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Southfield city clerk resigns following plea agreement

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City of Southfield
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A suburban Detroit official accused of altering voter records to cover up ballot-handling mistakes in 2018 has pleaded no contest to misconduct in office.

Sherikia Hawkins, a Democrat, also immediately resigned Wednesday as the elected clerk in Southfield. In 2018, election workers in Southfield mistakenly put 193 absentee ballots in a container before running them through a tabulator.

The container was subsequently sealed.

Hawkins was accused of removing 193 names from the absentee ballot list to cover up the discrepancy. Under the plea deal, Hawkins will face financial penalties but no probation or time in custody.

“I am committed to ensuring the voters of our state can have confidence in our election process,” Attorney General Nessel said in a statement. “Election officials, regardless of political party, must uphold the integrity of their position and ensure every vote is accurately counted. Those who abuse that commitment undermine the very foundation of our democracy."

In January, the Michigan Court of Appeals sided with the Department of Attorney General and unanimously upheld four of the charges filed in the case against Hawkins, reinstating the original six felony charges against the Southfield Clerk.

A sentencing hearing is set for December 8 at 9 a.m.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.