Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson shared on Monday the results of investigations into three women who supposedly tried to forge signatures on absentee ballots or ballot applications.
"These cases highlight the scrutiny applications and ballots undergo throughout the election process, as well as the thorough investigative process that ensues when instances of attempted fraud are suspected," Nessel announced.
Just one was caught after the election, resulting in one double vote, while the others were caught before being counted or issued, Nessel's team announced.
"Our election system is secure, and today's charges demonstrate that in the rare circumstances when fraud occurs we catch it and hold the perpetrators accountable," Benson stated. "These charges also send a clear message to those who promote deceitful claims about widespread fraud: the current protocols we have in place work to protect and ensure the integrity of our elections."
Trenae Myesha Rainey, a nursing home employee, supposedly forged the signatures of about two-dozen facility residents on absentee ballot applications in October 2020. A clerk remarked that the signatures on the ballots did not match the records and informed investigators who found that all the signatures came from residents who had not yet notified staff if they wanted to vote in the election.
Rainey is charged with three counts of election law forgery and three counts of producing a signature on absentee ballot applications.
Carless Clark was charged with impersonating her grandson to vote in an election. Her grandson chose to vote in person, though she supposedly forged his signature on an absentee ballot and submitted it because she was afraid he wouldn't have time to go himself. Investigators became aware of the situation in August.
Nancy Juanita Williams "developed and implemented a plan to obtain and control absentee ballots for legally incapacitated persons under her care by fraudulently submitting 26 absentee ballot applications to nine identified city and township clerks," according to the attorney general's statement. The clerks became suspicious in October 2020 when they got many applications signed with an "X" and requested ballots to be sent to Williams's business address.
She is facing 14 counts of submitting a false statement on an absentee ballot application, 14 counts of forging signatures on absentee ballot applications, and 14 counts of election law forgery in five different courts.
The only case in which an arraignment has been scheduled was one for Williams in Redford Township's 17th District Court on Nov. 2, the press release from Nessel's office said on Monday.