A Look at Michigan’s “Alternate” Electors [UPDATE-1]

[NB: check the byline, thanks. Update(s) will appear at the bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

David Waldman (a.k.a. @KagroX) made an interesting point on Twitter:

If you’re active in a political party this may seem obvious. Having been a party committee member and a delegate, I took for granted most folks would intuit this. A political party won’t have any Average Joe off the street attest to the party’s business; they’ll encourage and/or pick someone they trust who’s an insider.

And in the case of my home state, that’s exactly what happened. The MIGOP picked electors who are active in the party either on committees and/or public officials either elected or appointed.

Which means all these folks who signed the false certification attesting fraudulently to Trump’s win of a majority of Michigan’s votes are highly relevant to the party. They are:

Kathy Berden – Michigan Republican Party national committeewoman

Mayra Rodriguez – Wayne County Public Administrator, former MIGOP candidate for MI state house district 2, Michigan Republican Party 14th District chair for Grosse Pointe Farms

Meshawn Maddock – Co-Chair, Michigan Republican Party

John Haggard – Charlevoix County Republican chair

Kent Vanderwood – Wyoming City Council member

Marian Sheridan – Michigan Republican Party Grassroots vice chair

James Renner – Republican Delegate to County Convention (Watertown Twp, 2020) (replaced Gerald Wall)

Amy Facchinello – Grand Blanc Board of Education member, QAnon supporter

Rose Rook – Van Buren County Republican executive committee member

Hank Choate – Michigan Republican Party 7th District chair

Mari-Ann Henry – Greater Oakland Republican Club member

Clifford Frost – Michigan Republican Party State Committee and Macomb County Republican Party board member

Stanley Grot – Shelby Township Clerk, Michigan Republican Party 10th District chair

Timothy King – Washtenaw County Republican Party executive committee member, Michigan Republican Party 12th District committee member

Michele Lundgren – Wayne County Republican Party precinct delegate

Ken Thompson – TBD (replaced Terri Lynn Land, former MI Secretary of State)

These aren’t exotic fruit bats out in the far right-wing hinterlands; they’re the heart of the Michigan Republican Party.

There are several interesting tidbits about this roster. The first is that two of these folks were replaced by others even though they had been elected in November to their role as electors.

Gerald Wall is the Roscommon County Republican Party Chair. Granted, it’s a less populous county in northern central Michigan, but removing the county chair is a bit of a statement to a fairly red county.

The second replacement raised my eyebrows because Terri Lynn Land was Michigan’s Secretary of State for eight years. She’s had the support of the DeVos family — yes, including Erik Prince’s sister Betsey DeVos nee Prince — receiving campaign donations over multiple terms and candidacies for other public office.

Why were these two elected electors removed and replaced with “alternate” electors James Renner and Ken Thompson — the latter for whom I can find little information.

The slate of candidates running for the legitimate post of Republican electors — assuming a Republican won Michigan’s popular vote — had been contacted for profiles by the Detroit Free Press ahead of the November 2020 election. Several did not respond or refused to be interviewed; what’s indicated here was collected from the internet.

But there’s nothing about the swap of two electors for these new “alternate” electors. One might wonder if either Gerald Wall or Terri Lynn Land refused to serve as electors once a false certification was prepared.

The doozy out of this group is the Michigan Republican Party co-chair Meshawn Maddock, wife of state representative Matt Maddock, by whom it has been said the MIGOP had been radicalized.

You’ll want to read this thread by Karen Piper, who profiles Meshawn while connecting more than a few dots:

Maddock’s relationship with Amy Kremer — she of the three-burner-phones and the Willard Hotel — and multiple right-wing protests at Michigan’s state capitol building is particularly interesting. It’s as if the April 15, 2020 drive-in gridlock protest rally and the armed militia protest rally inside the capitol on April 30 were practice runs for the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

If I thought I had standing and a reasonable chance at winning I’d sue each one of these “alt-electors” for attempting to steal the 2020 Michigan presidential election from me and every Michigander who voted for a candidate other than Trump. I’d sue because so many volunteers who are neighbors, friends, and family members honorably worked to ensure a safe and secure election, and these radical right-wing members of the MIGOP tainted their efforts, cast aspersions on our state, and nearly stole our civil rights after we had to put up with weeks of harassment to get to certification.

