Michigan Board Votes to Certify Election Results After GOP Calls for Delay

November 23, 2020 Updated: November 23, 2020

Michigan’s Board of Canvassers voted to certify the state’s election on Monday evening amid GOP calls to delay over allegations of irregularities.

Republican Norm Shinkle, a member of the board, abstained from the vote. One Republican, Vice Chairman Aaron Van Langevelde, joined two Democrats to certify.

“This board must respect the authority entrusted to it, and follow the law as written. We must not try to exercise power we simply don’t have,” said Van Langevelde after the vote.

Shinkle told news outlets previously that he would not vote to certify the election, as his wife, Mary, was among more than 100 people who filed affidavits supporting President Donald Trump alleging misconduct in Wayne County, which includes Detroit.

“There is no excuse for confusion and uncertainty that seems to follow every election in our state,” Shinkle said ahead of the vote, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Van Langevelde said during the meeting that there is “nothing in the law that gives me the authority to request an audit as part of the certification process,” adding, “The law is pretty clear here. This board has such limited authority.”

The vote is part of a series of steps that are needed to finalize the election results. Data shows Democratic nominee Joe Biden ahead of Trump by 150,000 votes.

Trump and his surrogates, as well as GOP Senate candidate John James, had called on the panel to delay voting for two weeks to audit votes in Wayne County, which leans heavily Democratic.

Last week, two Wayne County Republican canvassers tried to rescind their vote to certify after state officials said an audit would be carried out but was not. One of them said that she was threatened, harassed, and doxxed in a bid to get her to vote to certify.

“I rescind my prior vote to certify Wayne County elections,” canvasser Monica Palmer, who chairs the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, wrote in an affidavit on Nov. 18. “I fully believe the Wayne County vote should not be certified.”

Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Saturday called on Michigan to conduct a full audit before the Board of Canvassers certified the vote.

“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.”

Trump’s legal team on Monday said it would continue its legal efforts in the state, despite the vote to certify.

“Certification by state officials is simply a procedural step. We are going to continue combatting election fraud around the country as we fight to count all the legal votes. Americans must be assured that the final results are fair and legitimate,” Jenna Ellis, Trump campaign’s legal senior adviser, wrote.

Trump and his legal team have filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.