A key piece of voting equipment has gone missing while under the supervision of a pro-QAnon clerk, prompting a Michigan State Police investigation.
The equipment’s disappearance came after a week of controversy for Stephanie Scott, a clerk in rural Adams Township who has clashed with Michigan’s Secretary of State over Scott’s bogus election fraud claims. It also marks the second time a piece of elections equipment under the control of a QAnon-tied elections official has been compromised.
Ahead of a special election on Tuesday, Scott refused to allow maintenance to be carried out on voting equipment. Instead, Scott told Michigan news site Bridge Michigan that she wanted to preserve data on the machines from previous elections—an apparent reference to the false idea that voting machines have been used to steal elections. That prompted Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to revoke Scott’s ability to run the upcoming election, putting Hillsdale County Clerk Marney Kast, a fellow Republican, in her place.
But when Kast and her team arrived in Adams Township to inspect the voting equipment, they found a surprise. During the inspection, officials discovered that the voting machine’s tablet—a key part of its operations—was gone. Michigan State Police launched an investigation Thursday to uncover who took the tablet.
It’s not clear who took the tablet, and Scott didn’t respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Benson declined to comment on the ongoing tablet investigation.
But in remarks to Bridge Michigan made before the missing equipment was noticed, Scott seemed focused on protecting the equipment from other election officials.
“The county clerk’s office and now Secretary of State are demanding I drop off my machine for unfettered access, and God only knows doing what to it,” Scott told the publication. “When you have the fox guarding the henhouse, somebody’s got to stand up and guard those hens.”
Amid false allegations that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, conservative activists and officials have zeroed in on election equipment as supposedly holding evidence of the theft. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell promised to display voting machines at his voter-fraud “cyber-symposium” in August, but failed to deliver on his commitment, instead displaying only a scanner.
Scott has been a prolific booster on Facebook of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that Trump will soon lead a fascist purge against his enemies, a cabal of cannibal-pedophiles in the Democratic Party and Hollywood. Scott has promoted the QAnon claim that world elites consume “adrenochrome,” a substance they drain from children after sexually abusing them in Satanic rituals. A few days after Trump’s election defeat, Bridge Michigan reported, Scott referenced the QAnon motto “Where we go one, we go all” in a Facebook comment about the election.
“This isn’t over,” Scott wrote. “WWG1WGA”
This isn’t the first investigation focused on the integrity of voting equipment controlled by an official with connections to QAnon. In Colorado, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters became a hero on the far-right after appearing at Lindell’s election-fraud conference in August. But Peters went into hiding and now faces her own investigation after election data from her county somehow leaked to a prominent QAnon figure.