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Michigan State Police Seize Voting Machines As It Expands Probe Into Potential Breaches Tied To 2020 Election

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The Michigan State Police have seized voting machines as it has expanded its expands its investigation to determine if unauthorized persons gained access to them after the 2020 election.

Barry County Clerk Pamela Palmer said that in a raid last Friday the police seized voting machine tabulator in Irving Township, CNN reported.

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She said that she was not aware of any potential issues until the machines were seized by the State Police.

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.

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“If we find more examples of unauthorized access, we talk to those officials to find out what transpired,” he said.

The possible breaches occurred after the election and did not affect the results of the 2020 elections in Michigan he said.

“As we found out more information we’ve expanded our area to see if any other places were compromised,” the lieutenant said “We have gone to other regions.”

Irving Township Supervisor Jamie Knight confirmed to Reuters that the state police and office of Attorney General Dana Nessel seized the town’s tabulator “pursuant to a search warrant” last Friday.

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“The Township intends to fully cooperate with law enforcement, and the Township attorneys have been in contact with the Michigan State Police regarding this matter,” he said.

Machines that were accessed by unauthorized personnel “may have exposed the machines to vulnerabilities that render them unusable in future elections,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office said, The Washington Examiner reported.

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“Protecting the integrity and security of our elections, especially from those who use lies and misinformation to deceive Michigan voters, is a critical component of defending democracy in this moment,” Benson said in the statement at the time. “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.”

The office of Benson, a Democrat, said a third party also accessed Dominion Voting Systems vote tabulators in Antrim County in December 2020 after a court order, for a forensic audit conducted as part of a dismissed 2020 election lawsuit, “and then used the data it found to generate a report falsely claiming election fraud.”

The report, the office said, “was thoroughly debunked by multiple election experts but not before it was cited as the reason for the federal government to seize tabulation machines in a draft executive order of former President Donald Trump. Another submission in the same case in Antrim County claimed to include an image from an Election Systems and Software tabulator, the vendor that provides tabulators to all Roscommon County jurisdictions.

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Benson, a Democrat, wrote a letter to the House committee investigating the Capitol riot raising the prospect that the controversial analysis of Dominion machines was instrumental to Trump’s claims of widespread fraud and challenges to the results of the contest.

Antrim County prosecutor James Rossiter told the Washington Post in a report published Feb. 9 that he declined a request by Rudy Giuliani and other legal advisers to Trump to seize and share his county’s voting machines. “I said, ‘I can’t just say [to] give them here.’ We don’t have that magical power to just demand things as prosecutors. You need probable cause,” Rossiter said. Giuliani’s attorney said his client declined to comment on the report.

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