Michigan police probe possible illegal voting machine sale


(Greg Nash/The Hill)

(The Hill) — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced on Thursday that the state government is working with police to investigate the possible illegal sale of a voter assist terminal acquired in Michigan.

A voter assist terminal is normally used to assist voters, often those with disabilities, who require help in marking their ballots.

“Our elections remain safe and secure,” Benson said on Twitter. “We take seriously all violations of election law and will be working with relevant authorities to ensure there are consequences for those who break the law.”

The Hill has reached out to Benson for further comment on the situation.

Michigan election law prevents citizens from withholding, breaking or destroying voting equipment, as well as obtaining “undue possession” of a voting machine.

Benson cited an article written by Michigan’s Cadillac News explaining that the voting machine was sold through Goodwill’s online auction site as well as listed on the popular auction site eBay.

The machine disappeared from the Colfax Township in Wexford County, Michigan.

“It was a touchscreen (voter assist terminal) machine,” Wexford County Clerk Alaina Nyman told Cadillac News of the sold voting equipment. “No election data was on it and you can’t get into the machine without the program cards, and those were all accounted for.”

Nyman added that officials are investigating how the voting machine was acquired by its seller and when it went missing.

“We are going to do things differently and will sign things in and out,” Colfax Township Clerk Becky Stoddard told Cadillac News, discussing her office’s response to the disappearance of the voter assist terminal machine.

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