Democrats Celebrate as Michigan's Largest County Certifies Election Results in Dramatic U-Turn

After an initial vote which ended in deadlock, the Wayne County, Michigan Board of Canvassers reversed a decision to block certification on the county's electoral votes on Twitter.

Originally, the Board of Canvassers had been divided along party lines as to whether or not to certify Wayne County's election results. Allegations of improprieties surrounded the decision as some areas of the county showed disparities in the numbers of votes cast and the numbers of actual voters.

Both Democrats on the Board voted to certify the votes, but the two Republicans cast their votes against certification. Some Republicans were hoping that the voting disparities would show enough votes for President Donald Trump to pronounce a victory in Michigan. After county residents offered comments during the meeting—many in favor of certifying the election results—the decision was unanimously overturned.

In a statement released before the reversal, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson explained that it was "common for some precincts in Michigan and across the country to be out of balance by a small number of votes, especially when turnout is high. Importantly, this is not an indication that any votes were improperly cast or counted."

Along with the unanimous decision to certify the county's presidential votes, the Board called on Benson to conduct an independent audit of the areas in Wayne County that showed voting number discrepancies.

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President Donald Trump praised a Tuesday decision by Clark County, Michigan election officials not to certify the county's election results, but that decision was reversed later that same evening. Tasos Katopodis/Getty

In a statement sent to Newsweek on Tuesday, the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) praised the actions of the Board of Canvassers and Michigan residents that spoke out against the initial decision.

"We applaud the decision and are thrilled that the voices of over 800,000 Wayne County voters have been heard and their votes have been properly counted," the statement from the MDP read. "We were reminded tonight about the importance of speaking up and speaking out."

"Our people are amazing," tweeted Michigan Democratic representative Rashida Tlaib. "Hundreds of Wayne County residents waited hours to give public comment. One after the other demanded our democracy is upheld and the Board of Wayne County Canvassers came back and voted unanimously to certify."

Our people are amazing. Hundreds of Wayne County residents waited hours to give public comment. One after the other demanded our democracy is upheld and the Board of Wayne County Canvassers came back and voted unanimously to certify.

— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) November 18, 2020

"Had the Board of Canvassers disenfranchised 1.4 million Wayne County voters over partisan politics, it would have been an historically shameful act," wrote Democratic Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in a Tuesday statement. "Glad to see common sense prevailed in the end."

Trump had praised the decision to not certify Wayne County's votes on Twitter before the reversal was announced. "Wow!" Trump tweeted. Michigan just refused to certify the election results! Having courage is a beautiful thing. The USA stands proud!"

Benson responded to Trump's tweet after the board decided to certify the ballots. "Wrong again," she wrote.

Wrong again. 🇺🇸 https://t.co/VPKC91o4hw

— Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson) November 18, 2020

Although the final results have yet to be tabulated, the Associated Press projected President-elect Joe Biden to win Michigan's 16 electoral votes. Currently, Biden holds 50.6 percent of the popular vote while Trump holds 47.9 percent.