As former MIGOP leader and Project Lincoln senior advisor Jeff Timmer described Meshawn,

“She is nuts. Her husband is nuts. They are crazy, stupid, and mean,” Timmer tells Metro Times. “They think they are saving the world.”

Um, nope. Not saved, far from it.

Hope Meshawn has a good lawyer; for some reason I don’t think she’ll get much assistance from some of the old school MIGOP.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-1 — 12:30 P.M. 13-JAN-2022 —

Long-time community member WilliamOckham shared in comments last night some pointers about the false certification documents:

First, let me give a shout out to the folks over at AmericanOversight[.]org for liberating the fake electoral vote documents via a FOIA to the National Archives. Several folks have noticed the similarities between the documents. I believe we can make some reasonable judgments about the provenance of these documents that will contribute to our understanding of the overall election conspiracy. Even though all we have is a scanned images pdf, if we analyze the documents with attention to the similarities and differences, we can deduce something about how those documents were produced. If you want to follow along, head over to the American Oversight website and grab a copy of the pdf I’m referencing at /american-oversight-obtains-seven-phony-certificates-of-pro-trump-electors

TL;DR version: These fake electoral certifications all came from a single source and there’s a way to prove it.

First, note that for every state there is a page (pages 7, 17, 21, 25, 28, 30, 32, and 45) that begins with three centered and bolded lines that read:

The first thing to note is that each of those pages is using the same font (with one slight twist that’s very revealing): Baskerville Old Face. That’s a good choice if you want to give your documents a 1776 feel. You see, it’s a digital font based on a lead type design that was first appeared in 1766.

When you start looking closely, you’ll notice that each state’s wording following the title is slightly different. However, they’re all set in Baskerville. In particular, note the “For President” and “For Vice President”. Those are formatted as small caps (the lowercase letters are replaced with smaller versions of the uppercase letters). Do you suppose seven or eight different people all managed to correctly use small caps formatting? Me, neither.

Someone created a digital file (almost certainly a Microsoft Word document) and sent it to the fake electors to fill in. There’s no other explanation for the similarities in the documents. And it’s not just that page. There was even a template for filling vacancies (caused by some electors having, you know, integrity).

One more interesting thing. Look at the first page (page 7 of the pdf). Notice the asterisks. Count the “petals”. There are five. That’s just like the Baskerville Old Face that Microsoft ships with Office and some versions of Windows. Now, look at Wisconsin’s page (page 45). There are six “petals” on the asterisks. Looks like the same font. Except what’s up with the different asterisks? Looks very much like Microsoft Word performing a font substitution. Maybe Wisconsin used the Mac version of Word. Or OpenOffice. Or Google Docs.

Now, here’s how to prove my suppositions. If you have subpoena power or a team of people to do some investigating, start tracking down the people who signed these documents. Ask them for the Word document (or other digital template) that was sent to them. Ask them who sent them and what instructions did they give them.

Hello, conspiracy.

91 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Frank from Houghton Lake, are you out there? Do you have any dirt inside baseball tips on a few of these characters up your way? I hope you’re lurking nearby to fill me in.

    Let’s hope folks do the same in other states which produced these false certifications — go through the signatories and figure out how they fit into the GOP and the conspiracy to overthrow the 2020 election.

    • notjonathon says:

      Sorry, and way OT, but this Texas boy used to spend his summers at Higgins Lake in the 1950’s, so your mention of Houghton sparked a memory cascade in me.
      More to the point, your rightful rage is an invaluable counterpoint to Dr. Wheeler’s (as a fellow lit crit Fudd, I have always felt close to her intellectually) measured evaluations.
      I’m only grateful that none of my Michigan relatives are on that list.

  2. Al Ostello says:

    Why is it that poor people are arrested the same day of the crime, but those who are prominent continue to walk around without a care in the world?

