Michigan’s Board of Canvassers certified the state’s election results on Monday, declaring President-elect Joe Biden the winner of the state and handing President Donald Trump an official loss despite his unprecedented attempts to somehow negate a 154,000-vote chasm.
Three of the board’s four members voted to certify the results, with one of its two Republican members, Norman Shinkle, abstaining. Shinkle last week cited debunked conspiracy theories about voting machines in an interview with The Washington Post and said he was leaning toward opposing certification.
Shinkle’s qualms echoed baseless conspiracies the president and his allies have spouted continuously since the Nov. 3 election. But Monday’s certification effectively awards Biden Michigan’s 16 electoral votes ― one of his key victories in his defeat of Trump.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) hailed the board’s vote just moments after it took place in front of a virtual crowd of thousands.
“The people of Michigan have spoken,” she said in a statement. “President-elect Biden won the State of Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, and he will be our next president on January 20th. … Now, it’s time to put this election behind us and come together as a state to defeat our common enemy: COVID-19.”
The board’s action is yet another blow to the president’s assault on the results of the 2020 election after a series of defeats in the courts. Georgia, a key battleground state that Biden won by a bit less than 13,000 voters, certified its results last week. And in Pennsylvania, which Biden won by more than 81,000 votes, the certification process is underway.
In the fight over Michigan, Trump invited two of the state’s GOP leaders to the White House last Friday in a last-ditch effort to see them halt the certification process, pushing his unfounded claims of voter fraud. The president specifically targeted Wayne County, home to Detroit, and effectively sought to disenfranchise Black voters there who overwhelmingly voted for Biden.
Democrats and even some in the GOP condemned the move as “inconsistent with our democratic process.” And shortly after the meeting the two Michiganders ― both state legislative leaders ― said they saw no evidence to warrant a delay in the certification process.
“I’ve had a pretty good chance to look at the law,” Aaron Van Langevelde, the other Republican on the canvasser board, said Monday. “There is nothing in the law that gives me the authority to request an audit (of votes). I think the law is on my side here, we have no authority to request an audit or delay or block the certification.”
Nationwide, Biden won 306 electoral votes, with 270 needed for victory, while Trump got 232.