FLINT, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Nearly three hundred absentee ballots from the 2020 election were discovered in a Genesee County storage unit.
Rachel Stanke, the Thetford Township Supervisor, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and presented her discovery to the township board and residents.
Stanke first became aware that the missing ballots might exist in 2021. Initially, she alerted the Michigan Attorney General and the Secretary of State. She later contacted Michigan State Police (MSP) after receiving tips about missing ballots and the discovery of supposed “old township documents.”
A former township employee, whose name was redacted from the FOIA paperwork, had rented the storage unit and stowed the box of ballots there. According to Stanke, the employee did not realize what the box contained.
MSP recovered the ballots in August 2022. Their investigation is ongoing.
Stanke says the township hopes people will be able to trust that elections are run fairly and accurately. “That’s why I want to bring this to their attention,” she said. “And I want them to be able to make sure that their elections are run fairly and smoothly.”
Katie Hicks, who ran for Thetford Township Clerk in 2020 and lost by 19 votes, says she can’t trust future elections.
“Now this is all coming out and … I’m kind of happy that it’s coming out because the election is right
around the corner again,” Hicks said. “And it concerns me that this will take place again for 2024.”