  3. Gerard Plourde says:

    Re your observation that two electors were replaced on the Michigan “certification”: The Pennsylvania “certification” has seven “alternates” replacing prominent old guard leaders. I think this supports your theory that some real electors refused to go along. I wonder what that says about possible upcoming internal struggles within the GOP.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      As I said in the other post regarding this issue, Rachel Maddow and her crew have spoken with one who refused to participate in the forged certification action. They said specifically that was why they were replaced.

      When she said this I had the feeling there were going to be more conversations with as many of the ‘replaced’ as they could find.

      • bg says:

        Hmm. I wonder if Harvey Yates spoke to her ppl. He for sure signed the official NM docs and did not show for the fake electors “election” and was voted by the fake “electors” to be replaced by Anissa Ford Tinnin, a Trumper and perhaps a current officer in the NM R party.

    • VinnieGambone says:

      RE: GOP internal struggles. Look no further than Baby Dick and her dad stepping up and standing up. How far does Cheney’s tennacles go?

      I am reminded of two books, House of Bush-House of Saud, and Bush’s Brain (Karl Rove). I wonder what Cheney’s relationship with the Mercer’s et al was like back when. It obviously is not strong today.

      Despicable yes, but the Cheney/Rove crowd were far from exotic fruit bats. No one in Saudi Arabia threw Dick Cheney’s contact info in the trash, and Pappa Dick is not chugging down the track for nothing. He indeed sees more than a glimmer of hope the GOP will survive. Who knows the secret of undoing the spell of Svengali?

    • Rayne says:

      Or the real electors played a different role. I can’t rule out a former Secretary of State acting as an advisor about the certification process, for example. We need more investigation.

  4. OldTulsaDude says:

    I am unsure about Michigan but some of these faux elector ballots were presented as being the genuine ballot, and I don’t understand why everyone involved has not been charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

    • Rayne says:

      The signatories to these false certifications are the kind of folks prosecutors should be flipping on higher-ups in the conspiracy. We don’t know right now if they are/have been/will be interviewed first to determine their individual level in the conspiracy and which of them can be flipped.

      Who first contacted them about this false certification process? Who have they talked to about this since they were first approached? How was this explained? When exactly did they sign this false certification even though the date printed is December 14, 2020? Did they read the rest of the false certification? Does this document match what they thought they signed? Where did they sign this – in the presence of other signatories? What do they know about the two replacements?

      I’m sure there are a lot more questions but answers to these alone could make a difference as to who was charged and with what charges.

      • Marika says:

        There were a couple more of these, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, I believe, that were changed slightly to include language to the effect of IF the vote is disputed in the future, THEN here is the correct set of electors. It would be interesting to find out who changed the language and why and if they spoke to eachother since the changes are, I think, identical.

  5. Leoghann says:

    I know that Rachel Maddow, who led this story, has long viewed her purpose, in part, to serve as a counterbalance to far right commentators like Rush Limbaugh. Because of this, I always check for verification of her assessments. She usually does accurate reporting, but then she spins it sometimes. I suspect most people who are commenting on the story in various places just took her description of “forged letters” and ran with it.

    I see nothing about four of these letters that is forged. The signatures of the electors are genuine. None of the letters appear to have a Secretary of State’s signature, so that isn’t an issue. Arizona is the one state whose document carries the state seal, and that would be a forgery. The others did not contain a state seal.
    What the documents are is false. They are entirely lies. The electors thereupon were not certified. And submitting a false document to federal agency constitutes fraud.

    As an ironic aside, the group that sent the letter is a sovereign citizen group. So they sent a document with a forged state seal, even they profess to believe that both the seal and the state are invalid.

    • P J Evans says:

      It’s been pointed out that all of these were done in the same font, with the same wording. Which is more identical than you would expect from stuff done “independently”.

    • Rayne says:

      I don’t believe it was Maddow who originally called these false certifications “forged” or “forgeries”; instead it was Politico in their January 10 article, Jan. 6 panel ramps up investigation into Trump’s state-level pressure.

