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Michigan elections board could deadlock as GOP pressure mounts to refuse to certify Biden’s victory

Michigan Board of State Canvassers Republican member Norman Shinkle could cause a deadlock resulting in a delay in certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the state

The four members of the Board of State Canvassers in Michigan could come to a deadlock Monday, for what is believed to be the first time ever, which would delay the state certifying Joe Biden’s victory there.

The two-Democrat and two-Republican panel could come to a head during their Monday afternoon meeting as President Donald Trump continues to pressure swing state Republicans to back his lawsuits and claims of widespread voter fraud.

Vice chair of the board and top Republican member Norman Shinkle says he has concerns regarding the integrity of the election and is leaning toward delaying certification of Biden’s win.

Shinkle has questions regarding electronic equipment used in the Michigan election, the absentee and mail-in voting process and transparency issues, according to the Detroit Free Press. 

His wife, Mary Shinkle was a Republican poll watcher at the Transportation Service Center in Detroit for four days surrounding the election.

She also was one of the more than 200 people who signed a sworn affidavit alleging errors and wrongdoing that they said they witnessed during Wayne County ballot tabulation.

The Trump campaign used this affidavit in one of its federal lawsuits, which since then has been withdrawn. 

Michigan went blue this year, with current reporting showing 50.6 per cent of the vote for Biden and 47.8 per cent for Trump. In 2016 the state swung red for Trump.

The president, however, has called into question the integrity of the results in the rustbelt battleground state this year, claiming there was funny business with tabulation and not allowing Republican poll watchers to stand close enough to observe the ballot counting process.

Shinkle, 70, would need his colleague Aaron Van Langevelde, the other Republican member of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers, to join him in not signing off on Biden’s win to create a deadlock with the two Democrat members – Julie Matuzak and Chairwoman Jeannette Bradshaw. 

Van Langevelde, 40, an attorney and former assistant prosecutor living with his wife Adrianne in Charlotte, Michigan, has not said how he plans to vote. 

Shinkle lives in Williamson, Michigan with his second wife. He has two sons, Teddy and Douglas, from his first wife Linda. 

Shinkle (left) pictured here with George H.W. Bush and his two sons Teddy and Douglas, who he had with his first wife Linda (right)

Shinkle (left) pictured here with George H.W. Bush and his two sons Teddy and Douglas, who he had with his first wife Linda (right) 

Democratic members of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers Julie Matuzak (left) and Chairwoman of the panel Jeannette Bradshaw (right)

Usually signing off to certify the presidential election winner in a specific state is a routine event – but as is par for the course in 2020, not this year. 

Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield, Van Langevelde’s boss, flew to Washington, D.C. Friday with six other GOP lawmakers to meet with Trump and members of his team Friday. He was also spotted enjoying drinks at Trump hotel just a few blocks from the White House over the weekend.

Following the meeting, Chatfield and state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, both Republicans, said they have not been ‘made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan.’

‘There was this outrage that the president was going to ask us to break the law, he was going to ask us to interfere, and that just simply didn’t happen,’ Chatfield told Fox News when describing the meeting.

Michigan’s elections agency has already recommended that the board certify the presidential election results, which shows Biden with a 2.8 per cent margin of victory.

The Republican National Committee and the Michigan Republican Party, however, are urging the board to adjourn for 14 days to instead investigate alleged irregularities in Wayne County – the state’s largest area, which emcompasses Detroit.

Chair of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel, who is a Michigan resident, and Laura Cox, chair of the Michigan Republican Party, wrote the board Saturday asking it to delay certification for another two weeks as it awaits results of an audit.

They cited ‘procedural and accounting irregularities’ like discrepancies between the number of people recorded casting ballots at Detroit precincts and the actual number of ballots counted.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says post-election audits are in the works, including in Wayne County even though Michigan law states such audits can only be conducted after results are certified.

Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Rep. Jim Lilly, both Republicans, were photographed Friday night indulging in a bottle of Dom Perignon at Trump Hotel's Benjamin Bar & Lounge

Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Rep. Jim Lilly, both Republicans, were photographed Friday night indulging in a bottle of Dom Perignon at Trump Hotel’s Benjamin Bar & Lounge

The group reportedly stayed at the hotel drinking until midnight

The group reportedly stayed at the hotel drinking until midnight

The celebratory drinks came hours after Chatfield and Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey met with Trump as part of the president's move to try to overturn Joe Biden's popular vote win in Michigan

The celebratory drinks came hours after Chatfield and Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey met with Trump as part of the president’s move to try to overturn Joe Biden’s popular vote win in Michigan

Chatfield said that if the Board of State Canvassers does not confirm the results and the Michigan Supreme Court does not order it to do so there will be a ‘constitutional crisis.’

But the Michigan House speaker, among other Republicans, have vowed not to go against the voters or undermine their will.

The new request to delay certification comes after a two-week period where Michigan double-checked ballots in all 83 counties – and found some expected inaccuracies and irregularities that happen in most elections. The errors were corrected.

During such a partisan time in American history, experts are questioning whether a four-person split panel is still a realistic way to go about certifying election results as a potential deadlock ensues. Some claim there needs to be some sort of built-in tiebreaker like in other states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk