Michigan County Certifies Vote, Reversing Earlier GOP Block
(Bloomberg) -- A Michigan county that includes Detroit reversed its decision not to certify election results amid a national uproar over an earlier vote to withhold approval, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Tuesday night.
The Board of Canvassers for Wayne County, Michigan’s largest, initially split 2-2 on a vote, with the two Republican members voting against certification. But Benson said on CNN that the board voted again on Tuesday night, unanimously this time, to certify the results but also asking state officials to conduct an audit of some precincts.
The reversal came even as President Donald Trump tweeted praise for the board’s deadlock.
Michigan, a swing state, has been called for Joe Biden. Wayne County and especially Detroit, which is overwhelmingly Democratic and Black, were key in the president-elect’s victory. He took 68% of the county’s 863,000 votes and won the state by a hefty 146,000 votes.
The reversal of the vote ends a Republican challenge to Biden’s win over Trump in Michigan, where the GOP has four lawsuits contesting votes in various precincts alleging irregularities or fraud.
“State election officials have made clear that there’s zero evidence of fraud, despite the Trump campaign’s desperate lies,” said Michael Gwin, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign. “The votes of all of the more than 5.5 million Michiganders who participated in the 2020 election will continue to be quickly certified and reaffirm the fact that Joe Biden decisively won Michigan.”
Benson said in an interview on MSNBC that the first vote was an attempt to disenfranchise Black voters and “only clerical errors,” not widespread evidence of fraud, had been found. The state was “fully on track” to certify, she said.
Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, hailed the reversal as a victory for Detroit residents who voiced their opposition to the deadlock at the meting.
“Hundreds of Wayne County residents waited hours to give public comment,” Tlaib said on Twitter. “One after the other demanded our democracy is upheld and the Board of Wayne County Canvassers came back and voted unanimously to certify.”
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Similarly, Michigan Democrats claimed a victory, saying that outrage from residents kept a Republican challenge from canceling out votes from the city’s mostly-Black population.
”For several hours tonight we heard from Michigan residents outraged by the initial decision of the two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers to not certify the vote,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes. “Their words were full of passion, filled with anger and outrage for the blatant racism that was on display.”
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