Republican canvassing board member in Michigan could delay vote certification

Trump lost Michigan by about 155,000 votes, according to unofficial results still being certified by county boards of canvassers.

A key Republican on Michigan's canvassing board could delay the certification of the state's election results for President-elect Joe Biden on Monday, according to reports. 

Norman Shinkle, one of two Republicans on the four-member board, is given the duty of validating the will of Michigan voters ahead of the Electoral College vote on Dec. 14.

Shinkle, however, is weighing whether to block the certification at the board's meeting on Monday due to voting system glitches that both President Trump and his allies have claimed are evidence for widespread voter fraud. 

Shinkle told the New York Times that he's received hundreds of phone calls, emails and text messages from people for or against certifying.

“You can’t make up your mind before you get all the facts,” he said.

Michigan GOP Rep. Paul Mitchell told CNN on Sunday that Shinkle indicated last week he would vote against certifying the election results until an investigation is completed. 

Shinkle did not immediately return FOX News' request for comment. 

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Shinkle's wife, Mary, claimed to be among the witnesses whose accounts were cited in a Trump campaign lawsuit challenging the election results.

In an affidavit, she alleged that while working as a poll challenger in Detroit she saw election workers scanning too many ballots at once and envelopes containing mail ballots left unattended in unsealed containers.

In addition, she objected to being asked to step back from a table where election workers were duplicating damaged ballots. However, she said she could still observe the process. She also said election workers were “rude and aggressive” when challenged about their decisions.

The lawsuit has since been dropped, according to the Washington Post

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Depending on how Shinkle and Aaron Van Langevelde, the other GOP member of the board, cast their votes, the board could become deadlocked. 

If the board were to vote against certifying the results, the case would then go to the state court of appeals, followed by the state Supreme Court, which would be expected to demand the board certify the results. Michigan's Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, could also replace any of the board members. 

If the certification cannot be handled in the courts, the decision would then go to the state Legislature, where Republican members could try and appoint electors to vote in favor of Trump rather than honoring the popular vote. 

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Shinkle's potential decision comes just a day after the state Republican Party and the Republican National Committee sent a letter to the board members asking them to delay certification for 14 days and wait for an audit of Wayne County's election results. 

"We are distressed by the comments of some public officials in Michigan casually dismissing the significant problems and irregularities seen in Wayne County," the letter reads. "While those comments may be motivated by a desire to bolster confidence in the election results, its actual effect has been to make the over 2.6 million Trump and Republican voters in the state even more distrustful that Michigan’s election officials are ignoring their demands for free and fair elections. These issues cannot simply be ignored away or brushed under the rug, they must be confronted and thoroughly examined. We implore you to listen to the pleas of your voters and order the audit."

An audit cannot happen in Michigan until votes are certified.

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Following a Friday afternoon meeting with Trump and his legal team, Michigan legislative officials said they found no “evidence that would “change the outcome of the election.”

“The candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan’s electoral votes,” they said.

"We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and, as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election," the lawmakers continued. 

“Michigan’s certification process should be a deliberate process free from threats and intimidation. Allegations of fraudulent behavior should be taken seriously, thoroughly investigated, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

According to Wayne County officials, out of more than 878,000 votes cast, there was a discrepancy over approximately 450 votes. Trump lost Michigan by about 155,000 votes, according to unofficial results still being certified by county boards of canvassers.

There is no evidence or proof of widespread election fraud.

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Fox News' Caitlin McFall and Morgan Phillips contributed to this report

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