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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Norman shinkle sitting at a table in front of an american flag
Michigan Board of Canvassers Zoom meeting

Following a marathon meeting on certifying the statewide results of the November 3 election, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers voted to certify the results in a 3-0 vote with one abstention. Republican board member Norman Shinkle abstained.  

The results show President-elect Joe Biden by more than 154,000 votes, winning Michigan's 16 electoral votes, and that Democratic Senator Gary Peters won re-election.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

On Monday night, the Flint city council is scheduled to discuss a settlement of lawsuits linked to the city’s water crisis.

Between 2014 and 2015, improperly treated river water caused Flint’s drinking water to become contaminated with lead.

The Flint city council is scheduled to meet behind closed doors to discuss the city contributing $20 million to a $641 million settlement. The council may also vote on the plan when it meets.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The leaders of the Michigan Republican Party and the Republican National Committee are asking the state Board of Canvassers to delay the certification of election results.

In a letter, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and state GOP chair Laura Cox asked the canvassing board to adjourn for 14 days to allow for an audit of Wayne County's election results.

The Board of State Canvassers is set to meet on Monday.

Michigan capitol building
Pkay Chelle / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Legislature’s Republican leaders led a delegation of GOP lawmakers to meet Friday with President Donald Trump.

House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering), Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and at least four other Republican lawmakers are in the group.

voting booths
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

County board of canvassers meetings are usually the dullest events imaginable. The boards, comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats, meet to review the results of a post-election canvass. That canvass is meant to catch any major irregularities, down to the precinct level, make sure every vote is accounted for, and then certify the unofficial results.

ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Republicans on the Wayne County vote-canvassing board say they want to take back their votes to certify the November 3 election results.

GOP canvassers said in notarized affidavits they felt pressured to certify following a rancorous public comment period.

user rollingroscoe / morgueFile

A politically diverse coalition of advocacy groups has urged the Michigan Legislature to pass an 18 bill package of criminal justice measures before December's lame duck legislative session ends. 

The 18 bills stem from recommendations for change made in January by the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration. 

voting booths
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Two Michigan Republicans who initially blocked certification of Wayne County's election results despite no evidence of fraud before approving them now say they want to rescind their certification.

Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, the two Republican canvassers in Wayne County, said in a statement late Wednesday that they only voted to certify the results after "hours of sustained pressure."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan attorney general’s office responded Wednesday to a legal filing asking the state Supreme Court to block certification of the November 3 election.

The lawsuit was filed by poll challengers working for President Donald Trump’s campaign.

The state’s response can be summarized as: the election’s over and the ballots are counted.

ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Tuesday night’s Wayne County Board of Canvassers meeting was a wild ride.

After initially deadlocking 2-2 along partisan lines—meaning the county’s election results would not have been certified—the Board reversed course and unanimously voted to certify the election, while also urging Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to do a “comprehensive audit” of certain precincts.

sign that says "vote here"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan's largest county has reversed course and unanimously certified local presidential election results.

Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy poses for a portrait outside of the Antrim County Building in Bellaire.
Mike Krebs / Traverse City Record Eagle

In early October, Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy learned she had to reorder the ballots for one of the precincts she oversees. A candidate for trustee in the Village of Mancelona needed to be added to the ticket before the upcoming election.


persoon handle ballot to poll worker
Katie Raymond

With a critical Tuesday deadline looming, Republican challengers unhappy with Election Day vote counting are looking to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

In an emergency appeal filed Monday, Republican poll challengers asked the court to stop the certification of the votes in Wayne County.

Rashida Tlaib with supporters
Rashida Tlaib for Congress website

Rashida Tlaib just got re-elected to her second term in Congress. She’s packed a lifetime into those two years. Part of a vibrant class of incoming freshman Democrats who helped shape politics during a critical election cycle. Now, she’s trying to meet the needs of the 13th district during a pandemic, and subsequent economic slide that erased many of the gains of the last decade.


Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

A judge has refused to stop certification of Detroit-area election results. Wayne County Judge Timothy Kenny rejected arguments that the city's handling of absentee ballots spoiled the count.

It's the third time that a judge has refused to intervene in steps that are necessary to bless the Michigan results. Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump by 146,000 votes.

Michigan House of Representatives

The abrupt cancellation of Thursday's House floor session and committee meetings has Democratic leaders questioning their Republican counterparts as to what is going on.  

Republican House leaders say the sudden cancellation was because there was "nothing immediately time sensitive up for a vote on the floor." 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Repair work on the Edenville Dam could begin as early as next week.

The dam failed back in May after days of heavy rain, contributing to a 500-year flood event in Midland and Gladwin counties.

