Joe Biden won, Michigan elector coup ‘not going to happen,’ GOP leader says

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says the Legislature is concerned the dramatic expansion of absentee voting this year created “serious holes in our election laws that make it easier to do fraudulent things.” (Bridge file photo)

Nov. 23: Canvassers certify election. Joe Biden wins Michigan, its 16 electoral votes​
Nov. 23: With Michigan’s presidential vote certified, is Trump out of options?
Nov. 20: Michigan GOP leaders meet Trump, promise ‘we will follow law’ on election
Nov. 18: Michigan GOP canvassers under pressure to ignore votes, help Trump

LANSING — Democrat Joe Biden is the president-elect, and while Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature is investigating the election, it will not award the state’s 16 electors to GOP President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey told Bridge on Tuesday.

Hundreds of activists who protested at the Michigan Capitol on Saturday repeated the president’s unproven claims of widespread voter fraud, urging lawmakers to “stop the steal” by choosing their own pro-Trump representatives to the Electoral College. 

    Conservative groups have also started phone and letter-writing campaigns in an attempt to persuade legislative Republicans to decide the election for Trump. 

    “That’s not going to happen,” Shirkey, R-Clarklake, said in a wide-ranging interview with Bridge Michigan. He noted state law awards electors to the winner of the state’s popular vote. And Biden won the state by more than 146,000 votes, according to unofficial results. 

    “We are going to follow the law and follow the process,” he said. “I do believe there's reason to go slow and deliberate as we evaluate the allegations that have been raised.”

    Shirkey spoke with Bridge hours before Tuesday's deadline for Michigan’s 83 county canvassing boards statewide to certify results, a key step before the Electoral College formally selects the president on Dec. 14.

    Related stories:

    Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, this month launched a legislative inquiry into Michigan’s election, citing “numerous allegations regarding the integrity” of the Nov. 3 contest that was administered by local clerks in 1,600 jurisdictions. 

    A joint oversight committee has met once so far to issue a subpoena for state records on registration and absentee ballot applications. Leadership also plans to demand records from Detroit, where absentee ballot poll challengers clashed, and Antrim County, where the GOP clerk applied a software update incorrectly and temporarily skewed results. 

    Separately, the Trump campaign is suing to halt certification of the Michigan election results, an effort marred by repeated legal blunders. GOP allies lost a key case in Wayne County, where a judge deemed Detroit poll challenger allegations of irregularities “not credible,” but the Great Lakes Justice Center is attempting to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

    The legislative inquiry is not designed to change the outcome of the Michigan election, Shirkey told Bridge, noting he also wants to see those court cases play out. 

    “No state has certified yet, but I don’t have high expectations for these reviews, whether Michigan or otherwise, to ultimately change the results of the election,” he said. 

    Asked about Trump’s repeated claims that he won Michigan, the highest-ranking Republican in the state Legislature said he does not know what the president is thinking. 

    “I'd be hard-pressed to figure out why he's done a lot of the things that he's done, and said a lot of the things that he said, so I'm not going to speculate in this case,” Shirkey said. 

    He also suggested the Trump administration begin sharing information with Biden’s team, which the president has so far refused to do. Experts have warned that a delayed transition could jeopardize national security if Biden is not briefed on potential threats.

    “I do think that it's inappropriate for the Trump administration to not start sharing information,” Shirkey said. “We don't want this to be all of a sudden one day you go from one to the other, and there's not been any opportunity for transition. I see no downside for staffs to be interacting and allowing a controlled and well-programmed transition process.” 

    The Michigan Bureau of Elections on Monday provided nearly 1,100 pages of documents to the legislative oversight committee reviewing the Nov. 3 election. That's not everything the panel sought, but Attorney General Dana Nessel said the agency will continue to provide additional documents on a rolling basis.

    The initial demand to produce "all documents and communications" on registration and absentee ballot applications within nine days was "unduly burdensome” since it comes as the bureau is amid work to certify the election, Nessel's office said in a letter to lawmakers. 

    Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the initial batch of documents provided Monday "illustrates our commitment to transparency and cooperation, despite the questionable legality of the legislative committees’ subpoena and the naked partisan agenda behind their action."

    Shirkey said the Legislature is concerned about expansion of absentee ballot voting in Michigan, which voters approved through a constitutional amendment in 2018. Some 3 million cast absentee ballots this year, a record.

    “I do believe we will find, especially in this new reality of mail-in ballots, that there are some serious holes in our election laws that make it easier to do fraudulent things,” he said, but the oversight committee could also help to debunk a proliferation of conspiracy theories.

    “We need to get to the truth and bottom of it.”

    Shirkey acknowledged he inadvertently spread misinformation last week during a television interview in Jackson when he shared a doctored image of a newspaper headline declaring “President Gore” had won the 2000 election, which Al Gore actually lost to George W. Bush.

    A viewer sent him a “delightful email” explaining that the image was fake, Shirkey said, noting he thanked the viewer and also called the television host to explain the mistake.

    The Trump campaign’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud focus on Detroit, where Democratic, Republican and independent poll challengers have offered conflicting accounts of access to the absentee ballot counting process, often accusing each other of disruptions. 

    Shirkey said he hopes cooler heads will prevail. 

    “I hope there is a lesson learned that we all want this process to be done with the highest regard and highest integrity, and it’s hard to do when people are basically not treating each other well right in the moment,” he said. “Both sides, both sides, both sides. Everybody owns part of this.”

    Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

    If you learned something from the story you're reading please consider supporting our work. Your donation allows us to keep our Michigan-focused reporting and analysis free and accessible to all. All donations are voluntary, but for as little as $1 you can become a member of Bridge Club and support freedom of the press in Michigan during a crucial election year.

    Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Donate now

    Comment Form

    Add new comment

    Dear Reader: We value your thoughts and criticism on the articles, but insist on civility. Criticizing comments or ideas is welcome, but Bridge won’t tolerate comments that are false or defamatory or that demean, personally attack, spread hate or harmful stereotypes. Violating these standards could result in a ban.

    Plain text

    • No HTML tags allowed.
    • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
    • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
    This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.


    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 2:09pm

    Shirkey, what a way to end a career, what a legacy!

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 11:14pm

    Shirkey could be the Lindsey Graham of Michigan!

    Gina W
    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 2:10pm

    When will the GOP legislature issue a statewide mask mandate?

    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 2:22pm

    Thanks to all Republicans who stand tall for the rule of law.

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 11:15pm

    Thanks to all Republicans who stand tall AGAINST the rule of law.

    Thou shall not
    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 12:43pm

    Marlene, what rule of law is that, lying under oath?

    Sovereign Mary
    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 3:35pm

    Marlene - Kudos!

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 11:44am

    For what, lying?

    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:02pm

    What is keeping the Republicans from cheating, because the way I see it, your bending over backwards to hand it to Trump , when we know Biden won legally

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 2:27pm

    Bending over backwards for him, you are joking, right? And NO we all don't know Sleepy Joe won.

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 11:17pm

    146,000 votes more says you're wrong. Sleepy Joe and the American People ripped Trump a new one.

    Sovereign Mary
    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 3:37pm

    Cara - I completely concur with you.

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 11:45am

    How do we know you are not Cara?

    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 8:24pm

    Please, someome just show me some concrete proof of fraud. Not wishful thinking. IDIOT

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 2:31pm

    Sleepy Joe is not my President. Lmao @ bending over backwards. When has that EVER happened!?

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 11:19pm

    As if losing the popular vote by 5 million this time and 3 million last time weren't enough. Is cheating the only way you can win?

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:20pm

    I know. WTF?

    Sovereign Mary
    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 3:36pm

    Patricia - LOL!

    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:14pm

    "Projected-elect" until States Certify.

    "President-Elect" when the votes are counted and certified.

    Twitter has marked as False Claim...

    I mark as "Manipulative Advocacy Media".

