Norm Shinkle decries ‘Antifa’-like tactics before canvassers vote

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No, President Donald Trump didn’t call. No emissary of the president or high-placed Republican operative of any sort called, either.

State Canvasser Norm Shinkle talked to a lot of people locked in his home office over the last five days, looking into what his legal options were heading into Monday’s Board of State Canvasser meeting. But he was not ordered or pressured by some higher authority to vote either to certify or not certify the 2020 election results, making official Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in Michigan, Shinkle said.

That’s not to say the Williamston resident didn’t have a fair amount of pressure. Like a couple of nights ago when 15 to 20 people showed up at his front door for an after-sundown talk about his pending vote. On a separate occasion, it was suggested to him that for the health of himself and his family he should vote to certify the election.

Instead of driving him to vote a certain way, Shinkle abstained from voting on the question of certification during Monday’s Board of State Canvassers. The motion passed anyway, 3-0-1. His concern about whether the Wayne County Board of Canvassers actually certified their results will need to wait for another day.

Still, Shinkle said he’s “angry” about the attention, telephone calls, messages and personal visits he received about a vote that is fairly perfunctory, as far as he was concerned. Delaying a few extra days to make sure Wayne County’s certification is button-tight legal made sense to him.

He doesn’t see why this degree of due diligence should necessitate the Michigan State Police conducting regular rounds in his neighborhood — which they did.

“These are people who want to trash the system. This is Maxine Waters/Antifa intimidation. It’s harassment until you vote the way they want or you go away,” Shinkle said. “Should that be a reason to vote a certain way? To vote for the safety of my family? This kind of stuff has to stop.”

Last week, the Wayne County Board of Commissioners initially voted not to certify the results of their election. Later in the meeting, they reversed course and voted to certify. Under Robert’s Rules of Order, the board needed to first consider the vote by which the first vote passed. They didn’t do that.

What if that vote didn’t count? Should the Wayne County Board return to recertify? Does the Board of State Canvassers need to step in and do it for them? Shinkle wanted honest answers to these questions and his reading of the law gives the State Board of Canvassers until mid-December to make a final decision on certification.

Instead, he said the board wanted to get it over with Monday. So they did. After that, four hours of public comments were allowed and Shinkle said he sat through an “orchestrated trashing” of himself and Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.

“I read the law,” said Shinkle, a member of the State Bar of Michigan since 1979. “It allows us to delay. I said we should look into it. People think it’s treasonous. Treasonous! To gather more information?”

Over the last 40 years, Shinkle has been a township supervisor, county commissioner, state senator, Michigan Republican Party congressional district chairman and a member of the Michigan Tax Tribunal. The public shaming that’s taking place at this point in time “is not right.”

“Is this how we want our society to operate? It’s not respectful,” he said.

As he sat buried in his office for the last four to five days, Shinkle said he’s seen issues that need to be addressed. What type of access did the nonprofit, progressive advocacy group Rock the Vote have in inputting names into the state’s official voter list? Should Michigan look into questions about the Dominion software used to count votes?

And why can’t votes in precincts where the totals don’t match up be recounted? More scrutiny needs to be cast over those precincts, not less, Shinkle said.

“We have to fix the state just like Florida fixed their state after Gore v. Bush in 2000. If Florida can work, Michigan can work.”

(Kyle Melinn of the Capitol news service MIRS is at melinnky@gmail.com.)

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