Michigan State Police on Thursday opened a criminal investigation into the disappearance of election equipment in a rural township after the local clerk — who has boosted 2020 election fraud conspiracy theories and QAnon memes online — was stripped of her authority to run next week’s election.
A tablet that is a key part of how the voting machine operates was reported missing from Adams Township earlier this week, Bridge Michigan reported.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson had banned Adams Township Clerk Stephanie Scott earlier from overseeing the municipal election next week after Scott refused run accuracy tests on or allow a vendor to conduct mandatory maintenance of the voting machine.
Hillsdale County Clerk Marney Kast, who the state tasked to replace Scott to run the election, discovered that the tablet was gone on Tuesday when she opened the tabulator case that she had collected from the Adams Township hall. She described the tablet to Bridge Michigan as the “brains” of the machine.
“I don’t know where it’s at or if it’s been tampered with,” Kast told the news outlet.
Police spokesperson Lori Dougovito said that Benson had requested the investigation.
Scott, who took office this year, told Bridge Michigan earlier this week that she didn’t trust the machine and really didn’t trust Benson to handle it, saying that the official was “demanding I drop off my machine for unfettered access, and God only knows doing what to it.”
“When you have the fox guarding the hen house, somebody’s got to stand up and guard those hens,” Scott said.
Bridge Michigan reported that Scott has publicly peddled misinformation casting doubt on the integrity of the 2020 election, echoing ex-President Donald Trump’s Big Lie claiming that the election was tainted by fraud.
The clerk has also posted on Facebook memes about QAnon, a dizzying conspiracy theory that claims Trump is secretly fighting a cabal of pedophilic Satan worshippers in elite circles, per Bridge Michigan. One screenshot captured by the news outlet showed a meme Scott posted urging her followers to “research adrenochrome harvesting from children” — a key component of the QAnon belief system, which posits that political and cultural elites consume the blood of children. Several of her posts are bookended with “WWG1WGA,” the QAnon rallying cry that stands for “where we go one we go all.”