(WXYZ) — Monica Palmer, chair of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, responded in a statement Wednesday evening to criticism over her initial vote against certifying the election.
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After much blow back from residents during public comments Tuesday night, the board's two Republican members reversed course and voted to certify votes as long as Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson does a comprehensive audit of the election in the county. Palmer said Wednesday that she was misled because following the second vote, Benson stated that the agreement wasn't binding.
"It was heartbreaking, in part, because my intentions were to protect the Detroit vote," Palmer said in a statement. "Not to be racist in any way; I was concerned about 70 percent of precincts not balancing in Wayne County."
Citing voter fraud in the county, which is mostly unfounded, Palmer and her GOP counterpart on the board voted against the certification during Tuesday evening's meeting.
Palmer released a list of responses to ongoing criticism of her actions, and announcing a noon press conference on Friday with her attorney to further discuss the certification and her vote.
Monica Palmer’s information regarding last night’s Board of Canvassers Certification Meeting
1) The meeting last evening – It was heartbreaking, in part because my intentions were to protect the Detroit vote. Not to be racist in any way, I was concerned about 70 percent of precincts not balancing in Wayne County.
2) It was also heartbreaking because I sat for two hours listening to people attack me. Certifying the votes has to do with making sure the precincts were balanced or explained. It had nothing to do with black or white.
3) My “no” vote on the certification was not taking votes away from anybody. I was allowing the state to find the correct information and explanations which did not happen.
4) We were not delaying the inevitable. We always knew that the margin of victory was not going to change. The purpose of the canvas is to obtain complete and accurate documentation and verify vote totals.
5) If we had the discussion earlier, it could have been avoided but they, the Democrats, were too busy trying to belittle me. They totally brought racists party politics. After the Detroit primary and the large voter imbalances, I asked for meetings with the Detroit Clerk and Secretary of State.
6) During the meeting last night, the Democrats went off the hinges trying to suggest we wanted to suppress the black vote, and that was not the case. Our concern was in Detroit, Livonia, and other communities that had unexplained imbalances.
7) Vice-Chair Kinloch offered me the solution of an independent audit of the unbalanced precincts in Wayne County, supported by
Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary Joslyn Benson. I voted to certify based on having that agreement and the audit included. At 9:30pm Secretary of State Benson said the agreement was not binding. I acted in good faith and was misled.
8) Mob rule?
There was not mob rule, but there was a lot of pressure to certify. It was not easy to sit there and listen to all of the threats on the zoom call and on social media. I made the decision ultimately because Jonathan Kinloch gave me an opportunity of the promise that an audit that was supposedly going to occur.