Michigan election officials on Monday certified Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in the state amid president Donald Trump’s brazen attempts to subvert the results of the election.
The board of state canvassers, which has two Republicans and two Democrats, confirmed the results on a 3-0 vote with one abstention. Allies of Trump and the losing Republican Senate candidate John James had urged the panel to delay voting for two weeks to audit votes in heavily Democratic Wayne county, home to Detroit.
The move is another setback in Trump’s efforts to use unconventional means to undermine the results of the 3 November election and comes even after he made direct overtures to Republican officials in the state by inviting them to the White House last week.
Under Michigan law, Biden claims all 16 electoral votes. Biden won by 2.8 percentage points – a larger margin than in other states where Trump is contesting the results, including Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Some Trump allies had expressed hope that state lawmakers could intervene in selecting Republican electors in states that do not certify. That long-shot bid is no longer possible in Michigan.
Trump’s efforts to stave off the inevitable – formal recognition of his defeat – faced increasingly stiff resistance from the courts and fellow Republicans with just three weeks to go until the electoral college meets to certify Biden’s victory. Time and again, Trump’s challenges and baseless allegations of widespread conspiracy and fraud have been met with rejection as states move forward with confirming their results.
“The board’s duty today is very clear,“ said Aaron Van Langevelde, the Republican vice-chair. “We have a duty to certify this election based on these returns. That is very clear. We are limited to these returns. I’m not going to argue that we’re not.”
Mary Ellen Gurewitz, an attorney for the state Democratic party, told the canvassers that attacks on the election results “are part of a racist campaign, directed by soon-to-be-former president Trump, to disparage the cities in this country with large Black populations, including Detroit, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.”
Biden crushed the president by more than 330,000 votes in Wayne county, where two local Republican canvassers who certified the results unsuccessfully tried to reverse course last week after Trump called them.