A special guest post by former MI Senator Patrick Colbeck and author of “The 2020 Coup: What Happened. What We Can Do”
The official narrative promoted by Michigan election officials has long been that Brandon defeated President Donald J. Trump in the 2020 General election in Michigan by 154,188 votes, thereby awarding Michigan’s 16 electoral college votes to Brandon. On the basis of this narrative, on July 18, 2023, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel indicted each of the alternate 16 Republican electors with eight felony counts, including forgery and conspiracy charges. These charges hinge upon the assertion that the 2020 election was lawfully certified. Was it?
Wayne County, MI, is the largest county by population in the State of Michigan. According to the official Wayne County election records for the 2020 General Election, 597,170 votes were cast for Brandon and 264,553 for President Trump for a vote margin of 332,617 in favor of Brandon. If these votes were not lawfully certified, the statewide vote margin would flip to reveal a 178,429 margin of victory for President Trump in Michigan. That means that due to the discrepancy, President Trump, not Brandon, would be the rightful owner of Michigan’s 16 electoral college votes for the 2020 election.
The question is, “Are there compelling legal grounds to assert that the 2020 election results in Wayne County, MI, were not lawfully certified?”
Continue reading this post to find out what evidence supports this assertion.
In Michigan, county election results are certified by the county board of canvassers. The powers and duties of county boards of canvassers are defined in MCL 168.24a. The act of canvassing is equivalent to conducting an audit or “thorough examination” of election records. Each county in Michigan has four appointees to the County Board of Canvassers – two Republicans and two Democrats. Per MCL 168.24e, a minimum of three canvassers must agree before any action of that board “becomes effective,” including certification.
To better understand how one could logically assert that the 2020 general election in Wayne County was not lawfully certified, let’s compare the certification paperwork for the 2016, 2018, and 2020 general elections in Wayne County as obtained by the Michigan Grassroots Alliance via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
The 2016 General Election was clearly certified by all four county canvassers.
Only three canvassers signed the 2018 general election certification paperwork. Per MCL 168.24e, this is a sufficient number of canvassers supporting certification, so the decree has full effect.
In contrast with the 2016 and 2018 certifications in Wayne County, the certification paperwork for the 2020 election was only signed by two of the county canvassers. Per MCL 168.24e, this is reportedly NOT a sufficient number of canvassers to certify the election. In other words, the 2020 general election results in Wayne County were not lawfully certified. This is a statement of fact, not conjecture.
Technically, only one Republican and one Democrat have to sign the document to make it legal, but in the case of the 2020 election, only two Democrats have signed the official 2020 General Election Certificate.
Anyone attempting to assert that the failure to lawfully certify the 2020 general election results in Wayne County was simply a “clerical error” would be incorrect. The record of the events leading up to the certification vote on November 17, 2020, as well as the meeting minutes for the November 17, 2020, Wayne County Board of Canvassers meeting, clearly indicates that the two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, Monica Palmer and William Hartman (now deceased), had significant reservations as to the integrity of the election records presented to them for certification. There were significant anomalies for which no satisfactory explanation had been provided to them by election officials. There was clearly an expectation by these officials that Palmer and Hartman would simply “look the other way” and “rubber stamp” the certification regardless of these anomalies. They did not do so.
Detailed accounts of these anomalies and the November 17, 2020 timeline can be found in my book The 2020 Coup: What Happened. What We Can Do. I’m sharing a summary of this information.
Wayne County Election Anomalies
There were numerous anomalies that bring the certification of the 2020 election results in Wayne County into question. Included among these anomalies are the following:
- There was a 3:30 am ballot drop at the Absentee Vote Counting Board (AVCB) center at the TCF Center in Detroit without any chain of custody.
- Brazen poll book updates one day before Wayne County Board of Canvassers vote on certification, 13 days after the election, and 6 days after Michigan statute (MCL 168.813) requires the list of voters to be uploaded to the statewide Qualified Voter File.
- An astounding 71% of AVCBs in Detroit were unbalanced and, per statute, not subject to recount.
