A county election board on Tuesday refused to certify results from the Detroit area, kicking the contested Nov. 3 election to state officials.
The Wayne County Board of Canvassers deadlocked 2-2 in a party-line vote to certify the results. The Republican members said absentee ballot poll books in Detroit were discovered to be out of balance.
The certification hiccup is the latest wrinkle in an election that President Trump and his allies are challenging in federal court in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada.
Wayne County Board of Canvassers Vice Chairman Jonathan Kinloch, a Democrat, called the two Republican members’ actions “reckless and irresponsible,” according to the Detroit News.
Chairwoman Monica Palmer, a Republican, said the poll books didn’t add up.
“Based on what I saw and went through in poll books in this canvass, I believe that we do not have complete and accurate information in those poll books,” she said.
Absentee ballot poll books also were out of balance in the August primary election and the 2016 general election, though the board certified those results, according to the newspaper.
The failure to certify the results within 14 days triggers a state review. The county board must turn over all documentation to the Secretary of State’s office and Board of State Canvassers, which then has 10 days to complete the work and certify the results.
Mr. Trump’s fans hope the state also fails to certify the results and sends the decision to the Michigan’s GOP-controlled legislature.
That’s a long shot for awarding Electoral College electors to Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump’s federal lawsuit in the state claims mail-in ballots were tallied out of view of poll watchers and ballot-scanning machines are suspected of switching votes to presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden.
Mr. Trump trailed Mr. Biden by about 148,000 votes in unofficial results.