"The Great State of Michigan, with votes being far greater than the number of people who voted, cannot certify the election. The Democrats cheated big time, and got caught," President Trump wrote in a tweet soon shared tens of thousands of times on November 18.
Screenshot of a tweet taken on November 18, 2020
The president made a similar statement on the evening of November 17, claiming that Michigan had "refused to certify the election results", which Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson dismissed as "wrong".
Trump supporters shared his tweets alongside claims of systemic voter fraud in the November 3 election, an assertion which has been almost universally dismissed in courts due to lack of evidence. Federal and state election officials declared the election "the most secure in American history."
While Trump made statements about the entire state of Michigan's result certification process, he was in fact referring to a now outdated situation in a single county.
Board canvassers in Wayne County, the state's most populous and home to the largely Democratic city of Detroit, whose residents are majority Black, found themselves in a deadlock on November 17 over result certification for their jurisdiction.
ALERT: Wayne County Board of Canvassers deadlocked 2-2 on certifying election results, split along party lines.— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) November 17, 2020
Dem member blasts Republicans for "allowing politics" to block certifcation: "There is no reason under the sun for us not to certify this election...irresponsible"
The board's four members were divided 2-2 along party lines, as the two Republicans voted against certification because of a discrepancy between the number of votes cast versus recorded participating voters.
Following outrage from Wayne County citizens, the Republicans changed course and the board unanimously voted to certify the results, thereby sending them to the Board of State Canvassers for final review.
Michigan's 83 counties had until November 17 to certify their election results, and the Board of State Canvassers now has until November 23 to certify the entire Michigan election outcome.
"All counties have certified," Michigan Department of State spokesman Jake Rollow told AFP by phone on November 18.
With more than 2.8 million votes, Biden won the Great Lakes state and its 16 Electoral College votes with 50.6 percent of the vote in a crucial state where Trump was victorious in 2016. Biden defeated Trump by more than 154,000 votes. The president received 47.9 percent of the popular vote.
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