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Michigan election results official; canvassers rebuke ‘reckless’ fraud claims

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Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers unanimously certified the 2022 midterm results from the state’s 83 counties. (Bridge file photo)
  • State canvassing board votes 4-0 to certify election results
  • Vote came midway through a raucous meeting where one attendee was escorted out by police 
  • Republican Secretary of State candidate Kristina Karamo among those claiming election shouldn’t be certified

Michigan’s 2022 midterm election results were certified in a unanimous vote by the Board of State Canvassers on Monday, despite pressure from a packed crowd who claimed fraud but offered no proof of it.

Throughout the hours-long hearing in downtown Lansing, Republican Secretary of State candidate Kristina Karamo and others beseeched the board to delay certification, and an often raucous crowd occasionally disrupted proceedings. At one point, police escorted an attendee out of the meeting.

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The four-member board composed of two Democrats and two Republicans stood firm, telling commenters their role is ceremonial, and the results were already certified by 83 separate boards representing all of Michigan’s counties.

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They also warned against spreading unproven allegations about election procedure without adequate evidence. 

Tony Daunt, a Republican and the board’s chair, told the audience it’s dangerous to make “reckless accusations” and said there are appropriate avenues to challenge results “that do not involve baseless allegations,” including lawsuits, recount requests and referring claims of illegal activity to law enforcement. 

Republican canvasser Richard Houskamp repeatedly questioned the lack of data from election deniers.

“We have seen with our eyes, touched with our hands, the documents for all 83 counties,” Houskamp said. “We keep hearing allegations of fraud and allegations of mismanagement of an election — this is not what the evidence says.” 

Karamo, who based her campaign on a potpourri of election fraud claims related to the 2020 election prior to losing to Democratic incumbent Jocelyn Benson, challenged the 2022 results based on claims that the state’s qualified voter file wasn’t sufficiently accurate, election equipment wasn’t secure and actions of election officials in some communities were suspect. 

U.S. Taxpayers gubernatorial candidate Donna Brandenburg, who earned 0.4 percent of the vote, also challenged the results, saying "not one of us is going to back down...from now until Christ comes back."

By law, state canvassers have until Nov. 28 to certify results. It is usually a sleepy process, but following the 2020 election, the step was nearly thrown into chaos. Supporters of former President Donald Trump attempted to overturn election results naming President Joe Biden the winner. 

Ultimately, the board voted 3-1 to certify the results, with Republican Aaron Van Langevelde siding with Democrats to avoid a deadlock that would have sent the matter to the courts and significantly complicated state and federal timelines for codifying election results.

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Monday’s vote means Nov. 8 election wins are now official for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Attorney General Dana Nessel and members of the state Legislature, where Democrats will now hold a slim majority for the first time in decades.

This year may be one of the last when the canvassing boards have as much power. Voters this month approved Proposal 2, which will require those boards to only certify election results based on vote counts by election officials.

The proposal also eliminates the state Legislature’s right to determine winners of races in cases of ties, instead requiring a “drawing of lots.”

Under Proposal 2, the Board of State Canvassers will be the only entity to supervise a post-certification recount, and the board’s certification will be final unless a recount or a court order changes the outcome.

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