Board certifies MI election results

Nov 24, 2020

Michigan Board of State Canvassers member Norman Shinkle reads a statement during a meeting on Monday, November 23.
Credit Michigan Board of State Canvassers

A bipartisan state board has certified the results of the November 3 general election and awarded the state’s 16 electoral votes to President-elect Joe Biden.

The vote by the Board of State Canvassers came after three hours of online public comment with more people lined up to speak. But the action averted fears of a drawn-out procedural fight over the results.

Republican party leaders at the state and national levels had called on the Board of State Canvassers to hold off on certification.

The board’s two Democrats voted to certify while Republican Norm Shinkle abstained. But the other Republican, attorney Aaron Van Lange Velde, said there was no legal reason to question the results. 

“This board must respect the authority entrusted to it and follow the law as written,” he said. “We have a clear legal duty to certify the results of the election as shown by the returns that were given to us. We cannot and should not go beyond that.”

Van Lenge Velde is the legal counsel for the Michigan House Republican caucus and an advisor to House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering).

The now-official statewide results show Biden received over 154,000 more votes than President Donald Trump – and that Democratic Senator Gary Peters won reelection.

Republican canvasser Norm Shinkle abstained from voting. He said that’s because he still has questions about how the election was handled in Detroit and Wayne County, even though that would not have changed the result.

“There is no excuse for the confusion and uncertainty that seems to follow every election in our state,” he said. “It is unacceptable that so many questions have been raised about the 2020 election.”

Also on Monday, the Michigan Supreme Court dismissed a legal challenge to how Election Night was managed in Wayne County.

Certification does not mean other legal challenges or recount requests cannot be filed.