The Party of “Election Integrity” Apparently Engaged in Wholesale Fraud in the Michigan Governor Race

by | Jun 9, 2022 | Money and Politics

Image: iStockPhoto

The Party of “Election Integrity” Apparently Engaged in Wholesale Fraud in the Michigan Governor Race

by | Jun 9, 2022 | Money and Politics

Image: iStockPhoto
Factoring in thousands of fraudulent signatures, five Michigan Republicans fell short of the necessary 15,000 signatures required to qualify to run for the office of governor.

After weeks of allegations that multiple Republicans running for governor in Michigan submitted fraudulent signatures to get on the ballot, the state Bureau of Elections on Monday confirmed what one journalist called “wholesale fraud” involving five GOP candidates.

“For all the Michigan GOP’s feigned outrage over ‘election integrity,’ several of their candidates seem very comfortable with using shady, underhanded tactics to get on the ballot,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, in an apparent reference to 2020.

Though President Joe Biden won Michigan by over 150,000 votes, the state was included in former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that the election was stolen. Trump and others unsuccessfully pressured the Board of State Canvassers to refuse to certify the results.

While Michael Brown withdrew from the gubernatorial race after the May 23rd revelation, the Board of State Canvassers—made up of two Democrats and two Republicans—will vote Thursday on whether to disqualify Donna Brandenburg, James Craig, Perry Johnson, and Michael Markey Jr.

Factoring in thousands of fraudulent entries, those five Republicans fell short of the necessary 15,000 signatures, according to the Bureau of Elections. The candidates, who were also required to have 100 names from each of at least half of the state’s congressional districts, were allowed to submit 30,000 signatures in total.

If they are all disqualified from participating in the August 2 primary, the five remaining contenders will be Tudor Dixon, Ryan Kelley, Ralph Rebandt, Kevin Rinke, and Garrett Soldano. The winner will face off against the incumbent Democrat, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in November.

“It looks like the Republican clown car may be losing a few occupants, including the self-proclaimed quality guru who apparently didn’t check the quality of his own signatures and the former police chief who seems to have brought corruption with him from his days at [the Detroit Police Department],” said Scott, referring to Johnson and Craig. “I hope the Michigan Republican Party will live up to their big talk about integrity, respect our election laws, and hold their own accountable when the board of canvassers meet this week.”

As MLive reported late Monday:

Craig has been the favorite in the polls for months. In the most recent two polls of Michigan Republicans, Craig polled at 34.4% and 23%—more than double the support of any other candidate.

Johnson was becoming one of the favorites. He was one of the last to jump in the race this winter, pledging $2 million of his own money toward his candidacy and going as far as airing a commercial during the Super Bowl.

The Bureau of Elections explains in its official report that staff “identified 36 petition circulators who submitted fraudulent petition sheets consisting entirely of invalid signatures.” Sheets from these people, who are named in the document, “displayed suspicious patterns indicative of fraud, and staff reviewing these signatures against the Qualified Voter File (QVF) did not identify any signatures that appeared to be submitted by a registered voter.”

“In total, the bureau estimates that these circulators submitted at least 68,000 invalid signatures submitted across 10 sets of nominating petitions,” the report continues. “In several instances, the number of invalid signatures submitted by these circulators was the reason a candidate had an insufficient number of valid signatures.”

“Although it is typical for staff to encounter some signatures of dubious authenticity scattered within nominating petitions,” the document notes, “the bureau is unaware of another election cycle in which this many circulators submitted such a substantial volume of fraudulent petition sheets consisting of invalid signatures, nor an instance in which it affected as many candidate petitions as at present.”

The report says that staff are “working with the Michigan Department of State’s Office of Investigative Services to refer incidents of apparent fraud to law enforcement for criminal investigation,” and “at this point, the bureau does not have reason to believe that any specific candidates or campaigns were aware of the activities of fraudulent-petition circulators.”

The document acknowledges media reports about the rising cost of hiring signature collectors.

Bridge Michigan reported last month that “this year, those professionals are feeling the same pressure felt in the rest of the economy: A lack of seasoned workers in Michigan has raised the cost of signature gathering up to $20 apiece—four times the rate of $5 to $7 per signature Ferndale businessman Shawn Wilmoth charged four years ago.”

“First time in years I’ve seen numbers like this in Michigan,” Wilmoth, who runs First Choice Contracting LLC, told the outlet. “Costs have skyrocketed.”

Others on Tuesday responded to the development by taking aim at the Republican Party.

Writer Alex Pareene “called it,” tweeted Ryan Cooper, managing editor of The American Prospect, linking to a March newsletter. “We’re going to see more and more sundry electoral fraud and it’s going to be Republicans doing it.”

Republished with permission from Common Dreams, by Jessica Corbett

<a href="http://commondreams.org" target="_blank">Common Dreams</a>

Common Dreams

Common Dreams has been providing breaking news & views for the progressive community since 1997. They are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Jun 27 2022

40 Ways the GOP Has Become a Clear and Present Danger to Our Country

Here is a list of vital things to remember when deciding who and what to vote for in upcoming primaries and on November 8th.
Jun 23 2022

Time to Break Up Monopolies to Prevent Shortages Like Baby Formula

Food experts have warned for years that monopolies make our food supply vulnerable. Now families with babies are paying the price.
Jun 21 2022

Senator Ron Johnson Implicated in Fake Elector Certificates Scandal

Trump and his MAGA allies planned, promoted, and paid for a seditious conspiracy to overturn an election they lost, and Ron Johnson attempted to deliver it to D.C. on a...
Jun 21 2022

Texas GOP Platform Features Anti-Gay Hatred, Trump’s Big Lie and Secession

The Texas GOP platform formalizes the false idea that Joe Biden is illegitimate, hatred of the LGBT+ community, white supremacy, paranoia of immigrants and the idea...
Jun 19 2022

Worried About an Assault Rifle Ban, AR-15 Maker Unveils a Pistol Version

A “perfect” compromise for Second Amendment jihadis, a pistol that has the same firepower as an AR-15. In other words, overkill in a more compact...
Jun 14 2022

Trump Grifted $250 Million from Supporters With the “Big Lie”

The January 6th committee played testimony from Trump campaign officials including Gary Coby, former digital campaign director, admitting that there was no fund devoted...
Jun 13 2022

When Politics Comes to Prime Time: A History of Televised Hearings

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on Capitol held two prime-time televised hearings so far. Dismissed by some as show trials, these hearings may...
Jun 13 2022

Mass Shootings: The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban Worked — The Numbers Since Then Tell the Story

President Biden’s claim that the rate of mass shootings during the period of the assault weapons ban “went down” only for it to rise again after the law was allowed to...
Jun 11 2022

Ginni Thomas Is an Insurrectionist. So What’s the Deal With Clarence?

The big question is why would anyone listen to Ginni Thomas or give her the time of day. Oh, yeah. She’s married to Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence...
Jun 09 2022

America Is on the Brink of Fascism and Then It Will Be Too Late

We know how easily a government can be toppled into fascism and how close we came in 2020: if just five Republicans had not refused to go along with Trump we’d be...
Subscribe for Updates!

Subscribe for Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This