(Headline USA) Michigan election officials on Monday certified Democrat nominee Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote lead in the state, despite ongoing legal challenges and other efforts by Trump’s campaign and supporters to forestall it.
It comes amid reports that Trump and his legal team are facing increasingly stiff resistance from the courts and fellow Republicans with just three weeks to go until the Electoral College meets to certify Biden’s victory.
Time and again, activist blue-state judges have rejected the lawsuits—mostly for lack of standing—as states move forward with confirming their results.
That clouds the potential path forward, although the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning the unconstitutional policies of a few states, or of some yet-to-be revealed smoking-gun evidence of fraud could be a game-changer.
In Michigan, the Board of State Canvassers, which has two Republicans and two Democrats, confirmed the state results on a 3-0 vote with one GOP abstention.
That came after a back-and-forth saga in which the two Republicans first refused to certify the vote due to discrepancies in Detroit, only to reverse the decision under duress and later to recant after facing criticism for caving to the pressure.
“The board’s duty today is very clear,” said Aaron Van Langevelde, the Republican vice chair. “We have a duty to certify this election based on these returns. That is very clear.”
Trump and his allies had hoped to block the vote to allow time for an audit of ballots in Wayne County, where witness affidavits and other evidence have pointed to widespread fraud on election night.
Trump supporters went to bed believing the president had won the state yet again, but he fell behind after a mysterious bump in Biden votes around 3 or 4 a.m., with some witnesses reporting of vans full of uncounted and unsecured ballots arriving in the middle of the night.
Biden prevailed with 330,000 votes in Detroit, although Trump garnered a larger share in the heavily minority region than the average Republican, according to a statistical analysis.
In several other counties, evidence has suggested that “glitches” or intentional manipulation of voting machines using a pre-coded algorithm in the software may have weighted, transferred or deleted votes in Republican districts to give Biden thousands of extra votes.
Under Michigan law, Biden claims all 16 electoral votes. Biden won the state by 2.8 percentage points—a larger margin than in other states where Trump is contesting the results like Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
The Trump legal team dismissed the certification as “simply a procedural step” and insisted it would fight on.
Trump, himself, met with top Michigan GOP legislators at the White House on Friday and tweeted over the weekend: “We will show massive and unprecedented fraud!”
But Mary Ellen Gurewitz, an attorney for the state Democratic Party, told the canvassers that attacks on the election results were “part of a racist campaign, directed by soon-to-be former President Trump, to disparage the cities in this country with large Black [sic] populations, including Detroit, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.”
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Trump’s lawyers still hoped to block the state’s certification by appealing to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. The court ordered lawyers to file a brief Monday but did not agree to hear oral arguments.
The campaign, in its filings, asked for urgent consideration so it could challenge the state election results before they are certified next month. If not, they will seek to decertify them, the filings said.
Trump’s team insisted it did not want to invalidate all of the 6.8 million ballots cast in the state. Instead, the lawyers said they were taking aim at seven Democratic-leaning counties where they take issue with how mail-in ballots were handled.
“Appellants seek to exclude the defective mail ballots which overwhelming favored Biden, which may turn the result of the election,” they said in a filing Monday.
Biden currently leads Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes.
Pennsylvania county election boards were voting on Monday, the state deadline, on whether to certify local election results to the Department of State. The boards in two populous counties divided along party lines, with majority Democrats in both places voting to certify.
After all counties have sent certified results to Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, she must then tabulate, compute and canvass votes for all races. The law requires her to perform that task quickly but does not set a specific deadline.
In Wisconsin, a recount in the state’s two largest liberal counties moved into its fourth day at a slow pace, with left-wing election officials in Milwaukee County complaining that Trump observers were hanging up the process with frequent challenges.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press