State official charged with certifying ballots has a conflict of interest, should recuse himself

State official charged with certifying ballots has conflict of interest, should recuse himself  

Wife of Norm Shinkle part of lawsuit challenging vote count


The Michigan Board of State Canvassers will ultimately decide if the final tally of ballots is official, but one member of the board suffers a conflict of interest in light of a legal challenge to the results. An affidavit filed in the lawsuit came from Mary Shinkle. She is the wife of Norm Shinkle, a Republican member of the board responsible for the final certification of results in Michigan. Mr. Shinkle should immediately recuse himself from the certification process.


“It’s critical that the people of Michigan be able to trust the election certification process,” said Ryan Bates of Michigan United. “Yet, a member of the board canvassers has a clear conflict of interest. How can we expect Mr. Shinkle to act in an unbiased way when his wife is part of a lawsuit to overturn the results he is being asked to certify? He should immediately recuse himself from this decision so that Michiganders can trust the process.”


Republicans had earlier argued that they didn’t have sufficient access to the vote counting process in Detroit’s TCF Center despite having 227 challengers from their party in the room to monitor activity at 134 tables. In the current case, Mary Shinkle testified in her affidavit that she was not allowed to observe the ballot duplication procedure, a common step in the tabulation process.


Norm Shinkle gained some notoriety in 2012 when he voted to reject almost a quarter million voter signatures for a ballot initiative to repeal the Emergency Manager law on the grounds that the "font size was not 14 point", despite testimony from the printer that it was. The Republicans ruled that the font size of the letter "N" was smaller than required by state law, thereby invalidating the signatures.

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