press release

News from Progress Michigan 

November 18, 2020

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Michigan Deserves Answers from the Wayne County Board of Canvassers

Racist attempt to block election certification inspires FOIA request

DETROIT – After a contentious meeting during which the Wayne County Board of Canvassers’ two Republican members initially refused to certify election results for Detroit, watchdog group Progress Michigan has filed a FOIA request for communications between board members and Republican operatives.

In an unprecedented move, Republican BOC members Monica Palmer and William Hartmann voted against certifying the election results despite a complete lack of evidence for any kind of fraud or misconduct. Palmer, who is the subject of an ongoing ethics complaint, and Hartmann, who has openly peddled propaganda and conspiracy theories on social media, only changed their votes after several hours of scathing public comments from Wayne County residents.

“Let’s call this what it was: a blatantly partisan attempt to discount the votes of Black and brown Detroiters and undermine the will of the people,” said Lonnie Scott, Executive Director of Progress Michigan. “A Board of Canvassers isn’t meant to be a political body—their job is to take an unbiased look at election results, correct paperwork or math errors, and certify those results. Palmer and Hartmann’s insistence on sowing doubt about a majority-Black city’s election results is incredibly racist and a slap in the face to Detroit voters and election officials. What happened last night was dirty politics and we believe sunlight is the best disinfectant.”