Michigan lawmaker entangled in voting tabulator probe | Craig Mauger and Beth LeBlanc/The Detroit News

Michigan state Rep. Daire Rendon, a Republican who has previously claimed to have evidence of election fraud from information technology “experts,” has quietly become entangled in a probe into unauthorized access to voting tabulators. The Michigan State Police and Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office have been investigating voting machine access in multiple counties in the battleground state for months. Their work started in Roscommon County, a northern Michigan area represented by Rendon, a Republican from Lake City. Carol Asher, the longtime clerk in Denton Township, told The Detroit News on Friday that Rendon had contacted her in the weeks after the November 2020 election with a request that baffled her. “She wanted to get access to our tabulator, and I said no,” recalled Asher, who added that she believed Rendon had contacted other clerks as well. “She called me on my cellphone on a Saturday,” Asher added. The Attorney General’s Office had been in contact with Asher, the clerk said, and she provided a statement about Rendon’s request on March 10, 2022, according to a document reviewed by The News. The subject line of the statement was “statement regarding phone call received about tabulator access.”

Full Article: Michigan lawmaker entangled in voting tabulator probe

Michigan election chief: Trump suggested I be arrested for treason and executed | ynthia McFadden, Kevin Monahan and Alexandra Chaidez/NBC

Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s top election official, faced an onslaught of threats after the 2020 presidential election for refusing to overturn results that showed Joe Biden had won the state. In those hectic weeks, she says she also received an especially disturbing piece of information: President Donald Trump suggested in a White House meeting that she should be arrested for treason and executed. Benson, a Democrat, revealed the alleged remark for the first time in an interview with NBC News. She said she learned of it from a source familiar with Trump’s White House meeting. “It was surreal and I felt sad,” Benson said, recalling her reaction. “It certainly amplified the heightened sense of anxiety, stress and uncertainty of that time — which I still feel in many ways — because it showed there was no bottom to how far he (Trump) and his supporters were willing to stoop to overturn or discredit a legitimate election.” Reached for comment, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said: “I have it on good authority that Secretary Benson knowingly lied throughout her interview with NBC News.” Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state, is now locked in an election fight with a Republican candidate who parrots Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election. In speeches and on her podcast, Kristina Karamo has said the election was “rigged and stolen” and “Secretary of State Benson should go to jail.”

Full Article: Michigan election chief: Trump suggested I be arrested for treason and executed

Michigan: How a political activist convinced 3 people to tamper with voting machine | Francis X. Donnelly/The Detroit News

It began with a phone call to the wrong person last year. It ended with three residents seizing the voting machine of a tiny northern Michigan town. They were recruited by a political activist who, among other things, said she believed a satellite owned by the Vatican contained evidence that the 2020 presidential election was rigged, according to her interview with police. The men disassembled the vote tabulator but couldn’t reach its software and, even if they had, it didn’t have any information. It had long been given to the county elections office. b“I can’t believe anything this ridiculous would happen in Cross Village,” said Diana Keller, the township clerk. “There were some idiots who didn’t know what they were doing, or knew but didn’t care.” The ringleader, Tera Jackson, 56, who wasn’t present when the men handled the machine, was arrested and pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of creating a disturbance. She received a delayed sentence in February. The three men, who police believe were duped by Jackson, weren’t charged. Neither Jackson nor the men would comment for this story. The outcome left few people happy. Keller’s brother, Steve, who is the town supervisor, said Jackson was barely punished and more people should have been charged.

 

Full Article: Political activist convinced 3 people to tamper with Michigan voting machine

Michigan authorities expand probe into voting machine access | Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

The Michigan State Police have seized a tabulator in a township in Barry County as part of an ongoing investigation into unauthorized access to voting machines. Jamie Knight, the supervisor in Irving Township, disclosed the seizure in a Thursday statement in which she said authorities, including Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office, had obtained a search warrant and executed it on April 29. … Investigators had “expanded” a probe that began with a complaint in Roscommon County “to other counties,” said Lt. Derrick Carroll, a spokesman for the Michigan State Police. “This is an open investigation, and we will continue to investigate allegations of unauthorized access to tabulation machines until we have exhausted all leads,” Carroll said in a statement. “This alleged unauthorized access did not, in any way, affect the 2020 election.” Carroll didn’t specify how many counties were now entangled in the investigation or why the probe had expanded. n February, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson asked the Attorney General’s office and the Michigan State Police to investigate reports that an “unnamed third party” was granted access to voting technology in Roscommon County.

