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Michigan election official leaning toward audit, delay in vote certification

One of the two Republicans on the four-member Michigan Board of State Canvassers on Thursday said he is leaning toward calling for a delay in the certification of the state’s election results until an official audit has been completed. 

“I do think with all of the potential problems, if any of them are true, an audit is appropriate,” Norman Shinkle said in a telephone interview with The Washington Post. “I take one step at a time, and if we can get more information, why not?”

Shinkle reportedly cited among his concerns a since-debunked claim from President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE and his allies that Dominion Voting Systems, the Colorado-based manufacturer of voting machines, deleted thousands of votes that had been cast in favor of the president. 

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“If Dominion was fudging votes, that’s a serious problem,” he said. “If it’s true. I don’t know. I have to be convinced of it. That’s why the audit makes sense.”

Shinkle has faced scrutiny after his wife, Mary Shinkle, filed an affidavit supporting a since-withdrawn federal lawsuit by the Trump campaign. 

“That’s almost an accusation against marriage,” he told the Post. “My wife can do whatever she wants to do.”

Shinkle added that he has been getting calls from fellow Republicans trying to convince him to not certify the vote in Michigan, which The Associated Press and other news outlets projected President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenLawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list GOP lawmaker blasts incoming freshman over allegations of presidential voter fraud Haaland has competition to be first Native American to lead Interior  MORE would win. 

AP projections showed Biden leading Trump in the state by more than 155,000 votes as of Thursday. 

Shinkle told the Post on Thursday that, “my job is to try to do the right thing for the vote in Michigan,” adding that “the odds are probably that he [Biden] will become president.” 

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Despite Biden’s lead in the Wolverine State, which has the widest electoral margin of any state where Trump’s team is contesting the results, Trump has ramped up his campaign in recent days to dispute the Michigan election results. 

Monica Palmer, a GOP member of the Wayne County, Mich., canvassing board, told the Post that Trump called her Tuesday night after she and fellow Republican board member William Hartmann initially refused to certify election results. 

The two eventually relented and certified the results, but on Wednesday both Palmer and Hartmann sought to rescind their certification.

Palmer denied that she felt pressured by Trump to reverse course after agreeing to certify the vote. She indicated the two discussed the results in different states, but "we really didn’t discuss the details of the certification."

Wayne County, a Democratic stronghold, is home to Detroit and voted overwhelmingly for Biden.