Whitmer: Wayne County certification drama is a 'blatant attempt to steal the election'

Posted at 8:18 AM, Nov 20, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spoke Thursday night ahead of a visit by two leading Michigan Republicans to the White House to meet with President Donald Trump.

Related: Trump invites Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders to White House

The meeting between Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield comes amid chaos over the certification of Wayne County election results.

Related: Benson: All 83 counties in Michigan have voted to certify election results

"The will of the people will be done, and these efforts to disenfranchise Wayne County, where a majority of our African American voters live, is a blatant attempt to steal the election result and disenfranchise Michigan voters," Whitmer said.

Related: Trump reportedly reached out to GOP Wayne County canvassers who are now looking to reverse decision

Earlier this week, the Wayne County Board of Canvassers voted to certify Wayne County's election results, but it came after the two Republicans, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, originally voted not to certify the results.

Overnight Wednesday, both Palmer and Hartmann filed signed affidavits looking to rescind their "yes" vote.

SOS: No legal mechanism for GOP Wayne County canvassers to rescind votes

It was later reported that Trump spoke with both of them, and later Thursday, he invited Chatfield and Shirkey to the White House.

"If they're going to undermine the results of this election and to disenfranchise Michigan voters and embarrass Michigan, what they are doing runs against our law, and they should be very careful because it's dangerous," Whitmer said.

Whitmer said to CNN that she isn't sure why they're going to the White House.

"Maybe they're going to lobby for COVID funding, which would be welcome here in Michigan and across the country," she said.

Neither Chatfield nor Shirkey have commented about the visit.

Whitmer was also asked if Trump violated any laws by calling the Wayne County GOP canvassers who shortly after attempted to rescind their vote.

"I think that's a legitimate question," Whitmer said. "Continuous efforts to interfere could be legally unsound and I think they should all be very careful.

"They have a job to do and that's to certify the election. The state board needs to do that," Whitmer added. "If they don't, there will be ramifications of it."