(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – September 30, 2019. The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) initiated a private investigative effort into and around allegations of official election fraud reportedly perpetrated by Southfield City Clerk Sherikia L. Hawkins during the Michigan’s November 2018 General Election.
“It is unacceptable in this political environment for an election official to allegedly attempt to alter or invalidate absentee ballots for any reason,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “It is equally troubling to see Michigan officials downplay the matter. Michiganders and the larger American electorate deserve another set of eyes to help explain—in plain language—the course of events, motivations, and trends as to why these particular 193 absentee voters were allegedly targeted by Hawkins for disenfranchisement. The inner workings of our elections are typically a mystery to the public even in the best of times. This demands complete transparency.”
Upon reviewing the Michigan felony complaint records regarding Southfield Clerk Sherikia L. Hawkins, the Foundation opted to utilize several federal and state open records laws tailored to election administration and absentee balloting files.
Documents of particular interest relate to lists of all registered voters in Southfield who attempted to vote absentee for the 2018 midterm elections, in addition to detailed records exhibiting which voters were impacted by Clerk Hawkins alleged actions. Other records sought can help confirm that all eligible and properly submitted ballots were counted according to Michigan law.
PILF has also asked to inspect records held by the Elections Division in Oakland County, Michigan, the office that discovered the alleged alteration of voting records.
The Foundation intends to distribute a catalog of findings to better educate the general public on official election fraud risks ahead of the 2020 Elections—particularly in the area of absentee balloting, which has seen an increase in popularity with voters and fraudsters, alike.
Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) empowers any party to physically inspect local election records related to voter list maintenance efforts. Michigan law grants similar access rights for voter registration records and records related to the application, mailing, return, and official handling for each absentee ballot in a given election.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation is building a record of targeted research efforts that focus on particular elections and jurisdictions. In April 2019, the Foundation filed state and federal law enforcement complaints regarding apparent double voting efforts in Florida and New York. In October 2018, PILF helped trigger a Texas Attorney General investigation referral into apparently altered voter registration applications mailed to non-U.S. citizens in the Rio Grande Valley.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation is the nation’s most active public interest law firm dedicated to enforcing the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and ensuring the integrity of American elections—bringing more than a dozen cases to enforce voter list maintenance obligations and inspection rights under federal law in federal courts across the nation in addition to serving as amicus in more than a dozen voting law cases. The Foundation also works with election officials and policymakers to improve the integrity of elections.
Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections. ###