LANSING, Mich. (AP/CBS DETROIT) — Michigan election officials on Monday certified Democrat 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 losing GOP 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 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."
He said he wanted to hear public comment, however, before voting. Three hours into what normally is a routine meeting, hundreds of people were waiting to testify remotely. At times, more than 30,000 were watching the livestream.
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."
"It sometimes feels like officials are attempting to tear up my ballot right in front of me by stalling and recounting until they find a way to change the results," said Wendy Gronbeck, a resident of Douglas. "I've been a voter for over 50 years, and I've never had to think about whether canvassers will certify an election."
Biden crushed the president by more than 330,000 votes in Wayne County, where two local GOP canvassers who certified the results unsuccessfully tried to reverse course last week after being called by Trump. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, has said an audit must wait until after statewide certification because only then would officials have legal access to documentation needed to conduct such a review.
Michigan's elections bureau recommended that the Nov. 3 results be certified.
Monday afternoon, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a statement after the Michigan State Board of Canvassers voted to certify the results of the November 2020 election.
"I commend the three members of the State Board of Canvassers who voted to follow the law and certify the 2020 election results today. The people of Michigan have spoken," said Whitmer. "President-elect Biden won the State of Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, and he will be our next president on January 20th. I also want to thank Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the local clerks across Michigan who made sure this year's election was free, fair and secure, and the voters who turned out in record numbers to make their voices heard. Now, it's time to put this election behind us and come together as a state to defeat our common enemy: COVID-19."
Michigan's Attorney General Dana Nessel also commended the members of the Board of State Canvassers certifying the state's election results.
"A record number of citizens turned out to vote in an election that was fair, secure and transparent," said Nessel. "It is now the responsibility of every official and leader in this country to ensure that the will of the voters is heard. The Board's actions today did exactly that in Michigan and I appreciate and respect their courage under these historic circumstances."
On Monday, Michigan's Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson tweeted, "Democracy has prevailed."
Benson said Monday's vote "confirms the truth: the election was fair and secure, and the results accurately reflect the will of the voters."
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