Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Nessel requests special prosecutor in voting machines investigation, look at upcoming AG election

August 8, 2022
Attorney General Dana Nessel at the 2022 State Endorsement Convention for the Michigan Democratic Party at the TCF Convention Center. - April 9, 2022
Attorney General Dana Nessel at the 2022 State Endorsement Convention for the Michigan Democratic Party at the TCF Convention Center. - April 9, 2022 —
Photo by Chloe Trofatter | The State News

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is seeking a special prosecutor to investigate her Republican opponent Matthew DePerno, along with eight others, in a case regarding alleged interference of tabulators, or voting machines.

Nessel’s office filed a petition to appoint a special prosecutor on Aug. 5. 

A referral for the case to be passed to a special prosecutor was made by the Attorney General’s office to avoid any conflict of interest in the upcoming November election. 

Prior to the petition, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sent a request in Feb. to the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the Michigan State Police to investigate unauthorized, third party access to vote tabulators, components and technology in Michigan.

Benson was sent an overview of the Department of AG’s findings in the investigation.

According to the overview, a group of individuals gained unauthorized access and compromised tabulators from the Roscommon County Clerk, the Richfield Township Clerk, the Lake City Township Clerk and the Irving Township Clerk after the 2020 election.

“All unauthorized access occurred between the dates of March 11, 2021, and late June of 2021,” the overview said. “All impacted tabulators have been seized as evidence as part of our investigation and decommissioned from use in any future elections.”

According to the press release from the AG’s office, the Michigan Secretary of State has a legal obligation to advise and direct local election officials as to the proper methods of conducting elections, as well as a role with respect to the supervision and administration of election laws. 

“It was necessary to provide Secretary Benson with an overview of the factual findings of the investigation related to election administrators and election equipment,” Nessel said in a press release.

A look at the race for Michigan Attorney General 

Nessel is running for re-election in the race for the state’s attorney general. She received the Democratic Party's endorsement at the Michigan Democratic Party endorsement convention earlier this year. The general election is Nov. 8.

DePerno received the Republican Party’s endorsement over opponent Tom Leonard at the Michigan Republican Party endorsement convention in April. In addition to his party’s endorsement, DePerno is endorsed by former President Donald Trump. He is set to receive the Republican party’s nomination later this month.

The Office of the Attorney General did not respond to The State News’ request for comment at the time of publication. Nessel and the Office are unable to comment on the case as it is still open.

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