Even though the 2020 election has been definitively called for former Vice-President Joe Biden, loser Donald Trump continues to wage a desperate campaign to delegitimize the results and ultimately overturn them. While his incessant Twitter promotion of outrageous conspiracy theories has largely been dismissed as the pitiful thrashing of a cornered rat and his lackeys have been laughed out of court, Trump crossed a line on Wednesday night when he personally took matters into his own hands to interfere in the election.
part of me wants to be worried about trump calling a local election official to pressure them to exclude black votes.
but HOLY SHIT ITS SO WEAK AND PETTY AND PATHETIC, LIKE GOD DAMN.https://t.co/MWmxwXVYZP
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 19, 2020
Two Republican canvassers in Wayne County, Michigan, refused to certify the vote results for the district that just so happens to contain Detroit and the votes of hundreds of thousands of Black Americans until public backlash convinced them to certify them. The Associated Press reports that Donald Trump himself called the canvassers in question, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, praising their earlier refusal and expressing his “gratitude” for their support.
What else was said is unknown, but it’s no coincidence that the next day, the two attempted to “rescind” their vote certification by signing legal affidavits and claiming they were the victims of “hours of sustained pressure” demanding that they do their jobs and respect the democratic process.
“We deserve better — but more importantly, the American people deserve better — than to be forced to accept an outcome achieved through intimidation, deception, and threats of violence. Wayne County voters need to have full confidence in this process,” complained the two in a statement.
It goes without saying that the situation is without precedent and nobody knows if they can actually rescind their certification. The Michigan Democratic Party certainly doesn’t think so, saying in a statement that “there is no legal basis to their claims nor does there exist a path for them to ‘take back’ their vote…Certifying all election results for the state is now in the hands of the Michigan Board of Canvassers.”
A spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State agreed with that sentiment in a statement:
A spokesperson for the secretary of state is shooting down the possibility of the two GOP members rescinding their vote, saying it is out of their hands at this point.
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) November 19, 2020
While there is no real danger that the president’s intervention will succeed in somehow overturning the vote results of a state which Biden won by a decisive 2-to-1 margin, it is shocking to see the lengths to which Trump and his cronies will go in his efforts to steal the election — and it’s terrifying to see this precedent set for future, less incompetent would-be authoritarian despots.