A Michigan town has discovered almost 300 absentee ballots from the 2020 election sitting in a storage unit.
“My biggest concern is why were they in a storage unit?” Thetford Township Supervisor Rachel Stanke said, according to WJRT-TV.
“Why were they never mailed out to the voters for one? There’s got to be a reason why. I don’t think you can forget to mail out 289 ballots to voters,” she said.
Stanke said none of the ballots were mailed, and although 77.5 percent of the ballots found were marked spoiled — which means new ones were sent — not all were so marked.
“I’m thankful that those people did get to vote, but there is a good amount of people that never got to vote,” Stanke said. “And I believe during that time we were in a pandemic. People didn’t want to come out of their houses. We have disabled people. There’s a reason that they vote absentee.”
Stanke said she first heard about a box of absentee ballots last summer, according to WWMT. At the time, she said she alerted the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of State’s Office before reaching out to the Michigan State Police.
After contacting the Michigan State Police, they took them away last August.
At the time, she said she alerted the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of State’s Office for contacting Michigan State Police.
Stanke eventually filed a Freedom of Information request to learn what the state police discovered.
The storage unit had been rented by a former township employee.
“[The former employee] was not aware when she was asked to store them in there. She thought they were old township documents,” Stanke said.
Nearly 300 absentee ballots from 2020 were just found in a storage unit, where the margin of victory for a local election was 19 votes.
“Katie Hicks, who lost by 19 votes in her race for Thetford Township Clerk..said she cannot trust future elections.”https://t.co/yyNEsuXVSR
— Cari Kelemen (@KelemenCari) June 10, 2023
Stanke said she shared the information at a town board meeting last week to ensure everyone knew the facts.
“So that’s why I want to bring this to their attention. And I want them to be able to make sure that their elections are run fairly and smoothly,” she said.
But Katie Hicks, who lost the race for town clerk by 19 votes in 2020, was sour on the elections when asked if she could trust the process.
“No, I cannot,” she said.
In the 2020 election, nearly 2 million Michigan voters requested absentee ballots, a 73 percent increase from 2018, according to WDIV-TV.
“Now this is all coming out and it kind of, you know, I’m kind of happy that it’s coming out because the election is right around the corner again. And it concerns me that this will take place again for 2024,” Stanke said, WWMT reported.
The town is now waiting for the Michigan Attorney General’s Office to issue a ruling to assess if any laws were broken in the incident, according to WJRT-TV.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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