Full Article: Michigan authorities expand probe into voting machine access

Michigan State Police seizes voting machine as it expands investigation into potential breaches tied to 2020 election | Annie Grayer and Zachary Cohen/CNN

The Michigan State Police has expanded its investigation into whether third parties gained unauthorized access to voting machine data after the 2020 election, and is now examining potential breaches in at least one new county, CNN has learned. In a raid last Friday, state police seized one voting machine tabulator in Irving Township, Barry County Clerk Pamela Palmer told CNN on Thursday. Palmer told CNN that she was not aware of any issues until police notified her of the voting machine seizure. Michigan State Police first opened its investigation into potential voting machine breaches in February after the Secretary of State’s Office notified it that an unnamed third party was allowed to access vote tabulator components and technology in Roscommon County. Michigan State Police Lt. Derrick Carroll told CNN on Wednesday that the department’s investigation has expanded to more counties where they were notified of breaches of election systems, but would not confirm the seizure in Irving Township specifically. It’s unclear if the investigation includes localities beyond Roscommon County and Irving Township but a source familiar with the investigation told CNN that state police are aware of a third potential breach.

Full Article: Michigan State Police seizes voting machine as it expands investigation into potential breaches tied to 2020 election – CNNPolitics

Michigan Republican resigns from GOP post citing ‘delusional lies’ | Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

 Tony Daunt, a longtime Michigan Republican insider, resigned Tuesday night from the GOP’s state committee, saying party leaders had made the coming election a test of “who is most cravenly loyal” to former President Donald Trump. Daunt, who is one of two Republican members of the Board of State Canvassers, made the comment in an email addressed to Judy Rapanos, chairwoman of the 4th Congressional District Republican Committee. The message was obtained by The Detroit News. For five years, Daunt has been one of about 100 members of the Republican Party’s state committee, a panel that helps guide the party’s decisions. But that ended Tuesday with his immediate resignation, three days after a contentious GOP convention in Grand Rapids.

Full Article: Michigan Republican resigns from GOP post citing ‘delusional lies’

Michigan appeals court dismisses DePerno’s Antrim County election claims | Dave Boucher/Detroit Free Press

A Michigan appeals court made quick work of efforts to review an election conspiracy case from Antrim County, unanimously dismissing most of the arguments made by lawyer and Republican attorney general candidate Matthew DePerno. It’s the latest ruling from a Michigan court turning back legal efforts by supporters of President Donald Trump who continue to claim — without proof — that there was widespread misconduct in the 2020 presidential election. The three-judge Michigan Court of Appeals panel issued an order Thursday indicating it agreed that a lower court was right to dismiss DePerno’s lawsuit, pointing to a series of issues with both DePerno’s legal tactics and pleadings in a case that drew national attention.

Full Article: Michigan appeals court dismisses DePerno’s Antrim Co. election claims

Michigan State Court of Appeals judges hear Antrim County election case arguments |Mardi Link/Traverse City Record-Eagle

A three-judge state Court of Appeals panel will decide whether to reverse a 13th Circuit Court judge’s decision last May to dismiss an Antrim County election-related lawsuit filed by a Central Lake Township man. On Tuesday, the appeals judges heard oral arguments in the case that focused on whether an Amendment to Michigan’s Constitution grants an individual right to voters to audit statewide elections, or whether the power to audit is wielded only by the Secretary of State. William Bailey filed suit Nov. 23, 2020, accusing the county of voter fraud and of violating his constitutional rights, after initial results of the 2020 Presidential election showed about 2,000 votes cast for then-President Donald Trump had mistakenly been assigned to then-challenger Joe Biden. Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy acknowledged her office’s human error, an assertion backed by election experts, academics and the state’s Senate Oversight Committee, members of whom in 2021 studied — and rejected — claims of widespread election fraud in Antrim County and in Michigan. Bailey accused the county of using Dominion Voting Systems equipment pre-programmed for fraud, a subsequent court-ordered forensic exam by Dallas-based-Allied Security Operations Group was debunked by experts and Judge Kevin Elsenheimer dismissed the lawsuit May 18, 2021.

