voting machine

Earlier this week, Michigan officials stripped newly minted Adams Township Clerk Stephanie Scott of the authority to conduct elections after she refused to allow any routine maintenance to be done on her voting tabulator machine, as well as for spreading misinformation about said voting tabulator.

After Scott left her office, Hillsdale County Clerk Marney Kast — a fellow Republican who will now be in charge of running the Adams Township municipal elections next week — went to go retrieve the tabulator case, only to find that the tablet, a key component of the machine, was missing. Who could have possibly taken it?!?

Clearly, it is a mystery.

Via Bridge Michigan:

Kast said she and staff went to the Adams Township hall to secure the voting machine on Monday at the direction of Michigan Bureau of Elections Director Jonathan Brater, who had written Scott that day instructing her to refrain from any election administration activity.

County officials collected the tabulator case, but when they unlocked it the next day in their offices at the Hillsdale County Courthouse, "the tablet was missing," Kast told Bridge.

Scott told Bridge on Tuesday that she was concerned about the accuracy of the tabulator and feared maintenance or servicing could wipe old data, echoing unfounded claims that voting machines may have been rigged against former President Donald Trump in 2020.

She accused the state of "tyranny" for stripping her election authority.

"The county clerk's office and now Secretary of State are demanding I drop off my machine for unfettered access, and God only knows doing what to it," Scott told Bridge earlier this week. "When you have the fox guarding the hen house, somebody's got to stand up and guard those hens."

A required part of Scott's job is to conduct a public logic and accuracy test on the machine before the next election, but she refused on the grounds that she believed that doing so could erase data in the tablet that could prove that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. Adams Township actually voted 76 percent in favor of re-electing Trump, and elected her as township clerk (to be fair, she ran unopposed).

Also, as Michigan Bureau of Elections Director Jonathan Brater explained to her in a previous letter, the tablets do not save that kind of information. All voting information is on a separate USB and all of the paper ballots are (or were) literally in her possession as the township clerk, and she was free to look them over at any time. Apparently she refused because she believed going over them would "break the chain of custody" which Brater also assured her was not a thing.

Scott also apparently believed that those conducting the maintenance could do something nefarious to the machine that would make it possible to rig the election.

Much of the misinformation Scott was spreading is misinformation popular in QAnon circles — particularly her incorrect insistence that the test decks for the 2020 logic and accuracy tests were provided by Election Source, a company they have a lot of conspiracies about. Also, her Facebook page is littered with various QAnon memes, including this super normal one about how Google's logo contains a secret 666 and the text "Did you know Google's graphic processor is named "Adreno" and their web browser is called "Chrome?" — a reference to Adrenochrome, the psychedelic drug we all allegedly obtain by sacrificing children in Satanic rituals, but which is also produced when an EpiPen is exposed to oxygen.

To be fair, EpiPens are probably more expensive than babies at this point.

QAnon Adrenochrome meme

She also posted my one of my personal favorite memes, about how QAnon is not a cult.

QAnon cult meme

The text reads:

1. No one has met the leader
2. The leader insists you think for yourself
3. Promotes non-violence & truth
4. Our sole weapons are logic & research
5. We pay no dues, we receive no pay nor glory

Not to get off topic, but that is absolute bullshit. No one ever met Sherri Shriner (no one in her cult, anyway) and practically every cult leader tells people they are thinking for themselves and everyone else is a sheep.

If she did steal the tablet, it is not clear what, exactly, Scott would even be able to do with it. Does she think she's gonna hand it over to Mike Lindell who will use pillow magic to prove that 100 percent of the voters in Adams Township voted for Trump? Or that it contains a secret mechanism to change vote tallies somehow?

It won't stop the election — Hillsdale County has its own voting tabulator, which went through logic and accuracy testing on Wednesday and will be used in the election next week. Scott in fact attended the accuracy test on Wednesday, two days after the other tablet went "missing," and drove everyone nuts the whole time.

But the sidelined clerk attended Wednesday night's accuracy test and peppered Kast and County Deputy Clerk Abe Dane with questions about the tabulator, including whether it connected to the internet during elections.

At one point, Kast warned Scott she would "have you removed by a sheriff's deputy if you don't stop interrupting."

Dane assured Scott that tabulators can only connect to the internet after polls close to transmit unofficial results. He showed observers how the machine asks to connect after all ballots are counted and results are printed on a paper tape.

"We tried to clear up some inaccuracies" about the voting equipment, Kast told Bridge on Thursday morning, acknowledging that Scott and other attendees appeared to remain skeptical.

"We tried our best."

Oddly enough, Kast herself also has "concerns" about the 2020 election, but believes this was only an issue in "large Democratic cities" that followed a "playbook" last year, and not in good solid Republican areas like her own. Seems strange that "large Democratic cities" would even need to rig any election in favor of a Democrat, but it's not like these people are known for making sense.

On Thursday, the police announced that they would be launching a criminal investigation into the missing tablet, at the request of the Michigan Secretary of State. If there is a record for the number of people sent to prison in a single year for doing stupid crimes related to believing in stupid conspiracy theories, it sure seems like 2021 is definitely gonna break it.

[Bridge Michigan]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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