BELLAIRE — A judge granted the state’s request to intervene in an Antrim County case of accused voter fraud, an opposing attorney said a forensic exam had already found security breaches and further court action is likely imminent.
A hearing Thursday in 13th Circuit Court on Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s motion to be added as a defendant lasted just 30 minutes — yet contained details of a strategy by opposing council to use the case to discredit the state’s election results.
“We believe the results in Antrim County are uncertifiable, argued Matthew DePerno, a Portage-based attorney representing Bill Bailey, plaintiff in Bailey vs. Antrim County.
“The canvasing board was incorrect,” DePerno added. “The only option we believe would be to decertify the election in Antrim County. And if that happens, under U.S. Constitution, Article 1 Section 4, the Michigan results must go to the state legislature.”
The hearing on Benson’s motion was presided over by 13th Circuit Court Chief Judge Kevin A. Elsenheimer, who was not charged with ruling on the state’s election results but rather on whether the SOS had standing in the case.
Two staff attorneys with the state’s Attorney General’s office argued Benson’s motion, signed by AG Dana Nessell, and Elsenheimer ruled in their favor.
“If it’s true, if all these terrible things are true, then clearly the Secretary has an interest to come into this case,” said attorney Heather Meingast. “Everything council just said actually strengthens our interest in coming into this case.”
The initial defendant, Antrim County, which is being represented in the case by attorney Haider Kazim, did not appear at the hearing — an absence noted by Meingast.
“We just have to have a concern about adequate representation, we don’t have to prove it,” in order for their motion to be granted, Meingast argued. “Clearly the Secretary is better postured — I note council is not here to oppose our motion.”
It was a Nov. 23 complaint by DePerno on behalf of Bailey, requesting ex parte, or immediate, permission to take forensic images of Dominion voting machines that began the current court action.
Elsenheimer granted the request Dec. 4 and the images were taken by a seven-person security team — some from Washington, D.C.— working at the behest of Bailey.
He claimed voter fraud, election fraud and that his constitutional rights were violated after a marijuana proposal passed by a single vote.
Elsenheimer’s order contained the provision that the results of the forensic examination not be released to the public without a court order.
DePerno referenced that condition Thursday, said he planned to file a motion requesting permission to share the results
Nonetheless, he did offer some details on what the team had found thus far.
“We saw tabulators in Central Lake Township and Star Township that had unsecured data ports, meaning that anyone could insert a thumb drive prior to during or after the election or during retabulation,” DePerno said.
“In Mancelona Township we saw a tabulator with no magnetic security tape,” he added. “We saw the same in the clerk’s office on Dec. 6.”
The examination is continuing, DePerno said and the above were just preliminary results.
Elsenheimer said he planned to move the issue forward “quickly and aggressively.”
A pre-trial conference between the named defendants — Antrim County and the SOS — and plaintiff Bailey via his attorney DePerno, is expected to be scheduled in 13th Circuit Court next week, Elsenheimer said.