Well well well, another Republican charged with tampering with voting equipment. Ok, so, this means that when Republicans charge democrats with voting fraud, it actually means Republicans are doing it.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker announced charges Wednesday after a poll worker was seen inserting a USB drive into an electronic poll book after polls closed after the Tuesday, Aug. 2, statewide primary in Gaines Township near Grand Rapids.
James Holkeboer is charged with falsifying records under election law, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $1,000 fine, and using a computer to commit a crime, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine, Becker announced.
Holkeboer was an election inspector, or poll worker, at the Gaines Township 8th Precinct, where an individual witnessed Holkeboer place a USB drive into the electronic poll book, according to Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons’ office.
Poll books are not connected to vote tabulators and contain voter registration data. This data includes personal and confidential information that election workers use to oversee elections at their precincts.
Posthumus Lyons said the breach did not result in any access to voting machines, ballots or electronic results and had no impact on the election results. In a statement, she said the Kent County Clerk’s Office will conduct a post-election audit of the precinct including a hand-tally of paper ballots. The breached poll book will be replaced.
“(T)his incident is extremely egregious and incredibly alarming. Not only is it a violation of Michigan law, but it is a violation of public trust and of the oath all election workers are required to take,” Posthumus Lyons said.
“Let me be very clear: voter fraud and illegal election activity in Kent County will not be tolerated. Our citizens deserve to have faith in their elections and in those who work them. I will do everything possible to keep Kent County’s elections secure, transparent, fair, and accurate. If someone or something threatens that, we will take aggressive action to protect our elections and hold those responsible accountable.”
Kent County Chief Deputy Clerk Rob Macomber said the audit has not been scheduled yet.
Holkeboer will be arraigned in the 63rd District Court. A date has not yet been set.
An individual with the same name served as an alternate delegate for the 3rd Congressional District at the Michigan Republican Party’s State Endorsement Convention earlier this year, according to the Kent County GOP website. A “Jim Holkeboer” ran for and lost an election for Republican precinct delegate for Gaines Township’s 2nd Precinct in August 2016.
A spokesperson for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement to the Free Press, “we take seriously all violations of election law and will continue to work with the relevant authorities to assure there are consequences for those who break the law … Michigan voters can be confident that their votes will be counted accurately and securely.”
Election inspectors must take an oath before working at the polls on Election Day. The Republican National Committee mobilized swaths of election inspectors ahead of the August primary, something party officials pointed to as a method of preserving election integrity.
Gaines Township is a charter township of close to 25,000 residents just south of Grand Rapids.