Michigan certifies Biden election victory days after Trump depends on the state’s GOP legislators

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden makes health care remarks on October 16, 2020 at the Beech Woods Recreation Center in Southfield, Michigan.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Michigan’s electoral board confirmed Joe Biden’s victory in that state’s presidential election on Monday and dealt another blow to President Donald Trump in his efforts to block the Democrat’s national victory.

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers voted 3-0 in favor of the popular election results.

Republican board member Aaron Van Langevelde, along with the two board Democrats, voted to confirm Biden’s victory, while the other GOP member, Norm Shinkle, abstained.

The vote came days after Trump held an unprecedented meeting at the White House with Michigan Republican lawmakers to get lawmakers to nullify the referendum and nominate a list of Trump voters to the electoral college.

After the meeting, lawmakers said they had seen no evidence of fraud that would invalidate the referendum. They also said they would follow state law requiring that state electoral college voters go to the referendum winner.

Ben Halle, spokesman for Biden’s Michigan campaign, said in a statement Monday: “We appreciate the state board’s recognition of the simple facts: President-elect Joe Biden won the state of Michigan by more than 150,000 votes – 14 times as many like Donald Trump in 2016. “

“We thank the state of Michigan for their support and look forward to 16 votes,” he said.

Jenna Ellis, senior legal advisor for the Trump campaign, said in a statement: “Certification by state officials is simply a procedural step. We will continue to fight election fraud across the country as we struggle to count all legal votes.”

“Americans need to be sure that the end results are fair and legitimate,” Ellis said.

Trump’s campaign has claimed without evidence that he was dragged out of a win in Michigan and elsewhere due to election fraud. But these claims have repeatedly failed to prevail in courts that the campaign and Trump’s allies have filed.

The campaign dropped a federal lawsuit last week contesting ballots in the Detroit area after falsely alleging that Wayne County’s electoral board voted against the confirmation of the results. In fact, the board had confirmed Biden’s victory in that county, but two Republican board members later said they wanted to withdraw their approval, a move that Michigan’s foreign minister described as not legally possible.

Protesters in a trailer are calling on the Board of State Canvassers to confirm the election results in Lansing, Michigan on November 23, 2020.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

On Saturday, a Pennsylvania federal judge with a damning written decision dismissed a lawsuit filed by Trump’s campaign to prevent that state’s counties from confirming their election results to date. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar is expected to sign off district certifications once they are submitted. Trump’s campaign appeals the decision.

Michigan and Pennsylvania are among several states that Biden won and that Trump won in the 2016 election.

Georgia is another of these states.

Georgia confirmed its votes last week, which showed a win for Biden after handcounting the ballot papers. The state will now machine count at the request of the Trump campaign.

Biden is currently expected to win 306 electoral college votes, 36 more votes than he needs for the presidency.

Legal experts give Trump little or no hope of invalidating enough popular ballots for Biden in enough states to strip enough electoral college votes to avoid defeat.

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a written statement Monday, “I commend the three members of the State Board of Canvassers who voted to obey the law and confirm 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,” said Whitmer.

“I would also like to thank Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and local employees across Michigan who made this year’s elections free, fair and safe, and the voters who came out in record numbers to get their voices heard. Now is the time to put that choice behind us and come together as a state to defeat our common enemy: COVID-19. “

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