Michigan Secretary Of State On Challenges Certifying Election Results In Her State
A little known board of county officials in Michigan made bigger headlines than Congress this week. That's because for a moment, the two Republicans on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers seemed to hold the fate. Of Michigan's presidential election results in their hands. And now, as Republican lawmakers from Michigan visit the White House and President Trump's attempts to overthrow the legitimate results of the election dragon, the Trump campaign's focus appears trained on Michigan, which is why we wanted to invite Michigan's Democratic secretary of state on to the program. Jocelyn Benson is in charge of the election in Michigan. Welcome. Good evening. Thanks for having me you have had quite a week. Let's let's start with this business in Wayne County, which is home to Detroit, of course to officials saying they would not certify. Then they said they would not. They want to take it back. Where does this stand? Well, First, it's clear that the voters of Wayne County in Michigan have spoken. They've made a choice. There's no legal or factual basis to question that choice. And the Wayne County Board of Canvassers did in an open meeting as an official process, making official vote to can approve the and certify the results of the election in Wayne County justice every county in the state has done on campus is required by law to certify results. That's what they've done, and now we expect the border state canisters to do the same. Okay, so that that vote that stands, Yes, votes. And when you're an official state board what's after you've taken and you know in a meeting that complies with the Open meetings act, and that's what occurred here. Well, let me move you two today and this meeting at the White House. The White House is characterizing these visiting Michigan lawmakers that this is a routine meeting. That's what White House spokesperson Kayleigh Mcenany saying. Is it routine for the president of the United States to call Michigan state officials and invite them to a private meeting at the White House? No, I don't know if it's ever happened before. Certainly not at a time like this, where there's so much focus on Michigan as you mentioned, But it's important to note that both the speaker and the Senate majority leader have stated they would not obstruct the will of the voters, which they've confirmed has been quite clear, and we have no reason to doubt that yet and I'm going to continue to expect they'll Follow the law as it's very clearly laid out in our state Constitution and state statutes. What should occur at this point? And do you have any Intel on the agenda for the meeting? How it's going on? Not at all? No, I really stay out of that process on the state's chief election officer. My job is to just make sure that the The will of the voters is what rules the day. Well, may I ask that the broad path that President Trump and his lawyers appear to be charting involves convincing Michigan State Board of Canvassers not to certify the Biden victory in Michigan. And then convincing state lawmakers to appoint electors who would overturn the will of Michigan voters. Is that a correct summary and if so, would that be legal? But know that it is potentially a path that I imagine people may imagine in their heads stick but there, But there's not something there's nothing in the law that or nothing, actually, that's occurred yet that would indicate that anyone is going down that path, and that's what I think it's important to focus on. Indeed, every one of Michigan's 83 counties have certified the election, Republican and Democratic clerks have confirmed That there's no evidence of widespread irregularities, and the board has previously started fight elections when there were more clerical mistakes and narrower margins of victory. Then there is this time around, and so it really being agreed this departure from their legal responsibility and requirements for them to do anything other than certified the election on Monday, and May I ask you Have you personally seen any evidence is the person in charge of the election message? Men? Michigan have you seen any evidence of widespread fraud of wrongdoing of rigging the vote? No, not at all. And not only that This has been one of the more scrutinized elections in modern history for our state. So if there was anything to discover or find, we certainly would have found it at this point, So there is no reason that you can point to that Biden winning Michigan by more than 150,000 votes that that would not stand. No, not at all and his. I started out by saying that it's actually it's very clear that the voters have spoken. It's very clear that there is no legal or factual basis to question that choice.