William Hartmann, 63, Michigan official who contested the election, dies


William Hartmann, one of two Michigan Republican election officials who initially refused to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election in Wayne County, where Joe Biden defeated Donald J. Trump, died on November 30 in a hospital in Wyandotte, Michigan. , near Detroit. He was 63 years old.

About two weeks before Mr Hartmann’s death, which was confirmed by the Michigan Republican Party, his sister, Elizabeth Hartmann, wrote on Facebook that he was “in intensive care with Covid pneumonia and currently on a ventilator”. Mr Hartmann had been outspoken in his opposition to Covid vaccines.

He gained national attention after he and fellow Republican Wayne County Solicitors Council Monica Palmer refused to certify the election results. Mr. Biden had won the county, which includes the city of Detroit, with 68% of the vote, against 31% for Mr. Trump.

Both election officials pointed to minor record discrepancies involving a few hundred votes, although the discrepancies had no effect on the result: Mr Biden won the county by more than 330,000 votes. But their refusal to certify the results has left the Wayne County board of directors, made up of two Republicans and two Democrats, at a standstill. He also threatened to delay certification of Michigan’s entire vote.

Their action, wrote The New York Times, “was a surprisingly partisan move that would have potentially disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters in a predominantly black city.”

It also contributed to the chaos and confusion that spread across the country as Mr. Trump grew increasingly adamant in falsely claiming that he did indeed win the election.

The position of the two officials prompted hundreds of outraged Michigan voters and civil rights activists to immediately stage a Zoom appeal and accuse the two of attempting to overturn the election. A few hours later, Mr. Hartmann and Ms. Palmer certified the results and approved the official tally.

But that led to Mr. Trump calling them personally, The Associated Press reported, and soon after, officials attempted to overturn their votes certifying the results, claiming they were intimidated into doing so. They couldn’t reverse their votes, however, and the Board of State Solssers subsequently certified Michigan’s statewide results. Mr. Biden won the state’s 16 electoral votes with 50.6% of the vote against Mr. Trump’s 47.8%.

Mr Hartmann was born on August 30, 1958, but little other information about his background is publicly available and attempts to contact his family have failed.

On his Facebook page, he indicated a long involvement with the Republican Party. He listed his pseudonym as “Fairly taxed already” and called himself an “international mystery man”.

Mr. Hartmann described himself as the owner of the All in one campaign, a collaboration of consultants who advise candidates on electoral strategy; the general manager and technical engineer of Synergy services, which describes itself as a consulting firm “focused on federal and state contracts, as well as political consultation”; and the owner and CEO of Custom Renovation, a building renovation service, in Wyandotte.

As the Times reported during the electoral dispute, Mr Hartmann had filled his Facebook page with false allegations and conspiracy theories that the 2020 results had been manipulated against Mr Trump. He said he was harassed after the November 17 episode, that law enforcement officers had to escort him out of his home to safety and that he did not come out before. one week.

“I was afraid that someone would recognize me when I was outside and want to fight me” he told the right-wing Epoch Times news agency. last december. He said he had been pursued by the media and received more than 1,500 hate emails.

Her sister started posting health updates on Facebook last month after contracting Covid. But she said she quit once the news drew unwanted attention to her family.

“Bill is fighting for his life and why anyone would want to use that time for his political vomit is disgusting and sad,” she wrote. “My brother is a kind, generous, honest and exceptional man.”

Tributes online have called him a patriot and a true conservative.

Mr Hartmann has made it clear on his own social media accounts that he does not believe in Covid vaccines. He suggested that vaccination passports, showing proof of vaccination, were something from Nazi Germany.


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