(The Hill) – Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced on Thursday that the state government is working with police to investigate a possible illegal selling of a voter assist terminal.
“We are actively working with law enforcement to investigate allegations of an illegal attempt to sell a voter assist terminal acquired in Michigan,” Benson wrote in a statement.
Benson explained that a voter assist terminal is normally used to assist voters, often those with disabilities, who require help in marking their ballots.
“While our elections remain secure and safe, we take seriously all violations of election law and will be working with relevant authorities to ensure there are consequences for those who break the law.”
The Hill has reached out to Benson for further comment on the situation.
Michigan election law prevents citizens from withholding, breaking or destroying voting equipment, as well as obtaining “undue possession” of a voting machine.
Benson cited an article written by Michigan’s Cadillac News explaining that the voting machine was sold through Goodwill’s online auction site as well as listed on the popular auction site, eBay.
The machine disappeared from the Colfax Township in Wexford County, Mich.
“It was a touchscreen VAT machine,” Wexford County Clerk Alaina Nyman told Cadillac News of the sold voting equipment, referring to a Voter Assist Terminal.
“No election data was on it and you can’t get into the machine without the program cards and those were all accounted for.”
Nyman added that the investigation is attempting to discover how the voting machine was acquired by its seller and when it went missing.
“We are going to do things differently and will sign things in and out,” Colfax Township Clerk Becky Stoddard told Cadillac News, discussing future responses to the disappearance of the VAT machine.