Michigan’s election board voted three in favor with one abstention to certify the state’s election results on Monday following GOP calls to delay certification until an audit could be completed.
“Michigan election board certifies victory for Biden, another setback in Trump’s effort to overturn election results,” Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller said.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan election board certifies victory for Biden, another setback in Trump’s effort to overturn election results.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) November 23, 2020
Republicans throughout the state and nationally had pushed the GOP members to resist certifying vote over questions of the veracity of the vote count, especially in Wayne County, which includes Detroit. The Trump campaign and others have claimed that a number of irregularities and alleged misconduct could have impacted the result of the presidential election. President Trump is trailing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by more than 154,000 votes in the state.
On Nov. 13, Republican state Sen. Tom Barrett and Lana Theis sent a letter to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson requesting a “full audit” of Michigan election results over reports of voter fraud and misconduct.
“Every citizen deserves to have faith in the integrity of the election process and its outcome. It is our responsibility, as elected public servants, to assure the people of Michigan of the process’s integrity through complete transparency and the faithful investigation of any allegations of wrongdoing, fraud, or abuse,” the senators wrote. “Unfortunately, a number of serious allegations have been made which cannot and should not be ignored.”
The senators noted allegations compiled in the letter are “backed up by sworn affidavits of over 100 Michigan citizens, real people, willing to face legal consequences to their lives and livelihoods to stand by their assertions.”
“These claims deserve our full attention and diligent investigation to ensure fairness and transparency in our election process. As such, and due directly to these issues, we are requesting a full audit be conducted of the 2020 General Election prior to the certification of any results,” the letter says.
The Trump campaign dropped a lawsuit in Michigan last week seeking to stall the state from certifying its vote count, claiming that election commissioners for Wayne County had retracted their votes certifying the count for Wayne County and thus accomplishing the Trump campaign’s goal. The commissioners first voted to certify the election results on Tuesday night, however, and Michigan law does not provide a mechanism for retraction.
The two GOP members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers wanted to retract their votes to certify Wayne County’s results, asserting that threats and harassment leveled against them originally forced their votes to certify. The Republicans also said that the Michigan secretary of state and their Democratic counterparts on the board refused to honor an agreement to audit Wayne County’s vote in exchange for certifying the election results.
“After the vote, public comment period began and dozens of people made personal remarks against me and Mr. Hartmann,” Monica Palmer, one of the two Republican board members, wrote in her affidavit. “The comments made accusations of racism and threatened me and members of my family. The public comment continued for over two hours and I felt pressured to continue the meeting without a break.”
This piece has been updated to reflect that one board member abstained from the vote.