    Username The Sequel
    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 11:06am

    No, it's President-Elect. Facts don't care about your feelings. Your low energy, one-term president lost to Sleepy Joe. It's time to cope.

    Get Real, People!
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:21pm

    If Joe is Sleepy, then Trump is Braindead.

    Marcus Trufont
    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:14pm

    Joe Biden isn't the President elect you scum bags. The US Congress said he wasn't.

    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 8:25pm


    Billy Goat
    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:15pm

    Joe Biden is NOT the president elect. That doesn't happen until the state houses of representatives for all the states meet and certify their elections and then assign the votes to their individual electoral colleges. Fix your understanding of the system and the article itself.

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:23pm

    This isn't Russia or North Korea. We value elections. It's over whether or not the fat man sings.

    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:16pm

    "Projected-elect" until States Certify.

    "President-Elect" when the votes are counted and certified.

    Twitter has marked as False Claim...

    I mark as "Manipulative Advocacy Media".

    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:18pm

    We'll throw all of you out of office for this Betrayal.........

    JT Shell from t...
    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:21pm

    Joe Biden isn't the President Elect until he is certified by the Electoral College Electors on December 14, 2020. He is projected to be, but with all of the fraud that has been exposed we will see. The former Vice President should work to help to ensure election integrity. If this election was legit, then why doesn't he help get to the bottom of the issues. Why can't we canvass and audit the ballots to ensure that everything was on the up and up?

    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:23pm

    we all want this process to be done with the highest regard and highest integrity.... so board up the windows so observers can't observe !

    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 8:28pm

    Another steve bannon wannabe. Put up or shut up. No proof has ever been brought to light of major fraud.

    Ed Buffkin
    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:23pm

    Joe Biden is NOT the president-elect

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:24pm

    Do you prefer "president"? Hold your horses.

    Ed Buffkin
    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:24pm

    Joe Biden is not president elect

    Texas Jack
    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:24pm

    Here I am, Mr. Barr! Over here! Politicians have never been the really smart ones and I think this proves it.

    JT Shell from t...
    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:26pm

    Joe Biden isn't the President Elect until he is certified by the Electoral College Electors on December 14, 2020. He is projected to be, but with all of the fraud that has been exposed we will see. The former Vice President should work to help to ensure election integrity. If this election was legit, then why doesn't he help get to the bottom of the issues. Why can't we canvass and audit the ballots to ensure that everything was on the up and up?

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:25pm

    No fraud. Prove it!

    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:30pm

    God damn cheating Democrats.

    I pity the fool
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:25pm

    How so?

    billy bob
    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:30pm

    count all legal ballots. ballot counting should be available on the internet for all to witness

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:28pm

    Where do you live? I want to make that recommendation. Better yet, have Shirkey and Chatfield pass a law, instead of inhaling the gratuitous gas Trump passes.

    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:32pm

    These Michigan RINO's will vote for biden, whereas No Democrat would ever vote for Trump. There is clear overwhelming voter fraud in Michigan. Shirley wants to live in a Socialist State run by Democrats!

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 11:22pm

    Macomb County disagrees. So "President Elect" is a GOP trigger?

    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:32pm

    These Michigan RINO's will vote for biden, whereas No Democrat would ever vote for Trump. There is clear overwhelming voter fraud in Michigan. Shirley wants to live in a Socialist State run by Democrats!

    Atomic Hillbilly
    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:34pm

    Once you get outside of the Michigan bubble, the rest of the country thinks Michigan ran a rigged election and illegally helped disenfranchise them of their votes.

    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 3:47pm

    North Carolina voter here, the only thing the rest of the country thinks is that Repubs in Michigan are corrupt boot-licking freaks.

    Dr Dottard
    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:39pm

    This is a non-partisan publicatio? What a joke.

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:29pm

    Why because you get your entertainment from Fox News?

    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:41pm

    According to the Constitution, 'running mates' are unlawful and not mentioned at all. In fact, the person with the most votes is to become president, and the 2nd place finisher becomes the V.P. Moreover, the method of selecting electors has also been corrupted for decades.

