Michigan former clerk and attorney charged after alleged unauthorized access to 2020 voter data

  • Canadian Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s attorney general announced charges Wednesday against a former township clerk and a lawyer who had supported attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, alleging they accessed voting systems without authorization in a search of fraud.

Former Adams Township Clerk Stephanie Scott and her attorney, Stefanie Lambert, were charged with multiple felonies, including unauthorized access to a computer and using a computer to commit a crime.

“When elected officials and their proxies use their positions to promote baseless conspiracies, show blatant disregard for voter privacy, and break the law in the process, it undermines the very essence of the democratic process,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “Those who engage in such reckless conduct must be held accountable for their actions.”

The charges are the latest to be brought against people in multiple states who had been entrusted to ensure the security of election systems but instead allowed others to breach them in a futile search for evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Multiple reviews, audits and recounts have affirmed Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump. Election clerks in Colorado and Georgia are among those who promoted conspiracy theories about voting machines and now face charges for allowing unauthorized access of voting systems.

Scott allegedly ignored instructions from the Michigan secretary of state to turn over her township’s voting tabulator to an authorized vendor and withheld the tabulator until it was seized by Michigan State Police, according to the attorney general’s statement. The statement also alleged that, under the direction of Scott, Lambert transmitted data from the township’s poll book related to the 2020 election.

Biden won Michigan by nearly 155,000 votes over then−President Trump, a result confirmed by a GOP−led state Senate investigation in 2021.

Lambert’s attorney, Daniel Hartman, said in a statement that his client did not violate the law and that she “remains steadfast in her efforts to bring transparency to the people’s election data, processes and procedures.” Attempts to reach Scott or an attorney for her were not immediately successful.

In a separate case, Lambert has been charged with the felony of improperly accessing voting equipment and, in the past, has sued unsuccessfully to overturn Trump’s loss in Michigan.

Scott, who oversaw elections in a small conservative town, was recalled from her position in 2023.

When it came time to prepare for her township’s November 2021 election, Scott said she had accuracy concerns and had considered paper ballots and a hand count before settling on using the same system.

“Quite frankly, I was coming to a moral quandary of even running this election,” Scott told The Detroit News.

The state intervened after Scott allegedly refused to allow a contractor to perform preventive maintenance and failed to conduct accuracy tests, among other issues. She was barred from her duties in October 2021.

The Hillsdale County clerk’s office discovered that a tablet that contained important software and the operating system had been removed when it took custody of an election tabulator and a voter−assist terminal from township offices to prepare for a public accuracy test. It was later seized by Michigan State Police after Scott allegedly refused to turn it over.

Joey Cappelletti, The Associated Press

Photo: AP