Michigan Canvassing Hearing Devolves As GOP Peddles Nonsense


On Monday, the Michigan state canvassing board met to consider the question of certifying the state’s presidential election results. (Eventually, they agreed to certify the results and Biden’s win.) During the proceedings, the board members heard from a large number of commenters, including former state Senator Patrick Colbeck, who apparently raised the conspiracy theory that Dominion voting machines were used as part of a scheme to rig the election for President-elect Joe Biden. Although Trump himself has pushed this idea, there’s zero meaningful supporting evidence. According to reporter Adam Klasfeld’s summary of the Monday proceedings, Democratic member of the Michigan state canvassing board Julie Matuzak asked Colbeck “whether he is alleging fraud and if so, whether he brought that to” state Attorney General Dana Nessel — and Colbeck admitted that he had done no such thing.

If the issue of Dominion voting machine-connected fraud is really so treacherous, then where’s the evidence? Where are the court cases over the issue? On Twitter after Colbeck’s comments began to circulate, Nessel herself chimed in, noting that “Colbeck’s assertions aside, intentionally making a false claim of criminal activity to law enforcement is itself a crime.” This potential criminal conviction over intentionally making a false claim to law enforcement “is often the reason certain reports are not made,” Nessel said that she has observed. In other words — Colbeck and other Republicans who have pushed the idea that Dominion voting machines could have been used in a fraudulent Democratic scheme to rig the election may be hesitating to raise these claims to law enforcement and in court because of potential consequences for unequivocally lying to authorities.

During the Michigan state canvassing board hearing on Monday, Republican board member Norman Shinkle deceptively claimed that Michigan state Representative Mari Manoogian, who was recently re-elected, won a “very close election” — despite the fact that she won by about 16 percent. Those numbers simply don’t reflect a “very close election.” The discrepancy reflects the shaky at best ground on which Republican claims of fraud sit. They’re twisting and contorting the truth to fit their agenda and consistently coming up majorly short. Their tactics are frequently proving to be dirty — at the Monday hearing, Jackson, Michigan’s Mayor Derek Dobies said that he saw Republican observers “openly plotting to challenge pretty much EVERY absentee ballot, including military ballots, etc.” according to the summary from healthcare analyst Charles Gaba.

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Trump personally reached out to two members of the canvassing board in Wayne County, Michigan, which includes Detroit, and after the president’s outreach, these two Republicans sought to rescind their votes in favor of certifying the county’s results — but there’s no legal mechanism by which they could actually do so.