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Michigan attorney general investigating threats against election canvassers

William Hartmann and Monica Palmer of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers
William Hartmann and Monica Palmer of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers(Michigan United)
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 12:15 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says her office is investigating threats against election officials in Wayne County, where two Republicans voted against certifying the results last week before reversing course.

Monica Palmer, the chair of the county’s canvassing board, told state canvassers that she was sent graphic text messages threatening her daughter and saying “my entire family should be fearful for our lives.”

The initial decision by Palmer and fellow Republican member William Hartmann to not certify the votes in the Democratic stronghold of Wayne County -- including Joe Biden’s 332,000-vote landslide over President Donald Trump -- sparked anger.

Both later changed their votes last week and the Wayne County election results were certified. However, Palmer and Hartmann asked to rescind their votes last week, but that request was denied.

Norman Shinkle, a Republican member of the State Board of Canvassers, said on Monday that he also received threats ahead of the vote to certify Michigan’s statewide election returns.

Shinkle was the lone member of the four-person state canvassing board to abstain from Monday’s vote. Michigan’s election results were certified by a 3-0 vote.

Nessel said her office will fully investigate credible threats of violence against any public servants.

“Serving the people -- regardless of party -- is an honorable but sometimes difficult and thankless task. And while many of us have been subjected to hateful and often obscene insults, threats of violence and harm will not be tolerated,” she said.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.