      As one of our community members noted, Michigan law could see these as “forged” documents:

      750.248 Making, altering, forging, or counterfeiting public record; intent; felony; penalty; exception; venue; “distributed ledger technology” defined.
      Sec. 248.
      (1) A person who falsely makes, alters, forges, or counterfeits a public record, or a certificate, return, or attestation of a clerk of a court, register of deeds, notary public, township clerk, or any other public officer, in relation to a matter in which the certificate, return, or attestation may be received as legal proof, or a charter, will, testament, bond, writing obligatory, letter of attorney, policy of insurance, bill of lading, bill of exchange, promissory note, or an order, acquittance of discharge for money or other property, or a waiver, release, claim or demand, or an acceptance of a bill of exchange, or indorsement, or assignment of a bill of exchange or promissory note for the payment of money, or an accountable receipt for money, goods, or other property with intent to injure or defraud another person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 14 years.

      The intent was to defraud the state of Michigan and the United States of an election, which might also include liability under 18 USC 371 Conspiracy to defraud the US and/or the equivalent under Michigan law.

      Like I said, I hope Meshawn’s lawyered up.

        • Rayne says:

          Just watched that again. Still laughing about Hoffman’s squirming. At the same time worried the other perps will eventually figure out how to evade questioning by watching the first ones in the media gauntlet.

        • matt fischer says:


          So in unprecedented times, unprecedented action is [sic] occurred. There is no case law. There is no precedent that exists as to whether or not an election that is currently being litigated in courts has due standing, which is why we felt it appropriate to provide Congress and the Vice President with dueling opinions.

          To me that sounds a bit like the strategy pushed by John Eastman and his notorious memos, the first of which only became public last September.

        • matt fischer says:

          Eastman was also pushing lawsuits to invalidate 7 states’ electors due to supposed violations of state election law (potentially sidestepping the question of election fraud). He claimed illegal election procedures invalidated those states’ elections and thus the states’ legislatures were constitutionally entitled to submit alternate electors.

        • matt fischer says:

          In any case, the point I tried to make was that Hoffman’s statement may have been more revealing than intended.

      • Leoghann says:

        So, prosecutable under the same statute as forgery. Because the document was definitely counterfeit.

      • rlhall says:

        Yes, counterfeit is closer to the correct term, rather than forged, but neither one is exactly correct.
        Both terms suggest an imitation of an existing document, intended to deceive.
        These declarations are not that. In truth, they are frauds, presenting an “alternative fact” with the intent to deceive. They bear actual signatures of individuals who participated in the fraud – whether or not with full awareness, I am not sure.

        • Troutwaxer says:

          Mens rea might be an interesting issue here. It’s not hard to see a right-wing lawyer advising their client that in the light of obvious election fraud becoming an alternate elector was perfectly legal.

        • Rayne says:

          The Michigan Republican electors were legitimate as they had been literally elected to their role. But the Republicans only have a job to do as electors if their candidates have won the majority vote. This is in no small part why they were so adamant they were electors entitled to access to the state capitol building on the day of the state’s certification. They just weren’t the electors who had a function that date.

  6. Scott Johnson says:

    Were someone to actually be criminally charged for any of this (whether by the US government for forgery or similar offense, or by the respective states for misusing the state seal), I would expect two lines of defense.

    1) The “just a joke defense”; that these documents are so transparently bad forgeries, that pursuing criminal charges would be akin to accusing someone trying to buy a hamburger with Monopoly money as a prank, with counterfeiting. After all, these fake certifications weren’t intended to bamboozle anyone with any sense in Washington (and were rejected); they were intended, apparently, to only come into play if a bunch of other things happened first and doubt could be sown.

    2) The “we really believe Trump won, and thus lack mens rea“. A proclaimed belief that the slates of electors actually submitted by the various states governments were fraudulent and/or in error, and thus they were simply correcting the record. I expect Trump to plead something similar should he be charged for the shenanigans in Georgia (though Trump is far more skilled at being ambiguous enough that he can deny meaning what he obviously meant). This sort of postmodern view of the truth–there are no independent facts, just what competing people say, and the opinion with the most power behind it is what constitutes truth–has been a feature of Republican politics, at least at the national level, since the George W. Bush administration, if not before.

    And while it might be comforting if the authorities are able to prosecute organized liars… there are plenty of examples, throughout history, of autocratic governments prosecuting people for telling the truth, and demanding people promote lies. The Right will of course accuse the government of this and then some.

