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Michigan AG charges attorney, former township clerk for alleged unauthorized access to 2020 voter data

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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced charges against a former township clerk and a lawyer for allegedly accessing voting systems without authorization in a search for fraud.

Former Adams Township Clerk Stephanie Scott and her attorney, Stefanie Lambert, were charged with unauthorized access to a computer, using a computer to commit a crime and conspiracy to commit the offense of computers.

Scott was also charged with misconduct in office, concealing or withholding a voting machine and disobeying a lawful instruction or order of the Secretary of State as chief election officer.

"When elected officials and their proxies use their positions to promote baseless conspiracies, show blatant disregard for voter privacy, and break the law in the process, it undermines the very essence of the democratic process," Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. "Those who engage in such reckless conduct must be held accountable for their actions."

State officials allege that Scott intentionally disregarded instructions from the Michigan Secretary of State to submit the township's voting tabulator to an authorized vendor for maintenance and testing. She also allegedly withheld the tabulator until it was seized by Michigan State Police.

Officials alleged that under the direction of Scott, Lambert transmitted data from the township's poll book related to the 2020 election.

The charges are the latest to be brought against people in multiple states who had been entrusted to ensure the security of election systems but instead allowed others to breach them in a futile search for evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Multiple reviews, audits and recounts have affirmed Joe Biden's victory over Donald Trump. Election clerks in Colorado and Georgia are among those who promoted conspiracy theories about voting machines and now face charges for allowing unauthorized access of voting systems.

Biden won Michigan by nearly 155,000 votes over then-President Trump, a result confirmed by a GOP-led state Senate investigation in 2021.

Lambert's attorney, Daniel Hartman, said in a statement that his client did not violate the law and that she "remains steadfast in her efforts to bring transparency to the people's election data, processes and procedures." Attempts to reach Scott or an attorney for her were not immediately successful.

In a separate case, Lambert has been charged with the felony of improperly accessing voting equipment and, in the past, has sued unsuccessfully to overturn Trump's loss in Michigan.

Scott, who oversaw elections in a small conservative town, was recalled from her position in 2023.

When it came time to prepare for her township's November 2021 election, Scott said she had accuracy concerns and had considered paper ballots and a hand count before settling on using the same system.

The state intervened after Scott allegedly refused to allow a contractor to perform preventive maintenance and failed to conduct accuracy tests, among other issues. She was barred from her duties in October 2021.

The Hillsdale County clerk's office discovered that a tablet that contained important software and the operating system had been removed when it took custody of an election tabulator and a voter-assist terminal from township offices to prepare for a public accuracy test. It was later seized by Michigan State Police after Scott allegedly refused to turn it over.

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