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Nessel files fraud charges in petition scheme that cleared GOP primary ballot

Rick Pluta/MPRN
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud announce felony charges against three defendants accused of signature fraud that kept five GOP gubernatorial candidates from qualifying for the 2022 primary ballot.

Three people who ran two political petition firms sank six gubernatorial campaigns last year and now face felony charges that could land them in prison for decades. That’s according to charges filed today by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

The petition circulators allegedly faked signatures and, in one case, took money but gathered no signatures. Nessel said the alleged petition fraud robbed the campaigns of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“But they’re also crimes against our democracy and against the integrity of our system of elections and against those voters who may have wanted to support these prospective candidates.”

Nessel called the scheme “sophomoric.” She says it was easy for state elections officials to detect and shows elections are secure. Two of the defendants are in custody, but one has not surrendered and is being pursued by the U-S Marshals Service.

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