    • Leoghann says:

      Your first defense is strikingly similar to Sidney Powell’s claim, in her first motion for dismissal of the Dominion lawsuit, that her claims were so ridiculous, “no reasonable person” would believe she meant them. That claim didn’t get her very far, and I doubt it will in these cases either.

      The second defense is somewhat more plausible, and is an excuse that has already been offered. There is only one problem: those counterfeit certification letters are all dated the same day, several days after the last election fraud suit got tossed out. So it was no longer in litigation, and it was clear no challenge would stand.

      • Scott Johnson says:

        “But all those judges are in on the conspiracy, too!”

        The thing about the Big Lie is that it must never, ever, ever be denied.

        There’s a reason that Ted Cruz leaped onto his own sword so willingly. He momentarily broke kayfabe, and walking it back required a spectacular self-immolation.

  7. Zinsky says:

    These Maddocks sound like absolutely horrible people. I read their back story and how she has essentially hijacked the Republican Party in Michigan. (Apropos of nothing, she looks young enough to be his daughter). I find it so hard to understand how people like the Maddocks reconcile their supposed Christian beliefs with the obvious hatred they have for their fellow human beings and their violent rhetoric? I don’t see any support for that thinking or the bellicose behavior, in the New Testament. Anyway, thanks for the scoop on the bogus electoral certifications in Michigan and the backstory on the perpetrators.

    • harpie says:

      …and there’s a whole wing of the GOP that fits that description, and be PROUD of it.

  8. Blueridgeb1ll says:

    From what I’ve seen of the noble fruitbat (and much of my information comes from a great source, novelist Christopher Moore’s “Island of the Sequined Love Nun”) they are rather nicer than bog standard GQP functionaries…

  9. harpie says:

    RAYNE: A thread you may be interested in:

    4:03 AM · Jan 12, 2022

    […] Turns out I had one of these documents [MICHIGAN] in my archive!

    Let me introduce you to (again) Phill Kline.
    Ex Attorney General of Kansas.
    And Director Of The Amistad Project Of The Thomas More Society.

    Before the Jan 6th certification, The Amistad Project “released a massive, 1,400-page super-appendix detailing extensive evidence of lawlessness allowing ballot and voter fraud affecting the election results in five key swing states.” See it here: [link] […]

    • harpie says:

      Here’s Adam Klasfeld from December 2020:

      2:41 PM · Dec 7, 2020

      The Thomas More Society, a 501(c)3 aligned with Rudy Giuliani as a “partner,” is at it again with a new suit attempting to overturn the election in Pennsylvania. […]

      He links to his 12/2/20 article titled:
      How Trump’s Legal Challenges of the Election Results Turned into a Tax-Deductible ‘Coup’

    • WilliamOckham says:

      Thank you for this. After I followed a somewhat winding path on the interwebs, I have identified a person of interest in the creation of these documents. I hope to track down a few loose ends later on this evening.

      • Leoghann says:

        As I noted in a comment on the “seditious conspiracy charges” thread, the woman who organized getting the signatures in Arizona says Rudy Fruitcake brought her the fake document for Arizona, in person.

    • Rayne says:

      Makes me wonder if the DeVoses decided to keep at arm’s length for plausible deniability, using money instead to act instead of hand-picked individuals.

      Haven’t forgotten they were linked to the funding behind the April 2020 rallies at Michigan’s state capitol building.

  10. Robert Corl says:

    In Oregon this is a five year felony. Any third year law student could convict these bozos for forgery. Michigan Laws 750.248 seems on point. I guess I could volunteer to come out of retirement and present it to a grand jury. Five witnesses and guaranteed indictment.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for the 750.248 cite! I will bookmark that in expectation we’ll see that used if not its federal equivalent.

      ADDER: What’s the MCL code for a conspiracy charge, and do you see that happening instead of a federal charge? I know Michigan’s conspiracy law (though I don’t have the code handy) requires two conspirators to take action, not like federal conspiracy under 18 USC 371.

  11. cmarlowe says:

    There are public Meadows text messages that appear to indicate knowledge and encouragement of the “alternate” elector submissions. See Maddow’s broadcast from last night.