Unsplash

There are now multiple lawsuits originating from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and his supporters attempting to stop the certification of Michigan’s election results. A flurry of filings in Michigan’s Western District federal court on November 11 were the latest. These cases are based on unsubstantiated claims of fraud or lack of transparency, says University of Michigan law professor Sam Bagenstos.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

People living near the Edenville Dam will get an update Thursday night on state plans to make repairs to a portion of the dam that didn't fail in May.

Days of heavy rain led to the Edenville dam to fail back in May. Flood waters that washed through the breach inundated communities downstream, doing tens of millions of dollars in damage.

ballot drop off box
April Baer / Michigan Radio

A Wayne County judge has promised a decision by Friday on whether to order a delay in certifying election results.

That request came from plaintiffs who are challenging how ballot counting was handled in Detroit.

President Donald Trump’s campaign has also filed a lawsuit in the western Michigan U.S. District Court to attempt to stop the certification of the state’s election results.

sign marking poll distance banning campaigning at polling places
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The 2020 election cycle brought historic voter turnout, as well as ongoing discussions of how different racial and ethnic groups cast their ballots. Notably, preliminary exit polls show white voters favored President Trump, while Black and Latinx voters’ support contributed to Joe Biden winning the presidency. But increased turnout of Native American voters, particularly those living in swing states, may have played a key role as well.

someone writing on a ballot
Michael Dorausch / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, the election results are mostly settled, but that hasn’t stopped Republican leaders from following Trump’s lead with unfounded arguments about voter fraud. We talk with the executive director of Voters Not Politicians who’s been keeping tabs on the situation. Plus, we take a look at the role Native American voters played in this election. And, we discuss the future of the GOP.

Updated at 1:09 p.m. ET

Amid baseless accusations of election fraud from Republicans, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the state will conduct a hand recount of the presidential race, where President-elect Joe Biden currently holds a 14,000-vote lead.

"This will help build confidence," said Raffensperger, surrounded by a bipartisan group of local election officials. "It will be a heavy lift. We will work with the counties to get this done in time for our state certification."

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers from both sides of the aisle joined Governor Gretchen Whitmer Tuesday to announce legislation they say will clear the path to good jobs in Michigan for military families.

The legislation would make veterans, service members and their dependents eligible for license reciprocity in Michigan, provided they are in good standing with no pending disciplinary action and demonstrate competency in their profession through education, training or work experience.

The U.S. Supreme Court building
U.S. Supreme Court

Today on Stateside, we talk about what’s at stake as the U.S. Supreme Court considers a Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Also, what the future of the auto industry looks like under President-elect Biden. Plus, we dig into early election results to see what we can learn about Michigan voters.

The South Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA) and Madison Heights meet in court May 17.
User: steakpinball / flickr

A growing number of lawsuits are challenging how last Tuesday’s elections were handled in Michigan.

One lawsuit says certification of the election results should be delayed.

There are at least four other cases in state courts challenging how the elections were handled. And at least two cases in federal courts.

Some of those cases have been rejected at least once in lower courts because a judge has ruled the challenges are based on unsubstantiated allegations.

headshot of peter meijer
COURTESY OF 'WITH HONOR'

While the counts have yet to be certified, Joe Biden is the presumptive 46th president of the United States. And down the ballot, Republican Peter Meijer will be going to Congress to represent Michigan’s 3rd District.

He’s taking over the seat from Justin Amash, the first Republican to call for the impeachment of Donald Trump before changing his party affiliation to Libertarian.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has been "terminated," President Trump wrote in a tweet, and will be replaced by Christopher C. Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

"Chris will do a GREAT job," Trump tweeted shortly after noon. "Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service."

Sources say Esper already had a resignation letter ready to go — because Trump threatened to fire him in June over a disagreement about using active duty troops to quell street protests — and had recently updated it.

Democrats have brought the end of the Trump era into sight — but there are more than 70 days to go before the page actually turns and President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

In the meantime, the most unusual era in modern American politics is phasing into what could be one of its most tumultuous transitions.

Here's what you need to know about the final act.

Resolution and reconciliation — or not

Back in July, President Trump's administration began the formal process of withdrawing the U.S. – and its critical funding – from the World Health Organization. Trump had accused the U.N. agency of conspiring with China to downplay the infectiousness of the novel coronavirus early on. The withdrawal was to be complete in July 2021.

As a candidate, Biden vowed to reverse the decision on his first day in office. Global health experts are counting on President-elect Joe Biden to restore and reimagine the U.S. relationship with the world's leading public health agency.

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