Full Article: State Court of Appeals judges hear Antrim election case arguments | Local News | record-eagle.com

Michigan: Removal of cellular modems to transfer vote totals to slow results | Patti Brandt Burgess/Traverse City Record-Eagle

Election results will take a little longer this year and going forward as vote tallies must now be physically brought to the county clerk’s office. Cellular modems in voting machines that were previously used to transfer unofficial results from the voting precincts to the county clerk have been turned off and will be removed from the machines sometime this summer, said Sam Gedman, chief deputy clerk for Grand Traverse County. A tally of the results, which is printed out on a paper tape after all ballots are counted, will now be placed on a flash drive, sealed in an envelope by a Republican and a Democrat together and brought to the county clerk. After the seal is checked to make sure it has not been tampered with, the results are read into a central computer not connected to the internet. “The idea is it’s an extra means of security,” said Gedman, who presented the process to county commissioners at their meeting Wednesday. “It’s better to just use a process that leads to less speculation and people can be more confident in the results.” It also means results will not be readily available. The change came about after a recommendation by the Election Security Commission after the 2020 election to no longer certify any system that uses the modems. The Michigan Bureau of Elections followed the recommendations, with the seven counties that use Election Systems and Software, including Grand Traverse, and the 65 that use Dominion Systems turning off the modems. Another 11 counties have Hart Voting Systems that are still in use, but Gedman said they will likely eventually have to comply with the new process.

Full Article: New vote-counting process to slow results | News | record-eagle.com

Michigan: GOP elections bills vetoed by Whitmer could have canceled some voters’ registrations | Clara Hendrickson(Detroit Free Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a pair of GOP bills Friday that would have required hundreds of thousands of voters to take steps to stay registered. The Secretary of State’s Office initially worked with lawmakers to develop the bills following a 2019 report from the state’s auditor that recommended improvements to Michigan’s voter list maintenance. But Republican lawmakers made changes to the legislation the Secretary of State’s Office said would add unnecessary costs and open the door to errors. The GOP bills passed on a party-line vote in the state Senate while only a handful of Democrats supported the legislation in the state House. The elections bills aimed at cleaning up Michigan’s voter rolls targeted voters with unknown birth dates and those who haven’t cast a ballot  in decades. The bills would have required those voters to complete a form mailed out by election officials, undergo signature verification and provide identifying information to ensure they could vote in future elections. Whitmer wrote in her veto letter that the bills “do not advance the goal of improving Michigan elections” and said “they would burden clerks and voters while increasing costs to Michigan residents.”

Full Article: Gretchen Whitmer vetoes GOP elections bills targeting voter rolls

Michigan: Genesee County elections supervisor on unpaid leave after ballot tampering charges | Ron Fonger/mlive.com

Kathy Funk, the county’s elections supervisor, has been placed on unpaid administrative leave after having been charged with felony ballot tampering crimes earlier this month. In an email to the county Human Resources Department, Clerk-Register John Gleason said he has placed Funk on leave effective immediately and requested a “future review of this status and appropriate transitions” in the future. Last week, the county Board of Commissioners demanded that Gleason suspend Funk without pay and asked Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to temporarily take over oversight of local elections until Funk’s criminal case and an internal investigation of Gleason by commissioners are complete. Funk was charged on Friday, March 11, with purposely breaking a seal on a ballot container while she worked as the Flint Township clerk following the Aug. 4, 2020, primary election. Because of the broken seal, the votes could not be recounted under Michigan election laws.

Full Article: Genesee County elections supervisor on unpaid leave after ballot tampering charges – mlive.com

Michigan election officials see new $8 million security grant ahead of 2022 elections | Clara Hendrickson/Detroit Free Press

Election officials across Michigan will soon have access to millions in federal funds for a wide range of security improvements ahead of the 2022 elections, from website and election equipment upgrades to active shooter trainings. The Secretary of State’s Office notified county and local election officials that its Bureau of Elections will make $8 million in federal grant funding available this year, according to a news release Monday. The funding comes as many Republican voters and politicians continue to doubt the security of the 2020 presidential election. Many election officials around the country have reported an increase in threats and harassment against them and their staff in the aftermath of the last election. Hundreds of post-election audits in Michigan affirmed the outcome of that year’s presidential contest — which Joe Biden won by more than 154,000 votes — and a comprehensive investigation by the GOP-led Senate Oversight Committee thoroughly debunked misinformation about the election.

