A Democratic city clerk for the Detroit suburb of Southfield has been charged with six felony charges for allegedly committing election fraud.
What are the details?
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel charged Southfield City Clerk Sherikia Hawkins on Monday with one count each of falsifying records, forgery of a public record, misconduct in office, and three counts of using a computer to commit a crime.
The probably cause affidavit alleges that Hawkins fabricated tabulation records for absentee ballots. After the discrepancies were discovered, the original records were found in a trash can. MLive reported that Hawkins is accused of revising "reports to show ballot envelopes hadn't been signed or changed their return dates." In total, 193 absentee votes were altered in the system.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the charges against Hawkins "carry a maximum penalty of up to 14 years in prison and $30,000 in fines." The clerk remains on paid administrative leave, and will continue to receive her $101,500 annual salary pending the outcome of her trial.
The newspaper noted that city elections for Southfield are nonpartisan, "but Southfield is an overwhelmingly Democratic city." Hawkins is also a registered Democrat.
The National Review pointed out that Hawkins just won a prestigious award from the Michigan Democratic party this year, and was recognized as one of the Michigan Chronicle's "40 under 40" honorees in 2017.
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