An award-winning Democratic official from Michigan is facing multiple felony charges for alleged ballot fraud during the 2018 midterm elections.
The city clerk for Southfield, Michigan, Sherikia Hawkins, was arrested on Monday and faces six felony charges after state police found that almost 200 voter records had been changed to be listed as invalid from the 2018 election cycle.
Court documents showed that 193 absentee ballots were affected. The ballots were invalidated by being listed as having either no return date or signature when both were present.
Additionally, law enforcement said that they had found the original reports in the trash after Oakland County Election Director Joseph Rozell identified that Hawkins had sent in altered ones.
The police investigation occurred after the Oakland County Clerk’s office found discrepancies in absentee ballots while they were being certified.
In a statement on the matter, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said that there would be “no tolerance” for actions that “undermine” the basis of American democracy regardless of who may have taken the action.
“Our elections are the foundation of our democracy, and under my and Attorney General [Dana] Nessel’s administration there will be no tolerance for any actions that undermine that foundation — anywhere, anytime, by any person or official,” said Benson.
According to the Detroit News, Benson said that all of the “valid votes in the election were ultimately counted” and that the final tally was “accurate.”
Hawkins had recently been awarded the Dingell/Levin Award by the Michigan state Democratic Party.
The Michigan Democrat faces charges that include forgery of a public record and misconduct in office, among others. Forgery of a public record carries with it a potential 14-year prison sentence.
Hawkins was released on a $15,000 bond, a state press release said.