Full Article: Mich. rolls out new $8 million election security grant

Michigan audit debunks dead voter theory in 2020 election | Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

report released Friday by Michigan’s Office of the Auditor General quashed a conspiracy theory that a significant number of fraudulent votes were cast on behalf of dead people in the state’s 2020 presidential election. The 67-page document examined election processes in the battleground state, generally finding them to be sufficient with some exceptions. Nothing in the document specifically called into question the results of Michigan’s election, when Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump, but did criticize audits that occurred afterward. The auditor general’s office — whose leader, Doug Ringler was appointed by the Republican-controlled Legislature — compared state voting records with public health records, finding 1,616 votes, or 0.03% of the total ballots, were attributed to people who were deceased as of Election Day. In the wide majority of the cases, the problem votes were absentee ballots cast by someone who died in the final days before the election, according to the auditors’ report. That indicates the people were alive when they sent in their ballots ahead of the election but passed away before Election Day. Ballots of voters who have died before Election Day are supposed to be rejected in Michigan, even if the voter cast an absentee ballot and then died before Election Day, according to the Secretary of State’s office. In 20 instances in the presidential election, a person who cast a ballot had died more than 40 days before the election, according to the new report. Likewise, the report found that 99.99% of the voters examined were within acceptable age parameters and 99.99% of the votes cast were not identified as a duplicate vote.

Full Article: Audit debunks dead voter theory in Michigan 2020 election

Michigan clerks ask lawmakers to ‘put politics aside,’ pass election changes before November | Samuel J. Robinson/MLive.com

Two associations representing Michigan clerks are calling for lawmakers to put politics aside in favor of bipartisan changes to the state’s election procedures. A letter signed by Delta Township Clerk Mary Clark, president of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks and Menominee County Clerk Marc Kleiman, president of the Michigan Association of County Clerks, laid out what needs to happen before the November 2022 election this fall. “As we face another major election year with insufficient funding, continued high volume of absentee voting, and increased scrutiny due to the 2020 cycle, we need our leadership to focus on problem-solving rather than political wins and losses,” leaders wrote in their letter. “There is no doubt that Americans are divided over the past election; but improvements that lead to better run elections have the power to lessen the tensions of mistrust and unite us in a common goal of accessible and secure elections.” Bipartisanship has been absent from conversations regarding election rule changes since the November 2020 election, when former President Trump and his remaining allies cast doubt on the election results through a series of unfounded allegations that have failed to hold up in courtrooms across the nation. Though most Republicans in the Michigan Legislature concede President Joe Biden won fairly, they remain committed to overhauling voting laws based on concerns expressed by those within their base who do not trust the November 2020 election results.

Full Article: Michigan clerks ask lawmakers to ‘put politics aside,’ pass election changes before November – mlive.com

Michigan: Cross Village election data “cloning” case ends with misdemeanor plea | Mardi Link/Traverse City Record Eagle

A woman who faced felony charges after she was accused of plotting to “clone” voting data in Cross Village Township, pleaded no contest Tuesday to a single misdemeanor charge of creating a disturbance. Tera Jackson agreed in 90th District Court to plead no contest, and in exchange the prosecutor dropped two felony charges — common law fraud and unauthorized access of a computer — agreed to a delayed sentence and possible expungement. “The court will enter a conviction to the misdemeanor without you telling me exactly what you did, okay?” explained 86th District Court Judge Michael Stepka. “That’s how no contest works,” Stepka said. “You’ll still have a conviction for creating a disturbance, do you understand that?” “My understanding is, that goes away,” Jackson said, “after the successful — yeah, me continuing my life as I always have, not being a criminal.” Stepka presided as a visiting judge in response to a Feb. 3 order from the state court administrator’s office, he said. Ninetieth District Court Judge Angela Lasher, who was challenged unsuccessfully in the 2020 election by Jackson’s attorney, Robert A. Banner, recused herself from the case.

Full Article: Cross Village election data “cloning” case ends with misdemeanor plea | News | record-eagle.com

Michigan Secretary of State asks for criminal probe of alleged election machine tampering | Dave Boucher/Detroit Free Press

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson wants law enforcement to investigate allegations someone inappropriately accessed election equipment in a northern Michigan county. In a news release late Thursday, Benson said she’s asked Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and the Michigan State Police to look into reports she received this week that “an unnamed third party was allowed to access vote tabulator components and technology in Roscommon County.” “Michigan law is clear about the security threats that emerge when anyone gains unauthorized access to our election machines or technology, and I will have no tolerance for those who seek to illegally tamper with our voting equipment,” Benson said in a statement. Benson spokeswoman Tracy Wimmer said their office has no reason to believe the alleged misconduct occurred before the 2020 election. But she declined to provide specific details about when or how the allegedly unauthorized access occurred. At least one person obtained access to tabulation machines and data drives used for both Roscommon County and Richfield Township, a small area in the eastern portion of the county, according to the news release.  Unauthorized access to voting equipment is a felony under state law.

