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GOP nominee for Michigan AG named in election security breach probe

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the Republican nominee for her job. State police have been investigating efforts by supporters of former president Donald Trump to convince Michigan clerks to give them access to voting software and tabulating machines to prove fraud took place in 2020. DePerno has been a leading election denier in Michigan since shortly after the 2020 election, filing a lawsuit challenging the results in Antrim County because of a quickly corrected error that resulted in the county reporting a victory for Joe Biden. In the course of that lawsuit, a judge authorized an examination of Antrim’s Dominion voting machines in early December 2020. That examination yielded a so-called “forensic report” claiming evidence that Dominion machines had been rigged to flip votes from Trump to Biden

Election experts have been sounding the alarm for months about efforts around the country by Trump allies to examine or copy tightly guarded voting equipment. They fear outsiders might have compromised the sensitive tabulators or could publish details about how voting machines and software work that would make it easier to commit fraud in the future. In some episodes that have become public, third parties persuaded sympathetic election officials to assist. A local clerk in Colorado was indicted in March on charges stemming from her participation in a successful effort to allow outsiders to copy the hard drives of voting machines in her county. In Georgia, a secretary of state has asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to help probe allegations that Trump allies illicitly copied voting equipment in Coffee County in 2021, his lawyers disclosed in a document filed in court last week.

Irving Township, Michigan, clerks were told their equipment would be returned within days and “grew apprehensive” when it was not. The sheriff’s office had asked the town clerk to give the equipment to a private investigator, Reuters has reported. Roscommon County's voting equipment was finally returned to Stevenson in April 2021. Technicians employed by ES&S, the company that manufacturers the equipment, reviewed the tabulators as part of the state police investigation.