Wayne County Republican canvassers rescind vote, result in circuit court race reverses, warm Thursday coming

The two Republicans on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers have both rescinded the votes they cast to certify the election results on Wednesday, the second reversal in as many days after initially declining to authorize the election.

In a signed affidavit from Monica Palmer, the chairperson and one of the two Republicans on the board, she said the county's election had "serious process flaws which deserve investigation." She also said that she felt threatened after several remarks from the public accused her of racism and was bullied by Democrats on the board.

"I initially voted not to certify the election, and I still believe this vote should not be certified and the State Board of Canvassers should canvass for an additional period," she wrote.

The reverse-reverse decision comes a day after the deadline for county canvassing boards to certify their elections. The pre-selected date for the certification to be done was Nov. 17 and if any counties couldn't resolve their election certifications, the responsibility would fall on the state canvassing board. 

However, with that date gone and the certified votes out of the Wayne County's board, Michigan has waded into murky legal territory making it unclear if the rescinded support could alter the certified votes. 

The latest 2020 election firestorm in Michigan arrived Tuesday after Palmer was joined by Republican William Hartmann in electing not to certify the Wayne County election. During a zoom call in the afternoon, a public comments portion of the meeting saw dozens of people chastising the individuals, calling the decision racist for attempting to exclude the vote of Detroit, a majority-black city.

At one point, Palmer indicated she would be comfortable certifying the results of every precinct but those located in Detroit, despite irregularities being reported elsewhere. Among the concerns of Palmer and Hartmann were the number of out-of-balance precincts. Of Detroit's 503 election day precincts, 85 of them had unexplained discrepancies in the vote count. Of the city's 134 absentee voter counting boards, 94 didn't add up.

The majority of these discrepancies amounted to three votes or fewer. 

However, the Republicans reversed course after Vice-Chairman Jonathan Kinloch said if the two voted to certify the results, a complete independent audit of the city's elections would be undertaken.

Then, as written in the affidavits provided by Palmer and Hartman, "Michigan Secretary of State Joceyln Benson made a public claim that the representations made by Mr. Kinloch, on which we had relied, would not be followed."

The state canvassing board had originally planned to meet the day after to take a look at the Wayne County vote. But with the originally certified votes, the meeting was canceled. The board is scheduled to meet on Nov. 23 to certify the state's results.

Palmer will hold a press conference at noon Friday alongside her attorney from Southfield. 

Wayne County Circuit Court race reverses alongside narrow vote margin

If the certification vote reversals weren't enough to hurt your neck, get ready for an entirely different result from the same county.

A mere 371 votes now separate Chandra Baker from Nicholas Hathaway after an initial tally of the result put Hathaway in front. 

Flying under the radar during a contentious Tuesday meeting with the county canvassers, Baker was ruled winner of the 3rd Circuit Court race.

Hathaway was initially ahead by 631 votes two weeks ago. But that changed during the certification meeting.

"There were some precincts that did not, the data did not transfer over to the county properly," said Jonathan Kinloch, Wayne County Board of Canvassers. "So we were able to notice that and identify it, within the canvas and continue to process those precincts in the final total."

Jewelry worth millions seized at Detroit-Canada border

The United States Customs and Border Protection says its officers seized more than $20 million at the Detroit-Windsor border on Monday.

The jewelry was allegedly destined for a New York auction house. However, the glitzy jewelry was not declared at the border and the person driving the vehicle claimed not to know of the contents of the package. 

The jewelry was seized and the owner was informed that was done as they had not properly declared it.

“For the traveling public, this example underscores the importance of knowing what is in their possession when attempting to make entry into the United States, and declaring it accordingly,” said Port Director Devin Chamberlain. “Officers in Detroit did an excellent job in discovering and securing this high-value undeclared merchandise.” 

Doctors charged with falsifying medical records for immigrants

Two doctors from Metro Detroit are accused of creating phony medical records for people applying to be citizens in the U.S.

Investigators say 70-year-old psychologist Firoza Van Horn and 61-year-old doctor Muhammad Awaisi helped more than a thousand people scam the citizenship process by helping them skip the test. 

Doctors notes saying the person has a medical or physical disability could allow people to bypass taking the citizenship test.

"They weren't sick and they didn't have a medical reason for doing that," said US Attorney Matthew Schneider. "Here's an example, someone would go to the psychologist and say I was in a car accident awhile ago, then the psychologist would write on the waiver form to get you out of taking the test, the person had been beaten had been shot, have been held captive by terrorists." 

The two face 20 years in prison.

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Ready up for a blistery Thursday with a wind advisory in effect until 5 p.m. Temperatures will rise to a warm 61 degrees today.

COVID-19 deaths in US surpass 250,000 as states add new restrictions

More than 250,000 deaths in the United States are now blamed on the novel coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University — another grim milestone reached as the country continues to face soaring new daily case figures and hospitalization rates.

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Health experts have forecasted a particularly morbid winter due to a disregard for mask-wearing and other precautions. With the onset of cold weather and crowded holiday gatherings quickly approaching, health officials say that small household gatherings have become an important contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

The spike prompted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release updated guidelines for Thanksgiving celebrations.