Michigan Republican warns of ‘constitutional crisis’ ahead of meeting to certify election results

Michigan Board of State Canvassers asked to delay certification of election results

Michigan House speaker Lee Chatfield said Sunday that the state faces a potential "constitutional crisis" ahead of the Michigan Board of State Canvasser's scheduled meeting to certify election results Monday.

DETROIT – In an interview with Fox News Sunday morning Republican and Michigan House Speaker, Lee Chatfield, talked about the possibility of a “constitutional crisis” ahead of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers scheduled Monday meeting to certify election results.

“If there were to be a 2-2 split on the State Board of Canvassers, it would then go to the Michigan Supreme Court to determine what their response would be, what their order would be,” said Chatfield on Fox News. “If they didn’t have an order that it be certified, well now we have a constitutional crisis in the state of Michigan. It’s never occurred before.”

Related Headlines

Both Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Chatfield were invited to the White House on Friday as part of Trump’s effort to overturn results in the election he lost.

Chatfield debunked circulating rumors that he was asked to intervene in the election process during Friday’s meeting.

“This outrage that the president was going to ask us to break the law and he was gonna ask us to interfere, and that just simply didn’t happen,” he said.

After the meeting both leaders issued a joint letter noting that the meeting with the president was on the state’s fight against COVID-19.

Chatfield also denied claims that the president is trying to disenfranchise voters.

Currently, Black voters are suing the Trump campaign over its effort to invalidate election results.

Chatfield stated that he has no intention on interfering in the Michigan Board of State Canvassers certification process.

“I’m certainly not going to interfere in that process and I have not had a conversation with the Board of State Canvassers,” he said.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox penned a joint letter dated yesterday to the Michigan Board of State Canvassers asking to delay the certification of election results for two weeks.

The period would allow for a full audit and investigation into potential voter fraud. Since the presidential election Republican leaders have made allegations of voter fraud without substantial evidence.

“This board faces a stark choice: it can either ignore numerical anomalies and credible reports of procedural irregularities, leaving the distrust and sense of procedural disenfranchisement felt by many Michigan voters to fester for years; or it can adjourn for fourteen days to allow for a full audit and investigation into those anomalies and irregularities before certifying the results of the 2020 General Election, allowing all Michiganders to have confidence in the results,” read the letter.

According to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson an audit cannot be completed prior to the certification of results.

Michigan Democratic State Rep. Matt Koleszar responded to Chatfield’s comments on Fox News.

“Mr. Speaker continues to use vague language in his interviews and statements about safeguarding the election. The constitutional crisis has already begun sir. It began the day you and other leaders refused to stand behind our clerks and election process,” said Koleszar in the Tweet.

In a Tweet Shirkey addressed tomorrow’s meeting stating, “Whether the Board of Canvassers certifies our results tomorrow or decides to take the full time allowed by law to perform their duties, it’s inappropriate for anyone to exert pressure on them.”

Michigan leader: Trump didn’t ask for election interference

Michigan’s elections agency has recommended that the Nov. 3 results — including Biden’s 2.8-percentage point victory — be certified by the Board of State Canvassers, which has two Democrats and two Republicans. The Republican National Committee and the state Republican Party want the board to adjourn for 14 days to investigate alleged irregularities in Wayne County, the state’s largest and home to Detroit.

Staff for the state elections bureau said that claimed irregularities, even if verified, would not significantly affect the outcome. The Michigan Democratic Party said the total number of Detroit votes implicated by imbalanced precincts — where the number of ballots does not equal the number of names on the pollbook — is at most 450, or “0.029% of the margin” separating Biden from Trump.

“The certification process must not be manipulated to serve as some sort of retroactive referendum on the expressed will of the voters. That is simply not how democracy works,” chairwoman Lavora Barnes wrote to the board on Sunday.

Read more here.

About the Author:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.