Michigan County backtracks, votes unanimously to certify election results
Michigan’s largest county board of canvassers reversed course Tuesday night, voting unanimously to certify the election results after initially deadlocked in a party vote.
The Michigan Secretary of State’s Office confirmed that the Wayne County Board of Solicitors voted by a 4-0 margin to certify the election results in Wayne County, which is heavily Democratic and includes Detroit, and that the council request that Jocelyn Benson, the state’s top election official, investigate any discrepancies in the vote totals.
The unanimous decision marks a 180-degree turn from just hours earlier Tuesday night, when both Republicans on the panel voted against certification, sparking celebrations from the GOP and an outcry from Democrats who said the initial vote was simply delaying the inevitable.
Republicans had refused to certify the election after some mail-in ballots in Detroit were deemed lopsided, but lawmakers and liberal activists flooded the panel with criticism given that a similar mismatch in the August primaries and general elections of 2016 did not prevent the body from certifying these results.
President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenUS tells UN Russia has list of Ukrainians ‘to kill or send to camps’: report Latest satellite images show shift in Russian military activity near Ukraine Biden agrees to meet Putin ‘in principle’ if Russia doesn’t invade Ukraine MORE currently has a lead of nearly 150,000 votes over President TrumpDonald TrumpRepublicans scramble to stop Greitens in Missouri Mace: I’ll win without Trump Walter Dellinger: A scholar and a mensch MORE in Michigan, which was called in favor of Biden, and a nearly 40-point lead in Wayne County, a Democratic hub.
The county council reversal is just the latest setback for Trump and Republicans, who have launched at least four lawsuits in Wayne County and several others in battlegrounds across the country seeking to change the tally of votes based on false allegations of electoral fraud and other irregularities.
The timing of the reversal of the Wayne County Solicitors Board came as some Republicans, including Trump, celebrated the board’s initial deadlock.
“Wow! Michigan just refused to certify the election results! Having courage is a beautiful thing. America is proud! Trump tweeted around the same time as the second vote.
wow! Michigan just refused to certify the election results! Having courage is a beautiful thing. America is proud!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2020
Regardless of the second unanimous vote, the initial refusal to certify the election results would likely have been only a temporary victory for Republicans, with Benson saying state officials would have worked quickly to certify the tallies themselves.
Still, Democrats hailed the reversal, crediting their base with producing the uproar needed to force the panel into a second vote.
“We applaud this decision and are thrilled that the voices of over 800,000 Wayne County voters have been heard and their votes have been properly counted. We were reminded tonight of the importance of speaking up and speaking out. We are deeply grateful to all of you who took the time to share your story tonight. You made a difference,” the Michigan Democratic Party said in a statement.
Updated at 10:09 p.m.