Full Article: Benson asks for criminal probe of alleged election machine tampering

Michigan Secretary of State asks for probe into voting machine access in Roscommon County | Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is asking the Attorney General’s office and the Michigan State Police to investigate reports that an “unnamed third party” was granted access to voting technology in Roscommon County. Benson, the state’s top election official, announced the request in a statement Thursday. She also sent a letter to clerks across the state, saying Michigan law is “clear that unauthorized third parties may not have access to election technology and data.” “Our office has recently received multiple credible allegations of instances in which an unauthorized third party has been granted access to vote tabulation machines in violation of Michigan law,” Benson’s letter began. At least one third party allegedly gained inappropriate access to tabulation machines and data drives used in Richfield Township and Roscommon County, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Such access could require the equipment to be replaced at taxpayer expense, the office said. Roscommon County Clerk Michelle Stevenson and Richfield Township Clerk Greg Watt didn’t respond Thursday evening to requests for comment. Richfield Township Supervisor John Bawol said he didn’t know what Benson’s statement was referring to. Contracts with voting system vendors and state law restrict access to voting equipment to qualified personnel, the secretary of state’s statement said.

Full Article: Benson asks for probe into voting machine access in Roscommon County

Michigan: Unplugging voting machines is illegal. Clerks say GOP candidate is promoting election crime. | Malachi Barrett/MLive.com

Unplugging a voting machine is unlikely to do anything more than land you in jail. At a Jan. 26 event in Macomb County, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley encouraged poll workers to unplug election equipment if they suspect something suspicious is occurring. Kelley gave the same advice to a group in Livingston County three days later, urging the crowd to unplug voting machines “if you see something you don’t like happening.” Interfering with a voting device is illegal. It’s also not likely to have any impact on election results. Voting tabulators have backup batteries that can provide power for hours in case of electrical outages. Paper ballots are later tabulated by local canvassing boards anyway, so shutting down machines used to automate the process on election day wouldn’t affect results. “It’s just unfortunate that people who are aspiring to be public servants are encouraging that kind of stuff,” said Macomb County Clerk Anthony Forlini. “We all want to uphold the law, we all want to be stewards of society as a whole and do the right thing. Maybe these people are thinking that is the right thing, but it’s not.”

Full Article: Unplugging voting machines is illegal. Clerks say GOP candidate is promoting election crime. – mlive.com

Michigan: Giuliani asked prosecutor to give voting machines to Trump team | Jon Swaine, Emma Brown and Jacqueline Alemany/The Washington Post

In the weeks after the 2020 election, Rudolph W. Giuliani and other legal advisers to President Donald Trump asked a Republican prosecutor in northern Michigan to get his county’s voting machines and pass them to Trump’s team, the prosecutor told The Washington Post. Antrim County prosecutor James Rossiter said in an interview that Giuliani and several colleagues made the request during a telephone call after the county initially misreported its election results. The inaccurate tallies meant that Joe Biden appeared to have beaten Trump by 3,000 votes in a Republican stronghold, an error that soon placed Antrim at the center of false claims by Trump that the election had been stolen. Rossiter said he declined. “I said, ‘I can’t just say: give them here.’ We don’t have that magical power to just demand things as prosecutors. You need probable cause.” Even if he had had sufficient grounds to take the machines as evidence, Rossiter said, he could not have released them to outsiders or a party with an interest in the matter. Legal scholars said it was unusual and inappropriate for a president’s representatives to make such a request of a local prosecutor. “I never expected in my life I’d get a call like this,” Rossiter said. Giuliani declined to comment in response to questions from The Post, his attorney said. Giuliani’s team called Rossiter around Nov. 20, 2020, Rossiter said, as it worked to overturn Trump’s defeat to Biden. The direct appeal to a local law enforcement official was part of a broader effort by Trump’s allies to access voting machines in an attempt to prove that the election had been stolen. That effort extended to a recently disclosed draft executive order for Trump’s signature to have National Guard troops seize machines across the nation.

