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Trump Backers Take Aim At State Canvassers

The spotlight on Michigan’s presidential vote in the November 3rd election has turned to Monday’s meeting of the State Board of Canvassers.

Yesterday, Trump Re-Election Committee lead attorney Rudolph Giuliani announced that lawsuits challenging the Michigan election result would be abandoned. 

Instead, President Donald Trump has summoned the state’s top two legislative Republicans – House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey – to the White House for a meeting today.

Some supporters of the president believe that, if the state board fails to certify the election results on Monday, the Republican-led legislature could step in and appoint its own slate of presidential electors. They would then vote for the president at the electoral college. Membership on the Board of Canvassers is equally split between Republicans and Democrats.

Chatfield and Shirkey have publicly committed to honoring the statewide vote, which favored Democrat Joe Biden by more than 150,000 ballots. Their sudden trip to Washington today has raised concerns that they may be asked to backtrack on that decision.

It is far from certain that plan could work.

Legal experts say the legislature has the ability to change the way electors are appointed for an upcoming election, but there is no support for changing the process for an election already held.

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, on the other hand, has the authority to fire and replace members of the State Board of Canvassers at any time, without legislative approval. Replacements for fired Republicans would also need to be Republicans, but not all members of the GOP support the president’s strategy. A failed vote Monday could simply bring about another vote, with new commission members, as early as Tuesday.

Trump and Michigan GOP Chair Laura Cox continue to maintain that there was massive voting fraud in Michigan. Neither they, nor Trump Re-Election Campaign attorneys, have presented any actual evidence. Several legal challenges were thrown out of court. 

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