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Nov. 23, 2020, 4:50 p.m. EST

Michigan certifies Biden victory as Trump’s legal team suffers further losses

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Chris Matthews

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state and its 16 electoral votes in a 3-0 vote Monday afternoon with one abstention.

Michigan is the first of several battleground states that are scheduled to certify Biden’s electoral victories this week, while President Donald Trump’s attempts to reverse these states’ results in the courts have suffered a string of defeats.

The lone dissenting voice was that of Republican Norman Shinkle, who advocated for delaying the vote until the board had more information about possible irregularities.

The board comprises two Democrats and two Republicans, and the second Republican, Aaron Van Langevelde, voted for certification, arguing during the hearing that Michigan law gives the board no other power beyond certifying the results as reported by Michigan’s 83 counties.

“Any allegations of voter fraud should be taken seriously and investigated,” he said. “State law is clear that we do not have that authority and other entities do.”

Monday is also the deadline for Pennsylvania counties to certify their results, and several of the commonwealth’s 67 counties have already done so, though others may need time, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported . Less drama is expected in the Keystone State because final statewide certification is done unilaterally by the Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat. There is no statutory deadline for her to do so, but federal law says she must complete the task by Dec. 8.

The state of Georgia has already certified a Biden win after it completed a recount, though the Trump campaign has indicated it plans to seek a second recount.

There is an ongoing recount in two Wisconsin counties, Milwaukee and Dane, outsize contributors to Biden’s 20,000-vote victory in the state. The state must certify its results by Dec. 1.

Nevada must certify by Nov. 24 and Arizona by Nov. 30. Biden also has more votes than Trump in those states.

Meanwhile, the president’s legal effort to halt the certification of votes and throw out masses of mailed ballots that favored Biden has been met with defeat after defeat. On Saturday a federal judge in Pennsylvania threw out a suit in which the Trump campaign sought to disqualify millions of votes.

“This court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations … unsupported by evidence,” Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his decision.

“In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth-most populous state,” he added.

See: Pat Toomey joins handful of Senate Republicans extending congratulations to Biden as president-elect after Pennsylvania court weighs in

The Trump campaign is appealing the decision.

A court in Georgia threw out a similar suits last Thursday and state judges in Arizona and Pennsylvania also dismissed suits last week that sought mass rejection of mailed ballots.

On Sunday, the Trump campaign distanced itself from lawyer Sidney Powell after broad backlash over her peddling of theories that an international communist conspiracy infiltrated voting computer systems and changed Americans’ votes on a mass scale.

Read on: Trump’s legal team continues to cry vote fraud, and courts continue to see matters differently

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