Police in Michigan have opened an investigation into the discovery of nearly 300 ballots that were discovered in a storage locker in Thetford Township.
According to The Daily Wire, the ballots were discovered inside the deputy town clerk’s locker last August. However, news of the discovery was made public after the town’s supervisor, Rachel Stanke, filed a freedom of information request.
Nearly 300 absentee ballots from 2020 election found in Michigan county storage unit | Just The News https://t.co/Nq2LZzs7ci
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Stanke, who discussed the discovery during a municipal meeting earlier this week, became aware of the missing ballots in 2021. According to Michigan News Source, Stanke alerted the state’s Attorney General and the Secretary of State. However, she contacted the Michigan State Police (MSP) after she received tips about the missing ballots.
I don't know if there were enough shenanigans to tip the balance, but they sure tried.
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Reports showed that a former township employee, who rented the storage unit, stored the ballots in the locker. Stanke revealed that the former employee was not aware of the box’s content. Authorities did not disclose the identity of the employee.
“She was not aware when she was asked to store them in there. She thought they were old township documents,” she said.
The MSP revealed that most of the ballots were marked spoiled, meaning affected voters were eligible to get fresh ballots. It’s, however, not clear if the affected voters were issued new ballots.
“Say they didn’t receive their ballot or they lost it or their dog ate it. They would have to come into the township and write a letter I believe show their ID and be issued a new ballot,” said Stanke.
While news of the discovery is sure to raise doubts in residents’ minds, Stanke said she hopes they will be able to trust that the elections are conducted fairly and accurately.
“That’s our goal. So that’s why I want to bring this to their attention, Stanke said. “And I want them to be able to make sure that their elections are run fairly and smoothly.”
Stanke’s optimism did not rub off on Katie Hicks, who ran for Thetford Township Clerk in 2020. Hicks, who lost her election by 19 votes, said she was happy with the discovery but maintained that she couldn’t trust future elections.
“I’m kind of happy that it’s coming out because the election is right around the corner again,” Hicks said. “And it concerns me that this will take place again for 2024.”
While it is still unclear if there were any foul play surrounding the missing ballots, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office is working to determine if any laws were broken and what charges to file.