For a few hours on Monday, tens of thousands of people were taped to their phones and computer screens while watching a designated body in the state of Michigan formalize the state’s November 3 election results.
The Michigan State Board Canvassers election certificate is generally considered a procedural step, with final verification of the results sent and certified by election officials in 83 counties in the state.
But in an election cycle in which the president refused to give in to the election and continues to spread allegations of widespread voter fraud, every aspect of the post-election process was unusual.
After hours of public speaking, the panel confirmed by 3-0-1 votes the results that showed that President-elect Joe Biden, Democratic Democracy, defeated incumbent President Donald Trump in Michigan, despite the Republic of Michigan’s Party, John James made a concerted effort on it. campaign and other Trump supporters to delay certification.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, board members were in the same room, but public viewing was virtual. At one point, more than 35,000 people watched the Secretary of State’s Youtube page, and more than 500 people initially submitted a request to address the board.
This is a much larger audience than a meeting of government agents in general. While some issues fall within the board’s remit, such as considering whether a citizen-led political initiative or the recall of a civil servant will vote, they get more attention, and hearing the busiest agents before Monday’s meeting also attracted less than a few hundred people. people.
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Interest in Michigan’s election certification process has skyrocketed after two Republicans in the Wayne County Canvassers Board initially refused to justify the results, citing unbalanced area codes in which the number of votes in the tables did not match the number of voters registered to vote. Eventually they changed their minds, but later issued statements that they wished they hadn’t done so.
This is not the first time that unbalanced districts are a cause for concern, as Michigan Electoral Law does not allow for the recount of districts where polling books do not match the number of votes cast. But the question doesn’t mean that the votes were cast fraudulently – it’s usually a sign of human error, such as a stuck tablet, or a person logging in to vote and leaving before casting their vote.
Almost overnight, four members of the Board of State Representatives became the subject of discussion throughout the country.
Starting at Wednesday’s meeting, many observers feared the four-party bipartisan state body could reach a stalemate along the parties, creating an unprecedented legal battle. Finally, Aaron Van Langevelde, the Republican administrator, was the deciding factor, stating that the board did not have many options other than to fulfill its duty to justify the election.
“We have a clear legal duty to prove the outcome of the election,” Van Langevelde said. “We can’t and shouldn’t go beyond that.”
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Dozens of local clerks, election experts, and observers across the state testified to the safety of Michigan’s electoral process, despite the fact that in some cases human error, a continuing epidemic, and a rate of historical absences were present.
“I’m not saying there were no mistakes … but I think the voices should be heard,” Susan Nash, a clerk in the Livonian city, one of the Wayne County communities, who reported an imbalance in the district.
Failure to verify the results will “signal to the country that democracy is dying in Michigan,” Ingham County clerk Barbard Byrum told the board.
Chris Thomas, who has been the state’s election director for decades and was a senior election adviser in Detroit for that term, said the board has no legal authority to pre-certify results or even review materials outside the county. -certified returns.
– You can’t vote no. Under these circumstances, there is no “no,” he told the board. – You are the outcome of the 2020 national elections.
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These assurances did not prevent Laura Michael, Republican President Laura Cox, and attorney Charles Spies, who represented James ’U.S. Senate campaign, from seeking further advice from the board.
According to spies, the campaign said the board should justify it, but should only do so if members trust the results are accurate and have asked for a pre-certification review of the Wayne County imbalance area.
Cox said “there are too many questions to be answered about the election,” arguing that the election process was “cumulative against Republicans” at every step. He specifically criticized the proceedings at the Detroit TCF Center and asked the board to review the Wayne County election results before proceeding.
Republican attorney Norm Shinkle was flooded with these arguments enough to abstain from the final vote for justification, noting in his lengthy pre-vote statement that he said there are “serious issues” in the Wayne County certification process that need further investigation.
He called on the legislature to thoroughly review Michigan’s election procedures, and the process and members of the Senate oversight committee have already begun.
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Candidates who want to discuss the results can request a recount within 48 hours of the board being postponed, although it is unclear whether the Trump campaign will choose this path. The campaign’s legal challenges to the Michigan electoral process have so far diminished.
In a statement, senior legal counsel Jenna Ellis Trump said the campaign will continue to fight election fraud across the country “as we fight to count all legal votes”.
“Certification by government officials is simply a procedural step,” he said in a statement. “We need to assure Americans that the end results are fair and legitimate.”
Prior to the board’s decision, Trump held talks with the state’s most influential GOP lawmakers, Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkeyy, R-Clark Lake, at the White House.
Both Chatfield and Shirkey said Trump did not ask lawmakers to “break the law” or “interfere” in the election.
Certification by the board will pave the way for Michigan to send the state’s 16 democratic delegates to the December 14 meeting of the Electoral College.
Shortly after Monday night’s vote, the president announced via Twitter that he was instructing the General Services Administration with “initial protocols” for the transition process.
From 7 p.m., the hearing was still ongoing as additional members of the audience commented on the board’s action.
Watch the hearing on the Michigan Secretary of State’s Youtube page or on the following live MLive broadcast: