Michigan township recalls clerk and ally who pushed election denialism

Stephanie Scott and supervisor Mark Nichols replaced by heavily Republican township in rebuke to extremism

In a rebuke to election denialism and extremism, a small, heavily Republican township in Michigan successfully recalled a clerk who has been accused of elevating election denialism and her ally on the township board. The outgoing clerk, Stephanie Scott, and township supervisor Mark Nichols were replaced by Suzy Roberts, a retired auto industry worker and Randy Johnson, who works in the local school district, respectively.

Since 2020, Adams Township and the surrounding county of Hillsdale have become an unlikely focal point in Trump allies’ fruitless search for proof of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Scott, the local clerk, was stripped of her election administration duties by the Michigan secretary of state after refusing to turn over voting equipment for regularly scheduled maintenance. State police later initiated an investigation when part of the voting machine went missing and again when Scott was accused of sharing confidential voter data with a third party.

In interviews with the Guardian and other media outlets, Scott has maintained that she has not acted improperly.

During Scott’s term in office, national figures involved with the campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 election developed an interest in the township. Patrick Byrne, former CEO of Overstock, and a key figure in Trump’s push to challenge the 2020 election, presented virtually at an “election integrity forum” in Adams Township. For legal representation, Scott turned to Stefanie Lambert, an attorney who signed on to numerous lawsuits challenging the election results in Michigan and has represented the conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell. Lambert was sanctioned by a federal judge for her role in a lawsuit that attempted to overturn Biden’s win in Michigan and asserted baseless claims about the election there.

In Adams Township, residents say the conspiracy theories and political upheaval tore at the fabric of the community. Johnson, who was elected to replace Nichols as a township supervisor, says the recall is only the first step in restoring trust in the electoral process within the divided town. “Monday night is our first board meeting that we’ll be running. We expect it to be a circus,” he said. In the long run, he said he thought that “the nonsense will go away with those two being gone.”


Alice Herman in Michigan

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Michigan clerk who denies election results faces recall in divided county
Stephanie Scott was stripped of her election authority after she was accused of improperly handling voting equipment

Alice Herman in Hillsdale county

02, May, 2023 @7:00 AM

Article image
Democrat beats Trump-backed election denier in key Michigan race
Secretary of state Jocelyn Benson condemns ‘conspiracy theorists and election deniers’ after being re-elected over Kristina Karamo

Sam Levine in Detroit

09, Nov, 2022 @4:08 PM

Article image
The rural Michigan town fighting against rightwing conspiracy theories
A conspiracy theory-touting clerk and far-right supervisor were ousted in Adams Township – but new officials face issues as the 2024 elections loom

Alice Herman in Hillsdale county, Michigan

10, Nov, 2023 @12:00 PM

Article image
Trump can appear on Republican primary ballot in Michigan, judge rules
Setback for challengers who say Trump should be barred from presidential run under ‘insurrection’ clause of 14th amendment

Sam Levine in New York

14, Nov, 2023 @10:25 PM

Article image
Fury at Michigan officials charged in 2020 false electors scheme: ‘This isn’t who we are’
State Republican lawmakers who allegedly signed on as Trump’s false electors in 2020 face anger, prosecution and recall

Alice Herman

23, Aug, 2023 @10:00 AM

Article image
US midterm voters reject election deniers who support Trump’s false claim
Several avid participants in efforts to subvert the outcome of the 2020 presidential contest fell short in the midterm elections

Ed Pilkington in New York and Sam Levine in Detroit

09, Nov, 2022 @5:57 PM

Article image
‘You can’t lie’: costly penalties await US lawyers who challenge legal election results
From Arizona to Michigan, judges respond to frivolous lawsuits by awarding hefty attorneys’ fees

Rachel Leingang

10, Nov, 2023 @6:00 PM

Article image
The ‘election-denier trifecta’: alarm over Trumpists’ efforts to win key posts
Republican contenders for secretary of state, attorney general and governor have loudly echoed Trump’s false claims of election fraud

Peter Stone in Washington

21, Oct, 2022 @10:00 AM

Article image
Dark money groups push election denialism on US state officials
Groups have created incubator of policies that would restrict ballot access and amplify election fraud claims

Ed Pilkington and Jamie Corey

05, Apr, 2023 @11:37 AM

Article image
Could election denialism in a feuding Arizona county upend US democracy?
Republicans in Cochise county who undermined midterm election gain control in critical swing state for 2024

Rachel Leingang

16, Mar, 2023 @10:00 AM