minds.
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