Michigan County fails to certify vote, result stalled

Republicans in Michigan’s largest county blocked certification of local election results in a 2-2 vote along party lines, which could temporarily block official approval of Joe Biden’s victory in the state .

The practical effect of the move could be a delay in the final blessing of Biden’s victory, with unofficial returns showing he beat President Donald Trump in Michigan by 146,000 votes. Still, the Wayne County Board of Solicitors’ failure to certify is a boost for Trump.

It could also embolden Republicans in key states to take similar action on the way to the Electoral College’s final vote on the presidential race on Dec. 14.

Monica Palmer, a Republican canvassing committee member, said absentee voter records in some Detroit neighborhoods were unbalanced. But Jonathan Kinloch, a Democrat, said it was “reckless and irresponsible” not to certify the results.

“It’s not based on fraud. It’s absolutely human error,” Kinloch said of any discrepancy. “The votes cast are tabulated.”

The council convened after days of unsuccessful litigation by Republican challengers and Trump allies. They alleged fraud in the counting of mail-in ballots at a Detroit convention center, but two judges found no evidence and refused to stop the canvassing process.

Protesters gather outside the State Capitol building after former Vice President Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in Lansing, Michigan November 8, 2020.

Biden crushed Trump in Wayne County, a Democratic stronghold, by more than 2-1, according to unofficial results.

The Michigan Board of State Solicitors meets on Wednesday, but certification of the statewide election is not on the agenda. This council also has an even number of Republicans and Democrats.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said Republicans in Wayne County put partisan politics above their duty.

“Under Michigan law, the State Board of Canvassers will now complete the job and I expect them to certify the results when the job is complete,” she said.

But Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis called the development a “big win” for the president and said it could pave the way for the Republican-controlled legislature to select voters if the board of elections the state also fails to certify the results.

This extraordinary step, which would overturn the will of Michigan voters, is almost certain not to happen. Republican leaders in Lansing have expressed no appetite for it.

Reverend Wendell Anthony, a well-known pastor and head of the NAACP’s Detroit branch, called the Detroit-area Republican canvassers a “disgrace.”

“No matter what you do, the President of the United States will be Joseph Biden and the Vice President of the United States will for the first time in our nation’s history be a black woman by the name of Kamala Harris,” said Anthony on Zoom. , his voice rising during a public comment period. “Put that on your ballot and vote for it. Shame on you!”

At least six lawsuits have been filed in Michigan, with the latest landing in federal court on Sunday. But there is no evidence of widespread fraud in US elections.

The issues raised by Trump allies are typical of every election: problems with signatures, secret envelopes and postmarks on mail-in ballots, as well as the possibility that a small number of ballots were miscast or lost. .

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