Michigan investigates voter-assist device that went missing

Sep 2, 2022, 2:47 PM | Updated: 3:12 pm

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan authorities are investigating how a piece of equipment that helps disabled voters mark a ballot wound up for sale online.

The machinery was purchased by an election security expert, who then contacted the state to report the issue. Michigan authorities have said the voter assist terminal at issue does not tabulate vote totals.

Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the state’s elections “remain secure and safe.”

“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,” Benson said in a statement Thursday.

A spokeswoman for Benson did not immediately respond to a request for more information on Friday.

Officials in Wexford County told The Cadillac News that the machine went missing sometime before the August primary, possibly after local voting authorities were asked to turn in all of their equipment to the county for a routine update.

Wexford County Clerk Alaina Nyman said Thursday that election security remains her top priority and that her office is cooperating with the Michigan State Police investigation.

She did not immediately return a message left with her office Friday afternoon.

Colfax Township Clerk Becky Stoddard told the paper that the equipment was a voter assistance tablet owned by her township. She said the situation has led the township to reevaluate how it stores and transports voting equipment.

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Michigan investigates voter-assist device that went missing