Michigan Election Interference: The Real Story

It is nice to see that Democrats are finally taking law and order seriously. Recently, the Democrat attorney general of Michigan, Dana Nessel, brought 16 dangerous geriatrics to justice. They are all prominent Michigan Republicans, and they were hoping to slip some fake elector certificates to Mike Pence during the joint session of Congress on January 6th, 2021.

I imagine that the plan had to work something like this: After Mike Pence announced the correct slate of electors for Michigan (the one signed by the Michigan Governor), 14 members of the GOP gang would make loud noises in the back of the House chamber. While Pence turned his head to observe the commotion, the two remaining members of the gang would slip the fake list of electors onto Pence’s dais. Imagine the uproar the next day when the nation learned that Trump had been elected instead of Biden! Thankfully, the plan did not work.

Unfortunately, another plan to steal the Michigan election was successful. That plan was perpetrated by the Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson, and she is still at large.

Of course, I am being facetious. However, there are some serious points that should be considered.

Benson truly did break the law in a very major way, and her illegal actions changed the election. Let’s make a point by point comparison between Benson’s illegal actions and those of the 16 “fakers.” First, however, we need to review the four aspects of the Jocelyn Benson fake election plan:

  1. First, she prevented the adoption of voter ID requirements (e.g., drivers license number or 4 digits of SS number) by claiming that “a voter’s signature is the primary and most reliable way of protecting against the possibility of fraud.” Benson made that very false statement at various times and venues.
  2. After touting signature matching as the “primary” method of protecting against fraud, Benson got rid of it. The secretary did that by telling county election clerks to just “presume” the signatures sent in with the ballots matched the registration signatures. Why did she do that? Who knows?
  3. Four months after the election, a judge ruled that Benson broke the law, but by then, the damage was done. Benson did not appeal. Why would she? Her guy won!
  4. Before the 2020 election, the Secretary of State mailed out 7.7 million ballot applications, even though only 3.3 million would be used. This was not the normal practice in Michigan, but the extra 4.4 million applications came in handy. Up to 225,000 would be used by ballot harvesters, in the estimate of True the Vote.

Was the action illegal?

The Contingent Electors

In Michigan, the certificate of electors that is sent to the U.S. Archivist and Senate must be signed by the state governor. I don’t believe that Nessel is claiming that the governor’s signature was forged, so I don’t see how any submission made could be confused with the approved slate of electors. It was merely an unsigned form. Further, the actions were taken prior to January 6th, and once it was clear that Mike Pence would not reject the approved certifications, the alternative certificates became irrelevant. No one tried to use the certificates, or switch them around, after January 6th.

In addition the people charged by Nessel say that their actions were merely a way of “preserving objections to a contested election, grounded in historical precedent…” That historical precedent was a famous 1960 Hawaii case, where Democrats took actions that were similar to those of the so-called fake electors.

On December 19, 1960, the Hawaii deadline for determining the electors, John F. Kennedy was trailing Richard Nixon, who was the presumed winner. Nevertheless, the Democrats submitted a competing list of electors, just in case Kennedy ended up winning, which he did. By the way, the Hawaii Democrats were generally praised for the actions they took.

Jocelyn Benson

The secretary’s culpability is without question. Michigan Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray ruled that she had exceeded her power by unilaterally changing the standards established by the legislature. As noted, Benson did not even appeal.

Did the action result in damages?

The Contingent Electors

No. The alternative certificates were not used.

Jocelyn Benson

Yes. Her actions altered the election. We know this for multiple reasons (Fried, Debunked? 2022, Republic).

  1. True the Vote showed, with its geo-tracking technology, that there were up to 225,000 harvested ballots in Michigan.
  2. A door-to-door survey of 1,200 mail-in ballot voters was performed by Jackie Eubanks, a candidate for Michigan State Representative. That survey showed that 17.6 percent of respondents did not even know they had voted.
  3. A thirty-year employee of the City of Detroit, Jessy Jacob, became a whistleblower, and reported numerous appalling actions within the Wayne County election processing centers. Among several other allegations, Jacobs said: 

​I was told to alter the information in the QVF [Qualified Voter File] to falsely show that the absentee ballots had been received in time to be valid. I estimate that this was done to thousands of ballots (emphasis added).

Was there criminal intent?

The Contingent Electors

I am not sure this question even applies when planned actions are never implemented. However, let’s assume that the contingent certificates were given to Mike Pence, and (somehow) approved. Obviously, the controversy would result in a lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court. If the plan was to ignore the High Court’s ruling, that would show defiance of the Constitution, in my opinion.

Jocelyn Benson

Undoubtedly, Benson would say she was just doing her job. She would probably claim that Covid-19 made it (somehow) dangerous to check signatures. The only way criminality could be proved is with the testimony of a whistleblower, privy to Benson’s thought process.

What will happen?

The Contingent Electors

The case against the 16 “fakers” is extremely weak but in the new America, that is not so important. Lansing, Michigan sits in a county that is two-to-one Democrat. Therefore, Nessel has a good chance of succeeding.

Jocelyn Benson

Absolutely nothing.

Joe Fried is an Ohio-based CPA who has performed and reviewed hundreds of certified financial audits. He is the author of the book, Debunked? An auditor reviews the 2020 election --  and the lessons learned (Republic Book Publishers, 2022). This summer he will publish Restoring Faith in our Elections. That book will outline 23 problems that must be fixed before the 2024 elections.

Image: Mark Buckawicki

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