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Election experts say Board of State Canvassers has one job on Monday: certify the election

Michigan Election Law

The Board of State Canvassers is scheduled to meet on Monday to certify the results of Michigan's November election.

The Board has a very limited role in elections, which is essentially to confirm the math from voting documents submitted by the Michigan Secretary of State, and certify the results, according to election experts.

John Pirich teaches at Michigan State University's College of Law and is a former Assistant Attorney General for the state of Michigan. He says the board does not have the legal authority to delay certification and order an audit.

"[The Board of State Canvassers] have absolutely no power to investigate allegations, theories, or any other half-brained arguments that are being thrown around," Pirich said during a panel discussion on the issue.

Pirich says anyone could ask the Michigan Court of Appeals to step in and certify the election, if two of the four members of the Board of State Canvassers refuse to do so.   

He says those members could also be sued as individuals and even face criminal charges.  

The members of the board include two Democrats, Jeanette Bradshaw and Julie Matuzak, and two Republicans, Norman Shinkle and Aaron Van Langevelde.

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Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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