(WWJ) After more than three hours of public comment, Michigan's Board of State Canvassers has voted 3-0 to certify the results of the 2020 General Election.
One of two Republican members said he will support a motion to certify the results of the November election.
Aaron Van Langevelde said the Board of Canvassers doesn't have to power to conduct any audit or investigate any claims of fraud. It's the final step needed to ensure the votes of Michigan's electors in the Electoral College next month.
The board's two Democratic members also voted yes, and the other Republican obtained.
WWJ's Jon Hewett is following the meeting. He'll have more, after the vote becomes official.
This is a breaking update. Read a previous report on this story below.
They're now into hour number three in the meeting of the Board of State Canvassers in Lansing -- where Michigan's election results could be certified this afternoon.
During a virtual public forum in Lansing on Monday, board members opted not vote right away, but to first take public comment.
There's clearly a lot of interest in the outcome, with more than 20,000 people watching the video stream as the meeting got underway at 1 p.m.
So, what will they do? Michigan’s elections agency has recommended that the Nov. 3 General Election results — including challenger Joe Biden's 2.8-percentage point victory over President Donald Trump — be certified by the board, which consists of two Democrats and two Republicans.
While public comment will take some time, we should expect a vote to happen Monday.
Under the state Constitution, it's the board's job to certify the election results -- not to call for audits or investigations, experts say.
Speaking at Monday's meeting, Jeff Timmer -- a political consultant/strategist and former member of the board -- said if the board has all the required returns, as certified by Michigan's 83 counties, it "must certify the vote today."
Timmer said the board has no discretion to do otherwise, adding, "It is mandatory."
Also speaking during public comment, Michigan GOP Chair Cox renews her call for delay in certification, in order for officials to review results in Wayne County.
Citing her reasons, Cox alleged that election workers at the TCF Center in Detroit were "inhospitable and hostile" to Republican poll watchers. Also, she said: "Last week, the Wayne County Board of Canvassers noticed significant problems with the election counting process across the county."
Earlier, Republican Congressman Paul Mitchel, who spoke to Republican board member Norman Shinkle, told WWJ's Charlie Langton that Shinkle was expected to ask for a delay in the certification of in order to conduct an audit -- in particular looking at irregularities in Wayne County.
Could an audit be the way to go? While an audit could happen down the line, it's not possible until the board votes to certify, according to Secretary of State Jocelyn. Benson said her office would not have legal access to documents needed to conduct an audit until after certification is complete.
Mitchel said, regardless, as the votes in question are nowhere near enough to affect the election's outcome, the board should go ahead and certify.
"President Trump...he lost by 154,000 votes in Michigan," Mitchel said. "You can cobble together all the conspiracy theories you want -- it doesn't come to 154,000."
According to a state memo to the Board of State Canvassers, 458 of 637 precincts were out of balance, meaning that absentee ballot books did not match the number of ballots cast.
A group of Michigan veterans is among those calling on the board to certify, without delay or "political games."
“For centuries, courageous Americans have sacrificed and put their lives on the line to protect the Constitution and uphold our democracy,” said Cliff Knasinski, a U.S. Army veteran. “Failure to certify the election is a slap in the face to our veterans and it undermines our democratic process and the very ideals our country was founded on. I urge the Board of State Canvassers to uphold its obligation and certify the results of this election and respect the will of the people.”
“A peaceful transition of power is a tradition that goes back to America’s first president George Washington, and continuing that tradition is more important than ever,” added Amanda LeAnne Brunzell, a U.S. Navy veteran. “Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey have stated publicly Michigan’s votes should go toward the clear winner Joe Biden, so there is no reason to delay certifying the election or play political games. Now, it’s up to the Board of State Canvassers to fulfill its obligation to certify the election so Michigan can join other states in moving our country forward.”
Meanwhile, while Trump continues to insist he "won" Michigan and handful of other states where the vote tally shows otherwise, Michigan Republican Congressman Fred Upton says it's time the for the president to wave the white flag.
"Here again in Michigan it's not a razor thin margin; it's 154,000 votes," Upton said. "You've gotta let those votes stand."
This comes as election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Multiple lawsuits seeking to stop the canvassing of votes in Michigan have been thrown out of court.