LANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s election bureau is recommending that the Nov. 3 results be certified next week by state canvassers.
The recommendation was posted online with the formal Monday meeting notice of the Board of State Canvassers.
Certification would bless Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump but likely not cool partisan strife over the vote. The state board will meet Monday at 1 p.m. The board would need a majority vote to certify the election.
The latest guidance came at the end of a stormy week in which Trump summoned Republican state lawmakers to the White House in an effort to try to set aside Biden’s 154,000-vote victory.
The Michigan Bureau of Elections says any errors on election night did not affect the tabulation of votes.
“If they didn’t have an order that it be certified, well, now we have a constitutional crisis in the State of Michigan that has never occurred before,” said Michigan Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, a Republican, during an appearance on Fox News. Chatfield also expressed concern over out of balance precincts in Wayne County, an issue the Michigan GOP also highlighted in a letter to the State Board of Canvassers asking them to delay certification, and instead order an audit.
“This is not voter fraud, these are clerical errors that have a process to be resolved,” said State Senator Jeremy Moss, Democrat from Southfield.
Senator Moss authored a bill in 2017 that was passed unanimously by both parties, and deals with out of balance precincts.
“This bill specifically was to recognize that there are out of balance precincts that need to be resolved," Moss said. "The process is we send them to the Secretary of State for resolution. There's no part of the process that the Board of Canvassers does not certify an election with out of balance precincts.”
Steve Liedel, an election law expert and former legal counsel to governor Jennifer Granholm, says the members of the state board are legally bound to certify the election. If a majority don’t certify, the results will likely be certified in court.
“I suspect you’d see a resolution to that effect within hours if not days," Liedel said. "Either they would be ordered to vote again or the court would just order the election certified.”
Liedel also says in order for recounts to happen or for the Secretary of State to step in, the results must be certified first. Despite all the chaos surrounding Monday’s vote, some Republican lawmakers say they expect the result to become final.
“We expect that process to move forward, and let the voters not the politicians speak,” said U.S. Congressman Fred Upton of Kalamazoo.