Trump election challenges sound alarm among voters of color

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When longtime Detroit community advocate Frank McGhee watched two Republican canvassers vote against certifying election results in the majority Black city, he was furious.
DETROIT —

McGhee, 58, has spent more than two decades working with Detroit youth and educating them on the electoral process. He said it was "outrageous" to see hard-fought Black voter-mobilization efforts threatened.

"I thought, these are the ultimate executioners, if you will, put in place so that quietly they could take what belongs to us," he said.

President-elect Joe Biden was in part powered to victory in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia by Black voters, many of them concentrated in cities such as Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta where he received a significant share of their support. Since Election Day, President Donald Trump and his allies have sought to expose voter fraud that simply does not exist in these and other overwhelmingly Black population centers.

Such a plainly racist strategy to contest the election could erode Black voters' trust in elections. Voting-rights advocates say they stand ready to beat back any efforts to water down the Black vote. But fears persist that Trump's allies will undermine democracy and disenfranchise Black Americans and other voters of color.

Trump renewed his attack on Motown voters Thursday, tweeting without evidence, "Voter Fraud in Detroit is rampant, and has been for many years."

The GOP effort in Michigan came to a head Tuesday, when the Wayne County Board of Canvassers initially deadlocked on a vote to certify election results that included ballots from Detroit, the nation's largest Black-majority city.

Two Republican canvassers tried to block the routine certification, which provoked an outcry from people attending the meeting and civil rights leaders who questioned whether race was a factor. The two GOP board members eventually reversed their votes and certified the results. They later tried to revert to their original position and were rebuffed by state officials who said the certification could not be rescinded.

"I think it's a dose of reality of the times that we are living in," said…
AARON MORRISON, KAT STAFFORD, CHRISTINE FERNANDO, Associated Press
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