Michigan Board of State Canvassers votes to certify election results

Posted at 4:36 AM, Nov 23, 2020

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers voted to certify election results for the entire state, solidifying Joe Biden's win and giving him the state's 16 electoral votes.

Norman Shinkle abstained from the vote while three other canvassers voted to certify.

The board also agreed that the state needs to change its elections system and voted to work with the state Legislature.

“Michigan has a problem conducting elections," Shinkle said. "For that, I apologize to the citizens of this nation.”

"There are many things the Legislature can do to fix this," Julie Matuzak said.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer commended the three board members who voted yes.

“I commend the three members of the State Board of Canvassers who voted to follow the law and certify the 2020 election results today. The people of Michigan have spoken. President-elect Biden won the State of Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, and he will be our next president on January 20th. I also want to thank Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the local clerks across Michigan who made sure this year's election was free, fair and secure, and the voters who turned out in record numbers to make their voices heard. Now, it’s time to put this election behind us and come together as a state to defeat our common enemy: COVID-19.”

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson released the following statement:

"Democracy has prevailed.

Today’s vote of the State Board of Canvassers to certify Michigan’s November election confirms the truth: the election was fair and secure, and the results accurately reflect the will of the voters.

A record breaking 5.5 million Michigan citizens cast ballots in this election, more than ever before in our state’s history. Their will is clear and unequivocal.

Now we turn to the important work of implementing a statewide risk limiting audit and local procedural audits to affirm the integrity of the process and identify opportunities for improvement. And we will continue working with lawmakers at the state and federal level to strengthen our elections even further in the months ahead.

Our democracy, like the election officials who administer it, is resilient. Today it and they survived an unprecedented attack on its integrity. There will no doubt be more similar attacks in the future, based in falsehoods and misinformation. But then, as now, we will be ready to respond as always with facts, data, and the truth."

On Friday, the Michigan Bureau of Elections recommended that the Nov. 3 election results be certified. Biden won with more than 150,000 votes.

The Biden campaign released this statement in response to the certification:

"We appreciate the state board’s recognition of the plain facts: President-elect Joe Biden resoundingly won the state of Michigan by more than 150,000 votes -- 14 times the margin of Donald Trump in 2016. We thank the State of Michigan for its support, and look forward to receiving its 16 electoral votes."

President Trump's legal team also responded to Michigan's certification with a statement saying, “Certification by state officials is simply a procedural step. We are going to continue combatting (sic) election fraud around the country as we fight to count all the legal votes. Americans must be assured that the final results are fair and legitimate.”

All 83 counties in Michigan have certified the results and sent them to Lansing for final certification from the board.

Materials submitted ahead of Board of State Canvassers meeting by WSYM-TV on Scribd

“As in past elections, some jurisdictions made errors in reporting unofficial results on election night,” the Bureau of Elections memo said. “These errors are all attributable to human error in the operation of tools used to report unofficial results, did not affect the actual tabulation of votes and were identified and corrected either prior to or during the county canvass.”

The vote comes amid what some would call chaos over Michigan's election results.

Last week, the Wayne County Board of Canvassers first deadlocked on certifying the county's election results, but after hours of public comment, the two Republican canvassers did vote to certify.

It was later reported that President Donald Trump called both Republican members, who then filed signed affidavits to try and change their vote.

The Michigan Republican Party has also called on the board to delay certifying the results for two weeks. MRP Chairwoman Laura Cox and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel wrote a joint letter to the board. It said in part, "This board faces a stark choice: it can either ignore numerical anomalies and credible reports of procedural irregularities, leaving the distrust and sense of procedural disenfranchisement felt by many Michigan voters to fester for years; or it can adjourn for fourteen days to allow for a full audit and investigation into those anomalies and irregularities before certifying the results of the 2020 General Election, allowing all Michiganders to have confidence in the results."

According to Wayne County, at least 71.9% of Detroit election precincts were balanced, meaning the number of ballots matched the number of names in a poll book. Trump also had a higher percentage of votes in Detroit compared to 2016, according to the BOE filing.


Republican Senate Candidate John James has also asked the board to delay certifying the results until an audit can be done.

Trump also met with state Republican leaders at the White House on Friday afternoon.

After the meeting, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield released a statement after the meeting that said in part, "We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election."

Chatfield released this statement after the board voted to certify:

“The Board fulfilled its legal duties today in certifying the results, and now our democratic process can move forward. This is America at work.
“I am also glad the conspiracy theories pushed by far too many Democrats and some talking heads in the media for attention and personal or political gain have finally been put to rest. As we have been saying consistently for weeks, the Legislature will uphold the law and respect this result as it works to improve the process for next time. That includes continuing our work in the House and Senate Oversight committees getting answers for the many people across our state who are concerned about the integrity of the process and giving them the peace of mind they deserve. That too is America at work.”