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Missing election equipment found, investigation underway

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 6:49 PM EDT
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ADAMS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - Shortly after Adams Township’s clerk was removed from her election responsibilities, election equipment from the township went missing and became the center of a police investigation.

Stephanie Scott was directed by the Michigan Bureau of Elections to immediately cease administering elections after she failed to comply with legal requirements the state has for safeguarding the process, the Secretary of State’s office said.

According to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office, Scott did not allow preventative maintenance on the voting equipment. This was described as a necessary safeguard to ensure tabulators and voter assist terminals used by voters with disabilities are functioning properly on Election Day.

The clerk for Hillsdale County, Marney Kast, will instead supervise the election in Adams Township. However, when Kast brought the tabulator to her office, a key component was missing. The tabulator tablet, which is the “brains of the machine” was not included.

The missing election equipment from Adams Township was recovered by the Michigan State Police from the township hall Friday, and the investigation to determine if it was tampered with is ongoing. In the interim, Tracy Wimmer, a spokesperson for Secretary Benson, said the secretary plans to hold accountable anyone who threatens the integrity or security of Michigan elections.

“She has and will continue to utilize every legal tool available to protect the integrity of our democracy, particularly at a time when disinformation and false conspiracies continue to escalate,” Wimmer said.

She added, “We do not have further comment on the specifics of any matter that is currently the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation, but we will and do refer any suspected violation of state or federal election law to the proper authorities.”

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