Three of the board’s four members voted to certify the state’s election on Monday – two Democrats and a Republican – enough to solidify presumptive president-elect Biden’s win in Michigan. One Republican abstained, citing what he said were unexplained vote counts in the state’s most populous county, Wayne.
The GOP board member joining the Democrats, Aaron Van Langevelde, said he felt it was his “duty” under state law to certify, despite supporting an audit for Wayne’s vote tally.
“We must not attempt to exercise power we don’t have,” he said.
I’ve had a pretty good chance to look at the law. There is nothing in the law that gives me the authority to request an audit. I think the law is on my side here, we have no authority to request an audit or delay or block the certification.
The vote comes after a contentious counting process in the swing state, particularly in Wayne. An initial vote to certify the county’s result failed due to Republican opposition, prompting public outrage and hours of heated virtual commentary from residents at the board meeting. A second attempt went through successfully, however the GOP members filed affidavits looking to revoke their votes the following day. The Michigan Secretary of State’s office has clarified that there is no legal basis for such a move, saying their votes cannot be undone.
President Donald Trump and his allies have repeatedly alleged widespread voter fraud in the 2020 race, filing a flurry of lawsuits across several battleground states citing supposed irregularities in the mail-in ballot system and the counting process in a number of counties. The suits have yet to turn up any major victories for the Trump team, however, while compelling evidence of significant fraud has yet to arise.
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