Michigan has 16 votes in the Electoral College, and is one of several states that Trump narrowly won in 2016 during his race against Hillary Clinton. But the Republican incumbent lost the state to Biden this year. Nationally, Biden is projected to win 306 electoral votes, 36 more than he needs to secure the presidency.
Trump has refused to concede the election to Biden and to allow federal officials to begin a process that would allow the Democrat to start a transition to the next administration.
Trump and his campaign’s legal team, which is being led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have repeatedly claimed without evidence that the president was swindled out of a victory in the national election and in Michigan in particular by widespread fraud.
They also have falsely claimed that Trump actually won the election.
On Thursday, the Trump campaign abruptly dropped a federal lawsuit which had sought to block the certification of votes in Wayne County, Michigan, which includes Detroit.
Giuliani and other lawyers for the campaign falsely claimed that the suit was dropped because the campaign had gotten what it wanted: a refusal by Wayne County elections officials to certify votes there.
In fact, the county elections board had voted to certify the results. But two GOP board members who originally opposed the certification, only to vote to confirm the results after an outcry that their objections were baseless, now say they want to rescind their confirmation votes.
Media outlets reported that the canvassers had been contacted by Trump directly on Tuesday evening.
One of them, Monica Palmer, told NBC News that she and Trump did not discuss her decision to rescind her vote “or anything like that.”
“My conversation with the President was about threats coming from the public and my safety — not about rescinding my vote,” Palmer told NBC.
Michigan’s secretary of state has said there is no legal way for the GOP members to rescind the votes they cast.
And in any event, state officials and lawyers say, even if the Wayne County board had failed to certify votes there, the ballots would have been certified by a state-level board.
The Michigan lawsuit by the campaign was dropped a day after two women in Michigan who had a similar federal lawsuit related to the Detroit ballots withdrew their own case. Their lawyers told CNBC that the women dropped their case because it covered much of the same issues as that of the Trump campaign’s suit, which they had expected, incorrectly it turned out, would continue in the court.
Within hours of the campaign’s Michigan case being dropped, the campaign lost a court case in Pennsylvania related to the tallying of ballots in a county there, saw the Republican Party in Arizona lose a challenge to the vote certification in Maricopa County, and saw a federal judge in Georgia deny a request to block the state from certifying its vote count.
All four of those states were won by Biden, according to current projections.
The secretary of state of Georgia on Friday certified the results of its presidential election race, confirming that Biden defeated Trump, after a hand recount of the ballots. Trump’s campaign has until the close of business on Tuesday to seek a machine recount of the ballots cast in Georgia.
The Trump campaign has requested a recount of results in two counties in Wisconsin. The results in those counties, which went heavily for Biden, gave him his margin of victory in the state.