Michigan board certifies Biden win of state in presidential election

The Michigan Board of Canvassers on Monday voted to certify the state’s election after one of the Republicans on the board supported the measure, dealing a blow to President Trump’s efforts to upend President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the Electoral College.

Aaron Van Langevelde addressed the panel as the public comment period continued and said the board must follow the law.

“We must not attempt to exercise power we simply don’t have,” he said. “In this case the law is absolutely clear.”

“This board must do is start to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election. I will be supporting the motion,” he added.

The other GOP board member, Norman Shinkle, abstained from certifying the election and supported having a bipartisan committee investigate any voting irregularities.

Shinkle signaled last week that he was leaning against certifying the election until an audit was completed of the vote in Wayne County.

The state’s 83 counties have already been certified at the county level, and the Board of Canvassers vote has historically been a formal affair.

Biden leads Trump by more than 154,000 votes in Michigan, which carries 16 electoral votes, and has amassed 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.

Team Trump has filed a number of lawsuits in Michigan alleging voter fraud but most of them have either been dismissed or withdrawn, and the state’s Bureau of Elections said last week that the election was secure.

The county, a Democratic stronghold where Detroit is located, certified its vote on Nov. 17 and Biden defeated Trump by 38 percentage points.

Election officials in the county found that there was a discrepancy with about 450 votes out of the more than 878,000 cast.

Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has said audits are planned, including in Wayne County, but they can only be conducted by law after the results have been certified.

But over the weekend, Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, joined with Laura Cox, the chairwoman of the state’s Republican Party, sought a 14-day delay so an audit could be conducted.

Trump last Friday invited a number of GOP lawmakers from Michigan, including Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, to the White House for a meeting.

Following their White House visit, the two said they were not “made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan.”

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