- The Washington Times - Monday, November 23, 2020

A majority of Michigan’s board of state canvassers appeared to be heading on Monday toward certifying presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden as winner in the state, despite demands from the state and national Republican parties to delay action.

Republican board member Aaron Van Langevelde said he believes the four-member board “has a duty to certify” the election results, which show Mr. Biden winning the key swing state over President Trump by about 150,000 votes. He said the board’s role in the election process is “pretty limited.”

“I think we’ve got a duty to do this,” Mr. Van Langevelde said at the start of the board’s meeting.

The panel has two Republicans and two Democrats. Republican member Norman Shinkle has indicated he might vote against certifying the election.

The board was hearing from members of the public before taking its highly anticipated vote.

Michigan’s former elections director, Christopher Thomas, said the board has no legal option but to certify the election. He said any audit can only come after the board takes action.

“You can’t vote ‘no,’” Mr. Thomas said. “You’re the end game. We don’t have any ties. Those who question the outcome — the remedy stage begins after you say ‘yes.’”

The Republican National Committee and the Michigan GOP on Saturday asked the state to delay certification, pointing to alleged voting irregularities in Detroit. Mr. Trump’s chances of overturning Mr. Biden’s victory would suffer a serious blow without gaining a win in Michigan.

Mr. Van Langevelde said “there’s a lot of misunderstanding” among the public about the canvassing board’s role.

“The law basically says we have a clear legal duty to canvass returns,” he said. “We don’t have judicial power. We don’t have the authority to conduct a trial here on whether or not election fraud occurred.”

Mr. Thomas agreed.

“You can’t really investigate fraud,” he said.

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