The Republican on Michigan's state Board of Elections who was the deciding vote to certify the state's 2020 presidential election ballots is being summarily dismissed by Trump cultists demanding a sacrifice.
With party activists calling for certification to be blocked on Nov. 23, Aaron Van Langevelde, a policy adviser and deputy legal counsel for state House Republicans, joined the two Democrats on the four-member board to sign offon the results.
His term ends on Jan. 31. Instead of renominating him for a four-year term, the Michigan Republican Party has proposed three well-known activists to take his spot, according to a letter obtained by The Detroit News. Among them is Linda Lee Tarver, who was involved in a lawsuit that sought to have the GOP-controlled Legislature intervene in the results showing Democratic President-elect Joe Biden won.
Van Langevelde said he was never asked if he’d like another term on the board, unlike the first time he was nominated, when the party approached him about serving. He said the party’s decision came as no surprise, but he stood by his vote and said he was proud of the board’s decision.
“My conscience is clear, and I am confident that my decision is on the right side of the law and history,” Van Langevelde said in a Monday statement. “Time will tell that those who spread misinformation and tried to overturn the election were wrong, and they should be held responsible for the chaos and confusion they have caused.”
In addition to Tarver, a longtime former employee of the Michigan Department of State, the state Republican Party also nominated Tony Daunt, director of the conservative Michigan Freedom Fund, and Tori Sachs, a political strategist and executive director of Michigan Rising Action.
"Should you require any additional information, please contact my office," Michigan GOP Chairwoman Laura Cox wrote in a letter to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Jan. 8.
Under state law, the Michigan Republican Party can nominate three individuals for a seat on the Board of State Canvassers. Whitmer has until Wednesday to pick one for the position.
Van Langevelde "did not request to be considered for reappointment to the state canvasing board," said Tony Zammit, a spokesman for the Michigan Republican Party.
Van Langevelde cast the deciding vote to certify Biden's 154,000-vote lead in Michigan. The other Republican member of the board, Norm Shinkle, abstained. What is usually a procedural process was fraught with controversy as supporters of GOP President Donald Trump pushed to delay certification and overturn the state's results based on unproven claims of fraud.
"We have a clear legal duty to certify the results of the election, as shown by the returns that were given to us," Van Langevelde said during the meeting. "We cannot and should not go beyond that. As John Adams once said, 'We are a government of laws, not men.'"
And for his actions, he is being crucified. I still have little sympathy for anyone who remained in the GOP after Donald Trump was elected, but Van Langevelde did his job correctly and he is being fired for it, and I hope he gets to sue the pants off of somebody in the future.
Probably not, though. His political career is essentially over as a Republican.
He could always join the good guys, however.