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Michigan AG Investigating Threats Made Against Wayne County Election Officials

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel confirmed Tuesday that her office is "actively investigating" threats against members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.

The announcement comes a day after state election officials voted to certify the election results, formally granting Michigan's 16 electoral votes to President-elect Biden. President Trump has for weeks sought to overturn Biden's victory there and in the election overall, without gaining traction.

"We will investigate any credible complaints of threats to government officials, elected or appointed, and will prosecute criminal conduct to the fullest extent of the law," Nessel said in a statement.

"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 added.

Her office's Criminal Investigations Division initiated its probe after the county's Board of Canvassers meeting earlier this month. Nessel is asking that adding that anyone with a specific complaint about election fraud, threats against public officials or misinformation contact her office.

Nessel's office did not outline specific threats, or name which Wayne County officials may have been targeted.

However, Monica Palmer, a Republican board member, has publicly stated that she received threats, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Palmer and fellow Republican William Hartmann received widespread criticism last week when they voted against their Democratic Wayne County Board of Canvassers colleagues on whether to certify the county's election results, resulting in a rare 2-2 deadlock. The county voted for Biden by a large margin.

Citing voting irregularities and allegations of misconduct, the Republicans sought to block the certification of roughly 800,000 votes in Democratic-leaning Wayne County, Michigan's most populous county which includes the city of Detroit.

Trump championed the effort, even sending a celebratory tweet where he called the refusal to certify the results "a beautiful thing." Amid mounting criticism, though, the Republican board members reversed course and certified the county's votes.

During a virtual meeting where the public could comment following the board's initial vote, some took the opportunity to rail against both Palmer and Hartmann, who focused their objections on the majority-Black city of Detroit.

"Shame on you!" one person said during the meeting, according to The Associated Press.

On Monday, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers voted to certify the election results. Biden successfully flipped the state, which Trump won in 2016 by fewer than 11,000 votes.

In 2020, Biden's margin of victory was many times larger, winning the Great Lake State by more than 150,000 votes.

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Brakkton Booker is a National Desk reporter based in Washington, DC.
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