Three women face voter fraud charges connected to the 2020 election in Michigan. Attorney General Dana Nessel announces charges for several security guards from Northland Mall in the 2014 death of McKenzie Cochran during a news conference in Detroit on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. (Max Ortiz/Detroit News via AP) Max Ortiz/AP
Three Michigan women face voter fraud charges tied to 2020 election
Virginia Aabram October 15, 06:37 PM October 15, 06:37 PM
Three women face voter fraud charges connected to the 2020 election in Michigan.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson shared on Monday the outcomes of investigations into three women who allegedly attempted to forge signatures on absentee ballots or ballot applications.
“These cases highlight the scrutiny applications and ballots undergo throughout the election process, as well as the thorough investigative process that ensues when instances of attempted fraud are suspected,” Nessel said.
Only one was caught after the election, which resulted in one double vote, while the others were caught before being counted or issued, Nessel’s team said.
“Our election system is secure, and today’s charges demonstrate that in the rare circumstances when fraud occurs we catch it and hold the perpetrators accountable,” Benson said. “These charges also send a clear message to those who promote deceitful claims about widespread fraud: the current protocols we have in place work to protect and ensure the integrity of our elections.”
Trenae Myesha Rainey, a nursing home employee, allegedly forged the signatures of about two-dozen facility residents on absentee ballot applications in October 2020. A clerk noticed that the signatures on the ballots did not match the records and alerted investigators who found that all the signatures came from residents who had not yet notified staff if they wanted to vote in the election.
Rainey is charged with three counts of election law forgery and three counts of forging a signature on absentee ballot applications.
Carless Clark was charged with impersonating her grandson to vote in an election. Her grandson decided to vote in person, but she allegedly forged his signature on an absentee ballot and submitted it because she was afraid he wouldn’t have time to go himself. Investigators became aware of the situation in August.
Nancy Juanita Williams “developed and implemented a plan to obtain and control absentee ballots for legally incapacitated persons under her care by fraudulently submitting 26 absentee ballot applications to nine identified city and township clerks,” according to the attorney general’s statement. The clerks became suspicious in October 2020 when they received multiple applications signed with an X and requested ballots to be sent to Williams’ business address.
She is facing 16 counts of submitting a false statement on an absentee ballot application, 16 counts of forging signatures on absentee ballot applications, and 16 counts of election law forgery in five different courts.
Nessel’s office also provided an update on other election-related cases, including to note that Paul Parana, a 47-year-old man from Canton Township, pleaded guilty to a 90-day misdemeanor election law violation after filling out and submitting an absentee ballot for his daughter. He was sentenced to 90 days probation and ordered to pay court costs and fees of roughly $1,100 by a judge in Wayne County Circuit Court, according to the attorney general’s team.
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