Audits and recounts can now happen after election certification

Election process moves forward
Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 7:27 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Board of State Canvassers certified the results from the November 3 election despite pressure to delay the certification.

However, because of Michigan’s laws, the board didn’t have a choice. The law requires the board to certify the results 20 days after an election if all 83 counties certified their elections, which happened last week.

Republicans who spoke during public comment wanted the certification delayed because they wanted the board to look into some discrepancies in Detroit.

However, the law doesn’t give the board any authority to look at anything other than the returns provided by the counties.

Audits and recounts also can’t happen until after the board certifies the results.

Certifying the results also moves the election process forward.

The board now has to sign certifications of election for all elections in two or more counties. This includes President, Senate, Representative and state offices.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson can notify Governor Gretchen Whitmer of the official results. Governor Whitmer then in turn will let Congress know who will be Michigan’s 16 electors in the Electoral College.

Michigan’s electors will meet at the Capitol on December 14 to cast their vote for President-Elect Joe Biden. Biden won Michigan by more than 150,000 votes.

It’s a procedural process constitutional law attorneys said doesn’t normally get much attention.

“Unless you’re an elected official, a political hack, or a geeky lawyer, you’re not going to pay attention to these processes. Only a handful people, primarily around Lansing, pay attention to these things every couple of years,” said Steven Liedel.

Secretary of State Benson already announced plans for a risk limiting audit after the election’s certification. The audit has been in the works for nearly two years.

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