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HomeNewsMichigan election worker charged with tampering with voting equipment

Michigan election worker charged with tampering with voting equipment

An election employee in a western Michigan city has been charged with two felonies after allegedly inserting a flash drive into a pc containing confidential voter registration information throughout an election in August, native officers mentioned on Wednesday.

On the Aug. 2 major, an election employee was seen inserting a USB drive into the pc used to manage the election at a precinct in Gaines Township in Kent County, in line with a press release by county clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons.

The incident highlights the so-called “insider menace” threat that has more and more frightened election officers, particularly in battleground states like Michigan the place falsehoods about systemic voter fraud within the 2020 election have unfold most generally.

“This incident is extraordinarily egregious and extremely alarming. Not solely is it a violation of Michigan legislation, however it’s a violation of public belief and of the oath all election staff are required to take,” Lyons mentioned within the assertion.

Chris Becker, the county’s prosecuting legal professional, mentioned he had charged the election employee, James Donald Holkeboer, with falsifying election information and utilizing a pc to commit a criminal offense. If convicted, he may withstand 9 years in jail.

Holkeboer couldn’t be instantly reached for remark.

Whereas Lyons didn’t title Holkeboer, she mentioned the incident concerned one of many “on a regular basis residents skilled and licensed by clerks to work the precincts and absentee county boards” and was not an worker of the county or Gaines Township.

The election employee was seen by a witness at a precinct in Gaines Township inserting a USB drive into the Digital Ballot E-book, the pc used to manage the election. The ballot guide incorporates voter registration information, together with confidential data barred from launch below Michigan legal guidelines.

Lyons mentioned the breach didn’t impression the end result of the August major because it occurred after the information had already been saved to the precinct’s encrypted system. She mentioned the ballot guide just isn’t linked to any tabulation gear or the web.

There have been a collection of safety breaches associated to voting gear in Michigan following the 2020 presidential election, with supporters of former President Donald Trump and his baseless claims about widespread voter fraud looking for entry to tabulators in numerous areas within the state.

Final month, Legal professional Normal Dana Nessel, a Democrat, appointed a particular prosecutor to supervise the prison investigation her workplace had kicked off into the safety breaches. She sought to step again from the probe as a result of her Republican challenger in November’s election, Matt DePerno, was among the many 9 people going through doable fees.

A spokesperson for Michigan’s Secretary of State mentioned the breached gear in Gaines Township has been decommissioned and won’t be used within the November basic election.

“Whereas our elections stay safe and protected, we take severely all violations of election legislation and can proceed to work with the related authorities to guarantee there are penalties for many who break the legislation,” Angela Benander mentioned in an emailed assertion.

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