Elections official in Michigan charged with ballot tampering
FLINT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A former township clerk and current county elections supervisor in Michigan has been charged with ballot tampering in the August 2020 primary.
Kathy Funk also is charged with misconduct in office, the Michigan attorney general’s office said late Friday. Both charges are felonies punishable by up to five years in prison upon conviction. Funk faces arraignment in Genesee County’s 67th District Court.
Funk was Flint Township’s clerk when authorities allege she purposely broke a seal on a ballot container, according to the attorney general’s office. Under Michigan law, that prevented votes inside the container from being counted in an anticipated recount.
Funk oversaw the August 2020 election in the township, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. She also was seeking reelection as clerk and won with 2,698 votes compared to 2,619 for challenger Manya Triplett, MLive.com-The Flint Journal reported. She ran as a Democrat.
Funk later resigned as Flint Township clerk to take Genesee County’s elections supervisor’s job.
No recount was ever performed and Triplett, who was appointed to replace Funk as township clerk in November, told MLive-The Flint Journal that she asked for a recount after the election after having noticed suspicious activity at the township hall in the days surrounding the primary.
“Election officials must uphold the integrity of their positions,” Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said Friday in a release. “Those who abuse that commitment undermine the very foundation of our democracy.”
The Associated Press was unable Saturday to reach Funk for comment. Her attorney told MLive.com-The Flint Journal that she was expected to enter a not-guilty plea to the charges.
“She says it’s absolutely not true,” attorney Matthew Norwood said of the charges.
An AP review of election fraud in Michigan and five other battleground states found that state officials identified a total of 56 potential instances of voter fraud in Michigan, a number which represents less than 1% of President Joe Biden’s margin of victory in the state.