Sep 13, 2022 - Politics

Special prosecutor named for voting machine probe

Matt DePerno

Republican attorney general candidate Matt DePerno is interviewed by WDIV Local 4's Grant Hermes at the MIGOP nominating convention in Lansing. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

A special prosecutor has been picked to lead the investigation into unauthorized access of vote tabulators.

Driving the news: Muskegon County prosecutor D.J. Hilson was appointed last week by the state's Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council to investigate Michigan's Republican attorney general candidate, Matt DePerno, and eight others for allegedly tampering with voting equipment.

  • Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel acknowledged her office's conflict of interest and asked a special prosecutor be appointed.
  • The investigation is looming over Michigan's Nov. 8 election as DePerno campaigns to be the state's top cop.

Of note: Hilson, a Democrat, is popular among constituents. He won nearly 80% of the 2016 vote to be elected to a second term.

Between the lines: Among the nine under investigation are DePerno, GOP state Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City) and Stefanie Lambert, an attorney sanctioned in federal court last year for filing a lawsuit that sought to overturn Michigan's 2020 presidential election.

What he's saying: When asked about the investigation at last month's Republican nominating convention, DePerno told Axios, "They'll never be able to prove what they're trying to prove."

What's next: As voters are left wondering whether there is a chance of an indictment before Nov. 8, Hilson told the Detroit News last week that he's unable to predict a timeline for the investigation.

  • "Once all of that work has been done, we will begin the process of reviewing all the information as well as reviewing the best process to use in determining whether there is sufficient evidence to issue criminal charges," Hilson said.

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