Full Article: Giuliani asked Michigan prosecutor to give voting machines to Trump team – The Washington Post

Michigan: ‘Show up armed’ to protect election observers, State Senate candidate suggests | Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

Republican Mike Detmer, a candidate for the Michigan state Senate, told a crowd Saturday that people should “show up armed” to protect Republican election observers’ access to monitor the counting of ballots. In response Monday evening, Michigan’s top election official, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, said she had referred Detmer’s comments and additional remarks from Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley to Attorney General Dana Nessel. In a statement, Benson said voter intimidation by brandishing a firearm at a polling place is illegal. Detmer made the comment at an event in Livingston County, according to a video posted by Kelley’s gubernatorial campaign. A person in the crowd had asked the two candidates what can be done to “protect people” to prevent what happened at the TCF Center, where Detroit’s absentee ballots were counted after the November 2020 presidential election. The unidentified individual suggested Republican observers had been “pushed” out of the room and police “manhandled” people. Election officials have said they allowed the maximum number of poll watchers, only restricting access to any additional observers because of COVID-19 concerns.

Full Article: ‘Show up armed’ to protect election observers, Michigan candidate suggests

Michigan: New GOP canvassers who embrace election myths raise prospect of chaotic certification | Clara Hendrickson/Detroit Free Press

In counties across Michigan, the GOP is filling election canvassing boards responsible for tallying the vote count with people who have embraced falsehoods and misinformation about fraud in the 2020 election. The bipartisan boards have the routine task of double checking the vote totals submitted by municipalities and signing off on the county-level results before turning them over to the state board to certify statewide contests, as well as those that cross county lines. But the appointment of several GOP canvassers who still question Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in 2020 raises the risk that these boards could become a partisan bottleneck in the effort to certify the results of future elections. In Wayne County, home to the largest number of Michigan voters, the GOP nominated Robert Boyd to the canvassing board. Boyd has called the results of the 2020 presidential election “inaccurate” and has said he would not have approved the county results. In Antrim County, the site of a brief tallying error on election night that fed fanciful conspiracy theories about vote manipulation, Marvin Rubingh is now on the board as GOP canvasser. Rubingh has called former President Donald Trump’s false and widely debunked claims that the election was stolen “a credible accusation.”

Full Article: PolitiFact | New GOP canvassers in Michigan who embrace election myths raise prospect of chaotic certification

Michigan: ‘Forensic audit’ in largest pro-Trump county finds no evidence of election interference | Malachi Barrett/Mlive

“forensic audit” of election equipment in the largest Michigan county won by former President Donald Trump found no evidence of outside interference in the 2020 election. Macomb County Clerk Anthony Forlini released the results of an independent investigation into the county’s voting software on Jan. 5, a day before the one-year anniversary of a riot in Washington, D.C. aimed at overturning the 2020 election. Michigan Republicans waged an unsuccessful year-long campaign to compel similar a “forensic audit” of the statewide election based on unproven allegations of interference in voting machines. “I’m very comfortable saying that the software and the tabulators work the way they were supposed to,” Forlini said. The Macomb County audit found no evidence of “malicious internet connectivity,” no evidence of file manipulation and no evidence of unauthorized software in the county’s election servers. Forlini said the audit disproved a popular theory that election machines could be tampered with through the internet. Forlini was elected in 2020 and said he immediately faced questions about election fraud after he took office in January 2021. Forlini said he sought the audit to answer those questions since he did not administer the 2020 election personally. “There is no agenda in my head up front, and I think that’s important because some people have agendas,” Forlini said. “I had no agenda, other than the truth.”

Full Article: ‘Forensic audit’ in Michigan’s largest pro-Trump county finds no evidence of election interference – mlive.com

Michigan: Antrim County Tied to Election Fraud Claim Strategy | Mardi Link/The Traverse City Record-Eagle

Documents provided to a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol show misinformation about Antrim County’s election was part of a coordinated, nationwide strategy aimed at certifying the 2020 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.
A “Strategic Communications Plan” of the “Giuliani Presidential Legal Defense Team,” which includes the former president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, references debunked claims about Antrim County’s voting equipment as part of an effort to put pressure on Republican senators in six states — including Michigan — between Dec. 27, 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021, the Plan states. The other states listed are Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, records show. The 22-page Communications Plan was provided Dec. 31 to members of the Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, by an investigator hired by Trump’s post-election legal team. The release was in response to a Nov. 5 subpoena, records show. Bernard Kerik is a former New York City Police commissioner who, his attorney said in a Dec. 31 letter to the committee, was hired by Trump’s legal team as an investigator tasked with looking into claims of election fraud.

