Michigan, National Republicans Want State Certification Delayed

Clay Curtis
November 23, 2020

The suit pinpoints this week's attempt by two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers to block the certification of votes from Detroit on the basis that there were discrepancies on the poll books from those precincts, despite being willing to certify votes from other precincts in the county that are majority white and showed similar discrepancies. And the candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan's electoral votes.

Certifying the election is historically a routine sign-off by the board, which must act in a nonpartisan fashion. The state election board has never deadlocked over a presidential election.

From personal calls with a Wayne County canvasser, to meeting with Republican state lawmakers in Washington, the president's strategy questioning Michigan's election, which President-elect Joe Biden won, continues as time runs short.

According to Michigan GOP Rep. Paul Mitchell, who said he spoke days ago with Norman Shinkle, one of the two GOP members on the board, Shinkle indicated last week he would vote against certifying the election results until an investigation is completed so as to push a delay even though there is no evidence of fraud or malfeasance that would necessitate such a move.

Though the MI lawmakers who met with Trump on Friday said that they "have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in MI", the Washington Post reports that the state's Attorney General Dana Nessel is exploring whether they could be charged with a crime if they participated in the president's attempt to interfere in the state's electoral process, a violation of state law.

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In a statement issued minutes after the meeting reportedly ended, lawmakers announced they'd used the opportunity to ask the president for additional COVID-19 relief before adding, "We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in MI", pledging they would "follow the law" and "normal process regarding Michigan's electors".

"Having lost the vote in MI and other states that are necessary for a majority of the electoral college, President Trump and the Donald J. Trump For President, Inc. You've got to let those votes stand".

The Bureau of Elections has recommended the Board of State Canvassers certify the results, noting that all of Michigan's 83 counties have certified the results. She was appointed to the board in 2013.

Legal Counsel to former Governor Jennifer Granholm, Steve Liedel, agrees.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could initiate court proceedings to force compliance, and if there is gross neglect of duty, the governor can remove officers from their seats. Here again in MI, it's not a razor-thin margin, it's 154,000 votes.

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