Joe Biden

EXPLAINER: How does election certification usually work?

Nov 19, 2020
Wayne County Board of Canvassers
Associated Press

In normal times, the certification of election results is a routine process that doesn’t get much attention. But these are not normal times.

As part of an ongoing series of attacks on the integrity of the election, President Donald Trump and his Republican allies are trying to stop the formal certification of results in some of the states where he lost — mostly by making unsubstantiated claims of fraud.

While most of their legal claims have failed, a high-profile incident in Michigan’s largest county this week shows how easily the process can get sidetracked.

Detroit poll workers photo
Associated Press

An effort to stop the certification of Detroit-area votes from the Nov. 3 election was rejected Monday by the Michigan appeals court.

The court wasn’t convinced that a Wayne County judge made “manifest error” in refusing to stop the work of county canvassers, who must certify the votes this week and notify the state.

The appeal was rejected, 3-0.

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Voters in Michigan made their pick for president while holding negative views about the country’s direction, according to an expansive AP survey of the American electorate.

The race between President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden concluded Tuesday as the nation remains in the throes of a global public health crisis and mired in the economic downturn it brought on. AP VoteCast found that 40% of Michigan voters said the U.S. is on the right track and 60% of voters said it is headed in the wrong direction.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Nov. 5, 2020 photo
Associated Press

The United States will have a coordinated, science-based response to the coronavirus once President-elect Joe Biden takes office, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday, expressing optimism while warning that Michigan’s surging cases will likely continue to grow in coming months.

Voting booths photo

The race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden is too early to call in battleground Michigan, with many votes uncounted. So are the state's Senate contest and several closely watched House races. In southwestern Michigan's 6th District, 17-term GOP Rep. Fred Upton fended off Democrat Jon Hoadle. Detroit, Michigan's largest city and a Democratic stronghold, is not expected to finish counting until Wednesday night. Turnout was high.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer photo
Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she was “thrilled” when Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris as his running mate, and her decision to be vetted for the job despite earlier reservations will benefit Michigan if he is elected president.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer campaign rally photo
Associated Press

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s quick ascension to the national stage — and onto Joe Biden’s list of potential running mates — has left Democrats excited about what her future may hold and thankful that she will continue to lead Michigan.

Two years ago, Whitmer was on her way to a resounding victory in the battleground state. A year ago, she was struggling to get legislative traction for her signature campaign promise of fixing the roads.

President Donald Trump & Joe Biden split screen photo
Andrea Widburg /

Lansing-based EPIC-MRA has conducted a third poll leading up to the November presidential election.

In June, Michigan registered voters surveyed resulted in a 12-point lead for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden over Republican incumbent, President Donald Trump. A second poll indicated a 16-point lead.

Now, a third poll conducted in late July surveying 600 registered Michigan voters, 40-percent by cell phone; 44-percent identified as a Democrat, 39-percent Republican, 14-percent Independent and 2-percent undecided.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer portrait

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Delaware last weekend to meet with Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s first known in-person session with a potential running mate as he nears a decision.

Whitmer visited Biden Sunday, according to two high-ranking Michigan Democrats who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The first-term governor of the battleground state has long been on his short list of possible running mates.

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A recent state-wide poll indicates President Donald Trump is trailing presumptive Democratic challenger Joe Biden by double digits.

Lansing-based EPIC-MRA conducted the poll in late-May and early June surveying 600 registered Michigan voters, 40% by cell phone; 43% identified as a Democrat, 38% Republican an 11% Independent.