    Good one, NOT
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:31pm

    Keep that up and Nancy Pelosi will be President.

    Ex PUMA
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:32pm

    Hey PUMA, stop whining for Hillary to be VP.

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:39pm

    So who came in second?

    Joes got a ho
    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:47pm

    Joe hiden isnt the president elect- nothings been certified and when scotus decides the dems committed massive fraud through dominion voting machines, and fake ballot creation, hes gonna go back to the basement

    At gitmo

    She Yo Mama!
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:34pm

    I get it. You want to legislate from the bench.

    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 10:31pm

    So...A county in MI was the first to acknowledge that a vote flipping occurred to benefit Biden after noticing some ballot concerns. It was not Wayne County but involved 6000 votes. Wayne Co is a mess and always has been. Auditing all of MI is needed since there are other counties that have also discovered 'glitches' and there are many other races that have flipped in other states. Republicans are complicit in fraud and will be voted out if nothing is done about this.

    What nonsense
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:35pm

    Pinky promise?

    Tue, 11/17/2020 - 11:07pm

    Do the math. Not statistically possible.

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:36pm

    Did it. Done. Statistically possible. Ba bye!

    Mike Genson
    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 2:05am

    another swamp rat identified. doesn't matter this clown says, this election is going to the Supreme Court which will invalidate the entire election due to fraud and unexplained irregularities nationwide. This throws the decision to Congress.. The Senate elects the VP which will be Pence, and the House elects the President which will be Trump. In the House it is not who has the most Members per side, each state gets ONE vote... The GOP controls 31 State Houses and the Dems control 19.. thus Trump will be re-elected.

    We the People
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:37pm

    Why not just flip a coin? It's not like you care about elections.

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 2:10am

    There is no "president-elect" as there is still an election going on.
    This guy is too obviously compromised.

    S Bannon
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:41pm

    Anyone who ever breaths the same air as the Trumpster is compromised. Most of them are in jail or waiting for trial.

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 6:52am

    We have no verification the Biden legitimately won this state, and Democrats are obstructing all efforts to verify the results. Almost like they have something to hide, even more so when we take into account the numerous eyewitness accounts of questionable activities.

    If, after a open and honest verification/recount, Biden still has the most votes, then he should get our EC votes. Until that happens there will be questions and doubt about the results of this election.

    Chad P
    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 7:40am

    The goal here was to get the certification blocked long enough so it could be tweeted. Doesn't matter that it was blocked wrongly, or that there was racism, or partisan politics or that it was reversed 6 minutes later.

    No one on the right gets that message. Just the intended headline. And then this article ends with the GOP leadership repeatedly saying that both sides are to blame for this.

    Seems like another PR loss for the Dems.

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 8:08am

    Shirkey is clearly an anti-Trumper. He should carefully weigh the conseuences of certifying fraudulent election results. There is mounting process analysis showing that the sheer number of Biden ballots cold not have been processed during the counting period; ergo, machine manipulation.

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:43pm

    You mean quid pro quo res ipsa loquiter Giuliani loco?

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 8:14am

    “We have been out looking mostly at Michigan. We are beginning on turning our sights on Pennsylvania and Georgia. The things you find in Michigan are amazing. There are over 3,000 precincts where the presidential votes cast compared to the estimated voters from the Secretary of State is 99% all the way up to 350%. Those kind of numbers don’t exist in the real world.”

    “So where did all those votes come from? And looking at that, we’ve gone back and looked at some of these huge vote dumps that were mostly Biden’s. We call them spikes. We’ve gone back and traced the spikes. We’ve seen where they were cast, primarily in four counties. We looked at how long it took to cast those votes. And we looked at the equipment that exists at all of those locations by serial number. And the fact of the matter is we can’t see any physical way possible for some of those votes to have been in those kind of numbers because they just don’t have the equipment that can produce it in that timing.”

    Just sayin'
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:45pm

    Go to court and swear to God, hope to die, stick a needle in your mother's eye otherwise shut up.

