[ Michigan’s Wayne County]
Alisha Bell: “They are denying justice and insulting and disregarding the will of Wayne County voters. They have neglected their responsibility by politicizing the certification process.”
Officials in Michigan’s most populous county reversed course and certified its election results Tuesday evening, just a few hours after a surprising party-line deadlock suddenly cast the certification of more than 800,000 votes in doubt. Wayne County voted overwhelmingly for President-elect Joe Biden.
The two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers — a bipartisan foursome tasked with approving the results from a heavily populated swath of Michigan that includes Detroit — initially blocked the move to certify the votes, asserting discrepancies with the poll books in certain Detroit precincts.
That meant an extremely rare 2-2 tie, which would have been sent up to the Board of State Canvassers to decide.
The deadlock even earned a celebratory tweet from President Trump, who lost Michigan and the presidential election but has refused to concede.
The tie did not last long, however.
It stood for just about three hours under withering criticism, as residents made their complaints clear during a public comment period and local and national leaders lambasted the two members’ decision online.
Wayne County Commission Chair Alisha Bell, for one, called it “an appalling outrage.”
“They are denying justice and insulting and disregarding the will of Wayne County voters. They have neglected their responsibility by politicizing the certification process,” Bell said in a statement issued Tuesday, adding that she was “disappointed in the two Republican members, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann.”
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