  12. skua says:

    Phew – if these GOP folk and their matching buddies from the other fake Elector states end up being jailed it could be like a decapitation of the GOP leadership in those states.

  13. WilliamOckham says:

    One quick point. As far as I know, none of these fake electoral certifications was accompanied with a fake ascertainment (although the Georgia cert came with a “fill in the blanks” ascertainment for Brian Kemp to complete). As such, it’s entirely possible that this will end up being a “no harm, no foul” offense (other than as further proof of the conspiracy). The Pennsylvania and New Mexico folks covered themselves by not claiming to official.


    WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, on the understanding that if, as a result of a final
    non-appealable Court Order or other proceeding prescribed by law, we are
    ultimately recognized as being the duly elected and qualified Electors for
    President and Vice President of the United States of America from the State of
    Pennsylvania, hereby certify the following:

    New Mexico:

    WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, on the understanding that it might later be
    determined that we are the duly elected and qualified Electors for President
    and Vice President of the United States of America from the State of New
    Mexico, do hereby certify the following:

    • Rayne says:

      That’s some interesting butt covering by PA and NM. I wonder why MI didn’t do the same.

      The indirect complication in Michigan is knowing there was a conspiracy to kidnap and murder the governor earlier in the year; might make one wonder if there were other conspiracies targeting elected officials which may not have been revealed for lack of adequate evidence to prosecute.

      • bg says:

        The NM documents report that Harvey Yates, whose signature is on the official document issued by our Governor, did not show up for this fraud, so they elected someone else in his place. HY lives near me, is one of the wealthiest men in NM, from an oil fortune. He has been in a battle with the R party on and off. Steve Pearce, a former US Congressman is currently the chair of the R party in NM, and he was a failed candidate for Governor against Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2018. He’s kind of a nut and hangs out with some questionable characters who were involved in a murder for which a friend of mine was convicted and given a life sentence. We are seeking a new trial in that case, but Steve Pearce has been taken in by these people. At any rate, Harvey Yates apparently did not want to have anything to do with this fraud. One of the other signatories of the fraud doc is Anissa Ford Tinnin (who is the “elected” substitute for Yates), who has held some kind of position in the state R party. Apparently she turned on former R Governor, Suzanna Martinez at some point. I am pretty sure she is of questionable character though I would need to substantiate her history a little more. It’s a hot mess, for sure.

        • Leoghann says:

          Having lived in Southeastern New Mexico for about 5 years, and having had both family and close friends there (Hobbs, Lovington, and Carlsbad), I know that, if you’re used to the politics in SE NM and West Texas, it’s hard to realize that most of the rest of the state has political views that are completely different.

        • bg says:

          Anissa lives in Rio Rancho. It is the place where a big rally for TFG was held, and it is a RW hotspot in our mostly sea of blue in these parts. She is married into the Tinnin family, an old NM mercantile dynasty with some Roswell connection, among other places in the Permian Basin where Harvey Yates’ family made their fortune.

        • Leoghann says:

          When we lived in Hobbs and surrounding areas, my dad was in charge of Conoco’s production in the Yates field, as well as others.

      • Bay State Librul says:

        So, the “no harm, no foul” offense applies to con artists, crooks, grifters, fraudsters, scoundrels, double dealers, four flushers and swindlers.
        Thanks for reminding me that we live in a wonderful country. They get a “free kick”
        play, like in soccer?

        • JohnForde says:

          I wonder if one could win acquittal on counterfeiting charges by arguing that the $200 bill in question was not accompanied by a ‘certificate of authenticity’.

        • Arabiflora Q. Public says:

          Well played, my friend! I cannot get my head around the notion that presentation and assertion of claims in a federal election that are clearly a misrepresentation of facts is not charged immediately and obviously as an attempt to defraud the US gov’t.

  14. Franktoo says:

    Act 116 of 1954

    168.47 Convening of presidential electors; time and place thereof; resignations; refusal or failure to vote; vacancies.
    Sec. 47.

