Authored by Steven Kovac via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Two weeks before the 2020 election, a woman dropped off more than 10,000 voter registration forms with a city clerk in Muskegon, Michigan.
The number of forms was a red flag for the city clerk, Ann Meisch. Less than 4,000 of the city’s voting-age residents weren’t registered to vote.
Ms. Meisch called the police, triggering an investigation by the Michigan State Police. An Oct. 26, 2020, police report from that probe recently surfaced after Michigan state lawmakers obtained it through a Freedom of Information request.
At the time, Brianna Hawkins, the woman who delivered the forms, was employed by GBI Strategies, an out-of-state firm working to boost Democrat voter turnout in urban centers in key swing states to help then-candidate Joe Biden defeat President Donald Trump. According to the police report, when questioned by Muskegon Police Department investigators, Ms. Hawkins said her job was to register voters and help them obtain absentee ballots.
State Republican Party officials Phil O’Halloran and Lori Skibo obtained the police report. Mr. O’Halloran provided it to The Epoch Times.
An article by a nationally known fact-checking service disputed recent conservative media accounts of the Muskegon episode.
“While the total number of voter registration forms submitted by that person may add up to as much as 12,500, very few of them were deemed to be fraudulent,” the fact checker said.
“Page 3 of the MSP [Michigan State Police] report says Meisch ‘turned over 42 suspected fraudulent applications to Officer Foster [of the Muskegon Police Department] for examination.’”
The fact checker didn’t state that the 42 applications were a sampling.
Checking the Fact-checkers
However, the numbers tell a different story and raise a question: If there were only 42 suspected fraudulent voter registration applications submitted to the city clerk, why didn’t she register the rest of the batch?
In 2020, the population of the City of Muskegon was 38,309, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Of these, 29,800 people were of voting age.
Ms. Meisch told The Epoch Times in an August 10 email that in 2019, there were 25,957 registered voters in the city. In 2020, the number of people registered to vote increased by 2,077 to 28,034.
That means the pool of voting-age people not registered to vote that Ms. Hawkins had to work with was only 3,843.
Ms. Hawkins dropped off more than 10,000 voter registration forms in incremental batches, suggesting that thousands of the forms never made it onto the city’s registered voter roll.
“Even a casual observer can readily see that something is wrong. The numbers do not add up. The number of registration forms turned in by one person represents a third of the population of the city,” Mr. O’Halloran told The Epoch Times.
Clerk Suddenly ‘Cannot Speak’
The Epoch Times later contacted the city clerk with two more questions: Where did the completed voter registration forms filed by Ms. Hawkins come from, and are those extra voter registration forms that were rejected by her office in her custody?
In other words, what happened to the 10,423 voter registration forms that didn’t result in a person being added to the city’s voter roll?
Ms. Meisch replied in an Aug. 13 email: “I cannot speak to the facts of the case at this time. I am sorry that I cannot be of more help.”
According to the 2020 police report, Ms. Meisch told authorities that some of the irregularities found on the voter registration forms submitted by Ms. Hawkins included invalid and nonexistent addresses, erroneous phone numbers, signatures that didn’t match those on existing records, and numerous forms that appeared to be filled out and signed by the same hand.
Sixteen GOP 2020 electors lawfully nominated by the Michigan Republican Party to cast electoral college votes for President Trump if he carried the state were indicted in July by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, on fraud charges for allegedly knowingly and willfully advancing the “false claim” that there was large-scale voter fraud in the state during the 2020 presidential election.
Mr. O’Halloran told The Epoch Times that he hopes the exposure of the Muskegon case will help exonerate the Republican electors. He called it a “cruel irony” that Ms. Nessel, who he says appears to have helped bury “a state investigation into what appears to be actual forgery of election documents,” is prosecuting “the innocent Michigan 16 for a contrived ‘forgery’ in a case that hinges on the AG’s contention that there was ‘no evidence of fraud.'”
Attorneys for some of the 16 Trump electors argue that their clients merely positioned themselves as place-holders ready to legally step in if ongoing investigations into voter fraud determined that President Trump won the state of Michigan in 2020.
“Things Are Very Different Now”
Mr. O’Halloran, chairman of the state party’s election integrity committee, told The Epoch Times in an Aug. 21 interview that he and Ms. Skibo were motivated in their efforts by state GOP Chair Kristina Karamo, who encouraged them to “research the facts, make sure they are legit.”
Ms. Skibo told The Epoch Times that it was a Republican precinct delegate from Muskegon who brought the 2020 incident into the spotlight.
“The person saw something wrong and did something about it,” she said.
Now head of the poll challenger operation for the state party, Ms. Skibo remembered her own days as a precinct delegate and volunteer challenger at Detroit’s central vote-counting center in 2020.
“After seeing all the irregularities that night, I really believed that a team of Republican Party attorneys were going to show up the next morning demanding answers. I remember how angry I was when the state party did absolutely nothing,” she said.
“Things are very different now that we have a truly grassroots-led party.”
The actions of the two high-ranking Michigan Republican Party officials are a sea change compared with the position previously taken by a GOP-led state Senate panel. The panel released a report in June 2021 stating that its investigation could find “no systematic fraud” in the 2020 election.
What Happened to the Muskegon Probe?
Participants in the Muskegon investigation in 2020 were the Muskegon City Police, the Michigan State Police, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, representatives of the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office, and, according to Michigan State Police records, the FBI.
On Aug. 14, The Epoch Times asked the FBI’s national press office whether the bureau is currently investigating or has ever investigated the Muskegon case, and if so, what’s the status or outcome of their probe.
The FBI didn’t respond by press time.
Tue, 08/29/2023 – 22:25