Wayne County Elections Board Votes to Certify 2020 Results After Republicans Initially Refused

The elections board was previously deadlocked in certifying the results due to a couple of Republican members who voted against the certification.

Michigan ballots

Image via Getty/Elaine Cromie

Michigan ballots

The Wayne County Board of Canvassers in Michigan have voted to certify their 2020 election results.

The move was announced Tuesday night after an initial deadlock with 2-2 split along party lines. According to New York Times, GOP members argued they would not vote to certify the vote tallies due to "disparities" in the Detroit area. They pointed discrepancies found during the post-election review process, stating that the number of absentee ballots recorded was not in line with the number of voters in the precinct; however, it was determined that those disparities were so small, it did not indicate voter fraud or systemic failure.

President Donald Trump applauded the Republicans' refusal in a tweet, calling it "a beautiful thing." President-elect Joe Biden is the projected winner in Michigan, which Trump carried in 2016. It's also worth noting that similar discrepancies were identified in the previous presidential election, but the Wayne County elections board chose to move ahead and certify those votes without issue.

After some pointed out that the delay would cost additional tax money, board chairwoman Monica Palmer suggested they certify all the county votes with exception to Detroit, a majority-Black city that went heavily for Biden. Wayne County residents expressed outrage over the deadlock and accused the opposing GOP board members of racism and voter suppression.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also criticized the Republican board members for their stance, and accused them of trying to "undermine the will of the voters.

"In refusing to approve the results of the election in Wayne County, the two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers have placed partisan politics above their legal duty to certify the election results," Whitmer wrote in a press release. "The people have spoken: Joe Biden won Michigan by more than 140,000 votes. Today’s action is a blatant attempt to undermine the will of the voters. The process, however, will move forward. Under Michigan law, the Board of State of Canvassers will now finish the job and I have every expectation they will certify the results when the job is done."

Following hours of backlash, the board abruptly reversed its decision and voted unanimously to certify all county votes. As part of the agreement, all four board members asked the Michigan Secretary of State office to conduct an audit on the mismatched precincts and pursue measures that will prevent these types of discrepancies in the future.

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