The voter assist terminal from Colfax Township in Wexford County was put up for sale on eBay and linked to Goodwill, according to Cadillac News. State law prohibits citizens from withholding, breaking or destroying voting equipment, as well as obtaining “undue possession” of a voting machine.
“We are actively working with law enforcement to investigate allegations of an illegal attempt to sell a voter assist terminal acquired in Michigan,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
Our elections are and remain safe and secure. We take seriously all violations of election law and will be working with authorities to ensure there are consequences for those who break the law. More here.https://t.co/cixBoMQsJB
— Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson) September 1, 2022
The machine has a touchscreen and is used to help disabled voters fill out their ballots.
“I can confirm the MSP Cadillac Post is investigating a missing piece of voting equipment,” Michigan State Police Lt. Derrick Carroll said in a statement. “The investigation is ongoing.”
CNN reported that the machine was initially dropped off at Goodwill in Cadillac and bought by an Ohio man for $7.99 from Goodwill’s own online auction site. The man told CNN he then sold it on eBay for $1,200, calling it a chance to “own a piece of history.” A Connecticut man who bought the machine and received it last week, reportedly contacted Benson’s office.
Wexford County Clerk Alaina Nyman told Cadillac News the machine did not contain any sensitive information.
“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 said.
County officials were at a loss to explain how the machine landed in the hands of the unidentified seller or when it disappeared.
“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.