Southfield city clerk charged with six felonies for alleged election tampering
Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced on Monday that they have filed six felony charges against Southfield City Clerk Sherikia Hawkins.
The charges are related to the discovery that there were a number of discrepencies in the Southfield voter count in the November 6, 2018 general election.
Nessel says the alleged actions did not change any election results. But she says misconduct undermines faith in the integrity of elections.
“Voting is fundamental to the very essence of our democracy and the ability to cast a ballot that will be counted is a fundamental freedom that protects the other essential rights that Americans hold dear,” she says.
Benson adds, “Our elections are the foundation of our democracy, and under my and Attorney General Nessel’s administration there will be no tolerance for any actions that undermine that foundation – anywhere, anytime, by any person or official.”
The charges include:
- Falsifying Returns/Records (a five-year felony and/or $1,000);
- Forgery of a Public Record (a 14-year felony);
- Misconduct in Office (a five-year felony and/or $10,000);
- Using a Computer to Commit a Crime: Election Law – Falsifying Returns/Records (a seven-year felony and/or $5,000);
- Using a Computer to Commit a Crime: Forgery of a Public Record (a 10-year felony and/or $10,000);
- Using a Computer to Commit a Crime: Misconduct in Office (a seven-year felony and/or $5,000)
In a public letter to Hawkins, both officials were stern, writing, "It is difficult to fathom a more serious set of accusations that could be brought against an election official."
Hawkins is barred from administering elections while her case is pending.