Full Article: Antrim County, Mich., Tied to Election Fraud Claim Strategy

Michigan: Trump backers want audit of 2020 vote funded by anonymous donors | Jonathan Oosting/Bridge Michigan

A petition drive to require a “forensic audit” of Michigan’s 2020 presidential election would guarantee anonymity to private backers who would pay for the multi-million dollar review, according to language filed Tuesday. Organizer John Rocha, a Republican state House candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump,  told Bridge Michigan the proposed audit process would be transparent, but he argued funders should be allowed to remain private to prevent backlash. “A lot of people have been getting shamed and doxxed” for political activities and beliefs, Rocha said before a small rally at the Michigan Capitol. “We don’t want that for people who are willing to support this.” The audit proposal, which organizers hope to put before voters in 2022, is the latest in a series of attempts by Trump loyalists to challenge the 2020 contest, which the former president continues to claim was rigged despite local audits and a GOP-led oversight investigation that found no evidence of fraud. The petition proposes creating a 16-member audit board, composed of political precinct delegates, that would raise money to hire private contractors to conduct another review of Michigan’s 2020 election, which Democratic President Joe Biden won by 154,188 votes. 

Full Article: Trump backers want audit of 2020 Michigan vote funded by anonymous donors | Bridge Michigan

How a Michigan Clerk Got Embroiled in Trump’s Attempt to Overturn the Election | Mark -Bowden and Matthew Teague/Time

Antrim County, Michigan, seemed an unlikely setting for the attempted overthrow of an American election. In the mitten shape of the state’s lower peninsula, Antrim makes up a fingertip in the far north. It sits on the eastern side of Grand Traverse Bay, which took its name from French voyagers who in the eighteenth century paddled canoes across its lonesome width: la grand traverse, they called it. About twenty-three thousand people live in Antrim. Many work in fruit production, including the cherry farms that make the region the “cherry capital of the world.” They grow sweet cherries and sour: Montmorency cherries, Balaton tart cherries. Cavaliers, Sams, Emperor Francises, Golds, and a particular local favorite, Ulsters. In spring, those cherry trees cover the landscape with pink and white blossoms. And the county features what people here call the chain of lakes, a series of fourteen terraced lakes and rivers starting with Beals Lake at the top and finally flowing into the Grand Traverse. The largest and deepest body in the chain is Torch Lake, where long ago Native Americans fished by torchlight. Today Antrim’s residents sail their boats up and down its length on turquoise waters. So Antrim County sits on a peninsular outcrop, its people are few and scattered, and its landscape is sublime. All of which makes it seem outlandish as the stage for what followed: private jets arriving in the night, intrigue, threats of violence, and an effort to subvert the will of the American people.

Full Article: How a Michigan Clerk Got Embroiled in Trump’s Attempt to Overturn the Election | Time

Michigan: Proposed ban on use of donated space as polling places is questioned | David Eggert/Associated Press

Clerks and other opponents of a ballot initiative that would toughen Michigan’s voting rules raised concerns Wednesday about its proposed ban on using donated spaces as polling places, saying churches and religious organizations account for 20% of them. Progress Michigan, a liberal advocacy group that compiled the information, said 664 of 3,355 polling places in the 2020 election were churches, places of worship or similar religious spaces. “There’s a growing panic about the implications,” said Mary Clark, president of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks and the clerk in Delta Township, located near Lansing. “Whether they’re intended or unintended consequences is irrelevant. They’re consequences to voters. … The ban on any in-kind contribution would be devastating.” She said the township of 33,000 residents has 16 precincts. Twelve are located in 10 places of worship. Paying “going market rate, for me, adds up to a lot of money,” Clark said. “It’s quite unsettling.” Republicans launched the ballot drive in late August to sidestep Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who vetoed similar legislation two months later. The GOP-controlled Legislature is expected to pass the Secure MI Vote initiative if enough voter signatures are collected.

Full Article: Ban on use of donated space as polling places is questioned

Michigan: Adams Township residents have mixed feelings on clerk issues | Corey Murray/Hillsdale Daily News

Adams Township residents expressed mixed feelings on the ongoing saga between Township Clerk Stephanie Scott and Michigan’s Secretary of State during their regularly scheduled business meeting Nov. 7.  The meeting was well attended and the first held since issues between the S.O.S. and Scott intensified throughout October culminating in a search warrant being executed by the Michigan State Police to recover a missing piece of election equipment days before the Nov. 2 special election where a school renewal operating millage was voted on.  Adams Township Supervisor introduced the topic almost an hour into the meeting and said Scott herself may or may not answer questions as she is currently consulting with an attorney she has hired to represent her in the matters. Scott was stripped of her official election duties in late October after expressing concerns with voting integrity Oct. 11 and calling into question the accuracy of voting equipment. The S.O.S. in a news release alleged that Scott failed to agree to comply with scheduling a public accuracy test prior to the Nov. 2 election. Nichols explained the timeline of events to over 30 members of the community in attendance, with about half living in Adams Township and others from Hillsdale County concerned with election integrity.

