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Michigan State Police seizes voting machine as it expands investigation into potential breaches tied to 2020 election

CNN logo CNN 5/5/2022 By Annie Grayer and Zachary Cohen, CNN
The Michigan State Police is investigating potential unauthorized breaches of voting machines used in the 2020 election. © Emily Elconin/Bloomberg/Getty Images The Michigan State Police is investigating potential unauthorized breaches of voting machines used in the 2020 election.

The Michigan State Police has expanded its investigation into whether third parties gained unauthorized access to voting machine data after the 2020 election, and is now examining potential breaches in at least one new county, CNN has learned.

In a raid last Friday, state police seized one voting machine tabulator in Irving Township, Barry County Clerk Pamela Palmer told CNN on Thursday.

Palmer told CNN that she was not aware of any issues until police notified her of the voting machine seizure.

Michigan State Police first opened its investigation into potential voting machine breaches in February after the Secretary of State's Office notified it that an unnamed third party was allowed to access vote tabulator components and technology in Roscommon County.

Michigan State Police Lt. Derrick Carroll told CNN on Wednesday that the department's investigation has expanded to more counties where they were notified of breaches of election systems, but would not confirm the seizure in Irving Township specifically. It's unclear if the investigation includes localities beyond Roscommon County and Irving Township but a source familiar with the investigation told CNN that state police are aware of a third potential breach.

"If we find more examples of unauthorized access, we talk to those officials to find out what transpired," Carroll added.

These potential breaches did not affect results in the 2020 election, Carroll said, noting the breaches occurred after the election was complete.

A spokesperson for the Michigan attorney general's office declined to comment.

The probe in Michigan reflects a growing number of incidents around the country where unauthorized people attempted to gain access to voting systems that were key targets in the Donald Trump campaign's efforts to overturn the 2020 election outcome.

They succeeded in at least one instance in late November 2020, when a team of pro-Trump operatives traveled to Antrim County, Michigan, and conducted an audit of voting systems there, according to court documents released as part of a failed lawsuit filed by attorneys working on behalf of the former President at the time.

That access led to a now-debunked report issued by a team of analysts from a Texas-based company, Allied Security Operations Group, alleging irregularities in Dominion Voting Systems that was consistently cited as evidence in multiple failed legal challenges in Michigan and other swing states.

Dominion has filed several lawsuits over false election claims made about its equipment, including against Fox News.

The House Select Committee investigating January 6 has made clear that third-party efforts to gain access to voting data in Michigan and across the country remain a key area of focus in its probe.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson first notified state police in February of a potential breach of voting equipment tied to the 2020 election. © Kathleen Galligan/Detroit Free Press/USA Today Network Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson first notified state police in February of a potential breach of voting equipment tied to the 2020 election.
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