The State Council of Representatives on Monday confirmed Michigan’s November general election results.
A panel of two Republicans and two Democrats met on Nov. 23 to have the vote count official after all 83 Michigan counties validated their election results, which include Joe Biden’s 2.8% nationwide victory over President Donald Trump. The state certification of more than 5.5 million votes cast follows Trump and his attorneys and supporters persistently calling for the certification to be delayed. Norman Shinkle, a council lawyer, abstained. The other three members of the board all voted in favor of the certificate.
According to Aaron Van Langevelde, a Republican lawyer and a lawyer for the Republican House of Representatives, the board does not have many options other than to fulfill its duty to justify the election.
“This body must respect the authority entrusted to it and observe the law as it is written. We must not try to exercise our power, which we do not have, ”Van Langevelde said. “It is our clear legal duty to prove the outcome of the election. We cannot and must not go beyond this. “
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Christopher Thomas, a former Michigan election director who came out to retire to help oversee the Detroit election process, asked questions from the board and said attorneys have no authority to conduct or order an investigation or inspection before certification.
Republican clerk Shinkle asked if the board could adjourn without a vote.
“I think we need to look at Wayne County certification. I think he had serious problems with it, ”Shinkle said.
Thomas said the board could postpone and wait for corrections to the returns, but members had a reason for that, and since all Michigan counties had verified their findings, he believed there was no legal basis for denying immediate verification.
“You can’t vote no. Under these circumstances, there is no “no” … You are the final player in the 2020 national elections. Said Thomas.
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Proof of election has historically been a routine check-in for the board, but after members of the Wayne County Canvassers Board originally voted against the certificate last week and then contacted the president after they finally voted to certify their results, there has been speculation that the state body may refuse. the certification.
Last week, Trump also hosted the state’s most influential GOP lawmakers, Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, 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.
Laura Cox, the Republican party president in Michigan, has asked the board to delay verifying votes.
“There are too many questions, too many numerical anomalies. We need to remove the distrust and sense of procedural disqualification, ”Cox said.
Trump and members of the Republican National Commission have filed several lawsuits asking the courts to suspend their Michigan state election pending verification of the results, pending verification. Michigan law does not allow inspections to be carried out as long as election results are verified.
Charles Spies, who represents Senate candidate John James, said the meeting should be postponed until the results of Wayne County are verified.
“Our position is not that these elections should not be justified, but the Council of State Representatives should only do so if it is confident that the results it has certified are correct,” Spies said.
Van Langevelde, who was an assistant to the Branch County prosecutor, said he spent a lot of time reviewing the state’s election, and that doesn’t give the board authority to conduct the audit.
“I think the law is here for me, we don’t have the authority to ask for an audit, or to delay or block certification,” Van Langevelde said.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said an audit will be carried out to verify problems with the registration of unbalanced districts in Wayne County and other parts of the state after verifying the results, indicating some flaws among pollsters but not in numbers that would affect the outcome of the election. A stuck tablet or a person who logs in and leaves to vote before casting your vote can result in an imbalance.
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“We have seen positive signs of Detroit’s accuracy and accountability,” Thomas said. “Detroit voters have been given the opportunity to vote safely and I am pleased with what has happened.”
Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey said the use of electronic poll books and the fact that election workers take turns processing ballots has resulted in fewer errors. In the November general elections, the city managed to reduce unbalanced areas from 75% to 70% compared to the August pre-election. Winfrey answered Shinkle’s question as to why more Republicans don’t work in Detroit, stating that people could wait too long to apply and attend the training.
“We do all this to eliminate as many human mistakes as possible, but as human beings, we all make mistakes,” Winfrey said.
More information about MLive:
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Michigan Republican leaders meet with Trump. Experts call attempts to shake the election “absolute chaos.”
The Wayne County Administrator explains his opposition to verifying the election results