Aug 7 (Reuters) – The Republican nominee for Michigan attorney general led a team that gained unauthorized access to voting equipment while hunting for evidence to support former President Donald Trump’s false election-fraud claims, according to a Reuters analysis of court filings and public records .
The analysis shows that people working with Matthew DePerno – the Trump-endorsed nominee for the state’s top law-enforcement post – examined a vote tabulator from Richfield Township, a conservative stronghold of 3,600 people in northern Michigan’s Roscommon County.
The Richfield security breach is one of four similar incidents being investigated by Michigan’s current attorney general, Democrat Dana Nessel. Under state law, it is a felony to seek or provide unauthorized access to voting equipment.
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DePerno did not respond to a request for comment.
The involvement of a Republican attorney general nominee in a voting-system breach comes amid a national effort by backers of Trump’s fraud falsehoods to win state offices that could prove critical in deciding any future contested elections.
In Arizona last week, three Trump-backed candidates who claim the 2020 election was stolen won Republican primary elections for governor, attorney general and secretary of state, the top official overseeing elections. In Pennsylvania, Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano has vowed to decertify any election he considers fraudulent through his appointed secretary of state. Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania are all presidential election battlegrounds.
Trump lavish praise on DePerno before a large audience this weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas. “He’s going to make sure that you are going to have law and order and fair elections,” Trump said, pumping his fist as DePerno stood up in the audience and waved. “That’s an important race.”
Reuters established the connection between Michigan’s DePerno and the