Michigan’s state board of canvassers voted on Monday to certify presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden as the winner of the state, delivering a huge blow to President Trump’s dwindling prospects for overturning the election.
Republican board member Aaron Van Langevelde joined the panel’s two Democrats in voting to certify, saying state law left them with no choice.
“We’ve got a duty to do this,” Mr. Langevelde said. “We have a clear legal duty to certify the results of the election as shown by the returns that were given to us.”
Republican Norman Shinkle abstained, citing “serious problems” with voting irregularities in heavily Democratic Detroit.
“Michigan has a problem conducting elections,” Mr. Shinkle said. “For that, I apologize to the citizens and to this nation. There is no excuse for the confusion and uncertainty that seems to follow every election in our state. It is unacceptable.”
Mr. Biden won the state by about 150,000 votes.
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 are very slim without winning Michigan.
Mr. Van Langevelde said “there’s a lot of misunderstanding” among the public about the 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.