John James campaign
Republican Senate candidate John James.
John James, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate who lost his bid to unseat Sen. Gary Peters but has since refused to concede
, is now urging the Board of State Canvassers to delay certification of the statewide election results.
In a letter to the board's two Republicans and two Democrats, James requested a two-week delay “to fully audit the election results.”
By state law, the board is required to certify the results by Monday.
“I submit this request because I am interested in the truth and protecting the integrity of our elections,” James said. “Sometimes the truth takes time to surface, and it’s rarely easy to get to. Time is the most valuable asset we have at this stage and I ask that we take all the time reasonable and allowed – not to undermine our elections – but to improve them and boost confidence in the results of the election.”
James has launched a legal defense fund to challenge his 92,000-vote defeat.
His request for a delay comes as President Donald Trump plans to meet Friday with Republican lawmakers from Michigan in what appears to be a baseless and unprecedented attempt to undermine
the state's election results.
Trump’s campaign has failed to provide any evidence of widespread fraud or irregularities in Michigan or any other state.
Democrats criticized James’ request to delay the vote.
“There is no legal basis to delay,” U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib tweeted
Friday afternoon. “Stop undermining our democracy.”
Peters’ spokeswoman Vanessa Valdivia said James is engaged in “sinister deception.”
“What two-time failed Senate candidate John James is doing is not only frivolous, it’s dangerous and undermines the very foundation of our democracy," she said in a statement. "As he continues this sinister deception, it’s clear James will put Trump before Michigan even past the bitter end."
On Tuesday, Republicans on the four-member Wayne County Board of Canvassers voted against certifying November’s election results. At the time, James applauded the Republicans “for their bravery in the face of unbelievable pressure to ignore inconvenient truths that threaten our democracy.”
“This unprecedented vote shows the serious issues that underlie the processes that happened on election day,” James said in a statement. “We will continue to investigate all issues pertaining to the election and work to ensure that the bedrock of our democracy – free and fair elections – are protected.”
But hours later, the two Republicans reversed course
and agreed to certify the results.
The next day, after receiving a call from Trump, the board’s two Republicans signed affidavits in an attempt to rescind their votes
to certify. But state election officials said it’s too late.
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