Houghton County board asks Senate committee to look into election interference claims
HOUGHTON — After a meeting that saw numerous residents voicing concerns about the 2020 election, the Houghton County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to request the state Senate Oversight Committee investigate the still unsubstantiated claims of election hacking popularized by MyPillow CEO and Trump supporter Mike Lindell.
In March, Vice Chair Tom Tikkanen had suggested the county hire independent third-party internet experts to investigate claims of vote-switching included in a Lindell documentary. The idea was not taken up, as multiple board members said there was not enough evidence.
Tuesday’s motion was not on the agenda, but was made at the end of the meeting by Commissioner Glenn Anderson. He remains opposed to Lindell, who he repeatedly called “Pillow Man” at the March meeting. But the Senate committee has more resources to investigate than the county ever will, he said.
“I watched (Lindell’s documentary) ‘Absolute Proof,’ I’m not going that direction, and I respect the citizens and the concerns and questions they raised today,” he said. “I respect they have different opinions than mine, but I think (Franklin Township Supervisor) Mary Sears had a great suggestion. Our sitting state senator is chair of the Senate Oversight Committee.”
Sears said she had full faith in Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Kelly, echoing the comments of others, as well as in her own township’s clerk. If there were any problems with the election, it came from higher up, she said. A hearing with witnesses on the matter, including former State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, who spoke at an earlier county board meeting, could “put this to bed,” Sears said.
The Senate Oversight Committee held a number of hearings on the 2020 election in the months after. Last week, State Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, told the Detroit News he hadn’t “found anything that’s substantial to show vast conspiracies of vote switching or manipulation of software.”
In a conversation with Tikkanen, McBroom said he expects a report on the election to be finished possibly as soon as this week, Tikkanen said. McBroom may give a presentation at a board meeting in June.
A number of residents called for a forensic audit of Houghton County’s machines.
At Tuesday’s meeting and in March, residents pointed to a scene in “Absolute Proof” showing an interview regarding claims of foreign hacking. A spreadsheet seen on-screen lists Houghton County as having been hacked from China, with 1,143 votes being switched. The spreadsheet was taken from an article first posted on the conservative website American Report, which did not explain how those numbers were arrived at.
The purported hack was said to occur around 1 a.m. Eastern time the Wednesday morning after the election, by which time nearly all results had been received by the county. Kelly also printed off paper results from each precinct in the county as they came in, which were available for review by the public during election night.
Kelly said the county’s election computer is not connected to the internet. The election tabulators across the county have places where they could connect to the internet, but those have been sealed since the day they arrived in the county.
“They are not used,” Kelly said in March. “We transmit in a very secure way.”
Dominion, which manufactures the voting machines used in Houghton County, filed a $1.3 billion defamation suit against Lindell in February. Lindell filed a $1.6 billion countersuit against Dominion in April.