Weekly Roundup: The President wanted to suppress the vote. Wayne County fought back.

By Gabe Schneider

In Michigan’s Wayne County, Republican officials tried to suppress the vote by refusing to certify the election results. Wayne contains Detroit, which has a population that is over 80 percent Black, and it wasn’t hard for Detroiters to read between the lines: Republicans, at the urging of President Donald Trump, were trying to invalidate Black voters’ ballots around the country. 


But in a strange twist, after Trump had congratulated the officials on Twitter for not certifying the vote, they… changed their mind.


This is the weekly round-up of Votebeat stories our reporters have written across our network. 


First up this week, Michigan. 




Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, local residents showed up at the Wayne County Board of Canvassers Zoom meeting to give the two Republican members a piece of their mind. Louis Aguilar and Bisma Parvez report for BridgeDetroit. 


How did Monica Palmer, one of the two Republican members on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, get her job? Wayne County officials acknowledge there was little vetting or background checks for members of an obscure board that has thrown Michigan’s election results in turmoil. Madeline Halpert and Mansur Shaheen report. 


After losing in Wayne County, President Donald Trump urged Republican members on the Board of State Canvassers to refuse to certify the Michigan Vote. The President effectively wants to disenfranchise millions of voters who cast their vote on or before Election Day, report Jonathan Oosting and Madeline Halpert.


Has certifying Detroit’s election always been so politically polarized? It didn’t used to be so. But the situation in Wayne County appears to be the new normal. 


All of Michigan’s counties had until 3 pm Tuesday to certify their results. A request for recount in Michigan must be filed 48 hours after election results are certified. That deadline is now over.



North Carolina

Nine county elections boards met in North Carolina this week to finalize vote tallies, reports Michael Falero at WFAE. Health officials in North Carolina said no COVID-19 case spread was linked to voting, reports Coleen Harry. 


In Mecklenburg County, even as the county board certified election results, in a break from tradition, two members voted against certification. 


In Anson County, the North Carolina State Elections Board reopened an investigation into whether or not a campaign worker allegedly broke the rules of voter assistance and walked into the polling site at the elections office, assisting some voters with their ballots.


Statewide, North Carolina will have a recount for the Supreme Court Chief Justice race. Only a few hundred votes separate two candidates: Chief Justice Cheri Beasley and Republican challenger Paul Newby.




With just a handful of exceptions, all of Georgia’s 159 counties completed a hand tally of the state’s five million presidential ballots with little variation from the original numbers, reports Christopher Alston at WABE. 




Pennsylvania counties expect to sign off on election results by Monday, despite the President’s attempts to delay certification. Republicans attempting to cast doubt on Pennsylvania’s results and question the election process have failed to provide evidence of fraud, Marie Albiges and Tom Lisi report for Spotlight PA.  


In Philadelphia, Sojourner Ahebee at WURD asked Black voters to reflect on Election Day. “I thought it was important to go into the booth because I wanted to represent my ancestors who led the way for me to do what I’m doing,” said Karen Smith, a sixty-year-old Germantown resident. 


A lack of interpreters on Election Day made it difficult for at least a handful of voters to cast their ballot. “It was a situation that totally could’ve been avoided,” said one voter advocate. “We have to wonder if this is by design or incompetence.” Read more here.




Elections officials in Wisconsin say that widespread fraud is impossible. Nora Eckert at Wisconsin Watch walks readers through the life cycle of an absentee ballot, from start to finish. 



New Jersey

Where someone lives in New Jersey determines how easy it was to vote in-person on Election Day. Colleen O’Dea at NJ Spotlight News looked at how many polling sites were open in each county. In one county, only a quarter of the usually open polling sites were accessible.


As of Wednesday, even as ballots were being counted in New Jersey, members of one Congressional campaign were still chasing voters. In New Jersey’s 7th District, Democrat Tom Malinowksi’s campaign officials tried to reach thousands of voters whose ballots could still be “cured”, reports Jeff Pillets.