(CNN) — The Michigan State Board of Canvassers is expected to meet Monday to vote on certifying the state’s election results, a step that would formally grant President-elect Joe Biden the state’s 16 electoral votes.
The certification is another blow to President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results through legal challenges that have been dismissed in key states and attempts to delay certifications. But the meeting of the Michigan canvassing board may not end with an unanimous vote, as one of the state’s two Republican board members is expected to vote against certifying the state’s election results.
Republican Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell said that he spoke days ago with Norman Shinkle, one of two Republican members on the canvassing board, and Shinkle indicated he would vote against certifying the election results until an investigation is completed even though there is no evidence of fraud or malfeasance that would necessitate such a move.
It is unclear how Aaron Van Langevelde, the other Republican board member, will cast his vote. Two Michigan Republican sources seeking to calm the tense situation bubbling in the state ahead of the meeting indicated to CNN on Monday they believe certification will happen Monday.
A split would thrust the state into uncharted legal territory. Republican Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield said Sunday if there is a 2-2 vote, “it would then go to the Michigan Supreme Court to determine what their response would be, what their order would be.”
“If they didn’t have an order that it be certified, well now we have a constitutional crisis in the state of Michigan. It’s never occurred before,” Chatfield said during an interview on Fox News.
If the canvassing board were to vote against certifying the results, the case would go to the state court of appeals, and then to the state Supreme Court. The state Supreme Court would be expected to demand the board certify the results and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, could replace any of the board members.
The Trump campaign has tried to interfere with the certification process, and Trump has courted Michigan officials as he and attorney Rudy Giuliani continue to claim without evidence widespread voter fraud and a “rigged election.”
Trump met with Republican Michigan state lawmakers at the White House last week and state Republican leadership, including Chatfield, said in a statement “we have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election.” The President also called two Republican canvass board members from Wayne County to offer his support, after they went back and forth on voting to certify the election results from their county. The did vote to certify the results but later tried to walk back their votes with affidavits stating that they wanted to “rescind” their votes, though Michigan Secretary of State spokeswoman Tracy Wimmer told CNN no legal mechanism exists from them to do so.
The Republican National Committee and Michigan Republican Party sent a letter to the board of canvassers on Saturday asking them to delay certification for 14 days. They also asked for them to wait for an audit of the election results in Wayne County, the largest county in the state that includes Detroit — even though state law doesn’t allow that.
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