    “The electors of president and vice-president shall convene in the senate chamber at the capitol of the state at 2 p.m., eastern standard time, on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December following their election. At any time before receipt of the certificate of the governor or within 48 hours thereafter, an elector may resign by submitting his written and verified resignation to the governor. Failure to so resign signifies consent to serve and to cast his vote for the candidates for president and vice-president appearing on the Michigan ballot of the political party which nominated him. Refusal or failure to vote for the candidates for president and vice-president appearing on the Michigan ballot of the political party which nominated the elector constitutes a resignation from the office of elector, his vote shall not be recorded and the remaining electors shall forthwith fill the vacancy. The ballot used by the elector shall bear the name of the elector. If at the time of convening there is any vacancy caused by death, resignation, refusal or failure to vote, neglect to attend, or ineligibility of any person elected, or for any other cause, the qualified electors of president and vice-president shall proceed to fill such vacancy by ballot, by a plurality of votes. When all the electors appear and the vacancy shall be filled, they shall proceed to perform the duties of such electors, as required by the constitution and laws of the United States. If congress hereafter fixes a different day for such meeting, the electors shall meet and give their votes on the day designated by act of congress.”

    Most of this paragraph seems a pretty straightforward way of ensuring that “faithless electors” don’t interfere with the will of Michigan voters. Did the phony electors meet in the senate chamber at the capitol on 2 pm on the specified date? The Electors certified that they met one day after they were supposed meet. The clearest violation is that none of the signers received a certificate from the governor giving them the authority to vote. Pence correctly didn’t present these electoral votes to Congress presumably because they lacked certification from the governor as required by the Electoral Count Act.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Michigan Secty. Of State and Michigan Attorney Genre both appeared on Maddow this evening. Dana Vessel the AG has been investigating for a year. They referred the matter to the DOJ Western Dist Prosecutors office today, because they see this as part of a larger conspiracy involving 6 other states.

      • Arabiflora Q. Public says:

        I saw the segment and was surprised that RM didn’t push either of them on the obvious (to me) question: “Why have you waited a year to refer the case to the US DA for your region?” It was a blatant attempt to defraud the US federal government and so I’m not sure that MI would have any standing to lodge a formal complaint. Personally, I think that the bright white heat that Maddow’s weeklong expose became too intense for the MI SoS and AG and so they punted it to the feds, at last.

        • Rayne says:

          First, you don’t live in Michigan, do you. Likely missed this little thing which sucked up resources and may have been interrelated to the insurrection conspiracy.

          Second, I suspect you missed the part where AG Nessel said federal AND state charges were possible — that’s not a punt but a cooperative agreement.

        • timbo says:

          The East Bay Times in SF area is reporting this as a punt by the Michigan AG. Not sure how accurate that is but the article was most certainly pointedly about it being a full punt to the Feds with the Michigan AG trying to wash hands of dealing with it under the various applicable state laws.

        • Rayne says:

          Well fuck them. That’s not what she said on Maddow. She pointedly says there’s no double jeopardy if the state brings charges as well as the feds.

          She also says this “may go all the way to the top.” This suggests to me there has been quite a bit of back and forth between MI AG and DOJ about the scope of the conspiracy, that the state may have held off to allow the feds to chase a multi-state conspiracy, and AG Nessel wouldn’t be surprised if Trump is charged as a co-conspirator.

          Consider what would happen if MI prosecuted this conspiracy which MISOS Jocelyn Benson repeatedly called “unprecedented” but damaged the feds’ case in the process because the state hasn’t handled a conspiracy like this one before. Better to let the feds lead and bat clean up with state charges.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        States really should have an official Attorney Genre. Responsible for making sure that your romance novels have HEAs and your mysteries can be solved based on the text, not stuff the detective reveals at the end…
        (I know it was a typo. It was also an awesome idea)

  15. JohnForde says:

    79 people signed the phony elector letteers. Here is my letter to them:

    Dear X,
    Your co-worker Stewart Rhodes was just charged with seditious conspiracy. The charge carries a 20 year prison sentence.
    You do realize you are part of the same conspiracy.
    You do realize you participated in the same crime.
    You do realize you will face the same charge.
    Or are you just learning this now?

