Democrat Michigan state Senator Dayna Polehanki plans to sponsor a bill that would impose penalties on anyone found to be “pressuring, coercing or intimidating election workers” in Michigan, according to the Detroit News.
The state senator says the pressuring of election officials seems to be an ongoing issue that goes unpunished, stating that “it seems to happen with impunity. Therefore, it continues.”
A special prosecutor in Michigan is currently considering filing charges against nine people who were given election tabulators by three clerks. The machines from rural areas were allegedly taken to hotel rooms and examined by the accused.
This incident differs, however, from that which sparked state Senator Polehanki to encourage the proposed legislation.
Recently, it was revealed that a Livonia, Michigan, election clerk was allegedly pressured by Republican politicians to hand over hard drives and voting equipment used during the 2020 presidential election.
In 2021, a clerk named Susan Nash says she was approached by then-state Senator Patrick Colbeck, who asked her to provide the hard drives from voting machines so that “a team of cyber forensic experts” could examine them.
Colbeck had allegedly planned to send an email in the name of Nash to the Trump administration asking for federal support to examine the voting machines, according to the Detroit News. Intended for Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, the letter allegedly requested “the assistance of federal resources to undertake a cyber forensics review of the technology of the machines.” Colbeck says the letter was never sent.
Nash said in a statement to the attorney general’s office that a Livonia, Michigan, city councilman made her feel “threatened” by telling her that Colbeck was upset and that someone might contact Fox News and say she was “not cooperating.”
In a series of communications, Nash and the Republican officials exchanged comments regarding the legality of turning over the election materials. Nash alleges that she asked if she would be “the next person President Trump mentions,” to which she was told “it is possible.”
Patrick Colbeck defended his actions and claimed he was preparing arguments in “support of 2020 election certification discussions.”
“I think it would be smart legislation,” tate Senator Polehanki added about the election-worker bill, adding that she feels there’s a need for new policy.
Democrats will control both the state House and Senate in 2023.