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Board Certifies Michigan Election Results

Nov 24, 2020

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A bipartisan state board has certified the results of the November 3rd election and awarded the state’s 16 electoral votes to President-elect Joe Biden


The vote by the Board of State Canvassers followed three hours of online public comment with more people lined up to speak.  But the action averted fears of a drawn-out procedural fight over the results.  Republican Party leaders at the state and national levels had called on the Board of State Canvassers to hold off on certification.

The board’s two Democrats voted to certify while Republican Norm Shinkle abstained.  But the other Republican, attorney Aaron Van Langevelde, said there was no legal reason to question the results. 

“This board must respect the authority entrusted to it and follow the law as written,” he said.  “We have a clear legal duty to certify the results of the election as shown by the returns that were given to us.  We cannot and should not go beyond that.”

Van Lengevelde is the legal counsel for the Michigan House Republican caucus and an advisor to House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering).

The now-official statewide results show Biden received over 154,000 more votes than President Donald Trump – and that Democratic Senator Gary Peters won reelection.

Republican canvasser Norm Shinkle abstained from voting.  He said that’s because he still has questions about how the election was handled in Detroit and Wayne County, even though that would not have changed the result.

“There is no excuse for the confusion and uncertainty that seems to follow every election in our state,” he said. “It is unacceptable that so many questions have been raised about the 2020 election.”

Also on Monday, the Michigan Supreme Court dismissed a legal challenge to how Election Night was managed in Wayne County.

Certification does not mean other legal challenges or recount requests cannot be filed.

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org