Michigan GOP and RNC ask state to delay certification as Monday deadline looms

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The Michigan Republican Party and the Republican National Committee on Saturday demanded that Michigan delay certifying the victory of presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden, saying the state should conduct an audit of votes in the Detroit area.

The Republicans asked the state board of canvassers to put off for 14 days the certification that is scheduled for Monday.

“It would be a grievous dereliction of this board’s duty to the people of Michigan not to ensure that the irregularities … are thoroughly investigated by a full audit before certifying Wayne County’s results,” wrote state chairwoman Laura Cox and Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

They cited “numerical anomalies” and “procedural irregularities” that would leave “the distrust and sense of procedural disenfranchisement felt by many Michigan voters to fester for years” if unresolved by the board.

One of the Republican board members, Norm Shinkle, has said he is considering a delay. The board has four members, two Republicans and two Democrats.

The request came a day after President Trump met at the White House with Republican state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and GOP state House Speaker Lee Chatfield. After the meeting, the two state legislators said they “have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan.”

“As legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors,” they said.

They also said, “Michigan’s certification process should be a deliberate process free from threats and intimidation. Allegations of fraudulent behavior should be taken seriously, thoroughly investigated, and if proven, prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And the candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan’s 16 electoral votes. These are simple truths that should provide confidence in our elections.”

Michigan’s Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has said any audit can only take place after certification. Mr. Biden won the state by about 156,000 votes, according to official vote totals.

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