BELLAIRE — A 13th Circuit Court judge issued an order granting a local man access to Antrim County’s election equipment to take forensic images, court documents show.
William Bailey of Central Lake, along with members of the legal team associated with Rudy W. Giuliani, are expected to begin taking photographs of voting machine tabulators at 9 a.m. Sunday, officials said.
“Mr. Bailey is working with Rudy Giuliani’s team and is going to take pictures, is my understanding,” said Ed Boettcher, chair of Antrim County Commissioners. “The unofficial results were skewed because of some errors on the clerk’s part, and that got everyone’s attention. I think this court case is because of that.”
Boettcher said he had full faith in Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy, that she had made mistakes but owned up to them and the county’s vote was secure and accurate.
Guy confirmed Boettcher’s account of what is expected to transpire at the county building on East Cayuga Street on Sunday morning.
“I have not seen any of the forensic qualifications that Mr. Bailey is telling us that he is going to bring,” Guy said. “I’ve been transparent, I am transparent, it was human error and the idea that anyone could think a county clerk would tamper with an election is heartbreaking for me.”
Bailey’s complaint, filed Nov. 23, argues there was election fraud in Antrim County, along with a violation of the “purity of election clause” and requested access to the county’s 22 precinct tabulators, thumb drives, software and the clerk’s “master tabulator.”
Bailey, who did not return a call seeking comment, is a realtor and a member of the Antrim County Planning Commission.
He is represented by Matthew S. DePerno, of Portage, court records show.
Giuliani is the former mayor of New York City who joined President Donald Trump’s legal team in 2018, and his claims of widespread election fraud have been repeatedly rebuffed by lawmakers, the courts and recently Attorney General William Barr. His claims intensified after the president put Giuliani in charge of his post-election legal challenges.
Guy said Bailey made a verbal request for access to the county’s voting machines after expressing concern that his vote was not counted. Guy said she declined to give him access, citing election security protocols, and the lawsuit was filed shortly thereafter.
Thirteenth Circuit Court Chief Judge Kevin A. Elsenheimer heard oral arguments on the complaint Dec. 3 and issued the order at 5:51 p.m. Friday, a press release from Antrim County deputy administrator Jeremy Scott states.
Calling injunctive relief an “extraordinary remedy” Elsenheimer writes in his order, “The Court believes that confirming the accuracy, integrity and security of the electoral process is a greater public interest at this juncture than the potential future misuse of reverse engineered data. Therefore, the public interest weighs in favor of granting the Plaintiff’s preliminary injunction.”
Guy said details of the forensic examination were worked out in a conference call late Friday night between her, Bailey, U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman and others.
The examination was supposed to take place Saturday at 2 p.m. inside the county building but was changed to Sunday morning after Bailey said those flying in from Washington, D.C., could not make the 2 p.m. schedule.
“I was not going to just hand it over without a court order,” said Guy, of the county’s election equipment.
She expressed trepidation, not over the vote results, but rather the telephone threats she has received since the election. Some of these have been referred to law enforcement, she said.
Both Guy and Boettcher said they plan to be at the county building Sunday morning at 9 a.m. and a group of about 17 people total are expected to view the examination, she said.