Where Michigan GOP lawmakers stand on effort to challenge Electoral College count

Of Michigan’s 14 Congress members only 8 have acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden’s victory

With Congress set to certify the Electoral College vote on Wednesday, several Michigan Republicans might support an objection to the results.

DETROIT – At least two members of Michigan’s congressional delegation have announced they will be joining the effort to object to the election results in battleground states when lawmakers meet to certify the election on Wednesday.

The effort is based on false and inaccurate claims of widespread election fraud and irregularity.

Nonetheless, it has been the focus of 140 Republican representatives, 12 Republican senators and Vice President Mike Pence in the weeks since the Electoral College vote on Dec. 14.

On Monday afternoon, Michigan Republican congressmen Tim Walberg and Jack Bergman announced they would be objecting and join their Senate colleagues to ask for a 10-day emergency audit of the results in Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada.

“We will not stand idly by without taking every lawfully available option to ensure the outcomes of our elections can be trusted. This includes objecting to the electoral votes from disputed states where there is evidence warranting an investigation,” the pair said in a joint statement. “Our options are not binary. Congress has an obligation to the tens of millions of Americans who have lost faith in our election process to prove that our elections are free, fair, and follow laws in place.

Of Michigan’s 14 members of Congress eight have acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. That includes each of the state’s Democratic members and Republican, Fred Upton. Upton is the only Republican from Michigan to say Biden won.

“There have been no cases of fraud discovered that would overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s 154,000 vote victory in Michigan,” Upton said in a statement Monday.

The other six members are Republicans and include four from the so-called Kraken Caucus and the state’s two freshmen members.

Republican congressmen Bill Huizenga and John Moolenar along with Walberg and Bergman are members of the caucus, each signing onto a lawsuit attempting to overturn the election. The lawsuit went before the US Supreme Court and was thrown out.

Huizenga and Moolenar did not answer questions about how they would vote. On Jan. 2 Huizenga did retweet a series of tweets about the push to overturn the election which included a list of the senators objecting, but did not offer commentary on them.

Newly sworn in Michigan Republican congressman Peter Meijer’s office was reached, but did not have an official comment on what he would do Wednesday. Meijer is replacing Libertarian Justin Amash who has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration and the effort to undo the election in recent months.

The other new Congress member, Lisa McClain, left the door open to objecting. In a statement she highlighted “grave concerns” about the election and accused state officials and judges of bias and “drifting from the rule of law.” McClain said she stands with Republicans who plan to object, but stopped short of saying she would join them.

“If what I see on Wednesday further confirms the concerns voiced to me by folks in the 10th district, I will follow my oath of office and vote accordingly,” she wrote.

McClain is replacing now retired Rep. Paul Mitchell. Mitchell, a staunch conservative who represented his district from 2017 to 2021, recently left the GOP over the efforts to undermine the election.

The vote to object is expected to ultimately fail to overturn the election results, with or without an emergency audit.

Once a representative and senator jointly object the separate chambers of Congress adjourn to their chambers where a two-hour discussion takes place, allowing each member five minutes.

After the time limit is reached or every member has spoken, they vote. Currently, the objectors do not have the votes to reject an electoral college vote from any state.

Objectors have also been explicit about asking for an audit, which already takes place in the State of Michigan.

In early 2020, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson released a memo explaining the recount and audit process.

She also announced in November the state would conduct a sweeping audit including 200 randomly selected precincts from across the state.

According to her office that audit should be conducted in the coming weeks.


About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.