November 17, 2020, Wayne County Board of Canvassers Meeting
The November 17, 2020, Wayne County Board of Canvassers Meeting was a marathon session that revealed at least three significant issues with the certification of the election results in addition to signed certification paperwork. The official board minutes from this meeting can be viewed below.
Issue #1: Certification Vote Did Not Pass
I was personally present at the November 17, 2020. While there, I witnessed the canvasser vote on certification. Monica Palmer and William Hartman voted No. Allen Wilson and Jonathan Kinloch voted Yes. Since three Yes votes are required to certify an election, the motion to certify the election failed. The minutes clearly document this vote regarding certification.
Under MCL 168.822, the failure of the county board of canvassers to certify the election should have resulted in a transfer of all county election records to the state for them to canvass the county results. That didn’t happen. Instead, what followed was a public comment period featuring disgraceful, intimidating racist accusations against Palmer and Hartman.
Watch Democrat State Representative Abrahim Aiyash and Wayne State University Vice President Ned Stabler threaten Monica Palmer and her “children” during the public comment portion of the Zoom call.
Shortly after their threat, Monica received a death threat aimed at her teenage daughter.
Issue #2: Conditional Vote
Subsequent to the employment of the intimidation tactics on display during public comment that included the doxing of the daughter of Monica Palmer by Aiyash, both Palmer and Hartman issued conditional yes votes on certification provided that a comprehensive audit of the unexplained precincts in Wayne County would be conducted. Such an audit never happened.
In addition to the conditions associated with the vote never having been satisfied, there never was a motion to reconsider the first vote. Under standard public meeting rules, the first vote has standing, not the second vote, without a motion to reconsider the first vote being passed.
Issue #3: Reassertion of No Vote
Finally, in the wake of public statements made by the Michigan Secretary of State in which she asserted she would not be complying with the conditions stipulated in the second vote, Chair Monica Palmer released the following affidavit indicating a reaffirmation of her No vote on certification.
The other Republican member of the Board of Canvassers, William Hartman, issued a similar statement reasserting his No vote on certification.
While the lack of the required certification signatures is all that is needed to assert that Wayne County never lawfully certified the 2020 election, it is clear to see that there are additional compelling reasons to support the same conclusion.
I do believe that Democrat representatives of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, Allen Wilson and Jonathan Kinloch, should be held accountable for signing a certifiably false statement. Their signatures asserting that they were presenting the correct transcript of the election results to the State Board of Canvassers are false assertions in light of the failure to pass the motion to certify the election.
The actions of the members of the State Board of Canvassers who certified the 2020 general election also merit legal scrutiny. They were negligent in the conduct of their duties to canvass the statewide election results. In particular, they were notified prior to taking their vote to certify the statewide results that the Wayne County results were not lawfully certified.
In spite of this important fact being brought to their attention, they voted to certify the statewide results without any substantive investigation of this assertion. In this light, Aaron Van Langevelde, Jeannette Bradshaw, and Julie Matuzak are also guilty of making false statements under oath.
The statewide results of the 2020 general election hinge upon the lawful certification of Wayne County’s election results. The results of the election in Wayne County were allegedly NOT lawfully certified. Any one of the following reasons would be sufficient to justify this assertion on its own, but notably, there are no less than four substantive reasons.
- The official certification paperwork for the Wayne County Board of Canvassers only shows 2, not the required 3 signatures.
- The initial vote was 2-2. 3 votes are needed to certify election results.
- The conditional vote was 4-0, but there was no motion to reconsider the initial vote, and the conditions associated with the vote were rejected by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
- Upon rejection of conditions, both Palmer and Hartman reasserted their no votes via affidavits.
The failure to lawfully certify the election results in Wayne County during the 2020 election changes the reported outcome of the election in Michigan. As a result, President Donald J. Trump is the lawful winner of Michigan’s 16 electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election. The alternate slate of Republican electors is, therefore, entirely justified beyond any reasonable doubt. The charges issued by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel against these electors should, therefore, be dismissed immediately.
Special note from Patty McMurray: I have spoken with Monica Palmer, who confirmed that she never signed the certification document because she and Bill Hartman left the Wayne County Board of Canvassers meeting out of fear for their safety. She was later told a “rubber stamp” would be used to sign their names.