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 9:29am

    Your site is opinion based and left leaning — always leading opinion to the democrat side and attacking republicans and conservatives. Pure propaganda. Nice state run media site. Bridge Michigan is useless.

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:46pm

    State run media? Ever consider you are wrong?

    Dash Riprock
    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 9:34am

    Biden didn't win Michigan's popular vote! Here's what happened:
    1) Votes were counted and Trump was ahead
    2) Counting stopped in the middle of the night then a nominal but significant number of machine votes were switched from Trump to Biden throughout the state; which is what the dominion machines were designed to do.
    3) More votes were required to establish a "non-recount" margin so extra mail-in ballots on hand for this purpose were dumped into the count.
    This has been going on for a long time, but never this well organized and never at this scale. The democratic party's very existence is a veritable crime in progress.

    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 8:36pm

    No you are wrong. Listen carefully, I'll go slow. In 2018 the voters of Michigan approved updating the constitution for mail in voting. We have never seen this many mail ballots. Well before 8 pm when the polls closed, the state made it clear they would not be counting the mail in ballots until the machines were counted. So why don't you just put a sock in it and except biden as next president. Somebody wins and somebody loses. Just like in checkers.

    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:49pm

    I accept the Biden win, we all do, except Trump.

    Seems strange
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:48pm

    Dash, you want to disregard the absentee votes that were not yet counted? We voted absentee.

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 10:40am

    Define the term "widespread" in the context of this election.

    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 11:23pm

    Sure sounds like someone who's got something to hide. And not very smart, as there is no President-elect yet.

    Pres Elect Biden
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:51pm

    How about President ipso facto? I mean Biden is the only one acting presidential. Where is Trump anyway?

    To GOP whiners
    Wed, 11/18/2020 - 11:27pm

    Funny how there is no evidence of fraud, just tall tales of conspiracy theories. Surprise that Democratic districts voted for the Democrat Biden. If they cheated, why did they allow Trump any votes. If "President Elect" is so hard to stomach, buy some antacid because for eight years, it will be President Biden, then eight years of President Harris.

    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 7:52pm

    Republicans lost.. There is no fraud this is crp.. The republicans have not been able to invalidate ONE vote out of 80,000,000 in court that were cast for Biden.. Not one. With on this so called election fraud going on that should not be hard to do.. All lies and the American people have had enough of this. Americans are dying and these games are being played and its to the point where Trump should be removed from office by force if necessary and leave Pence there until Biden takes over. Personally with all these Americans dying and what Trump is doing its getting really close to treason against your nation

    I call BS
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:55pm

    Moreover in court the GOP specifically alleges "no fraud". So honestly WTF?

    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 7:54pm

    Funny with all this voter fraud going on the Republicans cant invalidate a single vote in court.. NOT ONE.

    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 7:56pm

    Republicans are nutty

    Ted Lee Sadler
    Thu, 11/19/2020 - 10:24pm

    Rattle rattle... so sound the chains that our grandchildren wear by your complicit cowardice.
    May posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

    Tea Party Much?
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:57pm

    If you cared about your grandchildren, you never would have voted for Trump, let alone twice.

    Al W
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:56pm

    Hey you Robo-publicans .... you stole the election in '16, now WE THE PEOPLE "stole" it back by 6M votes.

    Silver Fang
    Fri, 11/20/2020 - 7:08pm

    Biden won. tRump lost. Why can't repubs just get over themselves and accept it? To quote repubs from four years ago, "Your feelings don't matter!"

    Geoffrey Owen
    Mon, 11/23/2020 - 1:14pm

    This is the guy behind the Open movement. He supports protesters carrying assault weapons in the State Capitol Building, including those who were arrested for terrorism, which including plans to kill him. His opposition to Governor Whitmer's protection of Michigan residents from Covid19 has included conspiracy with others which will cause certain death to many of our family members. So forgive me for not buying into everything is A-Ok with certifying the election. Has he been in touch with the Board of Canvassers, the way Trump has reached out to Wayne County canvassers and to Shirkey and Chadwick? Not that we know, But!