LANSING — After more than three hours of public comments and discussion, the Michigan State Board of Canvassers certified the statewide results of the Nov 3. general elections in Michigan. Norman Shinkle, a Republican member, abstained from voting.
This is a developing story and will be updated
As of 6 p.m. ET, the board is still hearing public comments, as it gets through the more than 500 people registered to speak. A little earlier, the board did take a moment to hear comments from members on an earlier motion to push the issue of certification forward, at which point Shinkle read a statement calling for an investigation into voting irregularity and election processes, and raised concerns about results from Wayne County.
“I do not plan on voting for certification, I believe (the) Wayne County certification process needs to be looked at, I think it has serious problems with it,” Shinkle said.
Remarkably, the other Republican member of the board, Vice Chair Aaron Van Langevelde, acknowledged, after testimonies from experts and the public on both sides of the argument about voting fraud and irregularities, that the board did not have the power to initiate an audit and that its only goal is to certify the results from the state’s counties as they are presented to it.
President-elect Biden secured a projected victory in Michigan earlier this month with 154,000 votes in his favor according unofficial results. President Trump, his campaign and legal team, and many Michigan Republicans like Senate contender John James, have cried foul and made unsubstantiated claims of mass voting fraud, especially in Detroit and Wayne County.
Governor Whitmer released the following statement after the certification:
“I commend the three members of the State Board of Canvassers who voted to follow the law and certify the 2020 election results today. The people of Michigan have spoken. President-elect Biden won the state of Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, and he will be our next president on January 20th. I also want to thank Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the local clerks across Michigan who made sure this year’s election was free, fair and secure, and the voters who turned out in record numbers to make their voices heard. Now, it’s time to put this election behind us and come together as a state to defeat our common enemy: COVID-19.”
Above: Michigan Board of State Canvassers meets to certify statewide results of the Nov. 3 elections
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) issued this statement:
“Today, democracy prevailed. With the certification of the presidential election results, Michigan and our nation can continue to move forward towards uniting around our shared values and vision for the future. It is beyond time to begin the peaceful transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden.”
State Attorney General Dana Nessel also made a statement:
“Michigan Attorney Dana Nessel issued the following statement upon the certification of Michigan’s votes in the Nov. 3 general election by the Michigan Board of State Canvassers. I commend the members of the Board of State Canvassers for today’s vote to certify our election results. A record number of citizens turned out to vote in an election that was fair, secure and transparent. It is now the responsibility of every official and leader in this country to ensure that the will of the voters is heard. The Board’s actions today did exactly that in Michigan and I appreciate and respect their courage under these historic circumstances.”
Shinkle had indicated to the Michigan GOP earlier in the week that he had planned not to certify the results. Many people have spoken at the meeting, much like the meeting of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers last Tuesday. During that meeting, the two GOP members voted not certify, but then changed their vote later in the night.
Both got calls from Trump after their “yes” votes. The two attempted to rescind their earlier votes, which is not allowed under state law.
One member of the Wayne County board, Monica Palmer, spoke at the state board meeting on Monday, saying that she only voted yes after getting promises of an audit into unexplained precinct unbalances in Detroit. In Michigan, that audit is to be scheduled after certification. She said on Monday that she would have realized that had she “been a little more on her feet” and not subjected to public outrage and accusations of racism at the Wayne meeting.
Out of balance precincts are a common occurrence in Michigan, and county and state board of canvassers certify routinely certify results from those precincts. Detroit had more out of balance precincts in the 2016 general election, with a small margin of votes between Trump and Hillary Clinton.
As expected, officials like Christopher Thomas, who advised the Detroit city clerk during the election. and Detroit’s Director of Elections Daniel Baxter spoke of the continued integrity of the election process. Thomas advised Shinkle in particular that the state law dictates the simple, ministerial duties of the board of canvasser to certify once it has received complete results from the secretary of state.
Numerous bipartisan poll workers and election observers spoke of Republican observers at the TCF center in Detroit harassing poll workers with undue questioning, not observing distancing requirements, distracting workers by inciting chants from Trump supporters and blanket challenges.
Laura Cox, the Michigan Republican Party chair, talked of an election where every step of the process “had been stacked against Republicans.” She and others who called on the board to delay its vote said there was need to thoroughly investigate voting irregularities and outright schemes to tilt the election in favor of Biden. Numerous cases submitted in battleground states by Trump and his allies have been thrown out of court for lack of credible evidence of fraud.