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The Republican leader of the Michigan state Senate was mobbed by demonstrators on his way to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday regarding the results of the election there.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey was invited by the president along with Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R) to talk about the election results, which thus far have Democrat rival Joe Biden unofficially up by about 146,000 votes.
According to videos posted to social media, Shirkey was met by protesters in his home state as well as at Reagan International Airport in Washington, D.C.
Many protesters were shouting “Protect my vote” while others held signs.
— Rascal's Rooview (@RRooview) November 20, 2020
Michigan GOP Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey was caught by activists at the airport this morning after he was invited to the White House by Trump pic.twitter.com/8cwc4JkYdd
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 20, 2020
.@SenMikeShirkey just arrived at Reagan Airport and was immediately surrounded by protestors chanting “Certify the results!” Shirkey and other Michigan GOP lawmakers are expected to meet with @realDonaldTrump today. pic.twitter.com/NWnKUiLsUO
— Ellen ASHLEY (@EllenAshley2020) November 20, 2020
Protesters who fear that Shirkey and Chatfield will convince their GOP majority to assign the state’s electors to President Trump instead of Biden, however, are likely unfounded if what Shirkey said in an interview with a local publication holds true.
Though the state’s GOP majority is investigating various allegations of voting improprieties in the state, Shirkey said he believes that Biden was duly elected.
His comments also come as conservatives in the state have begun a letter-writing campaign to convince the Republican legislature to award the state’s electors to Trump.
“That’s not going to happen,” he told Bridge Michigan, noting that according to Michigan law, the electors are awarded to whoever wins the popular vote.
“We are going to follow the law and follow the process,” he said. “I do believe there’s reason to go slow and deliberate as we evaluate the allegations that have been raised.”
The outlet noted further:
Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, this month launched a legislative inquiry into Michigan’s election, citing “numerous allegations regarding the integrity” of the Nov. 3 contest that was administered by local clerks in 1,600 jurisdictions.
A joint oversight committee has met once so far to issue a subpoena for state records on registration and absentee ballot applications. Leadership also plans to demand records from Detroit, where absentee ballot poll challengers clashed, and Antrim County, where the GOP clerk applied a software update incorrectly and temporarily skewed results.
The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has filed a lawsuit to stop Michigan election officials from certifying the results for Biden. And two Republican election officials in Wayne County, home to Detroit, are attempting to rescind their earlier decision to certify results after they say a pledge to conduct an audit of ballots was broken.
“I was enticed to agree to certify based on the promise that a full and independent audit would take place. I would not have agreed to the certification but for the promise of an audit,” Wayne County Board of Canvassers member William C. Hartmann wrote in his affidavit. “I voted not to certify, and I still believe this vote should not be certified. Until these questions are addressed, I remain opposed to certification of the Wayne County results.”
“After the vote, my Democrat colleagues chided me and Mr. Hartmann for voting to not certify. After the vote, public comment period began and dozens of people made personal remarks against me and Mr. Hartmann. The comments made accusations of racism and threatened me and members of my family,” fellow board member Monica Palmer wrote in her own affidavit.
“I initially voted not to certify the election, and I still believe this vote should not be certified and the State Board of Canvassers should canvass for an additional period. Until these questions are addressed, I remain opposed to certification of the Wayne County results,” Palmer concluded.
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