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President Trump played golf this weekend after meeting with Republican leaders of the Michigan Legislature.

Belated democratic normalcy: Transition officially begins as Michigan finalizes count

President Trump's scramble to postpone the inevitable by desecrating democracy failed for good Monday afternoon.

The General Services Administration formally ascertained that President-elect Joe Biden is the "apparent winner" of the Nov. 3 election, allowing the government's essential role in the peaceful transfer of power to begin after a delay of nearly three weeks. The agency's head, Trump appointee Emily Murphy, told Biden of the decision right after Trump's effort to subvert the vote failed in Michigan.

The state's normally obscure Board of State Canvassers voted 3-0, with one of the two Republicans abstaining, to formalize election results showing Biden carried the state by 154,000 votes. The action was a devastating setback for Trump's already almost-impossible effort to reverse his re-election loss. It left unblemished, as a tangibly comprehensive failure, the the president's campaign to poison the nation's confidence in the election.

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Michigan Speaker Lee Chatfield (above, campaigning for President Trump Nov. 2) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey are scheduled to meet with Trump on Friday.

Trump set to woo top Michigan Republicans to help subvert the election

Michigan's top two Republican legislators are due at the White House on Friday afternoon. It's the most tangible intensification yet of President Trump's crusade to subvert democracy by soiling, but almost certainly not reversing, the election he lost.

The topic of the meeting is clear. The president wants to learn how far the lawmakers are willing to go to delay and discredit if not upend the clear result in the state: Voters preferred President-elect Joe Biden by more than 154,000 votes and he secured its 16 electoral votes by 3 percentage points.

Thirteen days after sufficient votes were tallied to make Biden's national victory clear, the top Republican leadership in Congress remains unified in indulging the president's effort, although a growing number of respected members of the rank-and-file are signaling it's time for Trump to permit the transition to begin.

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Record voter turnout included a doubling in the number of mail-in ballots, including this stack being counted in a school gym in Sun Prairie, Wis.

Plenty of warnings in the turnout numbers, even though voting surged

To quote the great 1970s power ballad: Two out of three ain't bad.

That Meat Loaf gold record provides a good summation for the record-breaking turnout in the presidential election: It looks like almost exactly two out of every three eligible Americans voted.

That's an estimated 159.4 million adult citizens, 20.5 million more than the previous high four years ago. And it's the strongest turnout rate since 1900 — when, by the way, women still did not have the franchise and most Black citizens and other people of color were effectively blocked from the ballot box.

Why the "ain't bad" summary, then? Because the total nonetheless means nearly 80 million people who had the right to vote decided not to. Because this year does not change how the United States still ranks near the bottom of the world's developed democracies when it comes to election participation. And because while the youth vote increased significantly, half of the population younger than 30 still did not go to the polls for a presidential election highly consequential to their future.

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President Trump on Tuesday night tweet-fired Christopher Krebs as head of the agency overseeing election security, which has labeled this contest "the most secure in American history,"

Recounts and firings further Trump’s crusade, which the public starts buying

President Trump can fire people for false reasons and for free, as he's most recently proved with the dismissal of top federal election security official Christopher Krebs, but now he's decided to put serious money where his election disinformation mouth has been.

On Wednesday the campaign committed $3 million from it's not-so-flush coffers to pay for recounts in the two biggest counties in Wisconsin, saying without evidence they saw the "worst irregularities" in a state where virtually complete returns have President-elect Joe Biden ahead by 21,000 votes. And midnight is the deadline for finishing a hand tally of nearly 5 million votes in Georgia, where the president has picked up about 1,000 votes and may be able to demand a state-funded recount because he's less than half a point behind.

Trump's persistence in challenging his defeat, in its 11th day since the returns became decisive, has not come remotely close to changing the result — because there are no facts backing up his allegations of significant voting fraud in every swing state he lost. But new polling shows Trump is having significant success in his unprecedented-for-a-president campaign to foment distrust in the essential activity of American democracy.

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