The Michigan Republican Party urged state election officials on Nov. 21 to postpone certification by adjourning for two weeks to allow for a "full audit and investigation" of Wayne County's results amid claims of "numerical anomalies" and procedural irregularities.
"This board faces a stark choice," they wrote. "It can either ignore numerical anomalies and credible reports of procedural irregularities, leaving the distrust and sense of procedural disenfranchisement felt by many Michigan voters to fester for years; or it can adjourn for fourteen days to allow for a full audit and investigation into those anomalies and irregularities before certifying the results."
The letter echoes the concerns expressed by John James, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, who submitted a similar request to the board, asking members to take the two weeks for an audit.
James is contesting the results of his race against Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) in the Nov. 3 election and hasn’t conceded yet. The unofficial result shows that James trails Peters by around 92,000 votes, or a gap of about 1.7 percentage points.
“Sometimes, the truth takes time to surface, and it’s rarely easy to get to. Time is the most valuable asset we have at this stage and I ask that we take all the time reasonable and allowed—not to undermine our elections—but to improve them and boost public confidence in the results of the election,” he wrote.
James said there were multiple reports of irregularities and abnormalities in Detroit's TCF Center on the night of the election, such as poll challengers and poll workers reported feeling harassed and unable to do their jobs.
She told the outlet that she and Hartmann agreed to certify after former Vice Chairman Jonathan Kinloch, a Democrat, agreed to carry out an audit "to clarify the precincts that were unexplained."
Kinloch said they agreed to send a request for an audit to Michigan's secretary of state the next day.
"This a typical, standard procedure following election certification, and one that will be carried out in Wayne County and any other local jurisdictions where the data shows notable clerical errors following state certification of the November election," Benson said in a statement, adding that "audits are neither designed to address nor performed in response to false or mythical allegations of 'irregularities' that have no basis in fact."
"Where evidence exists of actual fraud or wrongdoing, it should be submitted in writing to the Bureau of Elections, which refers all credible allegations to the Attorney General’s office for further investigation," she added.
A spokesperson for Benson's office, Tracy Wimmer, told the Detroit Free Press there "is no legal mechanism" for the pair of canvassers to rescind their vote.
"Their job is done, and the next step in the process is for the Board of State Canvassers to meet and certify," she said.
McDaniel and Cox, in their letter, said they are "distressed by the comments of some public officials in Michigan casually dismissing the significant problems and irregularities seen in Wayne County.
"While those comments may be motivated by a desire to bolster confidence in the election results, its actual effect has been to make the over 2.6 million Trump and Republican voters in the state even more distrustful that Michigan’s election officials are ignoring their demands for free and fair elections," they wrote.
The two pointed to Georgia's secretary of state ordering a full, statewide audit by hand as a measure to "help build confidence" in the results as a model for Michigan to follow as officials consider next steps around certification.