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Detroit election workers counting absentee ballots. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

The Wayne County Board of Canvassers struck a last-minute compromise on Tuesday night to certify local election results, backpedaling on a tactic that could have delayed official approval statewide.

Why it matters: The board's Republican members voted earlier Tuesday to block certification, in a move that President Trump celebrated on Twitter. The reversal is a blow to Trump and his GOP allies who have sought to delay or block President-elect Joe Biden's victories in a number of jurisdictions, mostly through failed legal action.

  • Biden won the county, which includes Detroit, with more than 70% of the vote according to unofficial results.

Background: The board was deadlocked 2-2 in the earlier vote Tuesday, after Republican members noted that absentee ballot poll books at 70% of Detroit's 134 absentee counting boards had discrepancies with the number of actual votes counted, according to the Detroit News.

  • Yes, but: The same body certified the vote in the state's primary election in August, despite a comparable number of inconsistencies, per the Detroit News.

The state of play: After it certified the result in a second vote Tuesday, the board called on Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to conduct an audit of the discrepancies.

Of note: Benson wrote in a statement before the board reconvened noting that it's common for some precincts to be out of balance by a small number of votes, and that the development "is not an indication that any votes were improperly cast or tabulated."

What they're saying: Michael Gwin, a spokesperson for Biden, said in a statement that the Democrat "convincingly won Michigan by 14 times the margin of Donald Trump in 2016 and state election officials have made clear that there's zero evidence of fraud," despite Trump's baseless claims.

  • "The votes of all of the more than 5.5 million Michiganders who participated in the 2020 election will continue to be quickly certified and reaffirm the fact that Joe Biden decisively won Michigan," Gwin said.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Gwin's comments.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Big Tech is outsourcing its hardest content moderation decisions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Faced with the increasingly daunting task of consistent content moderation at scale, Big Tech companies are tossing their hardest decisions to outsiders, hoping to deflect some of the pressure they face for how they govern their platforms.

Why it matters: Every policy change, enforcement action or lack thereof prompts accusations that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are making politically motivated decisions to either be too lax or too harsh. Ceding responsibility to others outside the company may be the future of content moderation if it works.

The ransomware pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

"We are on the cusp of a global pandemic," said Christopher Krebs, the first director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, in Congressional testimony last week. The virus causing the pandemic isn't biological, however. It's software.

Why it matters: Crippling a major U.S. oil pipeline this weekend initially looked like an act of war — but it's now looking like an increasingly normal crime, bought off-the-shelf from a "ransomware as a service" provider known as DarkSide.

Hollywood's wakeup call

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Decades of failures around diversity and inclusion finally caught up with Hollywood Monday, when NBC made the unprecedented decision not to air the Golden Globes next year following backlash against the group that hosts the show.

Why it matters: NBC has been airing the event exclusively for decades. Its decision to pull back speaks to how big the backlash against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has become.