A local Michigan Republican official who refused to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory in his county and who vehemently opposed vaccines has died of COVID-19. William Hartmann, 63, succumbed to the coronavirus on Nov. 30 in a hospital in Wyandotte, Michigan. Hartmann, who spread lies and conspiracy theories about the election via his Facebook page, and a fellow Republican on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, Monica Palmer, initially declined to certify the tallies of 2020 presidential election votes in their county after the results had come in. Biden more than doubled former President Donald Trump’s count, with 68 percent of the vote to 31. The board is composed of four people—the other two were Democrats—so Hartmann and Palmer’s refusal threw the election in the swing state briefly into chaos. They later did certify the vote counts, then tried to rescind their certifications, though it was too late. Hartmann, who said on Facebook that vaccine passports resembled Nazi Germany’s draconian laws, is the latest in a long line of vocal vaccine opponents, often outspoken Republicans, to die of the respiratory illness.
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