“Michigan’s boards of canvassers didn’t derail election certification this year; And now Prop 2 eliminates the threat for good.”


Republican secretary of state candidate Kristina Karamo had something to say in Lansing on Monday as the Board of State Canvassers prepared to certify her loss, and she swore it wasn’t sour grapes. 

The election, Karamo charged without evidence and with raucous protesters in the background, was “unlawful,” the certification process was “treason,” the incumbent secretary of state “refuses to accurately maintain our qualified voter file,” and she wanted the board to decline to certify the results. 

The board’s chair, Tony Daunt, a Republican, was having none of it. Instead, he warned Karamo and the protesters against spreading  “dangerous lies” he said the board would not tolerate, and chastised protesters’ behavior. 

“We will ask for everybody to be polite,” warned Daunt. “If you have children, act like you would expect your children to act.” Despite his caution, police officers still had to remove a protester from the meeting. The man used expletives to refer to the board members as he was led from the room. 

After four hours of belligerent but baseless objections, the four-member board unanimously declared the election results in Michigan final — and a host of state and local officials and watchdogs breathed a sigh of relief.

In 2020, some Republicans on canvassing boards resisted certifying the results, citing unfounded conspiracy theories about the election. Their reluctance highlighted the potential vulnerability of what had until then been a purely procedural step that drew little attention. 

Many feared the problem could be even worse this year, after Trump-aligned Republicans were appointed to fill board vacancies. Instead, county and state boards finalized the results without any major stumbles, even as pitched battles over certification played out this week in Arizona and Pennsylvania

And Michigan voters have now taken steps to limit the potential for mischief in future elections. During last month’s election, more than 60% of voters approved constitutional election reforms outlined in Ballot Proposal 2, known as Prop 2, which will virtually eliminate the threat of boards of canvassers interfering with election results.

“The board of canvassers is not an investigative body, and Proposal 2 makes it crystal clear that they are just to count the vote,” said Sharon Dolente, the adviser to the Promote the Vote coalition behind Prop 2.

A provision of the new law takes any suggestion of power away from the boards, codifying that a board of canvassers has a “ministerial, clerical, nondiscretionary duty … to certify election results” as reported by precincts and counties.

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