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Board of State Canvassers certifies Michigan’s election results

At the time of the decision, 500 people were waiting to give public comment.
Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 6:33 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - After approximately two hours of discussion and public comment, the Board of State Canvassers certified Michigan’s general election results.

“We have a clear, legal duty to certify the results of the election as shown by the returns that were given to us,” said Aaron Van Langeveldge, Vice Chair of the board. “We cannot and should not go beyond that.”

There was some debate regarding possible fraud, as well as the desire of some members for an audit to be done, specifically in Wayne County.

Eventually, three board members voted to approve the motion. One, Norman Shinkle, abstained.

“The law indicates we must meet within 20 days of the election and have 40 days to certify the vote,” Shinkle said. “Any delay from this must be to await to receive or the collection of returns or other necessary purposes. I need to review the Wayne County Board of Canvasssers meeting from last Tuesday to determine the sufficiency of their certification. I determine this is other necessary purpose.” However, clerks from around the state largely urged the board to certify the results.

“We need to certify this election so we can move forward, so we can do an audit, so we can look into this, and we can let the voters know that everything was done and everything was done as best we could,” said Livonia City Clerk Susan Nash.

“You must certify today,” said Barb Byrum, Ingham City Clerk. “The election is over. Do your jobs and accept it.”

Several board members voiced their agreement that the election process in Michigan should be updated to better handle counting errors in the future.

At the time the decision to certify the election was made, approximately 500 people were in line to virtually give public comment. Public comments were limited to a minute and a half in length.

After the board made their decision, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson took to Facebook, saying, “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 & local procedural audits to affirm the integrity of the vote & identify areas for improvement. We will continue working w lawmakers to strengthen our elections even more in the months ahead.

Our democracy, like those who administer it, is resilient. Today it survived an unprecedented attack on its integrity. There will no doubt be more in the future, based on falsehoods and misinformation. But then, as now, we will respond with facts, data, and the truth.”

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