Michigan county election machine found for sale online: report
AAn election machine that mysteriously disappeared in County Wexford has suddenly resurfaced for sale online just before the state’s primary election, officials revealed Thursday.
The machine, listed for an unknown asking price, was a voter assistance terminal, which helps voters with disabilities vote and has no ability to tabulate votes, Michigan officials said.
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“We are working with law enforcement to investigate allegations of an illegal attempt to sell a voter assistance terminal acquired in County Wexford, MI. These terminals do not tabulate ballots, they are for voters who need help marking their ballot privately at polling places,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel tweeted.
ALERT: We are working with law enforcement to investigate allegations of an illegal attempt to sell a voter assistance terminal acquired in County Wexford, MI. These terminals do not tabulate ballots, they are for voters who need help marking their ballot privately at polling stations.
—Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson) September 1, 2022
Using a VAT machine, voters can select their preferred candidates via a touch screen, and the machine will then print a ballot, Cadillac News reported. Authorities don’t know how long the machine has been missing, but they believe the theft took place before Michigan’s Aug. 2 primary election, according to Wexford County Clerk Alaina Nyman.
The missing machine, which came from Colfax, Michigan, was turned over to the county in March to receive updates, Nyman noted. She was on vacation during that time, but believed the machines had all been accounted for and returned to town, she told the outlet.
Colfax Township Clerk Becky Stoddard heard the VAT was for sale on auction website Goodwill, but warned the report was not yet verified, according to the outlet.
“It’s a tablet for voters with disabilities. No election data is on it. It’s never been used by the public and I’m the only person to vote on it in six or seven years,” Stoddard told the point of sale. “The MSP is investigating and I don’t know what happened.”
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Stoddard pointed out that the machines are expensive and promised the city would tighten up its procedures regarding maintenance of election machines.
“We’re going to do things differently and sign things off,” she said, according to the outlet.