Republicans On Election Board In Key Michigan County Block Certification Of Election Results


Election officials in Michigan’s Wayne County, which includes Detroit, failed to reach agreement on certifying the county’s election results Tuesday night, with a 2-2 vote along party lines promising to delay the process as the Trump campaign desperately attempts to overturn Biden’s win in Michigan.

Key Facts

The two Republicans on the board voted against certification because some absentee ballot poll books were “found to be out of balance,” according to the Detroit News, but the same board certified the August primary and the county’s November 2016 general election results with that same issue. 

Out-of-balance poll books refer to discrepancies between the number of absentee ballots recorded and the number of absentee ballots actually counted, which Jonathan Kinloch, the Democratic vice chair of the board, said is common due to human error and not fraud, according to the Detroit Free Press.

A state board of canvassers, which is also made up of two Republicans and two Democrats, now have 10 days to review the results and certify the election themselves after they receive election-related documents from the deadlocked county-level board.

One Republican member of the board, Monica Palmer, was present at the TCF Center in Detroit on election night, which is now the focus of considerable public attention and a federal lawsuit by the Trump campaign claiming poll watchers were unfairly treated. 

Crucial Quote

“Based on what I saw and went through in poll books in this canvass, I believe that we do not have complete and accurate information in those poll books,” Palmer said, according to the Detroit News.

Key Background

Trump has continued to erroneously claim that he won the election because of widespread voter fraud. But despite Trump’s confident tweets about the election results, his legal team has lost every single challenge so far. In Michigan, the Trump campaign sought to block Wayne County’s certification in one of several lawsuits attempting to overturn Biden’s win by 146,000 votes in the state. An appeals court denied that request Monday.

What To Watch For

Democrats are worried that any delay in certifying Biden as Michigan’s winner could allow Republicans in the state legislature to appoint their own electoral college representatives. Though the notion is supported by Trump legal advisor Jenna Ellis and other allies of the president, GOP state leaders have said lawmakers won’t interfere in the results.

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