  16. benfdc says:

    Re the asterisk observation by @WilliamOckham, the difference may be due to bolding rather than a font substitution. In many fonts the boldface version of an asterisk loses a petal, for reasons that are obvious if you stop to think about it.

      • Raven Eye says:

        Using Baskerville Old Face without special line-specific formatting, I couldn’t get my asterisk spacing “shoulder-to-shoulder” like the documents we are seeing. Like you, those asterisks did not change their points when bolding or unbolding. Times New Roman asterisks had tighter native spacing and did change from six points to five when bolded, but the scan to course to make a clear ID of the font..

        It looks like there was some pretty specific formatting for these documents that still allowed getting the language to reflect specific state requirements and citations. Having had to herd a hundreds of “deliverable” MS Word documents, I know you can’t “fire and forget” MS Word templates, even within the same office. It would not surprise me if some individual ended up providing some coaching and QC.

        I hope that if anyone is officially investigating this situation they can get their hands on the MS Word files as well and look at the number of document styles and the metadata.

        • WilliamOckham says:

          I assume they achieved the “shoulder-to-shoulder” asterisks are achieved by using advanced character spacing. That’s how I would do it. The tightness of the spacing originally made me think it was a graphic, until I noticed the difference shape in the one document.

        • Raven Eye says:

          I had to increase the font size of the asterisks and radically decrease the character spacing to make it work. That’s exactly the kind of thing that is difficult to maintain when you distribute a template. On those ‘Certificate of the Votes” pages, spacing following the “(C)” is inconsistent.

          This whole thing just reeks.

  17. Vthestate says:

    Kinda wonder why the Michigan Attorney General has made a hand off.( Rachel did not bore down at all) did the GQP break Michigan law? Time for charges? I have seen how poor folks are treated in Michigan when the cops and the courts are concerned….. not like , well maybe someone else will charge these scofflaws…no. Maybe the prosecutor should be charged with non enforcement of the laws. This is old news from last year January 9th 2021 or so….. not vigorous law enforcement…; after all those years of Snyder this is really disappointing
    O.T. No one has mentioned ALEC the crew famous for generating boilerplate rad right wing legislation…just change the cover page and go. worth looking into.

    • bmaz says:

      It does not matter what self loving of her own voice navel gazing Maddow thinks. She has no experience. Nessel handed off because it was exactly the right thing to do in the instance. If the Feds want to refer it back, fine. But Dana Nessel took the exact right move in spite of Maddow’s garbage. And, exactly what jollies do you get off on calling it “GQP”? Do you think that means anything? Seriously??

      • vthestate says:

        bmaz , This is where my wonderment is….why? is it best, I am not saying it is not, just do not know why. After 11 month this is when we start to catch some media attention. Is the subject worth mention or should media continue to nap on the subject. Some of the boldly radical right wing BS needs to be called out. Rachel the DNC mouthpiece is annoying…. brow-beater unwilling to do research on her own. Her interview of MI DA does not explore why the delay even any. Don’t look at that man behind the curtain. The platform is way under utilized and co-opted by , Bill O’Reilly style carnival barker technique. Is Mister Sterling on to something, if not , why not?

  18. Mister Sterling says:

    This would be a very easy state prosecution for forgery, perjury and criminal conspiracy. Even in Michigan, which is GOP dominated, cannot stop that from happening should a prosecutor go forward. In a nation full of bad news and heading towards a suffocating GOP autocracy, this is some good news.

  19. Overshire says:

    If anyone is looking for evidence that this did indeed “go all the way to the top,” Stephen Miller didn’t just confess that it did, he bragged about it in public:
    Miller, appearing on Fox News as a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, brushed off the idea that the Electoral College vote marked any kind of end to the process.

    “The only date in the Constitution is Jan. 20. So we have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election result and certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election,” Miller said on “Fox & Friends.”

    “As we speak, today, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and we’re going to send those results up to Congress,”

    • Rayne says:

      But WaPo thinks the DOJ needs to make an obvious request for more evidence when perps are stepping up to the microphone and admitting they knew what they were doing.

      I’ve wondered if this statement by Miller also constitutes a Hatch Act violation because it’s about a campaign not the operation of the executive branch.

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