Michigan certifies Biden election win: officials

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 24 2020 06:55 AM | Updated as of Nov 24 2020 01:20 PM

WASHINGTON (UPDATE) - Michigan's Board of State Canvassers officially certified Democrat Joe Biden's election victory in the state over Donald Trump on Monday, closing off another avenue for the outgoing president to contest his national defeat.

The board voted three in favor to one abstention to certify Biden as the winner after he topped Trump by nearly 156,000 votes out of the 5.5 million cast.

The certification likely put to an end efforts by Trump to overturn the result in Michigan, one of the key states he needed to capture to win reelection.

He has claimed since the November 3 election, without evidence, that he was defeated due to fraudulent voting and counting practices in the state.

After the heavily Democratic county covering Detroit certified its vote last week, Trump summoned top Republican lawmakers in the state to Washington for talks.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the decision by the board, which comprises two Democrats and two Republicans, "confirms the truth: the election was fair and secure, and the results accurately reflect the will of the voters."

But the abstaining board member, a Republican, said it was "unacceptable" that many questions about Michigan's election remained unanswered, calling it a "national embarrassment."

The Michigan certification closes the door on one the few avenues left for Trump to try and reverse Biden's victory in the November 3 election with his unsupported claims of mismanagement and fraud.

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Over the weekend a Pennsylvania judge rejected a legal challenge submitted by the Trump campaign which sought to nullify millions of votes.

For such a large request, the judge noted, the Trump lawyers offered "speculative accusations ... unsupported by evidence."

And the Pennsylvania Supreme Court turned back another Trump challenge Monday over counting mailed votes where the envelopes were not completed perfectly.

Pennsylvania counties had a deadline Monday to certify their local votes, which will then lead to that state declaring official Biden's win.

The Pennsylvania secretary of state has until November 30 to do so, but it is more likely to come this week, an official said.

Georgia certified Biden's victory there on Friday after a recount, but will undertake another machine review of the ballots at the Trump campaign's request, with almost no one expecting a different result.

Nevada, another state where Republicans have sought to have Trump's loss overturned, will certify its vote on Tuesday.

And two other states where Trump has challenged results, Wisconsin and Arizona, have until next week to finalize their counts.

But as in the other states, Trump's deficit in the vote is unlikely to be significantly affected by recounts and reviews.

© Agence France-Presse