Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday said her state will not rush to ensure all the results of the 2020 presidential race are counted on Election Day, Nov. 3 — a date she appeared to imply was artificially set.
Asked by host Margaret Brennan how long it will take Michigan to declare the winner of the race, Whitmer would not give a definitive timeline.
“Michigan will be able to announce results, but we are not going to have artificial deadlines set by, you know, people with political agendas,” Whitmer said. “It will be soon after polls close. I’m not going to put a number on it, but we’re going to get it right.”
Whitmer reminded viewers that they can cast their ballots now so “every day between now and Nov. 3rd in Michigan is Election Day.”
She added: “And the more people that vote earlier, the more likely you’ll be safe and get counted.”
The conversation turned to poll monitoring, with Brennan citing a CBS News poll that found “half of the president’s voters in Michigan think the president should encourage supporters to go stand near polling places as watchers.”
Asked whether she thinks there is the possibility of violence on Election Day, Whitmer said she was not worried and that her state was fully prepared.
“I’m not worried, but we are preparing to make sure that we do everything to keep people safe,” Whitmer said. “And I’ve got incredible confidence. I know that the people of Michigan want to vote. We see how the stakes are in this election. We’re going to have historic turnout, and we’re going to do it right.”
Whitmer’s comments come just days after the FBI revealed a group of anti-government vigilantes had plotted to kidnap her. Whitmer blamed the threat on President Trump for his supposed complicity in “giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division.”
It was a familiar move for a governor who has repeatedly engaged in heated public battles with the president that may only hurt him in a pivotal state against Democratic nominee Joe Biden. While she risked politicizing the moment, the governor said Friday that she didn’t think twice about calling out the president.
Trump won Michigan by less than 1 percentage point in 2016. Losing the state this year would bring him perilously close to coming up short of the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to win reelection.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.