Full Article: Adams Township residents have mixed feelings on clerk issues

Michigan GOP’s latest vote-crushing scheme could eliminate 20% of polling sites | Igor Derysh/Salon

A controversial scheme by Michigan Republicans to circumvent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s veto of their proposed voting restrictions could eliminate one in every five polling sites in the state, according to a new study. The head of the Michigan Republican Party is funding the “Secure MI Vote” petition, which includes a ban on in-kind contributions to local election clerks. Organizers have acknowledged that this provision would in fact end the use of donated polling sites, such as churches. Some cities and townships could lose half their polling sites — or in some cases all of them — under the new restrictions, according to a new report from the liberal advocacy group Progress Michigan. “I hope people are able to see the danger and the impact of this proposal,” Mary Clark, president of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks and Delta Township clerk, said in a statement. “This is the type of policy that causes me to lay awake at night because it will cause so much confusion amongst voters and put clerks in impossible situations. This would absolutely negatively impact legally registered voters in my jurisdiction and every jurisdiction in this state.” Michigan Republicans, who introduced a 39-bill package to change the state’s voting laws in the wake of Donald Trump’s defeat, in September launched an effort to pull an end-around on Whitmer’s veto of their proposed voting laws by introducing a ballot petition — one that voters will never get to see. An unusual quirk in the state’s constitution allows the Republican-dominated state legislature to adopt the initiative rather than put it on the ballot if they collect just 340,047 signatures, or 8% of the number of voters who participated in the last gubernatorial election. Whitmer has no power to veto such an initiative if it is passed by the legislature.

Full Article: Michigan GOP’s latest vote-crushing scheme could eliminate 20% of polling sites | Salon.com

Michigan GOP voting initiative would eliminate 20% of polling places, creating ‘panic’ among clerks, study says | Steve Neavling/Detroit Metro Times

A controversial, Republican-led petition drive to restrict voting access would eliminate 20% of all polling locations, a new report found. The Secure MI Vote petition would ban clerks from accepting donated spaces such as churches, schools, and senior centers for polling locations. In Michigan, one of every five polling locations is a church, according to Secure MI Vote: Creating Insecurity for Community Polling Places, a study by Progress Michigan, a progressive nonprofit that advocates for voting rights. “This ban on donated polling locations will cause confusion and disruption for voters, leading to voter disenfranchisement, create challenges for clerks, who would have to find new polling locations or reduce the number of polling locations available, and would increase costs for election administration,” Sam Inglot, deputy director of Progress Michigan, said Wednesday. The study found that nearly half of the counties in Michigan use at least one church or other place of worship as a polling location, and churches account for all of the polling places in 28 cities and townships. In 11 cities and townships, places of worship account for at least 50% of polling locations. In some rural townships, including Hazelton in Shiawassee County and Mussey Township in St. Clair County, the only polling location is a church. In Wayne County, 109 of the 471 polling locations are inside a church or other place of worship, the most in the state.

Full Article: Michigan GOP voting initiative would eliminate 20% of polling places, creating ‘panic’ among clerks, study says | News Hits

Michigan town deep in Trump country mistrusts all elections, except its own | Jonathan Oosting/Bridge Michigan

Julie Shaffer showed her ID, sat between privacy dividers, used an ink pen to fill out her ballot and fed it into a tabulator that responded with an electronic ding to indicate her vote had been counted. Then she stepped outside and declared elections are rigged. “They’re crooked — our government, our voting system — and I’m not really in favor of all the bullshit,” Shaffer said Tuesday outside Adams Township Hall, which is sandwiched between a cemetery and a privately-owned barn surrounded by high fences, Confederate flags and no trespassing signs. “A lot of it I got off YouTube,” Shaffer said, describing her online research into the 2020 election. “I was looking for Jeff Epstein, and then I hit on all this other stuff, and I’m going like, ‘Yeah, our government’s corrupt. Our country’s corrupt.’ ” Election conspiracy theories have gripped this small town in Hillsdale County that is home to about 2,450 people and no traffic lights. More than 76 percent of local voters backed former President Donald Trump in 2020, and one year later, many continue to believe the election was rigged against him.

Full Article: Deep in Trump country, a Michigan town mistrusts all elections, except its own | Bridge Michigan