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Rudy Giuliani to testify before Senate, officials react to election certification

December 2, 2020
<p>A voter fills out their ballot at Willow Elementary School in Lansing on Nov. 3, 2020. This site houses two precincts and had people trickling in for both precincts.</p>

A voter fills out their ballot at Willow Elementary School in Lansing on Nov. 3, 2020. This site houses two precincts and had people trickling in for both precincts.

Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani is coming to Michigan to testify before the state Senate on the election process Wednesday afternoon, despite the Michigan State Board of Canvassers’ certification of the election results a week prior. 

Currently, the state Senate is investigating the election process after Trump and Republican Party leaders claimed there were irregularities in the results, which contender Joe Biden won. 

Giuliani is expected to answer questions about such claims.

“People have questions and concerns about the election process, the way it was handled and how our future elections could be impacted,” House Oversight Chair Matt Hall, R-Marshall, said in a statement. “Rumors and hearsay are everywhere and our committee is attempting to get to the bottom of all of it to deliver people answers they deserve.”

Hall said Giuliani believes there is “significant fraud” in Michigan, though the State Board certified the election.

Though the congressional testimonies are ongoing, Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Lansing, called the certification of the election a “win” for the state. 

“Today’s decision is a win for Michigan, and a win for democracy,” Slotkin said in a statement. “Michigan will award our 16 electoral votes to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. And despite attempts to undermine and influence the process by federal and state leaders, the Board of State Canvassers did its job and has now certified the result.”

Slotkin recognized board member Aaron Van Langevelde, who, despite “incredible pressure,” was the only Republican board member of two who voted to certify the election. 

The other Republican board member abstained and called for the Legislature to review the election process.

According to Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, the Board of Canvassers must certify the election after all of the state’s counties have been certified. 

“The Michigan State Board of Canvassers certification of the November 3, 2020 General Election means that the voters of Michigan can finally move forward from the election,” Byrum said in an email. “The function of the State Board is ministerial and they have no authority to not certify the election after all 83 counties in Michigan have certified. The fact that this was even a question is testament to the fact that Donald Trump is meddling in our free and fair elections in addition to trafficking in conspiracies and falsehoods. It is incumbent on all those who know that our process is safe and secure and free from fraudulent behavior to stand up and defend our democratic process and call out lies and conspiratorial behavior when we see it. I stand behind Michigan’s elections as the safest and most secure in the nation.”

Slotkin echoed Byrum’s concern that the president’s frequent claims of election fraud caused, and she said her constituents have echoed their own concerns, as well. 

“As the President’s federal and state lawsuits seem to be petering out, I can’t ignore the damage his allegations are having on public confidence in our elections,” Slotkin said. “I am receiving lots of calls to my office from people who genuinely believe our democracy has been rigged. This will have a lasting impact on our democracy long term, and on governing in the short term.”

House Democratic Leader Christine Greig said that despite efforts to undermine the election, the focus should be on combating the coronavirus and reversing the damage done to the electoral process. 

“We … must end the divisive partisan rhetoric and diligently work to reverse the damage caused throughout this election — through the perpetuation of disinformation and groundless allegations — that implied our electoral process was purposefully flawed,” Greig said. 

With the certification of the election, results were solidified and those who lost the election had to accept defeat, which former Senate contender John James did gracefully. 

“I am happy that the Board of Canvassers ... asked the legislature to take a top-down review of election law,” James said in a statement. “But it's too (late) for me. While I look forward to participating in efforts to secure both reasonable franchise and integrity in our election in the near future, today is the right time for me to congratulate Senator Gary Peters.”

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